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Kathy M: CREST (Limited Systemic Scleroderma) and More

I have had CREST (Limited Systemic Scleroderma) for nineteen years.

One Day Lily by Sherrill Knaggs, ISN Artist I am fifty years old, a white female, with more ambition than most twenty-year- olds. My nickname is Furious Fighter. Not that I am a furious person, but when the doctors look at me and ask me what I think is wrong when I am taking on another autoimmune disease, I immediately become furious inside.

Remember, do not show this attitude to the medical profession. They are only doing what they are taught. If you do not have the right doctor, do not get furious, move on! This attitude is what has kept me being a fighter and not letting it beat me.

I was diagnosed with Raynaud's thirty years ago. I have had CREST (Limited Systemic Sclerosis) for nineteen years. So you see, my attitude has helped me make it.

I am very lucky to have such a supportive family and friends. Without them I would not have made it this far.

The past two and a half years have been my biggest challenge. I have lost my job due to the illness. I believe that was the most stressful time in my battle. I had been with a company for twenty-four years. It was sold and after coming on with the new company, at the buy-out they decided that it was time for me to go.

I was at the Mayo Clinic for a month and when I returned home I had the termination letter waiting for me. Once again the furiousness in me came out! This unfortunately, was not the wisest thing to do. Stress! I had to recuperate from that one and move on.

I then returned to the Mayo Clinic to the Pain Rehabilitation Center for another month. I learned a lot of things to do to help with the pain and met a lot of people with various other challenges as well.

Believe me, we are not in this alone.

The list of autoimmune challenges I have is quite lengthy so no need to go on about that. I just fight one battle at a time. My attitude is not "If you cannot beat 'em, join 'em." Mine is, "If you cannot beat it, wait until you are stronger and then beat 'em!"

I guess I am posting this to let anyone know that with the right attitude, sometimes you can learn a new way of living. Take it for what has been dealt to you and live!

I will not be dead until the flat-line goes off (and they better wait a minute or two, because I am a fighter!) Then and only then will I quit living.

I am looking for anyone who is a positive, informative, upbeat person to chat with and has any of these qualities to share with me. I too, would share information with you as well.

To Contact the Author

Furious Fighter
Email: [email protected]
Story edited 02-22-06 JTD
Story posted 04-21-06 SLE
Email updated 01-24-12 SLE

ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin
CREST Scleroderma
Limited Systemic Sclerosis
Raynaud's Stories
Types of Scleroderma

ISN Artist: Sherrill Knaggs (In Loving Memory)

Sherrill KnaggsSherrill Knaggs, ISN Artist, created the digital photo to illustrate the story on this page. Sherrill lived in New Zealand. Her story was featured in ISN's book, Voices of Scleroderma Volume 2.

ISN Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin

Photo of JudithJudith Thompson Devlin is the ISN Story Editor for this story. She is also lead editor of the ISN's wonderful Voices of Scleroderma book series!

Go to Kathy P: Localized Scleroderma

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