Compassion is the New Black!


Compassion is the New Black 

In that moment when I heard the words multiple sclerosis blurted out from the mouth of a callous elderly neurologist, I thought then that I understood man’s capability to be insensitive. 

I am not implying that he was wrong by telling me that I had an incurable illness, but what happened to taking a moment to realize that words like these have the ability to hurt and that by showing a little bit of compassion might make the world of difference? 

I am not saying that since my diagnosis I have not met some of the kindest and understanding people but it is not always this way.  

What would the world be like if everyone stopped to consider how their words and actions impacted another persons life and the potential for those words had to alter the course of another’s life. 

I for one, since being diagnosed with MS, have learned to never judge another person for you never know what they are going through. Listening with an open heart and from a judgment free place is one of the best gifts you can give.

But no I was wrong.

Twenty years later, my ability to be surprised by another’s capacity for unkindness, was once again to be tested.

This new surprise actually came from the lips of another MS’er. In an email sent to my blog. This woman actually said….

“Any one could beat MS if they really wanted to. People love to wallow in their problems and live for their misery”. 

Obviously she did not get the memo that compassion is the new black!


Cindy Lee Lothian 

March 10, 2014


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Losing The Fear


Losing The Fear

When we take our first breath, it is without fear. The world is a vast playground and we –greet each new experience with curiosity and wonder. As a baby, we trust that nothing will hurt us and someone will be there to comfort us when we cry. 

As the years pass into adolescence and then into young adulthood our innocence is chipped away and we become guarded. We might become afraid to love for fear of being hurt or rejected. We might be unwilling to reach for our goals for fear of not being able to succeed and thus looking like a failure. 

At 28 my first glimpse of this new reality came through the blurred sight of the setting sun over a field of corn. I did not know why my vision was failing but the one thing I did know was I was scared.  From this moment, I instantly started living from a new place.  

This place was from a place of fear. 

When living in this state, it is hard to take control of your own life. You can begin to feel like a passenger in the ride that is your “life”. You no longer feel in control of where you are going or what direction to take. You are helplessly pulled along   with fear in control, wearing a ghastly smile.

When I was told I had MS, I was sent spiraling in all the predictable directions. Anger, despair, fear for the future which all of a sudden had changed from the promise land to the road to Bedlam. 

I would run to the nearest doctor hoping for the magic pill that would stop the disease in it’s tracks. Better yet, one that would reverse all of the damage that had been inflected on my body. To be able to drive my car or curl up on the sofa and read a paperback novel were once such simple pleasures but were now unreachable. 

With every prescription the neurologist handed out, I eagerly gobbled up, never stopping to consider if this was the right choice for me. The initial seemingly endless supply of little white prednisone pills which I had clung to with such hope, left me overweight, disappointed and wondering what now? 

I was still living in a state of fear as I spent the next fourteen years injecting daily doses of Copaxone, never really knowing if it was in fact helping. I watched in horror as the medication wrought it’s devastation in the form of lipo-atrophy which leaves it’s mark in the form of deep skin crevices where the sub cutaneous layer of fat has been destroyed. 

Nevertheless, I injected on. Afraid to stop in case of an exacerbation.

A year and a half ago, I stopped taking my injections and decided to see what would happen if I was brave enough to face my fears. 

I am by no means suggesting that you should stop the treatments you are on for dealing with the disease or it’s progression. I am simply saying weigh out the pros and cons of each medication and make sure that you are choosing to take them for the right reasons.

Could I start to live my life again with the belief that whatever happens it will be okay?

I will never know if the path I chose was the right one at the time. I only know that was not living in a place of power. I had given up control of my own emotion. 

I had lost who I was.

I can see clearly now that  by losing your fear, you can begin to take back control of your life.  

Whatever will happen is going to happen. Worrying about what might be is only a waste of your peace.  

Start by changing your mindset from a negative viewpoint to positive one. Believe that you can do it and you will. 

Live each day not from a place of fear but from a place of strength.

