My lupus story – by Lystra Lewis

I was 16 years old when I was first diagnosed with lupus. I had gotten my tonsils removed on March 30th 1976 and did not recover from that surgery. I remember not being able to eat simple things like jello and ice cream. Soon after that I became very ill. By May 6th of that year I was weighing a ghastly 82 pounds (from a healthy 125pounds). My father was worried all through the month of April when I just kept getting worse. On May 6th they rushed me to North York General. I remember the sound of the ambulance as we flew down the 401. I had a very high fever. I remember lots of ice, a fan the nurses trying to get my fever down. I stayed there for two weeks and was transferred to The Hospital for Sick Children under Dr. Mark Greenberg. I remember no one knew what was wrong with me. Was it this? Was it that? How do we treat what we don’t know? My father said it was not until Dr. Greenberg went out West to a convention that he became aware of what was afflicting me. I was treated with many different drugs including Prednisone. This was a scary time for my father (and grandmother who came up from the Caribbean to care for me). Lots happened, most of which I hear was scary but had no idea of what was going on. I was released from the hospital in July of 1976 weighing 92 pounds. On a high dose of prednisone I soon blew up to a whopping 160lbs. I went back to school and continued on. Over the years there were bouts of recurrence. I was followed closely.

I was told I could not have children but in 1990 the Lord blessed me with a beautiful healthy baby girl. She is now 25.

In 1997 I had a CNS stroke due to Lupus that affected my right side. I fought my way through that and recovered nicely. This brings us to present day. In August of 2014. I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (right Breast). So a different battle has begun. I went through my first set of chemo, not being able to complete the treatments because of my platelets. We went on to surgery which went well and then radiation. During radiation I found a change in the surgery site which was biopsied and found to be a recurrence of the cancer. I am now on my second round with Chemotherapy. So Lupus and cancer are now fighting each other in my body. I am being monitored by my rheumatologist, hematologist and oncologist.

I feel great. I sought out a naturopath whom I absolutely adore. With the recurrence of the cancer she sent me to the naturopathic college where I’m seeing a doctor who specializes in cancer treatments. I’m very optimistic and positive that all will be well because God is good and I’m a very positive person. I have the love and support and prayers of those around me.

This is my story and it continues …….

Lystra Lewis