Any adventure can be somewhat like reading an exciting novel, and each page holds something new and unread as you turn it. What will it be, will it inspire, excite, frighten, amuse, confuse or even bore me? I will never know unless my thumb and fingertip grasp the corner of that page, rubbing as I feel the friction of skin against paper. The page softly lifts, crinkling as it turns from right to left across the open volume I hold in my hands. Next, I must read on to discover what follows.
This past year has been a very long, somewhat hard-to-read chapter of my personal Lupus novel. Nothing horribly exciting took place, I just slowly went deeper and deeper into a prolonged state of flare, a little deeper as each month passed. For months, my doctor sought persistently for approval from my health insurance to resume Rituxan infusions, to no avail.
We were not the heroic victors that subdued the opposing side, as we had so desperately hoped to be. Our strategy at the onset had seemed so unbeatable. Our arguments seemed so irrefutable. But, we still lost that battle miserably, without much more at its end than a resigned, exhausted whimper. All our heroic attempts of man against the insurance machine had utterly failed.
Then, an unseen force suddenly changed the landscape of the adventure, when last March the FDA approved a new lupus medication, Benlysta. Suddenly fortified and encouraged for another fight, there were renewed hopes for victory! Armor once again was polished and donned — we stood ready to go back into battle. A prayer for victory was raised heavenward.
Racing toward the awaiting field of engagement, a peaceful meadow stood there instead. There was no battle to be found, a truce had been declared. No protracted endurance-testing ordeal would be required. Instead, we heard an answer, a simple, astounding, “yes.”
Now, I am suddenly reading the last page of the past year’s long, seemingly never-ending chapter. Benlysta infusions start at the end of the week.
What lies ahead in the lupus adventure, between the lines? I will turn the next page with prayers and hopes for an easier to endure chapter, and better health.