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Why I’m not Fighting Rheumatoid Arthritis

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I’m not fighting it. I’ve posted updates for y’all to read and to see at various times, and I’ve worked hard to assemble a team of physicians that can help me get into remission.

I’m not in remission and I’m not fighting this thing.

I’m in pretty good shape these days. I come dangerously close to actually making a fist with my right hand and yesterday and today I was able to run in the canyons without needing narcotics afterward. That is a huge improvement. I haven’t opened a bottle of Advil in several weeks, my energy level is mostly high, and steroids aren’t a part of my life any longer.

Still, I have symptoms and discomfort. I have swelling and some numbness and tingling. If it never progresses past this point this is Arthritis I can live with. Sadly, it’s improbable that I won’t see some progression unless the medicines get this into remission.

You see the medicines are the ones that need to fight the arthritis, not me.

I know everyone loves to fight their diseases and Fuck Cancer is a wonderful sentiment. Recently I was with my friend Becky who had been treated for cancer and she explained to me how much she disliked people talking about her “fight”. She talked about the people who had cancer but died, is that because they didn’t fight hard enough? Were they not strong enough? What if your cancer is just deady like the pancreatic cancer that killed my Grandmother? Was she not up for a fight?

My children have a mother with RA, which is an autoimmune disorder closely linked to leukemia. Of their four blood grandparents three have, or have been treated for, blood cancers. Should I raise my children to be fighters just in case? Please understand that my single greatest fear is that Jane or Alexander will have one of these disorders. It’s a fear so overwhelming that it wakes me up at night, I feel cold like I’m dead and like cancer is just sitting on my chest like a ghost from a cartoon.

I’m not a physician. I’m not a scientist or a researcher. I’m a 41 year old woman with a┬ádebilitating┬ádiagnosis and an overwhelming desire to see her children remain healthy. I’m not fighting arthritis. I’m living with it, and I plan on living nicely. If my illness is to progress I wouldn’t want to be made to feel like it’s because I didn’t fight hard enough.