We gathered in the head of neurosurgery's office, my mom, two sisters, brother Bob and myself, along with Dr. Cotter. He was the best, we were told, and just may well have been. He certainly was nice enough.

"He's a good man, I didn't want to leave him paralyzed. We did all we could, the tumor is too deep. If I went further he wold never walk again, or be able to feed himself."

"How long?" one of asked.

"Six months, give or take."

He lasted a year, and gave a lot up until the end.

Nobody cried, or threw themselves on the floor, or ran from the room. We sat there, and one of us made a joke, and the tension eased a little and we moved on, grieving in private.

It certainly isn't courage that gets us through these things, or denial. Nature, or God has a way of making the worst moments of our lives bearable. When every fiber of our being is screaming, and our brain is on fire and we think we are going to pass out, something fills us with clarity, even if just for a second, and we re-group, and manage to digest what we've been told, and slowly put it back together, and face the news when we can.

For two months I thought they had a cure, or at least a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. (CCSVI) For two months life seemed bearable, as if this nightmare might end, and we could walk on the beach, or go to the movies, or out to dinner without proper planning, and anxiety, and the never-ending worry that something will go wrong.

It was a good two months. It ended yesterday, when the doctors told me they couldn't perform the procedure, my wife didn't meet the criteria. The pulled the balloons out, having never inflated them, and canceled the surgery. They told me it was good news, she didn't have blocked jugular veins, and even though they couldn't do the procedure after months of tests and MRI's and anxiety, it would be okay. And they walked away, and got back to their other patients, and their lives, and I stood in the waiting room with my brain on fire, thinking I would pass out.

Then I met my wife in the recovery room, and she smiled at me, and we shared a private joke. And we smiled, and went home, and got on with things.


  • Ken M. says:

    It’s said that God never gives us more than we can handle, but how will we know until we accept and get through things? It’s kind of a perverse lithmus test, Catch 22-style.
    At least you’re “there”. I’ll have a good thought for you all.

  • Bob Lincoln says:

    Every day is a gift. And long after, so are the memories.

  • PopC says:

    Ouch, that had to hurt. You and your wife have been added to my prayer list. May God continue to bless you both.

  • I am so sorry Brother. I wish you much strength in the coming days. As you know, there is nothing I can say, so I won’t try. Just know that I am thinking about you.

  • Pat Blackman/Grandma Muggle. says:

    All I can think of is a book title. “Bad Things Happen to Good People.” You and Cheryl and the girls are on my prayer list which goes to ten different countries to all kinds of people who practice many different religions.
    I am so sad that my throat is aching but I know you guys will continue living each day to the fullest. I only hope there are many more and that a miracle may be just around the corner.
    God bless. Much love, Pat.

  • Jean says:

    Grace and strength… that’s what both of you are.

  • Chrysalis says:

    I’m sorry, Michael.

  • MedicDan says:

    I can not imagine what you are going through. You are a stronger man than I.

  • Jamie says:

    I am not sure if you have seen or can see these comments that I have been making on these older posts. Hopefully you can.
    I am so sorry. MS sux but y’all know that.

    • Michael Morse says:

      Hi Jamie, I see and appreciate them! I always read the comments but am notoriously terrible replying:( Much appreciated!

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