Cycling with MS
Getting diagnosed with MS
I was diagnosed in March 2015. I had heard of MS but didn't know what it was or what it meant for me.
My first two questions were, "Is that bad news?" (I'm afraid so) and "Can I still race my bike this weekend?" (yes).
I asked, "Am I going to die early?" (hopefully not), "Am I going to be disabled?" (again, hopefully not); "Can I still cycle?" (yes, to an extent) and "Can I still go to work?" (hopefully so). It could be very bad, it could be not-so-bad...
Since my sudden introduction to the condition, I've since undergone two bouts of immune-modifying chemotherapy… and have cycled over 45,000 miles.
Although, like us all, I still wonder what the rest of my life holds, this has already felt like quite a journey.
The "CyclingWithMS" blog
As most people living with MS would attest, I found the immediate aftermath of my MS diagnosis a fairly confusing time. It was suggested that I should start writing a diary in order to assemble all my thoughts in a therapeutic way.
As I was struggling to find anything in the MS literature that tallied with my interests, hobbies and lifestyle, a blog entitled “CyclingWithMS” seemed to make sense.
I found this exercise enormously therapeutic and was hugely buoyed by the messages of support that it elicited. It was heartening to receive words of support from family, friends, other cyclists and even interested strangers. One message that has been repeated is that some of the challenges I've faced as a cyclist should stand me in better stead for the MS hurdles that lie ahead.
The "CyclingWithMS" book
As my blog grew and grew, it became harder for readers to find a coherent story so, this year, whilst I was laid low by ill health, I spent my bedbound time transforming my various diary extracts into a single book.
Although primarily aimed at others living with MS, and their friends and family, I hope others will also recognise the universal truths of my story as I struggled to re-adjust my sights in life - but ultimately was still able to find joy, achievement and happiness in unexpectedly new ways.
Ewan's book "CyclingWithMS" is available to buy on Amazon in paperback and e-book. He is kindly donating all profits to the MS Society.