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At Least It

At Least It’s Not…

I’ve had many conversations with people that I’m ‘acquainted’ with or that I just met, and even some close friends. One saying that seems to frequently be said is, “At least it’s not cancer.”

Yeah, you’re very right. At least it isn’t cancer. Thank you for pointing that out. However, when you say that, to me it feels like you are trying to discredit what I’m going through. I’m not saying that what they stated is false. But Cancer & MS are two different things.

First of all, I’m in NO WAY discrediting what people go through that have cancer, or any other chronic illness. But I don’t think people understand how difficult it is to compare illnesses that are on two different levels. How are they different you ask? Well for one, MS is a life long illness. Yes, cancer kills people. The main thing they have in common is there is no cure.

People with MS are living day in and day out with this disease. Not knowing when there will be a cure, not knowing if we will go in to a flare soon. Not knowing if we will be able to function the next day. This continues on and on and on, for years. With this daily struggle, it can and has brought on depression. I feel like there is more awareness about Cancer, obviously, so it’s easy to compare Cancer to other illnesses. Cancer is just horrible and we need a cure, period.

Feeling invalidated

Now, to share how I feel about this comparison, at times, here is a bit of explanation. If you were suffering would you want the suffering to be prolonged for the rest of your life, without shortening your life expectancy? Or would you want it to end quicker than that? I’m sorry if that’s a bit blunt, but that’s how I feel at times when I have been told, “At least it’s not cancer”, over and over again in a short period of time.

For instance, when I was told, “At least it’s not Cancer,” I felt like I shouldn’t complain about anything, ever. Because, at least I don’t have cancer, right? I shut down in a sense. I wouldn’t even tell my husband what was wrong or how I was feeling. What did I have to complain about, right?

When people try to say, “well, at least you don’t have such and such,” it feels like they aren’t even taking in to consideration what I’m going through. They can’t and won’t understand what I’m going through until they have to go through it themselves.

You don’t get it till you get it

Let me also clarify that I’m not implying that every person that says these types of things is doing it with any negative intentions, or purposefully trying to be rude and snub what we’re going through as nothing. I’m just trying to share my experience with the situation and how it made and still makes me feel.

A big clarification that EVERYONE needs to know is there is NO COMPETITION when it comes to an illness. We’re all suffering from something, we’re all coping with it, and we’re all hoping to get better. When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t know what MS was. I was just so relieved it wasn’t anything ‘serious’ like a tumor or cancer. Ironic right? Needless to say it’s been a learning experience.

I really feel like there isn’t enough awareness out there on certain illnesses and that’s why these statements are made. Compare it to what you know.

Please don’t try to compare

So what’s the purpose of this article aka rant? For those that try to compare are illness to something else, as horrible as cancer, please do NOT. Nothing good can come out of it. You don’t know what we’re going through inside of our head.

I try to keep the following in my mind whenever I’m interacting with people on a daily basis: You never know what someone is going through. You never know their whole story. Do not make quick judgments on a person that is being difficult, or anti-social, or that you find odd. He or she could have just gotten horrible news recently. They could be suffering with emotional challenges. Or they could have an invisible illness. What you see isn’t always what you get.

By making quick remarks without thinking it through, you could be causing more damage than you could possibly even comprehend.

I think that’s enough for now, I just really felt like I needed to share my experience on this topic, because I tend to have this happen to me in ‘spurts’.

xoxo

Ashley Ringstaff

How do you react when friends and family compare MS to other health conditions? Click question to answer.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Nic Hibbs
    3 weeks ago