Vanquish your fear of the unknown, for like the bogeyman, when you see the light, it disappears.

Cindy Lee Lothian 

February 14, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

By The Light Of The Moon, I Cried


By The Light Of The Moon, I Cried

The beauty of the moon has always called to me,  it’s pure light calling me home like a beacon guiding a ship lost at sea.

It is not the mysterious man calling to me from it’s barren craters but something that has existed long before man first opened his human eyes and glimpsed their first sight of life.

Under this luminous orb on a cold October northern Canadian night, I gave birth for the third time.

It was not like my other two earthly birthings which blessed me with my sons Taylor and Jaime. This one was the birth of my soul’s purpose.

It was on this clear fall night sky while I stood on my front lawn and gazed up at the full new moon the idea of writing this blog was born. I did not have all the details figured out yet but I was alive with the possibilities of writing to help others who might be going through some of the same things I was.

Looking back now I can see that I have always been influenced by the mysterious allure  of the  moon.

It was on a cold New Year’s Eve in northern Canada that I had lain in bed watching the moon make it’s course across my bedroom window. I had just been driven home from the hospital by my husband and put to bed after watching my father take his last breath as I held his hand and told him I loved him. Our relationship had always been a complicated one and it was suddenly so important for me to make sure he heard me tell him I loved him no matter what.

I watched the moon that New Year’s Eve as the tears soaked my pillow and I lay in a fog of grief and codeine bliss. It had only been a few weeks earlier that I had fallen off the 18th hole at the local mini putt course and had broken my shoulder. The codeine was a blessing that evening as the light of the moon goddess washed over my grief stricken face

When MS attacked my vision causing repeated flare ups of optic neuritis, I was living in a constant sate of fear. Fear of what I would not be able to see anymore. Along with not being able to see my sons as they grew up, I could also not imagine not being able to see the beauty of a star filled sky.

After my-divorce I met my wonderful new fiancé who just happened to have had a passion for astronomy. He would spend many nights with his newborn daughter bundled in a chest carrier as he chased the night sky through his Takahashi telescope. With my now diminished vision, he wondered just how well I could see the night sky with the aid of a scope.

On a clear summer’s night we poured a glass of wine and dragged his telescope outside and I stood beside him as he adjusted the scope so I could easily see the moon. I anxiously peered into the lens not sure of just what I would be able to see. I almost cried as the full beauty of the moon appeared.

It was a year later, under this beautiful night light that I let my imagination free and I set my purpose on a new course in this what we called “life”.

MS is a mystery.

Being alive is a miracle.

Just think of what is left to be discovered.

Cindy Lee Lothian


My Still Sexy After MS blog has been nominated by MS Health line for best MS blog. I have crated this site to help everyone living with a chronic illness to come and reflect and become empowered. Plisse support my vision by clicking on the link below and vote for STill Sexy After MS. Blessings.

Cindy Lee Lothian

The Best MS Blogs | My MS Tookitwww.healthline.comNominate and vote for your favorite Multiple Sclerosis blogs now. The winner will receive $300!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Help Us Get Voted Top Blog!

I am so excited! I just found out that Still Sexy After MS has been nominated by MS HEALTHLINE to be voted as the top MS blog on the web.  This blog has truly become my passion and I have enjoyed sharing this site with all of you to create a positive, healing place to reflect and empower everyone living with this disease. Please support my continued journey by voting on the link below to show your support for Still Sexy After MS. Blessings to all! Stay well. Cindy xo


Still Sexy After MSStill Sexy After MS was nominated as one of the be…Nominate and vote for your favorite Multiple Sclerosis blogs now. The winner will receive $300!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Positive > Negative


Positive > Negative

If you are what you eat, then you definitely are what you think!

I have seen this statement proven over and over again but still we refuse to believe that our negative thoughts can  have a negative impact on our bodies.

Your thoughts are the first step in learning and allowing your self to heal.  

Living with MS is as much a part of our daily lives as breathing. Once you accept this as a matter of fact rather than fighting against an invisible enemy which you have made out to be omnipotent, you have won. 

