I have been doing quite a lot recently. Except, of course, for keeping up this blog as well as I had hoped. In the past three weeks I have been out and about for hours at a time. There have only been two days in the past three weeks that I have not been out to at least one place. I am adding in some variety to locations too. I have started looking for a car. (Dodging the used car salesmen effectively is excellent cardiovascular exercise.) I have also been to a few Christmas parties, and a birthday party, taken the dogs to their favorite pet stores and generally have been just living a life of relative freedom compared to last June.

My new favorite activity is cleaning. I love cleaning simply because I can do it now. While Cinderella and Snow White just wanted to quit keeping house I am excited to begin. Cleaning and doing laundry are the happily ever after in my fairly tale.

I raised my dose from 50 mg to 75 mg last Friday. I have had an increase of side effects, but as long as I keep up with my supportive medications (Tylenol, Claritin etc.) I can tolerate the side effects. I raised the dose because the side effects at 50 mg were abating.   

Several people have asked me recently if the opportunity to take Ampligen and the progress I have since made has given me hope for my future. They have also asked if I am worried about a relapse after Ampligen treatment ends. I would respond that if my hope was dependent upon Ampligen I could not have survived the past 21 years.

Hope is a changeable word. Nowadays when people ‘hope’ for something they really mean they ‘wish’ for something. In biblical times the word hope actually meant something entirely different.  It meant to feel deeply the certain truth of something that had not yet occurred because of faith in God.

My personal faith in God stems from the belief that God is the father of my spirit, and though for 21 years (and counting) my body does not work nearly as well as the bodies of many people on earth, I still mean a great deal to my Heavenly Father. 

As proof that the circumstances of our lives do not reflect the actuality of our value to God, he sent his son, Jesus Christ, into the world to grow from boy to man and to suffer more than any human ever could. Jesus not only paid for the sins of mankind, he also paid for the inadequacies created by social, economic and yes, even physical, deficits. The atonement was and is God’s way of eventually ‘balancing his books.’   

The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely he hath bourne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  

(KJV Isaiah 53:4-5)  

If Jesus, being perfect, could be so smitten and abused by the world and yet remain beloved of God then so indeed am I. And so are you.

One of my favorite quotes reads thus, “This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God.”

(You Matter to Him, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign November 2011 page 20.)  

This is why I have hope. I matter to God. And should God choose to heal me I will be grateful. Should God choose to let me live in sickness all the days of my life I will still be grateful. Because it is not health or sickness I am grateful for. It is love. I am grateful for the love of our Heavenly Father. Hope isn’t about wishing for things. Hope is about feeling joyful in the knowledge that no matter what happens to you your life will turn out well and that everything will come out even in the end.  

Merry Christmas and much love,

Sophie

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