Today, the FDA has approved the first drug for systemic lupus treatment in 56 years, Benlysta! This is the first drug ever designed specifically for the treatment of systemic lupus. As I am new in my treatment I am still learning about available treatments and I am unsure what impact Benlysta will have on me as an individual, but I feel certain it is good news for the systemic lupus community as a whole. I can't wait to see my rheumatologist again to ask about Benlysta and what it could do for me. Right now I am on Plaquenil therapy and the results have been noticable, but I think they should be better. I think I should feel better and have more energy and even less inflammation.
Thanks to one of my biggest supporters through my journey to a diagnosis and afterward, Tiffany, I now believe that I don't have to be a victim of lupus, I can be someone who lives with lupus instead. I met her on Twitter @TiffanyAndLupus and she sent me all kinds of material to help educate myself and my family after I was diagnoised December 2010. For me, the emotional pain of having a family that had no compassion for my situation was almost as bad as the physical pain and fatigue that I was experiencing. I started seeking out other people online who have lupus and before long I had connected with many fabulous people who gave me the support I was so lacking at home. They not only offered moral support, but had suggestions on how to find rheumatologists, medications that were helpful, and lifestyle suggestions for coping with chronic illness.
If you're reading this and you have a chronic illness, don't try to go through it alone. Find a support group, or do like I did and build your own. A support network is very important for anyone who is going through a tough time, whether it's psychological, physical, or emotional, humans need other humans to connect with that understand their pain. Thanks to all my wonderful friends who have shown me such support.
Now I'm going to go to research Benlysta and see what I can figure out about it's benefits and side effects.