    MS has taken an aggressive approach with me, I do not get the comparisons. I think it would feel rude of ppl to do that to me. I was diagnosed with MS in 1998 so over the last 21 years it has wreaked havoc on my body. I am left a paraplegic at 46 everything from the waist down I have no control over, I have incontinence in both my bladder and bowels. I have total cognitive abilities which is both a gift and a curse. So if we are comparing MS to cancer at least with cancer you get better or you die. With MS I get to witness my body breakdown with no way of stopping the progression. At least if I did have cognitive issues that can present like Alzheimer’s I would not be aware of what was happening. So we all have our suffering to bear with our different conditions. And sometimes not knowing what part of your body will be affected next can be so terrifying you can’t function properly. Maybe that fact could give people implying you have a condition that is less than what it actually is, MS is an insidious condition with symptoms ranging from benign to catastrophic and everything in between. And it is so painful, I live with horrific pain, when anybody touches my legs it stings and burns, like a Chinese burn if you have ever had one, stings & burns so much.
    Nerve pain is horrible and difficult to treat.

  • Lucylucylucy
    11 months ago

    “You never know what someone is going through.”-This is one reason why I don’t get offended when people say or do anything,especially in regards to MS.
    Then there is this:
    “It is a fool who takes offense when it is intended, but it is an even greater fool who takes offense when it is not intended.”

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    10 months ago

    Love that! I try REALLY hard not to get offended, but sometimes I’m just at my breaking point it seems.

    xoxo
    Ashley Ringstaff

  • KyTeacher
    11 months ago

    My husband said this to me the day I was diagnosed. It upset me st the time but later I realized why he said it. He was devastated. He knew nothing about MS at the time. It was his way of making himself feel better about what we had just heard.
    Thank you for sharing you writings. They have helped make sense of so much I have been through in the past year.
    Hope you have a wonderful New Year.

  • Alina Ahsan moderator
    11 months ago

    KyTeacher, that must have been hard to hear when you were also going through the emotions of a new diagnosis. It’s great that you’re able to share his perspective to show that an MS diagnosis is a heavy blow to loved ones as well and that they might be reeling and trying to process the news in their own ways! Thank you for sharing here with us
    -Alina, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • wendy2500
    1 year ago

    I am in the same medical boat with you. And I sympathize. I just want you to be grammatically correct with your story. Like maybe proofread before posting. This is really not me being mean but me being the person I am at my job. I totally understood your words and your conveyances, but was disjointed when I came across what seemed to be words that did not make sense. We’re all on different levels of understanding – I get that. But paint us with an accurate brush and understanding. peace to you.

  • Shelby Comito moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi @wendy2500, thank you for your comment. What makes this community so special is that it’s made up of so many unique voices, writing styles, and perspectives – and each voice is heard and welcomed here. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. Warmest wishes, Shelby, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • bstraiton
    1 year ago

    First I want to say thank you for writing this article. It’s not something talked about much but yet happens to probably most of us.

    I was lucky to have very understanding friends and family when I first announced my diagnosis. My aunt has MS so my family was mortified but extreamly supportive. My friends did not know was MS was. A few knew it’s neurological but not the full extent of the disease. Plus they had all been very worried about me. My diagnosis took about 3 months before anyone would say, yes you do have MS. Those 3 months were terrifying not just for me but my close friends and family. Mostly bc of what spurred my first trip to my gp. I was called into work early one morning in July for a large catering order. At the time I was working at a local pizza place and had been for the previous 9 years. Since I was woken up by the call to come in 2 hrs early I just grabbed my stuff and drove into work. I walked into the kitchen in my pjs and glasses(always wore contacts)and everyone stopped dead in their tracks looking at me like wtf happened to you? I hadn’t looked in the mirror yet. My boss just said go look in the mirror so I did. I was horrified by what I saw. The entire left side of my face was droopy and I looked as tho I had a stroke. Turned out I had bells pulsy from a super nasty ear infection…or so they thought. My face never fully healed but most of the “stroke face” look was gone by mid Sept. A full 3 mo later! My left eye still droops as does the left side of my mouth. One nice thing, if i notice my eye and mouth looking especially saggy it’s a good chance I’m in early stages of relapse and time to call Dr and get on steroids.

