EXCERPT from Book, Black Patent Shoes Dancing with MS


Dancing With MS© 
 2007 ISBN 978-0-9681392-1-9
     ISBN 0-9681392-0-5 
   My reaction to the diagnosis, and the start of my understanding of recovery as described on pages 21-24. 


I cannot accept that I must be paralyzed.
I cannot accept that I must sit still and be useless.
I cannot accept that I must stay out of the sun.
I cannot accept that there is nothing I can do to alter the course of the inexorable.
Maybe they can’t do anything, but I will.
My reality will be different.

    The reduced workload in the lab gives me more time to spend in the medical library. Surely I’ll find some answers here. Nothing in these volumes can be more frightening than my ignorance. So I spend the first of many lunch hours in the library with a medical dictionary on my lap and volumes of medical journals spread out on a study table. At the index, in the stacks, hunched over the texts and volumes of journals, I investigate MS.
    I understand practically nothing that I read, but I can’t stop. I am driven. If I read enough and think enough about the material, surely I will comprehend something. I make notes, send for even more reprints and finally stop shaking as I turn the pages.

    In the 1966 volume of the journal Neurology, I found an article titled “Regeneration of myelin in multiple sclerosis”, by Irwin Feigin and Nina Popoff. By studying slides of tissue with an electron microscope, they found evidence of myelin repair in MS plaques of damage. The newly formed myelin is not the same as the original myelin.
    So what?  It must do the job, after all I’m walking again, and driving, and climbing stairs. There must have been enough repair to allow me to function as before. The paper concludes: “If ways were found to enhance the regeneration observed in this study, a clinically useful purpose might be served.”
    Did I enhance the process by making myself resume my regular activities? Is it that simple? Did the girls enhance the process by expecting me to go on as usual? They didn’t pay attention to my right leg that scuffed or my right knee that didn’t bend properly. So I didn’t either, and soon my walk was normal again.
    One of the references is a paper about the ultrastructural study of remyelination by Bunge, Bunge and Ris, published in a 1961 journal that covers biophysics, biochemistry, and cytology. First I reach for the dictionary and look up the word “ultrastructure”: ultrastructure —- the structure beyond the resolution power of the light microscope.
    The abstract is pretty straightforward, describing the detailed study of prepared tissue samples from cats with damage like that in multiple sclerosis, for over a year after the lesion had been caused. The first sign of myelin repair was observed after 19 days; by 64 days all nerve damage was thinly repaired. The authors suggest that myelin is reformed in the same way it is first formed in normal development, but note that this does not agree with present views. Somehow that encourages me. After all, advances are not made by people who think the same as everybody else.
    The rest of the paper is far beyond my comprehension, but one observation stands out —

“The neurological condition of the experimental animal begins to improve at a time when remyelination begins and has returned to normal by the time most axons are at least partly remyelinated.”

    I’m sure that all these kitty-cats wanted to get going as soon as possible. They did it in 64 days, and it took me from March 17 to the middle of May. Purrty close.


PULSE Magazine Caledon –  Bolton

March 2010 – by Shelly Sargent

DANCING WITH MS A story of hope and determination. Presentation at the Caledon Public Library, March 27, 2010.

May 6, 2005 – by Mark Newman
Coping Successfully with MS: Activity, positive attitude can help
(Interviews on the MS Recovery Roundtable April 2, 2005.)

March 25, 2005 – By Brenda Jefferies
Copetown Community Centre Site of MS Recovery Symposium

Spring 2004 – By Elaine Hujer
A Mother’s Triumph over MS

March/April 2004 review by Sylvia Brown p.36
Comments by Eva

November 7, 2003
MS sufferer puts new spin on success story

A Tribute to service and volunteering
Published by FLAMBOROUGH REVIEW  2003
Eva Marsh’s powerful voice, a might weapon in MS battle

June 3, 2003
Marsh’s view of MS has helped sufferers

May 8, 2003
8 honoured as Women of the Year

JANUARY 28, 2003
MS victim battled great odds and won
This fabulous article by Suzanne Bourret covers my story in amazing detail. 
Unfortunately, in reducing a three hour interview to an article, a typographical error was introduced on page A9, column 1, paragraph 4 
” … a two day hospital stay …”, should read, “… twenty day hospital stay …” 


Share Your Experience

Recent research direction is based on perception that ms is inactive during pregnancy …

if you have experienced symptoms, or were diagnosed during or after pregnancy, please share your experience and your feelings …  privacy assured …

If there is any aspect of your experience with the diagnosis of ms that you wish to share, it will help expand my viewpoint.

Thank you

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