Hey everyone and welcome to my page! I am SO excited to be releasing my first ever blog post… But Before I jump right into it all, I first want to say “thank you”…thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and for reading a bit, some, or all of what I have to say. 🙂
My main objective is to create a safe and non-judgmental platform to post about navigating through life with a disability, and to hopefully allow others to relate to my struggles and triumphs in ways both similar and different…
AND through this, I hope to inspire, motivate and assure many that there is greatness to a life that may not feel all that great, and that this life regardless of the circumstances we face, is still largely what we make of it.
SO.. smile often, cry when you need to, and when things feel overwhelming or like you are about to hit rock bottom… start to reset your sails by looking for one great thing in each day…because no matter how hard you have to look, there is always always always something to be thankful for.😘♥️
With all that being said, I guess the first question that should be answered is Who am I???🤔 and well…I guess that can be a little complicated depending on if your wondering about the “me” THEN or the “me’ NOW…but first let’s hash out all the static details… the things that HAVEN’T changed since the “Big Bang” which hit me like a transport truck 7.5 years ago…all the things that weren’t ripped away from me in the matter of an instant, or the things that haven’t been stripped from me slowly and painfully like a dripping tap…🙄😢 Ya let’s start there☺️…
- My name is Gillian Cruz but no… I’m not Spanish…😘 Cruz is actually my married name which I was honoured to assume when I married my amazing husband (Joel) 5 years ago. The story of how we met is both one of my favorites but also now one of the most emotional stories I have to tell. Stay tuned, I’ll definitely be writing about that soon. 😚
- Next…I’m 30 years old. 😱Wow. 30. When did that happen? Recently when I was asked my age at the Casino I almost said 25! For some reason that number is stuck in my head and heart. I think I have a pretty good idea of the “why” behind THAT number .. but we will get to that later!
- Two years after my husband and I got married, we decided to expand our family. This was not by any means an easy decision. The many reasons as to why this was not a simple walk in the park will be unraveled in my future posts… But for now let me just say that we overcame obstacles, jumped over hurdles, knocked down walls…and on January 2nd 2015 we welcomed our baby boy Landon into our world. #bestdayofourlives😍👨👩👦
- The last thing I want to talk about before diving into what or who I was before my new “normal”, is the mention of my absolutely AMAZING family and friends. Going through something so challenging definitely calls for a whole SWAT team of support. And no it doesn’t make the physical pain any better or allow my legs to move any easier…but what it does do is remind me of all the people who love and support me. It makes the bad days easier and the good days WAY better. Without them I wouldn’t have the quality of life I have, even if it’s not the quality of life I EVER envisioned for myself. The love and support I receive daily has not only remained “static”, it has become stronger than ever before, and for that I am thankful every single day. 🤗
There are many other things that have remained “static” in my life, specifically to do with innate qualities and traits, But it’s time to cut to the chase…
It’s time to focus on how the “old” me became the “new” me and everything inbetween.
How I went from a commited athlete to barely walking…
It all comes down to 2 simple letters…2 letters I wish never existed, 2 letters I wish not only I never heard, but 2 letters I wish 2.5 million other people never heard either… 2 letters that turned my whole world upside down in an instant.
Those 2 letters…MS😡😧 otherwise known as “Multiple Sclerosis”, an auto-immune disorder that interrupts the transmissions of messages from the brain. It effects everyone differently, but I can assure you there is not one person who doesn’t suffer from this terrible beast.
Here’s the beginning of my story…
I was diagnosed in 2010 at the age of 23. My initial symptom was numbness and tingling in both hands, a symptom that is fairly common. BUT because I have had many injuries from the days I was a competitive hockey player, I assumed it was something to do with that.
I WISH it was…but 8 months later when I finally received my MRI results, I realized it was something much MUCH worse…
Although that day was 7.5 years ago, I remember it as if it were yesterday. I went alone to my doctor’s appointment because I thought it was just going to be something simple…like I had thought all along, but when my family doctor announced my diagnosis, I burst into tears immediately. He handed me a Kleenex and began to draw a diagram to help explain what MS is all about, and all the awful things that can and do go wrong because of it.
When he was finished he asked me if I had any questions. I looked up from the paper with tears flooded in the bottom of my eyes and asked “is there a cure?” to which he responded No…it is a chronic and progressive illness, but it can be treated.
I wish I could agree with the last words my doctor said, but in my case it hasn’t been very “treatable” from the get-go…and in the matter of 2.5 years I went from playing 3 sports to no sports and now rely on a wheelchair to go further than around the house.
The struggles are REAL…the pain RELENTLESS…and the heartache often UNBEARABLE. 💔
In another post I’ll dive deeper into all of the struggles I have and continue to face, and all the adversity I’ve been required to overcome. But as I near the end of my very first post, I choose to end on a positive note…and that is for everyone reading this to know I’m still fighting…in many ways during the toughest days…I’m STILL fighting. Because in my opinion there is NO other option. I not only fight for myself and everyone else who is facing their own battles, but I continue to fight BIG TIME for my 2.5 year old son, who I hope one day will say “because of you mommy…I will NEVER give up”. ♥️