    As to the invisible disability and the “at least it’s not…..” I have never had anyone say at least it’s not cancer to my face. What I have had to deal with is as$%#le righteous strangers yelling at me for using my crip card aka my handicap placard and parking in handicap spots. Even tho I always have it visible ppl don’t care to look all they see is I’m not in a wheelchair or a brace ect and jump on their soap boxes to ridicule me, and sometimes my child, bc I don’t look disabled. Bc I don’t wanna go to jail I simply point at the sign in my car and walk away. Inside I’m furious and fuming wishing I could just freak out on those ppl. Like for reals you have ZERO idea how many freakin pills it takes for me to go grocery shopping or take my 2 yr old to her library reading class!!

    Ok, deep breaths brie,…..

    If only all ppl would realize and take that moment to say hey maybe there’s more than what meets the eye and decide to walk away instead of ridiculing me in front of my child.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hey. Thank you for sharing your story! I really appreciate it. I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis… and I can relate to you on the bells palsy diagnosis… that’s what they told me initially until I was referred to a neurologist.

    I also agree that people need to just take a moment to be nice, not judge without knowing the whole story. It’s so easy to just judge someone without knowing what the real story is, and it’s sad.

    Anyways, wishing you all the best!
    xoxo
    Ashley Ringstaff

  • katrina
    2 years ago

    Well done on the article! It seems cold to me for someone to say “at least it’s not…” MS is hard enough. And, as you say, we shouldn’t compare one illness to another. I witnessed my Dad living with MS and now myself and despite knowing alot about MS, it’s a different place experiencing it first hand. He is the only person i can call and not have to explain myself in detail for him to understand. He gets it. I am so lucky to have him for support. I don’t think I would be where I am mentally if he didn’t have MS.

    I think people’s reactions just come from ignorance. Sometimes I am reluctant in letting some people know I have MS because people might treat me differently or I don’t want to deal with their reaction at that moment. I think there is more public acceptance in telling people you have Cancer and people understand it better in the sense that there is an end, either you are cured (or go into remission) or you die. There are set treatments that people have heard of and with MS people don’t even know what MS is let alone the treatment options. They see us looking good one day and the next we day we can’t walk, for example. Sometimes they think we are getting better or worse and we know MS just doesn’t work that way. Its a lifelong battle within our own bodies.

    And there is another preventable health condition that frustrates me more that is very acceptable to tell people you have and no one judges. Something for me to contemplate on my own.

    I like to think like you stated…we never know what anyone is going through and we all just need to treat each other with kindness and compassion as much as we can.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    OMG the way you explained the ‘comparison’ and saying we have cancer instead of MS, that is so accurate. People just tend to have more understanding and compassion for those diagnosed with cancer. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have compassion… but just because what someone is going through isn’t cancer… doesn’t mean it hasn’t changed their lives.

  • Jan
    2 years ago

    Excellent article: very well stated.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @jan

    Thank you! Hope all is well.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Tazz
    2 years ago

    So many comments here that are 100% valid – but the validity will vary for each individual depending on their experiences and circumstances.

    Yes, cancer can be cured and often is but it can also kill – and sometimes very rapidly and sometimes that death can be drawn out and full of absolutely miserable suffering even if the best palliative care is available.

    And dying in the late stages of a neurological condition which has significantly affected your functioning can also be miserable, so I’m sure that we all hope that we don’t end up going down that path.

    For me, the “fill in the blanks” with “at least it’s not……….” when I was diagnosed was “at least it’s not motor neurone disease”. A somewhat ironic comment maybe, given that it’s the day after Stephen Hawking’s death was announced, but he was one of the few exceptions to the “rule” that MND is usually fatal within a pretty short time frame. I would far rather have MS than MND, and I generally try and pre-empt people saying to me that “at least it’s not……..” by getting in first with my own version of that statement. It usually works quite well at stopping them in their tracks.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @tazz

    Thank your reading and sharing your thoughts on this subject matter. I can totally see where you’re coming from on this and see how you ‘beat them to the punch’ on the saying at times as well.

