Dawna Austin
As I sit here distracted by the pain in my body, I am trying to sort out the feelings tumbling around inside me.   Do I seek re-treatment? Will it help?  I must try.  What if it doesn't help?

With respect to re-treatment for CCSVI, I found a location closer to my home and have decided to choose that option, because it will save us a lot of money in doing so!  I'm sure New York is amazing this time of year (cold and snow), but I'll have to settle for Seattle's rain.

I have an appointment for my next angioplasty on January 7, 2011.  I think somewhere along the way I have lost a lot of my ability to hope for better health in my life, and faith that that it can happen. Yet, somewhere within me, there is something that wants to give it one more shot -- perhaps there is a little fight left in me.

For those of you who have supported us in the past, family and friends, we would greatly appreciate prayer during this time.  Prayer for safety and peace for our family, especially the children.

The cost of this procedure is $5,800 US, which I think is a really good price compared to other places.  Some of you have mentioned to me over the past year to let you know if I started fund raising again (should I do another procedure). Honestly, I don't think I will do active fund raising.  For those of you who know me well.. I have a hard time asking for help ;)         However, I wanted to respect those who had asked, and let them know that I was doing the procedure again.  The only problem is that I cannot remember who asked me about it!!  I am hoping that at least this way I will be able to contact those people that had asked to help!  :)    So, those who want to give towards our trip, please contact me through email or this blog.

For now, we appreciate your continued prayers for strength for our family as we walk this road.



Dawna Austin
Every year as the Christmas season comes upon us, my family has a tradition.  It may not be as popular as baking Christmas cookies, or decorating the tree together, or even going carolling.  My family loves to watch the movie ELF.   It's such a light comedy, filled with funny sayings and sillyness, that it always gets each member of the family giggling.  It's become one of my favorite events, and memories!  

This year as we watch ELF together, it brings thoughts of my own struggles with MS -- and how over the past 4 months I've made a steady decline.  Was it really not that long ago when I was riding bikes, jogging around the lake and playing with my children in a park?  It feels like a century ago.   What was once do-able last year, is now a "are you kidding?  I could never do that without MAJOR punishment from my prison guard, MS".   The movie ELF was filmed in New York, and as I watch the scenery of Central Park, and the Empire State Building, it makes me wonder when Albany will call and say "you're next!".   I still hold out for New York for the CCSVI procedure for various reasons.  One, the low cost there compared to the much higher cost at other centres closer to my location, and two, from what I hear they are VERY thorough.  I consider this to be my last shot.  I cannot see me doing it again for a third time (if necessary), at least until it's performed here in Canada (or should I say "if" it's ever performed in Canada). I'm not even sure how we'll afford it at this point, but to me, an attempt at better health is more important than getting to retirement without debt.

For now I must wait and be patient.  It's a little more difficult to be patient these days, for a lot of those days (maybe 35% of them) are spent in bed or on the couch. I haven't had a "good" day in months.  It's either complete write-off days or crappy days.  Intense pain that feels like a giant mosquito bite from hell is my new constant companion.   It started a few weeks ago on my left arm, slowly encompassing my entire left arm and now it's starting on my right side.  It feels like a mosquito bite that you've scratched -- that intense pain after you've scratched and so wished that you hadn't!   I don't sleep well as the pain keeps me awake a lot of the night.  How does one remain positive throughout all of this and not go crazy?  How do I prevent myself from trying to see what lies ahead behind the door of the future?  I should just leave that door closed, for in reality, what if it shows something frightening on the other side?  That I couldn't bear!  But, on the other hand, what if it shows freedom!?!  I take a deep breath and say once again, "It's in your hands, Lord".   But I struggle so greatly with this long road and all the pain and fear that nags at me along the way.  

Lord help me to be patient in this process, and most importantly please keep my heart soft, so that even in times of pain and sadness, I can see the needs of others.  I do not want to be a burden to others, but rather an encouragement.  Let me live out Philippians 4:8 - And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

In faith, God Is Enough!