Hello everybody. My name is Regan, and I am a lupus patient. Actually, I like to refer to myself as a lupus “participant”. Sometimes I am indeed symptomatic, but, in general, I’m in very good health and have been in remission for quite some time now.
My Grandpa calls me a lupus survivor. He says he calls me this because I recovered from the (what I now refer to as) nightmare of the initial diagnosis and ensuing years of failed health. I am happy now, and living a productive life. There are many many people and reasons and steps along the way for this wonderful unfolding to have happened, this miracle. I am so grateful.
It was a tough decision to come out and say it: “I have lupus”. But it is indeed something I’ve always wanted to do ever since I was first diagnosed. I just never had the courage to do it until now. I dreamed of speaking out and helping people with this disease. The best way I could envision that happening was by doing public advocacy. And, since I am what I like to call a bit of a “mouthpiece”, here goes!
It was Grandpa who encouraged me – and here’s the kicker – to be PROUD of having the disease and of having overcome it. He feels so badly for the struggles I endured, and the pain and other symptoms I still feel periodically to this day. But he is proud of me for having kicked that mental block of having a chronic illness and he thinks it’s cool, strong, and smart and savvy and ballsy to deal with a physical illness and move forward with life. It took time, but that is exactly what I did. He has done it himself. He thought maybe I should let people know my story. He asked me, “Aren’t you proud of yourself?” Yeah, I guess I am. Thanks Grandpa. The kind support of my biggest supporter, my husband, has made me feel at peace about my decision to write about it. And my parents, who have always been there, are still. Thank you, guys!
My goal is to raise awareness about lupus so a cure will be reached. And there are encouraging signs it will be – soon.