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Rashon’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Lupus)

Rashon's Story Lupus One winter while I was in the midst of applying to medical school, I began having muscle and joint pain in my arms, legs, and hands. The pain was accompanied by a fever of unknown origin. The symptoms came as a sudden onset, not gradual. I made several trips to the ER and had a ton of blood drawn to determine the problem. After a month of ER visits, I was referred to an Internal Medicine doctor for further evaluation.

After a few visits and many labs, I was told I was severely anemic and needed to see an Oncologist and Blood Disorders Specialist. I was given iron pills that made me sick to my stomach so I was taken off of them. I had lost 20 lbs and I lost the color from my skin. I was so pale and skinny, I looked like death walking. I was tired all the time and the pain was so bad it was a struggle to get up and take a shower. I had to withdraw my medical school applications because I was too sick to go on interviews in the secondary phase. My iron level kept going down, my white blood cell count kept going up, and my sed rate was 95 (normal value is 1-20). They thought I had cancer so I underwent a bone marrow biopsy. The procedure was pretty painful, but the results were cancer free. I was started on iron infusions to help the anemia. This didn’t help with the pain though.

For two years, I had undergone multiple doctors visits, cat scans, MRI’s, iron transfusions, weekly blood draws, and a great deal of pain and frustration. I would still go to work but it felt like I was 95 years old in the body of a 22 year old. I didn’t go out with my friends because I was so pale and weak. I didn’t want anyone to see me looking like that. If I went out, I didn’t take any pictures because of the way I looked. I developed GI issues and had a colonoscopy, upper GI, and barium swallow. I developed IBS and terrible reflux. A rash appeared on my face across the bridge of my nose. I wore concealer daily to cover the discoloration. I was miserable and tired of being in pain. I wanted to die, I felt like no one should have to live in pain everyday. My doctor had retired so I was sent to a new doctor and after 2 years of pain, I was finally diagnosed with systemic lupus. I didn’t know a lot about lupus then. I just knew that people get really sick and can even die from it.

After I was given the diagnosis, I was started on a very high dose of prednisone. It was the worst thing ever. I developed migraines from the prednisone and I later developed Cushing’s disease from long term steroid use. My face was so fat and puffy. I was still very miserable. I felt like I had lost a battle and wasn’t getting any better. My doctors did not have a good prognosis. They didn’t think I would live past 25 years old. I was at peace with dying at that point. I just wanted my life back. Just when I had given up, I started getting better. I was weaned down and eventually off the prednisone. My pain was decreasing day by day and I was starting to feel like myself again. I developed some minor respiratory issues and reproductive issues also.

I am 32 now and have been in remission for almost 6 years now. I went back to school and became a nurse. I still have minor flare-ups from time to time but have been off prednisone for 5 years. I can honestly say I fought and I am a survivor. It definitely wasn’t easy. I still see my doctors just to make sure everything is okay. I had to make some life style changes to keep my lupus at bay. I feel like I missed out on 2 years of my life fighting lupus and I feel like this is my second chance to live life to the fullest. There is nothing in this world I can’t do. Fighting lupus was the hardest thing I have ever done.

I Fought Like A Girl and Won!!!!!! Lupus messed with the wrong girl 🙂

Rashon M
Georgia
Submitted 6-11-2012

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

17 comments

  1. Rashon, you are one of the strongest women I know. Your warm spirit, determination, & “give it your all” attitude are what make you such an inspiration. THANK YOU for sharing your story! Love you ‘Mama Shonnie!’

    • Rashon Mitchell

      Love you JT!!!! Yall are my inspiration 🙂 The people I love truly keep me going and keep my spirits high!

  2. Rashon, you are one of the strongest women I know! You are truly the definition of a fighter! You make things happen for so many people and I am so glad you made the choice to share this! Thank you for continuing to fight for we would’ve never met if you didn’t. Thank you for showing me the fighter that lives within! You are awesome, courageous, and a wonderful woman that I am glad to call my friend! Love you soooooo much!

    Keech

    • Rashon Mitchell

      Thanks Keech!!!! It is because of the people in my life that I survived. Thanks for always being there. Love you

  3. I’m so proud of you Shonnie!!! And I’m so happy you told the rest of the world your story. This will encourage so many people and has encouraged me. I loved when you said “And just when I had given up….”. God is amazing, I’ve known you for half of my life literally and we’ve seen each other go through so much. I am so proud of you and you are truly an inspiration to anyone who has ever gone through anything and to all of us who are going through something. You could’ve given up, but that’s so not your nature. I am proud to call you my friend, even prouder to call you my SISTER!!

    Love ya Babes

    • Rashon Mitchell

      Thank RAT!!!! It was a hard thing to do, but I look back on it in amazement that it even happened. Im glad to share the story because it took forever to get the courage. It was such a bad time for me and I thank God it is now just a memory. Love you

      Shonnie

  4. You are strong in MIND, BODY, and SPIRIT! Thank you for being who you are; a walking example of strength and grace. To be so young and to have to go through so much is not an easy thing. And even while you were going through it you still managed to be there for other people! You are truly blessed and you are absolutely a blessing to all that know you. I love you, always.

    • Rashon Mitchell

      My Number and Friend,

      Thank you for your continued support and staying by my side through good times and bad. This is one of the many rasons why I love you so much My Love Bug!!!! Kisses and Hugs to you, JP, and Miles 🙂

  5. You are strong in MIND, BODY, and SPIRIT! Thank you for being who you are; a walking example of strength and grace. To be so young and to have to go through so much is not an easy thing. And even while you were going through it you still managed to be there for other people! You are truly blessed and you are absolutely a blessing to all that know you. I love you, always.

  6. Ms. Mitchell, I am continually amazing at how many lives are affected by Lupus. My community event has worked with the Georgia chapter to raise awareness of Lupus and it’s mysterious affects. Your energy is amazing and your big heart changes so many lives daily. I am encouraged hearing your story. Peace! KJ

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my story!! I’m glad to be able to share my story and inspire others 🙂

      Rashon

  7. Hi Rashon,
    I understand what you have gone through. I was diagnosed with Lupus about 17 years ago along with the comorbidities of Renauds, Sjgroens, now Spinal stenosis and Fibromyalgia. I fight like a girl and try to tell everyone if something is going on, get it checked out. I also try to educate people about Lupus. I am proud that you have been in remission and proved it is not a death sentence and you kicked its Butt! Keep going Sista!

  8. Thank you Thank you, i feel like you have just given me a new fight with this thing called Lupus..i have just been told im boarderline sle and have had discoid Lupus 3 years, , xxxxxx

    • Trudi,

      Thank you for your comment! Keep fighting and remain faithful. I am hoping for the best for you 🙂

      Rashon

  9. I see how hard it is. I’ve been struggling with Sle for 8 years now. It still pushes me to the edges. And now for about 20 days I’m having another activation. Its not going well much. Im just so sick of the side affects. Yet im so proud of you. If only I could have the same strength to go on.

    • Elif,

      Keep fighting!!!! God gives his toughest battles to his best soldiers! It’s definitely hard, but you can do it. You have the strength God gave you.

      Rashon

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