The Immune Therapy is Working and Now I Have Proof!!!

I have had symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis since I was about twenty years old. I was diagnosed with what was said to be an “aggressive form” of M.S. The doctor did not give my husband and I a positive prognosis at all. His look into the future for us was husband caring for me and me living in a wheelchair.

Prior to Immune Therapy I had twenty lesions on my brain, Five lesions (some of them quite large) on my thoracic spine and  a  few other lesions on my cervical spine among other issues.

I have been taking the Immune Therapy Infeperium since July and now I have proof that it is working. I still have  twenty lesions on my brain but there has been no more progression of disease activity. 🙂 I still have some lesions on my spine but they are no longer getting worse. The radiologist wrote that “the previously depicted lesions shown within the thoracic spinal cord at the T4-T5 and T5-6 levels have diminished considerably in size and conspicuity.” He also wrote that “there is interval improvement in the appearance of the thoracic spinal cord at the T-5 through T-8 levels and stability of the intramedullary lesions at the lower levels specified.” He was also able to confirm the size  of the lesions on my cervical spine have “subsided considerably in size.”

The Immune Therapy is working!!!! I know I can tell a difference. I am actually  taking a break off the medicine for a little bit and although I still have much healing to experience I can tell I am doing MUCH better than I was prior to beginning this medicine. I am still driving, cooking meals, and still feel mentally better than I was prior to immune therapy.

I need to continue this treatment. I do not know how long I will need to remain on this medicine but I am beginning a GoFundMe account so I can continue taking this medicine. Hubby and I are able to contribute small amounts to the expense but this is not covered by insurance and is over and above the amount we pay for my insurance every month.  God has been faithful to provide for my family and I through “hurricanes and tornadoes” of life and He will continue to do so.

Thank you for believing with me and for me. Thank you for praying for us. Our kids and especially my husband walk this with me daily. They are soldiers in this fight too.

Love to you and yours,

Charise

Click here for the GoFundMe  link

To learn more about the treatment I am on visit: www.treatchronicdiseases.com

 

 

 

 

M.S. Awareness Day and What I Don’t Really Want You to Know

 

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Today is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Day. To be honest, a part of me does not want you to know everything  I experience. Some of you, my friends, have Relapsing Remitting M.S. and some may only have a few attacks in your lifetime. I am so thankful for those who have that experience.  Others of you deal with your own battles in the trenches, M.S. related or not.

I happen to be one in the 10 – 15% of M.S. patients that have Primary Progressive. So, in spite of being only thirty eight years old my body has been aggressively attacking itself for over eighteen years. I did not get a diagnosis until at least twelve years into the attacks. I can relate to feeling like an elderly individual more than I can to a woman in her thirties. Yeah, sure, it is hard to believe. You see my size 6 body, my appearance somewhat neat and orderly and my rather large smile. I love to smile and love to make eye contact. It is sure hard to believe something is wrong.

What you cannot see is the inner battle of the constant unknown. Seasons, and temperatures, stresses, sounds and lights, almost anything can change my ability to move, ability to think clearly and so much more.  I have been doing amazing since beginning the Immune Therapy. I have been able to drive, stand up for longer periods in the kitchen, clean a little more and I am more emotionally stable but nothing is normal. Touch and I have a love-hate relationship. I love to hug and show physical affection but to hold my hand for long or rub my arm or leg can cause pain, numbing, and spider crawlies up and down my whole body. It’s a load of nerve craziness. Sexual intimacy is wonderful and still a priority with my spouse but it is like a delicate dance. I am fragile and can easily be injured. It is wonderful and exhausting.

          I may be walking well when you first see me and as soon as the sun is shining on me, my body warmth increases or any other number of irritations or stresses come my way I may be fighting to lift my legs and I may show signs of instability.   You might not be able to tell  unless you can read me really well. On my harder days and seasons, it is all over my face and body.  Keeping my legs strong has helped me to keep moving but strong muscles cannot totally overcome a nervous system that won’t send messages. My arms are strong because I exercise but holding them up to clean a window can cause incredible discomfort.  Something so simple can wipe me out. I actually enjoy cleaning so this is not something I like to hand off to other people. 

Struggles with my bladder and bowels have been going on since I was a child. It has only gotten worse over the years.The immune therapy and some natural aids  have enabled me to have normal bowel movements. Without the medicine my system is sluggish and what should be normal for a woman who eats as clean as I do, is nothing like normal.

