Today is May the 1st, and kicks off #LupusAwarenessMonth Now for those of you who don’t know lupus is a serious autoimmune disease which causes the bodies immune system to become confused and attack its own vital organs as if they were they were foreign objects. As in your immune system sees your liver and says “AAiaiAIaeeeeee! Intruder! Intruder! Kill it!!!” So into a flare you go. A flare is basically your entire body under attack from within. The lupus cells basically telling all the others, “Suck it up, cause we’re in charge now!!” These flares can wreak havoc with ANY part of your body , at ANY time. Lupus stole my firstborn child from me , at 3 and 1\2 months pregnant, it’s stolen my heart health, as I now have only 35 % function of my heart muscle. It’s stolen years from my life, added up , in doctor’s visits, and lengthy hospital stays. It’s stolen my nervous system health , because the inflammation has irreversibly damaged my function controls . It tried to kill my oldest son in utero , damaging his cardiac nerve beyond repair ,causing him to need a pacemaker at just 9 months. It’s stolen my uterus, my appendix , my gallbladder. If that weren’t enough , the medications I’ve had to take to maintain any semblance of normality of health have side effects you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. They’ve leached the calcium out of my bones ,disintegrating my jaw, loosening my teeth and leaving me with the skeleton of an 80 year old lady. I have cataracts, and I’m slowly losing my hearing. The chemo causes my hair to fall out, and my stomach to wish it had never , ever so much as even heard the word food. It has stolen relationships with family members who don’t understand. Who think I am somehow “putting on”, that I WISH to be this way, that I fawn for this attention. When all I could ever really wish for is to disappear down a deep dark hole where I would never have to hear the word lupus again. Yes, lupus IS the great thief. In bits and pieces , it steals until you have no more coin with which to bargain, and so are left the champion. At the cost of all you are, but the champion, none the less. And so , we live to fight another day.