Everything I have is inflammatory!

I was diagnosed in 2006 with inflammatory breast cancer. This is one which is not detected by mammograms, doesn't always have a lump, inflames the tissues and lymph, and itches. It grows in days and weeks not years, so is very aggressive. Surgery is delayed until chemo has had a chance to kill it. This is where my immune system jumps in. It went haywire and started in on my joints and spine. I was diagnosed with sero-negative (means labs don't show it) RA after my chemo was finished. I'm in remission with the cancer, but the RA is now my companion. I tested slightly positive for the rheumatoid factor last year before my back surgery. I also have osteoarthritis, asthma, and irritable bowel. I have heard these could be linked to my RA though they started before my RA symptoms flared up. It could be they are linked to my crazy immune system and chemo pushed it over the edge...who can tell?

I am currently on Humira, diclofenac,Vit D, and low dose prednisone. These have been my life savers and permit me to live more normally. Weather affects me, and I live right in the usual jet stream for storms, so I have good and bad days. Bad days bring brain fog and fatigue...the kind that taking a nap just doesn't do the trick. I take an occasional Tramadol for the worst days.

I am disabled and had to give up the best nursing job I ever had due to this disease. I am an RN and like to be helpful, useful. This is the worst part of all, is not being able to do what I used to do. I was a potter, with a wheel, making things. I was active and enjoyed hiking camping and exploring. I am trying to find other interesting and creative outlets to counter this frustration. It can be hard just starting a project! I am working on an alternative me in the process, one where I can still enjoy being creative, problem solving me. There are still infinite possibilities.

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