Sleep is a battlefield too. Falling asleep is difficult when spiders are crawling up my legs-at least that is what it feels like. I use Cedarwood oil to ease that and it works. I wake up from sleep feeling like someone is pushing different parts of my body down into the bed-it’s really just heaviness from the warmth of my body. Pain pierces parts of my body and wakes me up. While on the Immune Therapy sleep comes, pain disappears and I awake much more rested.

M.S. hug is not a friendly name. It is really a horrible feeling. It may be around the knee or leg for me but more often it feels like someone has tightly wrapped a bandage around my ribs  and pulls it tighter and tighter and then loosens it just long enough to make me think it is done. At odd times it constricts making me feel like I cannot breathe. It can stir panic and fear and I have to choose to breathe deep and think calming thoughts of truth.

Oh, there is much more but really, I don’t want you to know everything. I just want you to know enough to pray that my immune system no longer attacks itself (which I believe we have accomplished  with the Immune Therapy-I will share an update on that later). I want you to pray the inflammation settles in my body so I do not have to live on this medicine. Most patients only have to be on Infeperium for a short period.  And please do not assume you know how I am doing just because you see me walking, smiling and appearing normal.  Normal has been stolen away from me by the dysfunction of my own body. I don’t really want you to know that I am insecure and sometimes worried that people think I am lying or misleading. I am learning to not be so worried about what other people think. I cannot always be reliable because I just do not know what tomorrow holds for me but those who truly know me and truly love me know I am sincere. I cannot worry what others think.  I am choosing to live for God and God alone.

If you want to know more about M.S. feel free to read this article that the Mayo Clinic  created.  

Please pray for all M.S. patients. Being diagnosed with a supposedly incurable chronic illness is very scary. Pray they make healthy changes so they can thrive and possibly correct their immune dysfunction early. Pray for their minds to think on things that are good, true and lovely. Pray for healing in the body, mind and spirit.  Pray they know the eternal hope of Jesus Christ. We have eternity to live without pain and trials. This time on earth is minimal in light of eternity. M.S. is not a death sentence but it can definitely change the person who battles it for good, better or worse.

“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary , but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Praying for you today,

Charise

I Am Healing

I really am healing.

The process has been long but I believe God has His hand in every single step. It started with a large amount of people praying for my healing and many communicating to me they believed I could be healed and a few people telling me that I would be healed. If you have read my blog through the past year you know I have believed God would heal me some day. I really was not sure if it was this side of heaven or the other side but I have truly believed in my coming healing.

I have been thanking God for my healing for years. In spite of the progression of this nasty illness I thanked Him for healing. In spite of waking up in pain during the night and struggling with rising in the morning I would thank Him for my healing. I kept on keeping on. 😉

About three or four months ago I created a ‘Dream Board’. I typed out things like ” I am healing. I am loved. I am valued.” Then I typed out other things I was believing him for in our finances, my writing accomplishments and more. I wrote down things that I felt I was supposed to believe God for but I knew in my flesh were HUGE and if it were up to me, depending on me, I could not do it. They were Big Hairy Audacious Goals and many of them were far beyond my imagination.

Two months ago, during a prayer meeting, the most precious couple came in and we had the privilege of meeting them for the first time, interceding for them, encouraging them and blessing them. The husband had a brain tumor and he was not doing well. It was through this encounter that I could not stop thinking and praying for them and this precious woman could not stop thinking about little ole me . She began praying for me all while she was walking a difficult road with her husband. They traveled to Mexico for treatment and she still kept thinking of me. When they got home he unfortunately transitioned into a coma and within five days he passed away.  Just a few days of her husband passing away this gift of a woman reached out to me with love and compassion. She offered to me the Immune Therapy her husband was supposed to take. And of course, I was beyond humbled  and absolutely willing to receive this gift!

Within the first few weeks I was able to wake up without feeling the heaviness and pain.  I began to have moments and days where my brain felt clear and I was actually able to think clearly. The mild eczema on my arms began to clear.  Jason noticed my mental state was getting better. I was more jovial and less irritable.  A week later while walking from a parking lot to a community pool a friend noticed how much better I was moving in the high heat.