If you were to wake up each day and the first thought you had was “I feel sick”, I can guarantee you, you will. I am not suggesting that all you have to do is click your heels together three times and all will be well, but simply suggesting that what if starting the day with “I feel good”, could act-as a beacon for your body to follow onto a path of wellness. 

The mind is a powerful thing. Your thoughts are the driver. Pay attention to what you are thinking and saying to yourself for one day and you will be amazed at how often negative thoughts can crowd your mind. 

I have seen this in action first hand with a friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS. She had a great attitude, positive approach to dealing with the new challenges in her life. When her regular walks became harder and she found that some days she could not go outside, she took what she perceived to be, the first step in admitting she was sick. 

She bought a walking stick 

This was just a regular walking stick, but it had magic powers. The power to weaken her self-confidence, crush her self-esteem and plunge her into early throes of depression.

Although it was so obvious to me what prompted her sudden emotional change and outlook on her prognosis, all she could see was the MS Monster hovering over her like a dark cloud. 

The walking stick had the power to change her mindset about who she was and her value to others and her place in society. Her physical abilities had not changed, only the story her mind was telling her. It was a shift in her mindset that had prompted her decline, not the walking aid. 

Our bodies are powered by our mind and our thoughts. 

Watch what you think and see if this first step makes a difference in how you feel, how you approach each new challenge and most importantly, how you begin to heal.

I am strong. 

I am invincible. 

I am beautiful.

Be the writer of your own destiny!

Cindy Lee Lothian 

January 6, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

MS, A Defining Moment or Life Sentence?


MS, A Defining Moment or Life Sentence?

We can all agree that the moment you heard the diagnosis  of Multiple Sclerosis escape the lips of your neurologist, your life forever changed in that split second. You might have felt like someone had punched you in the solar plexus and the pieces that had once been you, now lay in a splintered heap on the floor where you feet had once been. The person you were when you first entered that office was no longer the one that was now leaving. All the plans you had for your future in your mind were  now suddenly being erased as easily as chalk on a chalkboard.

I remember that rainy afternoon drive home after my diagnosis. It was almost like having an outer body experience. It was me who was driving the car but not really me at all. 

The diagnosis of MS although I then did not know what it was but that it was not good, soon became not just a defining moment, but a life sentence moment. 

I too, was a victim of this mindset.

But here I sit, almost twenty years later, at 6:04 a.m. on a wintry November day, suddenly awake from my MS shroud of fear.

I suddenly see clearly how I have been living each day with short term goals. Making deals with God to let me see long enough to see what my son looked like when he turned five. To be strong enough to stay healthy so my parents who were then still alive, did not have to worry about me. 

Why did I waste all those years limiting myself by thinking in such short term goals? Because I let fear rule my emotions and steal precious years when I could have been chasing my dreams.

I wish I had not wasted those last years with My Mother, too wrapped up in my MS to appreciate my time with her. I wish I realized then that life was so uncertain, that I would soon cruelly lose her before I really had time to love her as the strong woman I now am. She had to leave this earth still worrying about her daughter and wondering how she could make everything okay for me. 

Yes, live in the moment but do not envision your future through distorted lenses of fear. 

MS is a defining moment in your life along with other life altering experiences. It will change you, reshape how you see your life, strengthen you beyond your wildest imaginings. Take this newly formed being you have now become and face your future with courage, hope and wonder. 

You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by not limiting yourself to only short term goals and accomplishments. If you have just been newly diagnosed and are facing all these new uncertainties, my advice is to continue living your life as you had once envisioned. You might have to make alterations along the way, but don’t give in to the “what if’s”.

I, for one, intend to finally, completely crawl out from beneath the MS shroud of fear and start living my life again without worrying about what tomorrow, next week or next year might bring. 

Think of life as a kaleidoscope. Every turn brings a new, magical image. 

What does yours look like?

cindy Lee Lothian 

November 25, 2013

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Taming The MS Beast!