    I guess I just get frustrated when they just write off MS as nothing, compared to others. It’s hard to explain the demeanor of the person when they say it. But they usually are not at all being compassionate or understanding of what I’m going through.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Debrahoff2
    2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing what I feel. I remember when I was diagnosed and someone said at least it’s not a brain tumor. At the time I was doing better than I am now so I naturally thought, me too. But you just can’t compare and those that do try, are either ignorant or just unable to express what they are really trying to say. It’s all awful, and all really relative depending on what phase of any illness, depression included, and there are so many beyond Cancer that kill someone. The scary thing is now, after one relapse after another, I do wake up some days and wonder how I am going to be ok? And I need to get organized so when I do die, no one has to deal with anything except carrying on my legacy with my children and keeping me alive in their minds for as long as possible. MS has changed my life, more recently than 5 years ago but it is horrible to not know what tomorrow will bring. I just try to stay positive and live from moment to moment. And hope that tomorrow will be better than today. I am grateful for being able read other MS comments and feelings on this site because it makes me feel less alone. Thanks again Ashley for sharing your thoughts on something I totally relate with..Be well

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @debrahoff2

    Thank you for taking the time to read the article.
    I had the exact same though when I was first diagnosed, a least it wasn’t a tumor. But once you LEARN about the disease and live with it and honestly, your entire life is flipped upside down.

    I just feel like if we had more awareness about MS – and more people actually understood what it was, maybe there would be less ignorance with their comments.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • ProfPepys
    2 years ago

    My father said he wished that I had cancer because they could operate and remove the tumor. ( He has survived colon, prostate and skin cancer and recently turned 90)

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @profpepys

    Oh wow! That is something completely different… I don’t even know how to take that. But I guess he has experience on the subject so he was blunt with you.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Julie
    2 years ago

    Yes, I’m thankful I don’t have cancer. My beautiful sister in law who was also my best friend died in her second round of breast cancer while I held her hand and said my goodbye. Two of my best MS friends also have died in the past 3 years from cancer.

    So what are these people saying? That people with cancer die and people with MS don’t? Because I beg to differ with them if that’s their take on it. People with MS do die. No one says it but we do die from complications brought on by MS.

    I would be one to ask them what they mean by that. What is their thought on comparing 2 different diseases. Do people compare cancer and MD? or ALS? or any other horrible disease. No one has the right to compare unless they are living with the consequences of any of these diseases.

    Lastly, I’m going to take this moment to be petty. The friends that I know that have gone thru cancer and its treatments have gone on to buy life insurance. I can’t. I have asked every insurance company I can find if they would take me on. Not one of them will. Why do they ensure cancer patients? I know I’m probably being very petty here but I can’t find one of them that can give me a good reason.
    Best of health to you all.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    Oh wow. Thank you for sharing your outtake on this.
    I gave up looking for life insurance for a bit because it’s such a headache. I know that isn’t ‘responsible’ but I can only take so many NO’s at once.

    xoxo

  • Nina
    2 years ago

    I have never heard this comment from others, but I say it to myself often. 21 years ago when I was first hospitalized with M.S., my friend was hospitalized & diagnosed with
    lung cancer. She died two years later. I thank God every morning that I am still here
    and can see the sun and my husband and friends, and it keeps me grateful, which helps
    to keep the darkness of our disease at bay. Appreciate the comment as a lame attempt
    to cheer you up, and gently share some of your symptoms to give them a new appreciation for the disease, but hold the bitterness – they didn’t give the M.S. to you.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thank you for your perspective. I’m sorry to hear that your friend passed from cancer.

    I do try not to be bitter, I just can’t control my reactions sometimes. 🙁

  • Yoshitail9
    2 years ago

    For as many ways that us MSers are different this facet is beginning to sound common. I suppose we can just be “justifiably” rude and say to them ” would you like to try it for an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year OR a Lifetime”

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @yoshitail9

    Exactly! “You don’t get it, till you get it.”

