Making My Own MS Luck

Melissa Cook sits at her desk attending the 20booksVegas authors' conference instead of being in person for health reasons.
Melissa Cook Attends 20BooksVegas Virtually

My friends and family often hear me say, “I am the luckiest person I know.” They shake their heads because I have faced my share of difficulties in life. Perspective is huge when taking on new challenges, and it doesn’t hurt to have some luck, either.

Author Melissa Cook stands with "The Call of the Last Frontier" in Las Vegas 2021
Melissa Cook in Las Vegas 2021

There are things we can do in our lives to ensure luck lands on our doorstep. This week, I sacrificed my trip to the 20BooksVegas writers’ conference to avoid an MS attack. I made my reservations in February and cleared my calendar for this outstanding learning, networking, and collaborating opportunity that Craig Martelle and the 20Booksto50K group provide. I know what I am missing because I attended last year.

Sleep is critical to my MS health. Due to illness, I have lost too much sleep recently and would begin my trip of five long travel and event-filled days already behind the eight ball. “I’m poking the MS dragon,” I told my husband the night before my flight to Las Vegas. Instead of flying out to Sin City to mingle with other authors, I will head to the specialist’s office to get my health in check.

“It’s like a kid waiting for Christmas morning only to wake up and discover Christmas didn’t come,” my husband put my disappointment into words. “Are you glad you didn’t go?” He wondered when I noted that my plane had just departed from the Billings, Montana, airport.

“I decided to skip it because I know what happens when I don’t take care of myself. The MS dragon is real and will take over my life for who knows how long, and right now, he’s knocking on my door.” I don’t have to be symptomatic to know this; I just know.

So here I sit, watching the conference from home and resisting the urge to look at all the fun photos and messages on Facebook. I made this decision for me and mine so that tomorrow will be a better day. Sometimes, we must make sacrifices to ensure our own good luck. Hopefully, my good fortune will mean the fire-breathing dragon leaves my doorstep and walks away. On a positive note, I’m home for my husband’s birthday, and I have cleaned my desk and processed a lot of carrots to put into my freeze-dryer while I watched the event.

Las Vegas Eifel Tower
Las Vegas 2021
Melissa Cook in Virtual Reality Seat
Melissa Cook – Las Vegas 2021

On the MS Front – Girl with MS

Caroline Craven is an amazing MSer who began her journey with this life-changing disease struggling to walk and see. She’s gone on to create various multiple sclerosis resources for her Girl with MS award-winning blog and webpage. For years, the Girl with MS on YouTube spread MS awareness through reflective video chats about her MS life.

Caroline shares her radio shows, podcasts, blog posts, YouTube video clips, and MS book selections on You can also read her blog posts on Muck Rack.

Caroline says, “Try to stay positive… There is hope out there.”

Caroline Craven is Girl with MS
Caroline Craven is Girl with MS

Upcoming Appearances

November 26, 2022 – 9:00 am – 2:00 pm – Winter Kickoff Vendor Show, Burlington School, Burlington, Wyoming

December 4, 2022 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Christmas to Remember Bazaar, Laurel Middle School, 725 Washington Avenue, Laurel, MT

December 13, 2022 – guest speaker on Zoom


OpenClipart-Vectors. Fire-breathing Dragon. (access November 14, 2022).

More 20booksVegas 2021 Photos

I had hoped to have 2022 photos, but there’s always 2023.

Waterworks in Las Vegas 2021
Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas 2021

About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.