Taming the MS Beast!

Are you the lion tamer confidently keeping control over the fierce beast that in a blink of an eye, could easily eat you alive?

Or do you find yourself cowering in fear as the MS beast looms over your every thought like a dark storm cloud ready to reek havoc?

I ask this question because I recently attended a webinar on a discussion of MS treatments currently on the market and their potentially crippling side effects. With every minute that passed as I listened to personal accounts, I found myself slowly moving into a negative state of mind. I am not saying there is anything wrong or not valid in sharing our experiences both good and bad so we can be better informed and emotionally supported. But ask yourself this.

How much time in the day do you spend feeding the MS beast?

The more negative thoughts, words, or tears you feed the “MS you”, the less energy there is for the “real you”. It is easy to get lost in the vortex of crippling symptoms, potentially debilitating mood swings and constant battle with fatigue. The more you can rise above these warring emotions and instead, find some joy, gratitude and peace in every moment of the day, you are once again the victor. 

My sister recently asked me to go on an overnight shopping trip to get out of our small town and do some Christmas shopping. My first knee jerk answer was the old fallback “no” as it seemed easier to just stay home in the security of my slow paced life. The more I thought about it, I realized I was to quick to take the easy way out.

Why should I stay home and miss out on something that could be fun?

Hence, on November 11th, Remembrance Day in Canada, while every Canadian is remembering our fallen soldiers, I will be on my own charge into battle. This battle is a personal one. The battle against the MS beast. The prize, the choice to live my life.

By going on this what is sure to be an exhausting trip, entailing four hours of car travel on winter roads, eight hours of dodging crazy Christmas shoppers, I will be carrying my own personal war banner, the choice of “yes”.

While sipping my Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, I will be inwardly celebrating my best purchase of the day. The victory of living my life!

Of course, there are going to be days when you simply cannot attend an event or dance a jig, but the next time you catch yourself saying “no” to an invitation, ask yourself if you are simply choosing the easy way out. Living with MS is tough enough, we need to grab hold of the times we can laugh and have a good time. 

Yes, a good time is still possible

I encourage you to think about ow much unnecessary negative thoughts and words you give to the MS monster. Yes it is inevitably a part of your life. Yes you are going to have times when you feel defeated and down. But try replacing one good thought or feeling for every other bad one and you will start to see a difference.

I know the MS beast is always in the corner.

The trick is making sure it knows who is in charge!

Just before posting this, while warming up my coffee in the kitchen, the universe affirmed my thoughts, the radio was playing “Never surrender”! Need I say more?

Cindy Lee Lothian 

November 2, 2013



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

But You Don’t Look Sick!


But You Don’t Look Sick!

I can hear the words that are coming out of my own mouth. I see you looking at me as if you are listening, so why are you hearing me but not understanding how I am feeling?

Having an invisible chronic illness  can leave you feeling adrift in a turbulent sea of confusing emotions. Anger, sadness, fear, anxiety and hopelessness can all vie for a front row seat in your daily struggle to live a happy, productive life.

Are you tired of hearing such phrases as “but you don’t look sick” or “just take a nap and you will feel better”?

I am left wanting to know, exactly how should I look?

These words coming from the ones that are supposed to love you the most can hurt the most because you expect them, if anyone, to understand. 

It can be hard to find people to talk to that truly know how you are feeling and when they say “I get it” they really do. 

But you are not alone. There are thousands of others who are feeling, struggling, warring with all the same things you are going through.

Having a chronic illness can be a difficult playing field to find yourself in. It is almost like being caught in the middle of two stages of life. Healthy and terminal. You are no longer the vibrant, energized self you might have been running miles just because you could while working a demanding full work week. You are neither facing imminent death, preparing yourself for saying goodbye to everything and everyone you love. 

you are left in a land of suspended limbo, left to figure out how to carry on in this new, unknown chartered course. There is no handbook handed to you on how to cope as you leave the doctor’s office after being given a  diagnosis that would shake you world upside down leaving you standing among the pieces of what had been your life as you once knew it 

Some days fatigue, pain, numbness, dizziness all can make plans you had been looking forward to, become impossible to fulfill.

