Monday, October 24, 2011

Meet my dear friend Katie

Today you all get the privilege of meeting my dear {real life} friend Katie from minivan diva in our blog swap.  We met a few years ago through our MOPS {mothers of preschoolers} program through the church and quickly became friends with a lot more in common than having kids the same ages.  Katie is who inspired me to start my own blog.

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Hi sweet friends of Karen's! I just love Karen, don't you? I get the privilege of knowing this amazing mama in real life.

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I'm blessed.

Karen and I both suffer from diseases. However, we are both determined to not let those body destroyers rob our joy. Thank you for allowing me to share what's on my heart today.

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The word lupus was normal while growing up in my household.

i knew it was the disease that took the life of my young uncle.

I knew it was the reason my kindergarten class drew pictures and made a book for mom while she was in the hospital.

I understood that lupus was why my mom wore a wig off and on through my childhood and could not be out in the sun.

While I was frightened when I returned from a play date in 3rd grade and my older sister told me that "Mom is the hospital", it was still familiar.

When I began having strange symptoms add up from the time I was in elementary school until I arrived in the ER at 16, I knew lupus was entering my life in a new way.

It took 6 years from the day I checked into the ER to get a final lupus diagnosis. I went to one specialist to the next until I was ready to just feel rotten and toss my hands in the air.

But then I met with a family friend who recommended me to the doctor who could diagnose the undiagnosable.

She was right.

He was right.

I had lupus.

And if there is one thing living with a disease like lupus has taught me, it is this...

I can choose to focus on theses facts:

I have antibodies that attack healthy parts of my body.

I take over 21 pills a day.

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I have the type of lupus that can attack my organs: heart, lungs, brain...you name it. I could end up on the kidney transplant list like my mom.

These crazy antibodies of mine can go wacky at any moment. I don't know if and when.

Like Karen, I fear that I'll die early. I want to live long and see my grandchildren. I especially worry since my husband was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma (in remission). I worry about who would love our children like we do if one or both of us died early.

I have a bald spot and do a comb over due to meds.

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I gain weight due to the meds.

My body hurts. Something hurts all. the. time.

There is depression and anxiety from the disease.

My husband has to be extra patient.

OR

I can focus on these facts:

I have a BIG God who is good.

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I am blessed with these 3 cool dudes.
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My hubby has been by my side before that day in the ER when I was 16 and never gripes about it.

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I have awesome friends.

Life is full of suffering. My suffering is light compared to other's.

Although I would love to be healed from this disease, I have learned from it and I am grateful for the many blessings in my life.

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Much love,
Katie

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Thank you so much for sharing your story today Katie.  Love you girl!! Hop on over to her blog here and see my story.

20 comments:

  1. I'll say the same thing over here, because really I can't think of anything truer to say?! :)

    What a way to start a Monday!!!!!

    Two of my favorite girls together in one place!

    Love you both!!!

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  2. What a beautiful, inspiring post! (And gorgeous photos!)

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  3. You are blessed to have "fellowship of suffering". Those friends are truly gems in our crown of life. No one understands quite like they do. I will be keeping both of you in my prayers.

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  4. So glad I read this post this morning! Y'all are both such blessings :)

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  5. what a gorgeous post! i love both of your outlooks on life, you don't let what you have rob you of what is really important in life, and don't get angry, it is a beautiful thing to see!

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  6. I love you girls both. Such amazingness about you...:)

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  7. wow. you both are so inspiring to me. thank you for your examples of what a joyful and happy countenance, regardless of the situation, is supposed to look like. :) god bless.

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  8. Katie and Karen, you are both remarkable, strong and positively gorgeous women who can still manage to see the light. I really don't think I could be that strong of a person if it was me, but reading your stories inspires me to be a better person. This morning, after reading your story last night Karen, I gave my son an extra hug before he went off to school. You ladies are in my thoughts and my heart xoxo

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  9. Karen & Katie - you are both so inspiring; I love that you've teamed up to do a blog swap and that you're sharing your stories with the world. I have no doubt that you are reaching more people than just those who choose to comment on your blogs. You are amazing women whom we can all learn from - I feel blessed to "know" you both!

    xoxo

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  10. What a blessing of a post. It is so encouraging to know that there are women as strong as you and Karen out there in the world! Thank you for sharing your story :)

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  11. You both are extraordinary women!I am so touched by your story. I thank you for sharing it. This really brings an awareness to a horrible disease. God bless you. ((HUG))
    http://sassyuptownchic.blogspot.com/

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  12. I love your perspective! Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Thank you for introducing me to Katie. I am learning through both of you how blessed you really are. To have a gift of knowing how to live life to the full, not take anything for granted and to love one another with your whole heart in the present moment. Karen I think of you everyday and because of your story I am much more fully aware of my surroundings and my family. Thank you! xoxo Salena

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  14. i love y'all!
    so blessed reading your posts today...my heart is glad.
    so glad to know you have each other in real life, too! xo

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  15. Karen, this was so neat to see Katie on your blog. You are both precious and inspire me more than you know. I'm so thankful God has allowed me to cross paths with you in the blogosphere. Your stories and perspective are life changing--for you and for us. I can't help but think about you during the day and pray for you. I wish I could do more.
    Much love,
    Michele

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  16. Very beautiful and inspiring!!

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  17. love your photos. i just found your blog, so cute...i love it all:)
    xo
    ash

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  18. I love Katies blog and have been reading fir a long time....yet most of this was new to me! Thanks for sharing Katie...you are a brave and honest woman!

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  19. You girls are amazing and inspiring. I am adding you to my prayers every day. We are so blessed in this life and every day we have with our loved ones is truly a gift.

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