Within a few weeks of starting the Immune Therapy I started coffee enemas and implementing them every other day.  At the beginning of the sixth week I was able to drive longer than I had in a long time even with traffic. My brain was able to focus for the drive. That was HUGE! It was just last year at this time that I could barely drive around the corner to music lessons. Holy Toledo! Rejoicing!!  I just realized yesterday morning while showering that I could stand and shave my legs. I have not been able to do that in years. Every time I tried to look down to shave I would have shooting nerve pain from my neck down and it would cause a dangerous weakness. Because of that weakness I always sat down to shave. Hallelujah, that is an experience of the past!

The detoxing process has not always been so fun. I began to break out and have an increase in nerve sensitivity  and headaches. I also had itchiness in my arms. This was all a part of the detoxing, healing process.  There are no negative side effects of this therapy only that which are a part of of the cleansing and those are up and down. It is worth every bit of the healing!

It has been eight weeks and I have more energy, sleeping through the night and able to wake up in the morning. I am taking Alteril, a natural sleep aid just to make sure my body is able to have at least two full cycles of REM sleep. This is vital to the healing process. I have emotional ups and downs and energy roller coasters because I am living real life still.  I am team working with my husband, homeschooling my children, managing and caring for my home and keeping up mildly with ministry life in the midst of healing. I highly recommend people to visit the treatment center in Mexico and to allow their body the rest time away for healing. They help you with eating for healing and walk you along the path of restoring your body to homeostasis. Click here to visit the website to get more info.     

I do believe I am having significant results due to my obedience to God’s guidance and my willingness to eat clean, exercise and care for myself. I have had this disease for at least eighteen years. When I was diagnosed six years ago I was told I had been  aggressively attacked via MS and although I had a few years without progression I had a series of relapses that affected by bladder and bowels and much more.  We are standing in awe at the results in such a short time. Due to clinical trials and current results, our expectation is that this disease will stop attacking and reverse some, if not all of the symptoms. I may be able to stop this treatment in  a few months or years and I may have to take it the rest of my life due to the severe amount of damage previously done but I am willing to trust God for the process of my healing and His faithful provision.

I am humbled by my healing. I am humbled to be apart of dear Patty and Mark’s story. I am humbled that this is God’s story in me.

I do not know your story. I may never know your story but please, please with all my heart I plead with you to never, never lose hope. Speak  positive words about your future even if you cannot fathom life being any better. Speak thanksgivings to God over and over and over again and combat the enemies lies with God’s truth.  We have been praying Psalm 91 for the past six months and believing God’s promises for His people.

“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust. For He will save you from the trap of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you and protect you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a wall. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noon.” Psalm 91:2-6

Think on these verses this week. Ask God how He wants you to believe Him for His promises of truth.

Isaiah 53 says “Surely He took up our infirmities (maladies, anxieties, calamity, disease); and carried ( to bear, carry, to lift up) our sorrows (pain), yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds (bruised, stripes, blows) we are healed (mended, cured, to make healthful).” The added words are the Hebrew meaning of the word.

By His stripes we are healed.

He sees you. He has not forgotten or forsaken you. Praying you know that truth today. Praying you have a renewed zeal to believe Him against doctor’s diagnosis, man’s opinions, feelings and emotions and anything that stands against the truth.

You are loved.

Holding On and Climbing Up

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The darkness crept in and covered me. I was unaware it had attached itself, following me like a shadow. I concealed it well to those outside my home but it’s hard to keep it under wraps when you are easily irritated and anger bubbles from odd places of nowhere. I kept asking God, why, where? Was there sin in my heart that I was unaware?

It took studying the effects of this disease and the monstrous rubble of mess laying in the wake of the devastation caused by my very own immune system.   The M.S. brain, the soldier, the trafficked, the abandoned, the child of an alcoholic-we are all experiencing the effects of the damage that we would not have chosen, could not have chosen and we wonder what is wrong with me? Damage to the brain. In the sovereignty of God, He created our brains to heal, to restore, to transform. We do not have to be left in the darkness of this place. He presents Himself as our healer and His presence does not leave us alone in our darkness.

Some of us wounded are finding solace and healing in the clinics that Dr. Amen has created. The doctors are using brain scans and then helping the patients to experience massive amounts of healing and restoration via nutrition, counseling and other wonderful methods. Some are pursuing care via  professional counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists and allowing their brains to begin the healing process and changing how they process life to a healthier format.

I am now experiencing a slow reprieve of the darkness via an Immune Therapy. It is bringing a calm of the chaos within and the dark clouds are seeping away. I sigh a relief, a cheering expectation of continued healing. It will take time and I will to continue eating healthy, exercising and allowing the healing process but healing can and will come. I believe that.

