Just found this forum. I thought I would join in and send some positive notes. I have had lupus and RA for nearly 40 years. I was in really bad shape at the start (back then they didn't know much about lupus) and have had some severe flares, many joint surgeries, some organ involvement (that was resolved with meds) and I am doing fairly well now, and lead a pretty normal life. I have found that the meds over the years seem to cause me more trouble than the disease (especially the prednisone which I have taken this entire time, but am finally SLOWLY weaning off with a new doctor). I guess my message is, with great support from family and friends, a very positive attitude and eating well (SO important to have a high nutrient dense food intake), one CAN live life with minimal pain and discomfort, and have a good life. I realize not everyone is the same and lupus affects people differently, but I have seen it all over these decades, and I know one MUST think positively and work to eat healthy and keep moving even through some pain. I do still have some bad days now and then, but with rest and doing things I am passionate about, and find things to laugh about, helps a LOT. We ARE allowed pity parties too, people just don't understand what we go through, often we don't look sick or we can't really put words to how we feel. But always remember, there is somebody worse off than you. Not to minimize what is going on with YOUR life and health, but it sometimes helps to put the situation into perspective. My mom (who passed away 4 months ago) used to tell me to remember this..."I used to cry because I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet". This always makes me feel lucky to be alive and blessed to be able to go about my day with some normalcy. So you all hang in there. There CAN be life with lupus, and with the research and progress being made every day, we just might see a cure in our lifetime! Don't let lupus have power over you....you can strive to live the life you want. Listen to your body most of all. It often tells us more than a doctor can. Be wise, let the meds help you if they can, and think positive every minute. I do and after 40 years I know this helps. What we put out there comes back to us. I pray that all of you who are going through a rough time right now, just take it day to day. There is always tomorrow and it might bring you a better day. Hope for it and expect it.