It's 2008! Happy New Year! This posting is about me relating a Bible passage to my investigation of going on Tysabri.
I'm currently sitting at my desk at home, where I have part of Romans 5 posted. It says:
"Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
I think of this passage often, what it means, what it means to me as an individual, particularly as an individual with MS. I believe that if I do not give up, so if "I have MS" but "MS does not have me" that then yes, suffering will produce endurance. Recently I had an exacerbation followed by an episode of depression resulting from the steroids. But I've got through that, although at a low point I wondered if I would. That resulting endurance then did enhance my character, because with each relapse, I do have thoughts that drive me forward, that keep me going, that build my character. That character then does produce hope. Maybe in this particular case of my exacerbation, it's thinking about going on Tysabri--for me that possibility is endurance and character. The endurance is thinking about Tysabri, the character is my investigation into it. I'm going to a session on infusion therapies, and will ask a lot of questions. Years ago, I would have been silent, and just listened. Lastly then, character produces hope; maybe this hope is that Tysabri could work for me, that I could be one of the lucky ones who gets tremendous benefit from it. Could this hope disappoint me? Romans says no. It could disappoint me, but maybe then I view, if Tysabri doesn't work for me, that maybe there's a learning there for someone else, and maybe somehow that is God's love shining through.
So can I look at it this way, right now, during this time? I think doing so helps me to link an eventual decision with being at peace with that decision.