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Meet - Melvia Rogers

Florida, USA

When were you diagnosed with MS? May 2017

What type of MS do you have? Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS)

#1: Can you tell us a little about your journey with MS. How did you feel about your initial diagnosis and how it has affected your life?

When I first started to experience symptoms of MS, I didn't know what was going on. The first neurologist I saw refused to diagnose me with MS. He believed it was a disease that only affected white women. I was then referred to multiple doctors who thought I had Lupus. It took five months of tests and bloodwork before I finally received an MS diagnosis.

#2: What MS symptoms do you have and how do you manage them on a daily basis?

My symptoms are hard to identify sometimes. I have constant pain on my left side, in my hip, and leg calf area. However, I was also diagnosed last year in 2022 with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) Small Cell cancer. This has affected my lungs, my left arm, and the left side of my body, including the hip and leg. Every 4 weeks, I receive a bone infusion. Unfortunately, the major side effects are my bones ache and sometimes, it's hard to walk. I was told medically there was no connection between the two diseases. But I still wonder if that's true or not. So I'm saying some days it's hard to figure out where the pain is coming from. Is the pain MS-related or is the pain coming from the bone infusion?

#3: Who/What has been your most important support system?

My support system has always been my family... my husband, kids, mom, and siblings. But now my family has grown to include my Alpha Eta Phi MS sorority sisters. My sorority sisters are such an amazing group of ladies. We share similar journeys and we keep each other uplifted.

#4: Do you use any accessories like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to manage daily activities?

I don't use any walking accessories.

#5: How do you stay positive and motivated in your daily life? What do you do for self-care?

I stay positive and motivated by starting each day with prayer and worship before work. I try to keep peaceful thoughts around me. Self-care is very important to me. Self-care keeps your confidence and esteem up. It helps me stay positive and keeps my personal appearance on track. I always remind myself of the slogan "I have MS, MS doesn't have me."

#6: Your story and experiences with MS are incredibly valuable and can provide encouragement and motivation to others in the community. What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with MS or going through a challenging time right now?

My advice is not to believe everything you read on some of the group social media sites. They can be very depressing. Keep positive people around you, and do your own research! Some days can be more challenging than others, but always remember Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me" and "I have MS, but MS doesn't have me"! Most importantly..."I am not a quitter"!

#7: Have you started a business or mission related to MS? Can you tell us about it and what inspired you to take this step?

Although I don't have a specific mission or business, I make it a point to raise awareness about Multiple Sclerosis.

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