    Even though we all experience MS in different ways, it DOES appear that we have to deal w/ the same issues that come with the disease in the daily life and interactions.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • LuvMyDog
    2 years ago

    Bottom line is, too many people are just plain ignorant. Add in rude. Add in uncompassionate. And I don’t mind one bit telling them that to their faces and I have.
    Unless you have MS, you do NOT know what it’s like and you shouldn’t try to make comparisons and that is what more people with MS should say to IGNORANT people!

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @caninemom6142

    Completely understand! I just feel like most people have the common courtesy to NOT be rude, so things aren’t said to these people who make the comparisons in the first place.

    And I’m not trying to be mean to those who actually care and are trying to lift our spirits… but there are others out there that are just plain rude and say it in a rude manner.
    UGH

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • LuvMyDog
    2 years ago

    People trying to lift our spirits?? Who are they? I guess I’ve not met any of those people. And how does someone who is healthy, has a good life, not many problems, have any idea what the stress of living with a disease like MS is like? To me, someone like that cannot lift my spirits, they can merely say things they think “they should say.”
    I’m a down-to-earth, look you in the eye, tell it like it is type of person. I do not need nor do I want someone who doesn’t suffer in this world, telling me things that they know nothing about.

  • PS98107
    2 years ago

    I am sorry that you have MS and also that you feel that way, Ashley! I have MS myself and that disease robbed me of my musical ability (until I took it back) back in 2002. However, I’ve basically said that very thing to people so as to make them feel better. These are people who know I have MS and don’t understand what MS entails (which are a lot) and who are worried about me. I really don’t think any of the people who know you try to compare the two diseases or try to discredit what you are going through, I believe they are only comparing the worst-case outcome of the two. I think when they say “at least it’s not cancer”, they are actually trying to put a silver lining into that MS cloud to try make you feel a bit better because other than maybe breast cancer, a lot of other cancers can be a death sentence so, I think what they are really trying to say in a nutshell is, “at least it is not a death sentence like some cancers”.

    In any case, I totally understand how you can feel that way about hearing it all the time and having lost a mother, brother and a couple of very close friends to cancer, I am aware of how scary that disease is for people in general.

    Best of good fortune to you despite this unwanted MS journey of ours. 🙂

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @13uw7s1

    I’m glad to hear that you got your music ability back, for starters!

    I can also understand your POV of how they mean well and don’t mean it how I take it sometimes. It just gets sooo frustrating when I hear it so often… and they don’t know the actual symptoms and day-to-day dealings with MS at all.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • michclaud
    2 years ago

    Ashley, you have said exactly what I have wanted to say out loud to so many people!
    I said to myself several times when things have been tough to get through! I have recently started to live with my daughter & son-in-law because they actually bought the house where I have living for 13 years! I’m very grateful to them because didn’t have to move, however, I am finding out that it is not going to be too easy! I said to myself at least if I had cancer I would know that I wouldn’t be a burden for a long time!
    `

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @1ksxmyi

    I can’t tell you how glad I am that I wasn’t the ONLY one feeling this way. I tend to question myself on if I should actually write articles on certain things, and this was one of them. Because it is a ‘sensitive’ subject in a way.

    I’m glad to hear that you didn’t have to move out of your home. I’m hoping that with your daughter and son-in-law doing this, they don’t consider you a burden at all, but are supportive of you.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Shelley D.
    2 years ago

    Thank you for writing this, Ashley! While MS may not (supposedly) affect our life span, it can greatly affect our quality of life. I often say that suffering is worse than dying! I dated a guy who also had MS. He would say, “I have an incurable disease that doesn’t have the good graces to kill me.” Sadly, I knew exactly what he meant! It is hard work to be positive, but necessary to keep that depression at bay. I try to remember that everyone is dealing with their own battles. That is called LIFE! Take care! 🙂

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @shelleyd

    Thank YOU for taking the time to read the article and respond! I can also agree with you that suffering IS worse than dying, being the fact that those that suffer with MS are more than likely not dying. (This is in most cases).

