When 44-year-old Ann Pietrangelo is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, all previous assumptions about health, work, and her new romance are up for grabs.
How do you begin to plan for life’s second half with a body you’ve never met before? One precarious step at a time. From the impersonal diagnosis by email to a wedding presided over by a funeral director, this is no tragic tale of woe. Like relapsing/remitting MS itself, the book alternates between the serious (“When I turn toward him, there’s a big hole where his right cheek should be.”) and the silly (“The bocce balls don't get out much.”).
This poignant and often humorous story of acceptance and change relies on a basic truth – good health and life are fleeting, but love and humor trump all. Every second matters, a point driven home by yet another life-altering diagnosis.
Ann Pietrangelo is a freelance writer and Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) Ambassador. She and her husband, Jim, are partners in WebCamp One, LLC, a full-service website development and content creation company. Their philosophy is a simple one: LIVE while you're here and give back when you can.
"Where the road leads, for now, is a mystery. I'm just grateful to be on the road." -- Ann Pietrangelo
Author website: AnnPietrangelo.com
Also by Ann Pietrangelo: Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
“No More Secs! may strike a chord if you’ve got multiple sclerosis, or love someone who does. Still, it's only my story, not your story, and certainly not THE story of MS. Oh, and it’s not all about MS either. Really. That’s because life marches on whether we feel up to it or not. Mine sure did, and ready or not, it keeps on marching. At its very heart, this is a love story. Romantic love. Love of family. Love of life.
"If you take a leap of faith and give No More Secs! a read, it is my sincere hope you come away from it on a positive note. Then I’ll know I’ve done good. Thank you.”
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"Your book made me laugh, cry, and feel emotions on an extremely personal level…Your positive outlook (though I know you are not always positive) is a wonderful gift to anyone who reads this book whether they realize it or not. I thank you, your family, and especially the wonderful husband in your life for helping you to get your message out through this book!"
"I just finished your No More Secs book last night. Your story helped me feel better about the struggles I have with MS. Thank you!"
"Congratulations on your MSF Ambassadorship!…First resource you should point them to, in my opinion, is YOUR book. It's one of the things that helped me the most;)"
"In the summer 2014 issue of MSFocus I was pleased to see you are one of the Ambassadors. I read your book No More Secs! this year. It was great! Keep up the good work…Hope to see an article or two written by you in future issues of MSFocus…"
"Just finished reading 'No More Secs' and had to tell you how wonderful your book is…thank you for writing it…you helped me put things back in perspective. I look forward to reading your other works."
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. It was much needed. It has given the kick in the butt I needed to continue my life with the odd MS. Again, thank you is a small word that only takes a sec!”
"LOVED your book. I chuckled, I teared up, I related..."
“Your book is great! My Kindle version is full of highlights and notes, as so much of it resonates deeply.”
“What a nice book. I laughed, I cried, I connected to you in a way I’ve connected with no one else. It was so nice to know I'm not alone.”
“Finished your book “No More Secs!” this morning. It’s a great read about coping with the unexpected events in our lives. Your writing drew me in and I couldn’t put it down.”
“Ann, just finished reading your book on my patio last night. Congrats on a terrific job. ... I know this will help others who are living with MS and feel so alone out there.”
“Wow! A must read for me.”
“It is a lovely love story, well written, full of information too.”
“I received and downloaded your book. ... I’m so curious about your story I had to make myself put it down…”
“For MSers it’s a must read! I saw parallels between our lives.”
"Just finished No 'More Secs.' As a 44 year old woman living with MS, it was an honest and funny look at living with this disease. Loved your writing style. Thanks!!"
"What I knew about MS before reading your book couldn't even have filled up the slip of paper in a fortune cookie. I knew it sucked and I knew Annette Funicello had it. That was pretty much the extent of my knowledge about the disease. Thank you for being so honest about your experiences and what you go through."
"It was a delightful read…Hope you will continue to write, but please don't feel it necessary to develop any new illnesses to have a topic. You could write about grass growing and make it a good read…Thank you for letting me shed a few tears and smiling in between."
"I feel like I am sometimes reading my own thoughts while reading your book. I was just diagnosed with MS about 3 weeks ago. Thank you for having a voice."
"I live in South Africa. I have just finished reading your book, 'No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis.' WOW! I just could not believe that there is actually someone out there who KNOWS how it feels to have this dreadful MS! I wish that I could have read this book back when I was dx - it would most definitely have made a huge difference in my life! All I can say is: Thank you for sharing! I wish that all my friends and family could read this book, so that they can see that I'm not "faking." To me it's a very "lonely" disease, for most of family members and friends just don't get it. So from the bottom of my heart - THANK YOU!"
“I found myself able to relate even though we have completely different disorders. The questions you ask of yourself and your abilities are similar to those I have asked myself.”
“I have a dear friend that was recently diagnosed with MS and will definitely be recommending your book to her.”
“Here’s to those of us who just keep on keepin’ on, whatever the circumstances!”
“Thank you for putting into words what those of us with MS feel!”
“I want to thank you so much for putting your heart and soul into your book. I can’t stop reading it. ... [Now] I do not feel so alone with this disease or think I have gone crazy with some things that come along with MS.”
“Ann, you inspire all of us. Keep on writing.”
"If you have MS or know someone with MS please read this book."