Friday, October 15, 2010
OK. Where does one begin? At the BEGINNING, of course! So, I'll start by introducing myself. My name is Judy and I'm a 50 <ahem> year old woman (still getting used to that number), living a wonderful life with my wonderful husband. Our kids are grown and are living their own wonderful lives, what more could parents ask for? My life really IS wonderful. My husband just recently surprised me with a trip to Paris (for my 50th) and prior to that, our daughter had a beautiful baby girl! And if that weren't enough, our son just made his Broadway debut. WOW! So, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! ON THE OTHER HAND...I'm living with many challenges, due to a chronic illness I've been battling for more than 32 years. I have Lupus, an inflammatory, autoimmune disease which affects my joints, my skin, my energy & my kidneys. It can affect any organ in the body and most often affects women, usually in their child-bearing years, (though not limited to). I was a senior in High School when I was diagnosed and by the time I was a freshman at college, the shit really hit the fan. I've been on chemotherapy twice (for months at a time) because my regular meds were not enough to combat the "lupus nephritis" which attacked my kidneys. My REGULAR meds in turn attacked my bones (hips & shoulder, so far) which is why I've had both hips replaced, my first surgery occurring when I was 28 years old. I could go on. But my focus is NOT the limitations put forth by my illness, in spite of the fact that let's face it: My life IS often determined by my Lupus; by how I'm FEELING, by how much energy I have or don't have, by how much PAIN I'm in. My quest is to accept the reality while striving to be the BEST wife/mother/grandmother/friend/and *beyond* that I can be. It's the *beyond* that I most struggle with. And that's what I hope to touch on in the days, weeks and months ahead...to learn how to fulfill my "artist within", this need to create & expand & feel like a productive individual--even within the parameters I've been given. And so, I've BEGUN!!!