    It is hard work to stay positive, and I continue to try to stay positive… I just tend to let all of my negative thoughts out when I write or when I’m overwhelmed with a certain situation.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • MarcieKim
    2 years ago

    Some people lack empathy. You would never say to someone who lost their job, or is going through a divorce, foreclosing on their home, or grieving the death of a loved one, “Hey, at least your family wasn’t eaten by sharks – because that would actually be terrible.” LOL! I mean, really, is there even a polite response???

    Voltaire said it best: What scale would you use to weigh another man’s grief?

  • tfs
    2 years ago

    I like that!

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @Kim

    OMG! Thank you thank you! You just gave a great example of what these people are doing! I’m going to have to save this so that I can show others as well!

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Lucibad
    2 years ago

    I have progressive ms. Yes I agree I get fed up with least it’s not cancer. I lost my mum aged 45 to it, so I know. But this is worse. I’m not scared to die, just wish I could go on holiday, dance , urinate normally, run, do so many things that some cancer patients can do. Give me a year 6 months of having to be able to do things that I can’t do now, even knowing I will die when those months are up. I would take it. Soon as I wake another day of severe pain etc. Some cancers can be put into remission for years, I’d take that. Not only having Progressive MS, I have Spinal stenosis and Sygensogen syndrome.
    But I battle on and not many will understand how I feel.
    To you whom have this disease in my eyes you are so brave
    There are so many evil disease out there cancer isn’t the only one. Ms isn’t the only one.
    Stephen Hawking a hero of mine.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @lucibad

    Thank you for your insight on this. You seem to have a similar story like @Carol that posted below you.

    That being said, I can totally understand where you’re coming from. I personally feel as if what kinda life is it to live, when you’re in constant pain and restricted on your activities.

    Keeping you in my thoughts. Thank you again for sharing your insight.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Carol
    2 years ago

    I know what you mean. I’ve had progressive MS for over 40 years and spinal scoliosis and spinal stenosis. I dread the waking up to another day of severe pain. I am getting worse every day and have lost so much. I wish I could do all the things that I used to do but now can’t do much of anything at all. Our common MS journey is not easy for anybody.

  • Lucibad
    1 year ago

    Hello Carol
    How are you holding up.
    After reading your email, I think it’s amazing how people
    Cope, yet it feels like it’s impossible to go on.
    I have now Asthma.
    Something else to cope with. It feels like, I’m just picking up other illnesses along the way lol.
    Or maybe the other diseases are lonely and just want some company!
    Hope you are coping as well as you can.
    TC 🙂

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @Carol ,

    Thank you for taking the time to read the article and comment. I’m sorry to hear that you have been dealing with this MonSter for so long, and progressive MS at that. Keeping you in my thoughts that you get some pain relief.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • perreaju
    2 years ago

    I haven’t had people say this to me much. Usually I have people with fiibromyalgia come up to me and express sympathy and then start talking about their disease. They go on and on, but what I notice is thy don’t appear to have any trouble walking like I do. I’m sure their disease is real, but they seem to be SK into it, whereas I just want to be welll. I’ve also had people try to compete with me for symptoms.. Why, I don’t know. If they want to be sicker than me, that’s fine. I’d be glad to give them all mg symptoms. Then there’s the people who have to hold the door open for me, the cripple. I tell them I it’s going to take forever for me to get to the door. They always say “just take your time.” My comment that I have no choice is always met with a blank look. They don’t get it. Mostly I try to smile and say thank you because moist people want to hell and some have friends and family members with MS. There is no way for them to understand what I am going through. I really try to keep the anger and resentment under control but don’t succeed all the time, especially when I’m tired., but one day when I was tired and angry I happened to see my face in a mirror at the store. I didn’t recognize myself, I looked awful and scary. So Now I try to relax my face and body when I feel like that.. It really doesn’t help at all to inflict this kind of anger on others. They just think I’m crazy.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    @perreaju

