It’s A New Day

boys and me

In recent times, it has been an arduous and turbulent period for me and my health. I want to update you and share my news.

As many of you know, I have Lupus. It has been something I’ve been able to manage for years. This hasn’t been an easy or uneventful illness to tame however, I had it under control for the most part…until recently.

Since we’ve been on our journey, I’ve had a few bouts with flu bugs, lupus flare ups and of late, a few things that really had me concerned and actually frightened…which I rarely allow myself to feel.

I met a divine doctor named Dr. Pat Malone of Sneem County in Ireland. We stayed at a very special place named Parknasilla Resort and he serves as their house physician. He called a few times to check on me while we were there and I saw him at his office in town. He took me under his wing like a caring angel and made arrangements in Edinburgh for me to get all of the further testing and consultations I needed. I am so grateful for this man.

My ailments kept getting worse and I couldn’t wait to get to Edinburgh to get answers. Mostly, I couldn’t wait to feel better. My attitude has always been and will remain to be, positive. I want nothing more than to be healthy and strong so I can play and run around all day with my boys. I don’t like when things slow me down and I don’t like the toll this has taken on me or my family.

We spent over a week in Edinburgh and Dr. Malone referred us to the most fantastic hospital and doctors. Spire Murrayfield hospital was so special and if I had to go through all of this, this was the place to do it. My boys will miss the delicious custard cream cookies and we’ll miss the warm hospitality. The nurses were all so kind and helpful. I particularly felt fondness for Jan Lancaster and Cindy MacDonald. I hope we stay in touch, ladies. You are both very special women.

The two doctors I had the good fortune of meeting and getting care from were Dr. Utheshtra Chetty, who I just found out was given an honour by the Queen a couple of years ago for his services to Breast Cancer. He is officially, Mr. Chetty OBE (Order of the British Empire), and Dr. Michael Lambert of Edinburgh Rheumatology Practice. They are both very kind men and wonderful doctors. I also want to mention Edinburgh Clinic where I had my CT Scan taken. They offered us tea and cookies after my scan and set us up like we were in their home. It was lovely.

Ok, I just had to share about all of that but most importantly, I want to share this.

My biopsies and scans came back as benign. Thank God. My lupus flared many times recently but now, my numbers are normal!

Some things are still going to need a little time to heal but for the most part, I am feeling so much better and have a clear head. I am so grateful for my family and the fact that they stood by my side at each visit and during these challenging times. I am beyond thankful for this positive news.

I am turning over a new leaf and ready to continue this glorious trip and experience of a lifetime. The weather has just begun to change and the leaves are sprouting and the flowers are blooming. The sunshine feels wonderful. When you live without it for months, a sunny day is the most precious gift.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your love and support during this time. Your prayers and thoughts give me comfort and obviously are powerful. Thank you.

I have so much to share daily and I plan on sharing more about our trip in the months to come. Let’s put this medical stuff behind us and continue to support each other. I can’t think of anything more important than Thinking and Living Healthy. It is the foundation for our mental health and strength daily.

I want to acknowledge Angelina Jolie on her brave decision and all she has endured since testing positive for the mutated BRCA1 gene. I actually had to take that test about a year ago because of my family history. I would have done the same thing she did had I tested positive. Thankfully I didn’t. We all need to make sure we do regular checkups on our own as well as regular mammograms or ultrasounds on our breasts. After this scare, I am again, grateful. I’m sending love to those of you who have suffered or are suffering with breast cancer.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge that May is Lupus Awareness Month. Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs (“foreign invaders,” like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues (“auto” means “self”) and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body. (Taken from Lupus Foundation of America)

Every day, more than 5 million people worldwide struggle with the often debilitating health consequences of lupus, a potentially fatal autoimmune disease capable of damaging virtually any part of the body, including the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.

My love and support goes out to all of you and your families suffering from this challenging disease. May you find strength and continue being the Warriors you are. This will only make us stronger.

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