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No More Secs! Book Giveaway

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No More Secs! Book Giveaway

Editor’s Note: We are giving away a copy of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis by our awesome blogger Ann Pietrangelo. Check out this excerpt and commentary from the author, and don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win the book!

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 44, all previous assumptions about health, work, and my new romance were suddenly up for grabs. No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis, is a story — my story — of acceptance and change and a basic truth — good health and life are fleeting, but love and humor trump all. Every second matters, a point driven home by yet another life-altering diagnosis.

How do you plan for life’s second half with a body you’ve never met before? One precarious step at a time.

An excerpt from No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis:

“Your test results are all normal. At this point I would consider the three treatment options we spoke of. There is no hurry in making this decision, but would like to hear back from you in the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions or concerns please call me. Thanks.”

When I was a kid, doctor shows were all the rage on television. I’d seen the pronouncement of diagnosis hundreds of times. The kindly old doctor touches the patient’s hand and looks into his eyes as he breaks the news. He might put an arm around the patient’s shoulder, or comfort the worried spouse. The camera would then zoom in on the patient’s face so we can see the emotional impact up close and personal.

But it seems we’re not going to get our Marcus Welby moment … or anything that even vaguely resembles one.

The email that changes everything lands in my inbox on January 28, 2004, at 2:19 p.m. Just another email mixed with a batch of well-worn jokes and plenty of spam.

The test results are all normal. It is one of those good news/bad news situations. In this case, however, normal does not translate into a clean bill of health. It is in this instant, through this most impersonal exchange, that normal takes on a whole new meaning for me.

The email comes as no surprise. Diagnosis or not, life as I know it has already been altered beyond recognition. Still, the doctor doesn’t actually use the words. The meaning of the email, prompting me to decide on treatment options, is clear … but not clear enough. I want to hear the words, or at least read them. I want and need this diagnosis to somehow be declared official before I make any decisions. This is a very big deal.

The news is, for the moment, known only to the doctor and me. I fantasize briefly that if I delete the email, that if I pretend I don’t know, it won’t be true. If ignorance is bliss, maybe I can simply refuse to accept the information I’ve been given, like a child who ignores her mother’s call.

Until this moment, I could still hold out hope that it was all some colossal mistake or overreaction on my part; just one of those things that happens and is soon forgotten. Sure, I’ve had health problems like everyone else, but nothing like this.

Even while these thoughts run through my mind, I’m aware of another stream of consciousness floating alongside. I consider these feelings as being a normal first response because, after all, nobody plans to be disabled or sick. It’s just the luck of the draw and on this particular day it happens to be my turn to draw the short stick. I was never one of those “it won’t happen to me” types. I’m more of a “why not me?” kind of gal. I always figure I’m as good a target as anyone else, for both bad and good life events. Now, when it’s put to the test, is my chance to see if I truly subscribe to that philosophy.

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Read more: Blogs, Conditions, Contests & Giveaways, Family, General Health, Health, Living with MS, Love, Multiple Sclerosis, Relationships, Women's Health, ,

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

67 comments

+ add your own
9:41AM PST on Feb 16, 2012

Thanks to Care2 for offering this venue, plus the many oth thing it does...
Ann has written beautifully,
"If you take a leap of faith and give No More Secs! a read, it is my sincere hope you come away from it on a positive note. Maybe it’ll even make you smile. Now that’s when I’ll know I’ve really done good."
It's my true desire to take that leap of faith AND also read her book!

9:22AM PST on Feb 16, 2012

To be given your MS diagnosis by Email seems uncaring, cold and outrageous. Every person needs to be respected and hopefully "cared about" by those who do know them. Other than that, on an impersonal web-site [such as this] but THIS Care2 site seems to give the idea that it DOES care. However, what I'd like to know is the parameters / details if You will, of the NO MORE SECs offering. How many time should I add another "thought"? and does anyone know by what DATE the winner of the Book will be decided? OFTEN other contests will state up-front those details. Who knows in this case? WHO may I ask kindly?

5:52PM PST on Feb 14, 2012

Just like Cyndy I keep looking for humor in the MS world. Is there laughter in NO MORE SECs ? I'd lied like to read it.

1:20PM PST on Feb 14, 2012

I USE email and other electronic devices, albeit poorly, but will NEVER USE persons. I USE books for pleasure and to get information. I can get information from persons on a site like this one. Can't wait to read the NO MORE SEC's book. Hope to find information and humor!

12:53PM PST on Feb 14, 2012

MS and falling are no strangers. I've fallen more than once, but as a devoted lover The Floor will say again and again, "I'm always here for you!". It's no mystery, as black holes in space are :)

12:43PM PST on Feb 14, 2012

I received a Green Star today from Adrienne N. that i' probably am not worthy of but am grateful for nonetheless. Thank you, Adrienne! Am struggling to use a new iPad while on this site. Using the iPad is almost as hard as accepting the fact of MS. Challenges they both are, but I wish to do my best with both.
Hope to receive and read the NO MORE SECs! book. SOON if at all possible.

8:51AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

I enjoyed the article and insight into being diagnosed with MS - or anything, really - in this electronic age. (E-mail - ugh!) Humor has been my best ally in the dance of life that has included several debilitating "body events" and lifetime issues/challenges. It is always refreshing to see that another woman is writing about her experiences not in a "poor me" manner, but in a way that shows that a person is not the disease/disability but a conscious participant in what Life can still be grasped. I will share your book with my Friends to encourage and uplift them! Feel Good!

10:19AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

I love the cover design, so kudos to your husband for that! I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect until I read the excerpt, but I think this will make an excellent addition to my growing #MS library, which leans more toward understanding this disease and working to combat symptoms.

I love to laugh, though, and goodness knows that #MSandLife can create a number of situations that beg to be celebrated with laughter (like relearning the potty dance at 35...and still not perfecting it a decade later, lol!). I'm looking forward to reading this!

6:40AM PST on Feb 11, 2012

I agree TOTALly with Cindy Y. Humor is salve for humanity. I'd LOVE to read the book!

9:34PM PST on Feb 10, 2012

wow! where have you been all my ms life?
Humor is our sanity.I'd love to own this book.I've been looking for the laughter in the "ms world" for 19 years

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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