    Your initial statement made me think about the blog I wrote about ‘comparing’ – kind of one the same lines of this… https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/cant-compare/

    You just have those people that always have to ‘one-up’ you on everything. I’ve come to realize that they are just attention seekers and have to have it all on them. What they don’t realize is that we don’t WANT the attention that we receive due to MS.

    On the whole door holding thing, I can see where you’re coming from completely… but I have a habit of holding the door for others, my kids do also. It’s more of a courtesy thing for us, rather than “Let’s help out the handicapped” thought process.

    I do tend to have a ‘mean’ face when I’m out and about, after a long day and there are just people… everywhere… and they all tend to do something that aggravates me. It takes a lot of self control for me to ‘fix my face’ as I like to call it, during these times.

    Thank you for reading the article, and reaching out.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • seaattle
    2 years ago

    Given my grandmother had ALS, my dad and younger brother, like me, had MS but died age 40-41, I got an “at least it’s not ALS and your alive at over 50” from my own mother. As far as “at least it’s not cancer, I would have to answer with a “well, I got that too” 1.5 years ago dx with stage 1B NSCLC. Bottom line, don’t compare, don’t downplay MS. Cancer can be cured, MS can’t. I watched the progression twice, knowing the second time I watched it, it was my future fate of end stage MS.. I am fortunate that after 20years with MS I can still move, speak and eat, something denied to my dad and brother. And given a choice, I’d take the cancer over the MS any day. Just my opinion.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    seaattle,

    First off, let me say that you’re a strong individual for overcoming so much. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your father and brother. You give a completely different perspective than what I would have imagined. So I really appreciate your opinion on this article.

    It just sucks that people make comparisons in the first place. All the diseases suck, bottom line. There is no “oh yay” part of the diagnosis of any of them.

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.Net Team Member

  • Jessica Petroff
    2 years ago

    As a person living with MS, I also have gotten the at least it’s not cancer. Although I am grateful that I don’t have cancer, you’re absolutely right, no one should ever compare illnessesotally get it. I totally get it.

    I will tell you that most cancers are curable. I work for a cancer center, so I see patients cured everyday. I also see patients who don’t have a very good prognosis and go quickly and also some that live a lot longer than ever expected.

    .

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    Jessica,
    Thank you for sharing your insight on it, from your unique perspective as well.

    I was a bit hesitant to write on this topic, because I feel as if it would be bothersome or anger others. Then I just decided that it needed to be said, and it went with it.

    Hope all is well.
    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Lizzy86
    2 years ago

    I completely get what your saying Ashley, and I really don’t need to hear it, but I do have a huge guilt complex that hasn’t done me any favours in my 20 years of battling this condition, but I definitely don’t want to worry anyone else at all, therefore I have become a bit of a sensitive wreck with a small amount of confidence left, but still pretend everything’s ok, lots of ignoring the situation I guess!
    And I don’t think I’m selfish person, I would of considered myself as quiet companionate and caring, there’s just something missing now I feel!
    Sorry to ramble, and hope your all doing ok.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 years ago

    Lizzy86,
    Thank you for reaching out. I can totally relate to you on the guilt complex, but I’ve been trying more and more to do what’s best for me, and not others ‘feelings’. That seems a bit harsh, but I feel better about myself and have a better attitude because of it.

    Know that we’re always here for you if you need it!

    xoxo
    Ashley R – MultipleSclerosis.net Moderator

  • Lizzy86
    2 years ago

    Thanks Ashley, I really have been putting myself first again more recently, and it really does feel so much better, always makes me feel more in control of the positive outlook overall, right? xxx

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