March (is Lupus month)...

Posted on Saturday, March 2, 2013

Well, a new month is upon us...
The month of March is always a bitter sweet month for me.  It has been a month filled with great joy, with the birth of my son, happening near the end of the month.  It is also a month filled with great sadness, since I lost both my parents in the month of March.
The reason I am writing this entry, is so I can discuss the illness that claimed my mother's life.
My mother was a wonderful person, caring and kind, hard working, creative and always worried about others before her self.  She also suffered from Lupus.
Lupus may be a disease that you haven't heard of or it might be one that has touched your own life or someone you care about.  In my house, Lupus was one disease that my family and I knew intimately well.  I am certainly not a doctor, nor a researcher, I am simply the daughter of a woman that suffered with it daily.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, that can damage any part of the body.  This disease is chronic, which simply means signs and symptoms last longer than six weeks and often for many years. (My mother had Lupus for 18 years, with only a 3 year remission.)  With Lupus, something goes wrong with the patient's immune system, instead of the body attacking "invaders" or the viruses, bacteria and germs that can make us sick...a patient's body begins attacking healthy tissues.
One of the most difficult parts of the disease, is that it affects people very differently.  Some people with Lupus have problems with their kidneys, other have issues with their joints...
My mother's Lupus affected her blood counts.  She had very low blood counts and was often left unable to fight off common colds or flu. (She would also bruise very easily, especially when her platelets were low.)

I do want to make it clear that a diagnosis of Lupus is NOT a death sentence.
Yes, my mother did pass away, but she died 13 years ago.  There have been advancements in Lupus research, since she passed away.  Plus, what ultimately claimed my mother's life, was an experimental treatment. (Her disease had gotten to a point where "normal" treatments weren't providing results, so she underwent a new treatment and unfortunately, it didn't work.)

So, some may be asking..."Why are you writing this entry?"
I'm writing this entry to start to tell my mother's story and share my family's experience with this disease.  I also want to expose Lupus to as many people as I can.  The more that know, the better!

There are some wonderful resources for people with Lupus or for those that just want some more information...
Please visit the Lupus Foundation of America.
Thanks so much for visiting and reading!  For my household, March is Lupus month, so I will be sharing information about Lupus all month long.


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