Wouldn’t it be nice in times such as this to have that special someone to hold you in their arms and not have to say anything. Their comforting presence a balm to your fraying nerves.

No feelings of guilt, disappointment, or shame being thrust on you when you are giving everything you have to fight the battle that is silently waging war in your body and on your emotions. 

With Christmas around the corner, along with this comes a series of get togethers, parties and shopping. All of these things all can bring extra fatigue and anxiety about whether you can meet all of your commitments.

Christmas shopping in a crowded mall which I had once loved has now become a outing that can cause frustration and anxiety. Walking  through crowds of noisy shoppers in a fluorescent lit mall with blurred vision can be anything but enjoyable. dodging inconsiderate teens while trying  to find the perfect gift leaves me wanting to get a Starbucks and return home to do my online shopping.

But alas, this too has a solution. I have started shopping at off peak hours with a gift in mind to avoid aimless wandering. I take my time and instead of rushing, I stop to appreciate the fact that I am able to feel good enough to be out shopping at all. 

When people hear you say you are tired or in pain but do not understand how you feel, do not let it make how you are feeling any less valid. Either they are so self absorbed in their own life to truly understand or they simply just can’t, unless they are going through it themselves. What matters is that you know how you are feeling and you need to listen to what your body is telling you. 

Reach out to others who make you feel heard.

Your symptoms are not imaginary. You are not whining. You are not weak.

You are someone who is dealing with life that has given you something to test your inner strength.

Slow down when you feel panicked. Feel your own heart beat. Feel your breath as if fills your lungs.

That is you. You are not your illness.

Cindy Lee Lothian 

October 25, 2113

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Don’t Cry Anymore!


Don’t Cry Anymore!

Twelve years ago today, I stood outside on my front walkway talking with my mother before she left to go home to her empty house to have a simple dinner of vegetable chili. For some reason, my always vibrant mother looked suddenly vulnerable as the cool October breeze blew back her angel soft bangs. The first crisp fallen leaves danced down the driveway in a symphony of it’s own making as we said our goodbyes.

I remember how she had pulled closed her taupe colored jacket, clutching herself in a make shift embrace in the effort to ward off the chill. I unexplainably had the urge to hug her and a feeling that it was my turn to be the protector.

I did not know then that was to be the last time I would see her. That I had missed my last chance to tell her I loved her. That an hour later, a policeman would give me news that would forever change my life and the way I lived it.

As a child, I was my mother’s shadow. I could always be found sitting on her knee or playing nearby as she did household chores.

As a young married mother in my twenties, she was there to show me how to take care of my newborn son. Helping with late night feedings and diaper changes so I could get a full night of sleep.

When multiple sclerosis threatened to take my eyesight, she was my anchor that kept me from drowning in a sea of fear.

When life cruelly took her from me on that cool October day, I learned to stand on my own two feet. I no longer had the one thing that I could always count on in life, my mother.

The loss of your parents can bring into sharp focus, how fleeting life really is. Suddenly you become next in line, the next generation to take the feared rite of passage into the unknown.

For the first time, I found myself able to be mewithout the fear of judgments or expectations. I was free to make decisions solely on what I wanted to do rather than  what I thought that I was expected to do. It seems that no matter how old you are, when you still have parents, you live your life always knowing that part of your decision making is always based on parental approval.

Don’t get me wrong, I want nothing more than to still have my mother here. I find myself longing to  simply enjoy her beautiful spirit rather than clinging on to her like a drowning man needing a life line. There is so much I find myself wanting to share with her as a happy woman now.

When I was diagnosed with MS, one of the hardest things that came with it was having to watch my mother worry everyday about me. I was always trying to stay strong not only for me but for her, my husband and my kids. The burden of this at times was crushing.

