Today is the one year anniversary of me starting my Benlysta infusions. It was one of the most important days of my life because I knew if it worked it would change my life. They said you wouldn’t start noticing improvements until 6 months. When I hit the 6 month point I couldn’t tell a difference. Between month 6 and 9 I told my doctor that maybe we should just stop it because it was so expensive and I didn’t feel like it was doing anything. She said she thought I had improved because I hadn’t had any wrist/hand problems in awhile and that we should give it a full year and see. Month 9 I had become completely hopeless and depressed and I knew I couldn’t stand living for much longer dealing with how lupus made me feel. I decided to fight and do what I could, changed my diet, joined Curves. I had never been able to keep up a consistent work out schedule and I was going 3 times a week. That’s what made me realize the Benlysta was actually working. The last few months of my life have been amazing. I haven’t felt this good with this much energy since I had been diagnosed 9 years ago. I’ve done things that I never could do or was scared of doing because of how I felt before. I’ve been so active. I mean I freakin hike now, WHAT???!! And last summer I was supposed to go camping and I was scared of what it would do to me but now I’ve gone camping 3 times this summer and it’s my new favorite thing to do! The worst part about how I felt before and my fatigue was that it was affecting my work. Doing a painting takes so much out of me, I always say each painting takes a little piece of my soul, and I would be exhausted after doing one which made me get turned off to it. I just didn’t have enough energy. That’s when I switched my focus to gloves because that’s something I could do that didn’t wear me out and it was enjoyable. So now that I am feeling better I am looking forward to getting back into painting and finding the joy in it again and falling back in love with it. I feel like this is my new start. I’ve lost so many years to feeling like shit. Benlysta has been a blessing. I want to thank the brilliant scientists that are making breakthroughs in Lupus research and the people that have supported me in my Lupus walks to help raise money for research because it is actually working. Now I have hope. And the best years of my life are ahead of me.