BIG NEWS and DIAGNOSIS

2 11 2007

Nov. 2nd: This was originally written for a few close friends and family. I’ve decided to paste it for this blog.  In case I haven;t mentioned it.  Many of these blog entries pre-today were private thoughts or diary entries I had written to help myself understand what’s been happening.  Now I’d like to share it with others because I really don’t want someone else to feel as lost as I was these past two weeks.  My doctor told me nothing other than a cold diagnosis.  I don’t have the energy to switch doctors right now.  (I have some great names  – but thank you).

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Nov. 2nd: Yes, today is my birthday. (I initially wrote this on my Bday) I took off work and have been catching up on emails all day and answering the phone. I finally have a moment to write to and I want to tell you what’s been happening. I’m sorry this is a bit long but chock full of news & info.

This year has been incredible – the hardest I’ve ever had. It’s also been fantastic. I got a major client account for our company and have been busting ass on it. It’s about a year long process and very rewarding because it is about helping other people. [I cut some out of here as I don’t want to say too much about it – although I am dying to so that you know exactly how it helped people… but I swore that I would not break my anonymity. That very important so that I can write more intimate details which in turn might be able to help someone else who can relate to my journey].

Nov. 2nd birthday thoughts continued. Back to the project: I’m so lucky to have good work that means something and doesn’t destroy anything. It builds people up. I love that about it. Overall the project took 35 days with the 36 candidates and 48 teammates (about 89 people to feed everyday for lunch), 4 months of going back and forth, and 3 years of preparation. I believe I also went in January when I was in really bad shape but it’s too much of a blur to remember.

It was exhausting but incredible. It did almost kill me because of two poor colleague teammates – and a crazy schedule but I don’t regret it. It took me about 2-3 months to recover from it.

Looking backwards this has been such a hard year because in January I was forced to be in bed due to pancreatitis, but then February I had my surgery to put in my metal pump. 2 weeks later I was preparing for the project and presentations and working full time. It was nutty but I knew the window of opportunity for the project would only be open that once in my life.

Directly after, I came down with pneumonia and was forced in bed again but only when I wasn’t at work – you see I owe quite a bit of money for the project and can’t rest on my laurels – plus that’s not in my nature anyways.

[[Post-note] I think a lot of people with RA have other symptoms of other illnesses. A lot of blogs and articles I’ve read have RA with another disease such as Sjögren’s syndrome, which is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own moisture producing glands. (Many similarities to RA)].

BIG NEWS: Last week I just got diagnosed with RA – Rheumatoid Arthritis – it is severe and aggressive and explains tons of things about my past 6 years. It makes sense now why I can’t seem to get better with rest and why I feel worse. It explains why I’ve been so ill and not able to get better on my own. It explains why I would get soooo sick. It just explains so much.

The doctors have put me on a cancer medication (methotrexate) that takes about a month to work. I could still have kids but not at least for 1 1/2 years as per the request of my doctor. But my window of time is shrinking due to my health. It’s a bit depressing but I’ve got to take care of myself first.

The illness has been really hard on Jax & I and has taken a toll. He’s been amazing through all of it – you couldn’t ask for a better person to be on your side. But it still takes a toll either way. We’ll do fine but a bit bumpy. He’s moved to our next-door office for now.

Overall, I’m happy and hopeful and working on my film and doing smaller jobs for clients in between. I suppose the biggest issue is that right now I need to spend more time healing and less time doing basic work. That is hard to balance with the medical bills, ambulance bills, and MRI bills. I’ve been somehow doing okay with all of it for these past few years and so if it is any indication I’m positive it will continue working out well.

I’ve got so many things to look forward to but the RA (rheumatoid arthritis) is so aggressive and vicious to my bones and me.

It won’t stop me from taking on other clients or finishing this project – it does mean that basic things like walking and holding pens or going down stairs are things that I feel lucky to do. Without the medicines I’d be screwed & not able to walk. (That had already happened).

Love,
Sasha

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