I have been diagnosed with RA and Sjogren’s Syndrome for 20+ years. Over the years I’ve had both hips replaced, both shoulders and knees worked on. This week had one knee scoped for second time this year. I need both thumbs worked on next. I’m just trying to space out the surgeries. I take varying amounts of prednisone, Celebrex, Plaquinil, and methotrexate depending on my level of inflammation, and have tried on all the biologics available. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma about a year ago. The melanoma was removed and so far there has been no reoccurrence. I did, however, have to discontinue the biologics for now as there is apparently a link to melanoma from Orencia which I was receiving.
I try as best I can to talk care of myself with regular exercise, yoga, meditation and prayer. I go to the health club almost every day to sit in the whirlpool and exercise, often in that order, and in warmer weather I ride a bike outside when I feel up to it. I fill my life with loved ones including family, friends, church and community. I enjoy reading, art, live music, live theater, and walking outdoors. Most days I say, “I am blessed and grateful.” Some days, not so much. It really helps me to talk with others who have similar auto immune diseases. There is strength in sharing our common struggles, strategies, weaknesses, solutions and strengths.