My encouragement for you today is PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP! You may be experiencing the storm clouds hovering over you. You may not recognize the person you have become or may have never known the person God made you to be because you have been tainted by life’s traumatic circumstances  and from other people’s sin. There is hope for you today. There is healing ahead of you. I will not promise an easy process but healing is good and a gift.  God sees you and His plans for you are for good. He can restore the years that have been stolen away.

Genesis 16:13

“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.'”

I Have Been Believing Lies, Have you?

Last week was shadowed by darkness, heaviness pressing in, constricting and it was a battle to see the light. It was a battle to see how any good can come of my pain and discomforts. I had to quiet my heart, mind and body and look into God’s word and allow God to show me the lies I have been believing and wallowing in. I did not think I had this problem but it required sitting quiet with God and truly asking Him and then allowing Him to search me and show me.  The enemy is sneaky and He twists truth so it is easy to fall into deception. I didn’t think I was believing lies. You may not as well.

Here are a few of the lies I have been believing. There are more but those are between the Father, myself and a few trusted people to hold me accountable.

Lie #1 I am not as lovable if someone has to constantly take care of me.

Truth-The people who love me will be willing to care for me. My attitude can make that experience good and enjoyable or it can make it more difficult. I make that choice.

Lie#2 Your value is in all that you do to keep your home running and educating your children.

Truth: My value is great because I am created by the Living God who loves me and breathes life into me. I am valued because I am His creation and His son died for me to cleanse me of sin so I can be with Him forever. That sacrifice was not because of what I do or don’t do. It is not dependent on how well I manage my home or keep my house clean or home educate my kids. My value is not dependent on using my legs or arms or looking nice. I am valuable because the Creator of the Universe made me valuable and calls me His own. If I can’t do anything on my own I will still be valuable.

#3 You are a failure.

Truth: I like to have things perfect. I like to have things “just right” but I am not a failure because I am not perfect and I am not a failure because I mess up every.single.day. in one way, shape or another. Jesus is perfect. He is the only one and His grace is sufficient to uphold me. And His grace enables me to offer grace to other people.

Lie#4 Your life is dwindling away.

Truth: Though my body is fading daily, my spirit is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16) I can still thrive no matter what my outward circumstances because God is my strength. (Phil. 4:13) He is upholding me.

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In calling out the lies and replacing them with truth I  can feel the loving arms of God engulfing me and lovingly pulling me out of the blinding storm. He reminds me to hold on and hold onto hope. He will not let my pain go to waist.

I know His plans for me are for good and I can trust what He allows to be used for eternal purposes and I will continue to believe Him for miracles even when I cannot see the possibility of it before me.

The Father has been faithfully reminding me of the power of my thought life, the power that my mind has on my brain (look into Dr. Caroline Leaf if you want to know more on that) and the scriptural truth in guarding my thoughts well. Knowing the importance does not make it magically easy but it does remind me that  I CAN choose where I allow my thoughts to go.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ”  2 Cor. 10:4-5

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

And lastly, a treasure the Father gave me. It is speaking of Abraham. Abraham had received a promise from God that he would become the father of many nations and he was an old man and the promise had not come to fruition. His wife was old and past child bearing years but this is what scripture says.

Abraham “believed-the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Against all hope, Abraham believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead– since he was about a hundred years old- and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”  Romans 4:17-21

The reality is: I have an autoimmune illness that has attacked the protective layer of my nervous system and has caused major hindrances in signals getting from my brain to my body and my body to my brain. It is painful at times in a hundred different ways and it is inconvenient in a whole lot more. The disease could continue progressing and it could transition from Primary Progressive to Secondary Progressive and that feels scary BUT ….

Truth: I have a God that is bigger than any immune system and I believe He can heal me. I have also been told by three different people that God has told them I will be healed. I trust that no matter what timing that may be I will one day be healed. I believe He will strengthen me and heal the damage in areas of my brain and spine so I can continue doing what He has called me to do. I believe He will use this trial for good and I can have joy in the midst of the pain. As a matter of fact, I can know His faithfulness in the midst of this journey and I can continue trusting His love for me because nothing can separate me from His love. He is the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they are so I choose to believe that He will speak life into my nervous system and restoration through my body.

The reality stares at me in the face but I do not walk by sight, I walk by faith. (2 Cor. 5:7).