After the loss of my mother followed shortly by my divorce of fifteen years, I suddenly was alone. But in this aloneness, I also felt free. If I wanted to, I could curl up in bed and cry. If I wanted to sleep all day, hell I would just do that. I no longer had to put on a brave face and a forced smile as I watched the helplessness in my mother’s eyes or the stress in my husbands.

In this singleness, I found the road to me.

Multiple sclerosis is a daily test of your courage and faith that no matter what the day brings, you will be strong enough to face it. What I have learned is that although I no longer have my mother to tell me that everything will be okay, her love I carry with me makes me confident that I will survive the MS ride.

For all of you living with MS and still have your parents to lean on when hardships arise, tell them how much you love them and appreciate what they do. If you are like me, standing alone but strong, celebrate the love they have given you by remaining confident in how strong you are

I was trying to decide this morning on what to bring to the cemetery today to leave with my parents as a token of my love and gratitude. I suddenly realized the best thing I can bring, is myself. To show them that they do not have to worry anymore, that I am okay.

“Look Mom, you don’t have to cry anymore, I am happily me”. 

Cindy Lee Lothian

October 2, 2013

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

MS, The New Scarlet Letter?


MS The New Scarlet Letter?

We are not Hester living in the pages of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 romantic work of fiction, forced to wear the branded blood red letter A on our bosom as a sign of our sins for all to see. In this novel, she was unjustly forced to wear this her entire lifetime as a symbol of her crime of adultery.

Do you ever feel that you have not been branded with the infamous Letter A but rather an orange lettered MS? You might not feel that you wear it on your bosom but rather on your forehead where it is like a flashing beacon for all to see.

This obviously feels like a branding not of adultery, but of the crime of being weak, sickly or somehow damaged. Like in nature, you feel like you are left behind by the herd as easy pray for it’s natural predators.

Why does our society in it’s constant race to make an extra dollar, to achieve the next promotion, discard so easily those that need help the most. A world that is filled with greed and vanity rather than compassion and humility is one that needs to evaluate why we are all really here living this life.

When I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I did indeed feel like I had been branded with a scarlet letter of my own. I had suddenly become “that girl that has MS” instead of the “Cindy” I still was and had always been.

When you walk with the help of a cane, or the use of a wheelchair, do you feel you are pointed at or stared at a little too long?

I can still remember how I used to hate to have to stumble past the hospital’s crowded emergency room to  get my daily IV steroid treatment. I did not want to see anyone I knew and I would not meet anyone in the eye as they passed by.

Life has a way of putting in your path just what you might really need to see. For years I have contemplated getting a seeing eye dog but again felt that this would somehow be marking me out as being “different.” The other day as I wheeled my shopping cart through the crowded grocery store, in my current blurry state of vision, I almost ran into a woman with a seeing eye dog. This is my second close disastrous encounter with a seeing eye dog as I can recall another incident when my shopping cart ran over the front paw of one, as I misjudged the distance of my own cart.

Is life smacking me in the face and saying “Hello, this might be what you need to make your life easier”?

Why does any illness, no matter what it may be, have to make you feel marked as weak, damaged or pitied. It seems to me that if our society offered compassion and support rather than judgments, we would be teaching our children how to live a life that truly has meaning.

I now suddenly understand the growing number of pictures of MS tattoos that have been streaming over the internet. These people  have not only cast off their Scarlet Letter A of shame but have replaced it with the proud proclamation that they are an MS Warrior.

Are you living your life bearing the shame of your own scarlet letter, or have you had the courage and wisdom to realize that you have nothing to be ashamed of. You are not weak, pitiful or in any way, less worthy.

Is life putting signs in your path trying to get your attention?

Do not be like Hester in Hawthorne’s 17th century novel, a victim of society’s ignorance and ridicule.

You are not your diagnosis. You might have MS but you are not MS.

I,  for one, am casting off my own scarlet letter and when someone points at me, I will hold my head up high and let them stare in the wake of my dignity.

Cindy Lee Lothian

September 27, 2013

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments