Skip To Main Content

Moving Forward

As I close in on 50 (FIFTY!) and look back over the past decade, so much has changed. Other than my MS diagnosis, the bulk of those changes happened in the last 18 months.

It all started in Portland, Ore. My ex and I were in the process of separating when I took a trip for an MS-related gathering. While I was there, I met Matt — the most amazing man who has impacted my life significantly.

A group of us were taking a walk. I was having problems with my left leg, and this guy that I barely knew, just being the kind and friendly sort that he is, took my arm to help support me. Like he’d do for anyone he saw having problems. That’s the type of person he is.

After a couple of blocks, I suddenly doubled over and burst into tears. It had crashed in on me that in the 17 years I had known my (now ex) husband, he had never performed that simple, assistive task for me. Not once.

Matt pulled me off to the side and talked to me. More importantly, he listened. I’ve never believed in fairy-tale romance. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to… but in my experience: nah. Well, boy was I wrong. The metaphorical lightning bolt struck us.

In spite of COVID, Matt and I spent the next few months traveling between Colorado and Minnesota as well as meeting in between. All while wearing our masks and practicing appropriate social distancing. Without the freedom to work remotely as a result of COVID, our path may not have been so smooth. We bonded through our shared loves of online games and movies, as well as the challenges of living with MS. We spent hours and hours every night talking, playing, sharing, watching, crying over past setbacks, and supporting each other through current issues. In August, Matt moved from Minnesota to Colorado and in with me.

Twenty-ish months ago, life was pretty humdrum and uneventful. There wasn’t a lot I looked forward to. I was depressed, but at the time and in the moment, I didn’t consciously realize it. My general approach was, I’ll make my way through today, then start everything all over again tomorrow.

A lot has changed since then. In addition to the general upheaval upon all of us from COVID, I’ve experienced lost love, new love, job change, financial issues, leaving my home of 17 years to rediscover the “joys” of apartment living, the divorce process, and a family member with a potentially terminal diagnosis. It has been a trying time with lots of emotional ups and downs.

We all know life is hard. We know living with MS is particularly hard in its unique ways. There are those minutes and days and maybe even weeks where we want to give up. Sometimes it’s tough to pull back and truly see the beautiful forest of life for the ugly weeds of everyday problems. During some of the difficult times in the past year, I’ve had more than one moment of wallowing in misery and failing to be the best me I could be for myself, and most importantly, for others.

Through it all, though, Matt has been by my side. He’s helped me, challenged me, supported me, infuriated me, and loved me despite my myriad faults and flaws. He’s helped me to learn more about myself and grow as a person.

I’ll be 50 in a few months. Wow. Looking into my past, there are so, so many things I wish I could go back and tell myself. Then again, without all the mistakes, hurdles and pain of the past — as well as the triumphs, joys, and laughter! — I wouldn’t be who I am.


See more of Teri’s stories

What is OCREVUS?

OCREVUS is a prescription medicine used to treat:

  • Relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults
  • Primary progressive MS, in adults.

It is not known if OCREVUS is safe and effective in children.

Who should not receive OCREVUS?

Do not receive OCREVUS if you have an active hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

Do not receive OCREVUS if you have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to OCREVUS. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had an allergic reaction to OCREVUS or any of its ingredients in the past.

What is the most important information I should know about OCREVUS?

OCREVUS can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Infusion reactions: Infusion reactions are a common side effect of OCREVUS, which can be serious and may require you to be hospitalized. You will be monitored during your infusion and for at least 1 hour after each infusion of OCREVUS for signs and symptoms of an infusion reaction. Tell your healthcare provider or nurse if you get any of these symptoms:
    • itchy skin
    • rash
    • hives
    • tiredness
    • coughing or wheezing
    • trouble breathing
    • throat irritation or pain
    • feeling faint
    • fever
    • redness on your face (flushing)
    • nausea
    • headache
    • swelling of the throat
    • dizziness
    • shortness of breath
    • fatigue
    • fast heart beat

These infusion reactions can happen for up to 24 hours after your infusion. It is important that you call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the signs or symptoms listed above after each infusion. If you get infusion reactions, your healthcare provider may need to stop or slow down the rate of your infusion.

  • Infection:
    • OCREVUS increases your risk of getting upper respiratory tract infections, lower respiratory tract infections, skin infections, and herpes infections. Infections are a common side effect, which can be serious. Tell your healthcare provider if you have an infection or have any of the following signs of infection including fever, chills, or a cough that does not go away. Signs of herpes include cold sores, shingles, genital sores, skin rash, pain, and itching. Signs of more serious herpes infection include: changes in vision, eye redness or eye pain, severe or persistent headache, stiff neck, and confusion. Signs of infection can happen during treatment or after you have received your last dose of OCREVUS. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have an infection. Your healthcare provider should delay your treatment with OCREVUS until your infection is gone.
    • Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation: Before starting treatment with OCREVUS, your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check for hepatitis B viral infection. If you have ever had hepatitis B virus infection, the hepatitis B virus may become active again during or after treatment with OCREVUS. Hepatitis B virus becoming active again (called reactivation) may cause serious liver problems including liver failure or death. Your healthcare provider will monitor you if you are at risk for hepatitis B virus reactivation during treatment and after you stop receiving OCREVUS.
    • Weakened immune system: OCREVUS taken before or after other medicines that weaken the immune system could increase your risk of getting infections.
  • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML): PML is a rare brain infection that usually leads to death or severe disability, and has been reported with OCREVUS. Symptoms of PML get worse over days to weeks. It is important that you call your healthcare provider right away if you have any new or worsening neurologic signs or symptoms that have lasted several days, including problems with:
    • thinking        
    • eyesight
    • strength
    • balance
    • weakness on 1 side of your body
    • using your arms or legs
  • Decreased immunoglobulins: OCREVUS may cause a decrease in some types of immunoglobulins. Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check your blood immunoglobulin levels.

Before receiving OCREVUS, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have ever taken, take, or plan to take medicines that affect your immune system, or other treatments for MS.
  • have ever had hepatitis B or are a carrier of the hepatitis B virus.
  • have a history of inflammatory bowel disease or colitis.
  • have had a recent vaccination or are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. 
    • You should receive any required ‘live’ or ‘live-attenuated’ vaccines at least 4 weeks before you start treatment with OCREVUS. You should not receive ‘live’ or ‘live attenuated’ vaccines while you are being treated with OCREVUS and until your healthcare provider tells you that your immune system is no longer weakened.
    • When possible, you should receive any ‘non-live’ vaccines at least 2 weeks before you start treatment with OCREVUS. If you would like to receive any non-live (inactivated) vaccines, including the seasonal flu vaccine, while you are being treated with OCREVUS, talk to your healthcare provider.
    • If you have a baby and you received OCREVUS during your pregnancy, it is important to tell your baby’s healthcare provider about receiving OCREVUS so they can decide when your baby should be vaccinated.
  • are pregnant, think that you might be pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if OCREVUS will harm your unborn baby. You should use birth control (contraception) during treatment with OCREVUS and for 6 months after your last infusion of OCREVUS. Talk with your healthcare provider about what birth control method is right for you during this time.
    • Pregnancy Registry. There is a pregnancy registry for women who take OCREVUS during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while receiving OCREVUS, tell your healthcare provider right away. Talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the OCREVUS Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about your health and your baby’s health. Your healthcare provider can enroll you in this registry by calling 1-833-872-4370 or visiting www.ocrevuspregnancyregistry.com.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if OCREVUS passes into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take OCREVUS.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What are the possible side effects of OCREVUS?

OCREVUS may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Risk of cancers (malignancies) including breast cancer. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions about standard screening guidelines for breast cancer.
  • Inflammation of the colon, or colitis: Tell your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of colitis, such as:
    • Diarrhea (loose stools) or more frequent bowel movements than usual
    • Stools that are black, tarry, sticky or have blood or mucus
    • Severe stomach-area (abdomen) pain or tenderness

These are not all the possible side effects of OCREVUS.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.

For more information, go to www.OCREVUS.com or call 1-844-627-3887.

Please see additional Important Safety Information throughout and click here for full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

    • OCREVUS Prescribing Information. Genentech, Inc. 2016.

      OCREVUS Prescribing Information. Genentech, Inc. 2016.