What lies have you been believing about yourself or your loved ones? What deceptions of the enemy have kept you from moving forward and walking in victory?  Are you allowing your circumstances or what you “see” to dictate how you view life?  I encourage you to meditate on Hebrews 11:1 and all the verses shared in this post and pray and ask God to show you the lies that you may be believing so that you may be freer today than you were yesterday.

I am proud of you. You are loved and chosen by God.

 

 

I Wrote This Last Week

M.S. tired is when your eyes want to shut and your emotions are running wild because you just.can’t.do. it (whatever IT is) anymore. Fatigue is the word most people use but M.S. fatigue is a whole other beast. I want to stop whatever I am doing and cry or fall asleep or fall asleep crying. It has caused me to lean on caffeine more than desired and without it I rarely feel 100% awake. Driving is dangerous if I am not stimulated via caffeine. It is horrible but true. I have switched to mostly green tea because it truly is better for my body but I am still dependent on it to get me through the day to be present and focused.

Sad is not really the feeling I have. It is grief. Over and over again it is grief. Grief of what life once was and is now. Grief comes and goes but so do MS symptoms. They go up and down, sideways and forward and you never fully feel like you’ve landed on your feet again. As I come to grips with a new symptom of MS, an entirely new one begins. That is not the case for all MS patients. I just so happen to have a Progressive form of this “lovely” disease. With new symptoms are often new loses. Losing feeling in certain parts of my body causes a domino effect in other areas of my life. I cannot ignore it. It is facing me every day square in the face. I have to mourn the losses but still find a place where I hold onto hope.

I have been dealing with a lot of numbing, heaviness and emotional upheavals. Seeing the silver or gold lining in all of this becomes more and more difficult but I still have to choose to see, choose to push past the darkness, and see His light present in the day to day. I have to choose to rest when I just.can’t.do.it.anymore.  I have to choose to grieve and then see the gifts surrounding me in the every day, the voices of sweetness, the hands that tenderly love me, the tender care of my spouse or the provisions of God to my family. I am incredibly blessed and I choose to see the blessings in the midst of the trials.

 

 

Find Your Victory Song

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Off CA 177 Highway March 2018

Circumstantial, emotional and mental darkness can leave us lost without words, without hope, without joy. How do we fight when it all feels so dark?

I must be honest, I am an optimist. I tend to lean towards the cup half full and even try to convince people it is actually full because there is air inside of the cup too. It really is full even when you can’t see the complete fullness. I wouldn’t call myself a Pollyanna. I have let some of life’s unfortunate realities cause me to be suspicious and untrusting (although some of that is also a gift in discernment). M.S. has stripped me down to reveal the hard days can beat me into an emotional battle between light and darkness. How do I keep from falling deep down into the dark pit?

-I let precious people in my life know when I am struggling with physical, emotional or mental issues. Honesty keeps me from putting on masks. Prayer, emotional support and talking through my feelings helps to prevent me from spiraling down.

-I set my heart on eternity by reading God’s word, grabbing hold of His promises and reminding myself of His faithfulness. Like David, I lay it all on the table with God; what I feel to be injustices, sorrows, anger, etc. and I let Him reveal His heart to me in the midst of what He is allowing.

“Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.” Psalm 30: 10-12

“O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O Lord, you brought me up from the grave, you spared me from going down into the pit.” Psalm 30:2-3

“Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit……. I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.” Psalm 31: 4-8

Reading the Psalms helps me to be reminded of God’s faithfulness in the midst of great trials. David was running for his life when he had done no wrong. Although he had been chosen to be a future king the journey to get there was grueling.  At one point David’s wife mocked him in public. David had extreme physical, mental and emotional pain and he learned to pursue God’s presence and lay all the ugly on the table and allow the Father to reveal His hand in the process. David constantly recognized God’s love in the midst of the journey and his songs came from these places of wrestling.

I have my own fight songs that “Hoo-rah” me into pressing onward and upward. I haven’t written my own yet but there are amazing songs written to encourage and uplift. Below are just a few of my favorites. I have so many. I pray you gather a collection of “Fight Songs” to encourage you on down, dark and down right stinky days. God wants to lift your head.

I realize this video is very emotional. It has me bawling every time I watch it which is why I do not watch it often. 🙂 Feel free to listen to the song and Rise Up!

 

 

I encourage you to write your own Victory Song proclaiming the Victory through the Journey of Trials. We will enter in with a Victory Dance and Victory Song. Look Up! Your redemption draws near!