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In their purest form, milestones are a way of keeping track of either how far we’ve come or how far we’ve yet to go. Milestones were placed along European carriage routes to let people know how far it was to their destination.

My birthday is this week. I guess we keep track of those by the number of candles on the cake, although I don’t think they make cakes big enough to hold all the candles I’m starting to need. My niece’s birthday is today, right before mine. She’s five. I told her that since her birthday was before mine, then she must be older than me. She knew that wasn’t right, but she couldn’t quite figure out why not. (You gotta love five-year-olds!)

They were afraid that my friend with cancer might pass this weekend. Her husband died of cancer on a Saturday before Father’s Day, and since this was Mother’s Day weekend, the family was afraid that history would repeat itself. It did not, but you have to admit that death is certainly the ultimate milestone — at least in this dimension.

I’m a list maker. Not only does it help me keep from forgetting things, it’s a mini-milestone marker. By marking things off my list I can see how much I have (or haven’t!) accomplished and how much left I have to do.

I have a gallon Sharps container in which I store my used Enbrel autoinject pens. It’s kind of strange to watch it slowly fill up, week after week. Thankfully, the Enbrel allows me to mark of days without flares, without a lot of pain, with the ability to accomplish things that I need to — to mark those other things off my lists.

The journey of RA has its own set of milestones. From the first symptoms (milestones that often go unnoticed), through the diagnosis, through the various steps of management. At some point, I suppose that RA quits being a milemarker and just becomes part of the journey.

I hope that you have all good stuff on your list today. Thanks for checking in.

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