Still waiting!

The joys of waiting for insurance approval!!!! AHHHH!! Nothing yet on the Orencia…I’m hoping tomorrow or next week. I did get all the other tests…now I just need approval so I can get my first infusion scheduled. I am still debating the IV Infusion vs. the shots. I HATE the thought of giving myself a shot (yes I am a shot baby!) but then again the planning life around infusions (although it is only once a month) is difficult too. The planning to take time off, school, proposal/dissertation writing, etc….I’m not sure which would be the best option for me. But at this point…I won’t let myself think about it…until I know that insurance has approved it! Staying positive! 

My LAST classes have opened!! I’m excited to get started on homework and reading…why!! Because it means July 30th I am ABD (All But Dissertation)! And that hopefully means that mid-September I can be proposing (at least that is my goal!). But I know that means I have to work hard and stay focused. Today I made up my binders, organized my chapters into boxes so I can easily find things. I have added blocks to my calendar to lit. review search (to me the hardest part) and time to read/do assignments. 

Off to rest and then hopefully have a  weekend full of homework/dissertation busyness! More soon!! #staypositive #godisincontrol 

Orencia it is!

Well, I had my day of doctor appointments…definitely an exhausting day..but I am happy the hospital had free internet!I was able to watch Hulu while I waited between doctor’s offices. And I was able to find the cafeteria so I didn’t go hungry. THANKFULLY the echo showed as healthy structure around my heart as I could get so YAY! However, the irregular heartbeat is still a concern, I was given an order to run additional telemetetry tests and another test I cannot remember the name. The heart murmur appears to be something  I will monitor but it isn’t appearing to me to be anything more too serious.

I was nervous before my rheumy appointment, given how the last appointment went….I was definitely saying prayers that this experience would  be better. Again thankfully the appointment was FAR better! My labs unfortunately have not changed in that I am still showing positives for both Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The line is still not clearly defined, the RF is still negative. Yet the antibodies in my body are still having their fun. That said, my rheumy doesn’t think Imuran is working…and neither do I! So he suggested and I agreed it is time…biologic meds are now part of my life! We agreed on Orencia…although I am still debating the IV infusion versus the home injections. The thought of giving myself shots…not particularly the best image…but I think I could do it. It would definitely save me time so I wouldn’t have to go to the hospital (where my rheumy is located) and spent the afternoon. We are waiting on insurance approvals to see what will happen and goodness the cost. I have heard various co-pay amounts …I sure hope it is something I can afford.

I’m thankful I have  made it this far in my academic career before my diseases have progressed to this stage….but I won’t lie I had a slight pity party for myself. It sucks to look so good but to feel so exhausted and in such pain. I had some approach my at my job and say “wow you look so great, you must be feeling 100%”….I was like….”NOPE.” One of the hardest things about these diseases is that the outside world…they cannot see our pain. But I have pulled myself up….and have been spending the evening doing a few things that need done. Goals for my Memorial Day weekend include reading ahead, hopefully starting to work on my literature review, and a few other things I need to do. Lets hope I get it all done! 🙂

My positive for the week….my comprehensive exams are DONE! 🙂

Comps DONE!

It is an awesome feeling to finish pieces of this degree and tonight was no exception! I was able to submit via email my take home comprehensive exam. Granted, I spent a good hour staring at the email re-checking and checking again. The long and the short of it is ….was it 150% perfect…probably not but I do believe it was the best I could have done and I am proud of myself for completing it.  I have about a week before summer classes begin, I am hoping to get ahead on some reading and then start on my dissertation research/writing schedule. I figure the best way to ensure that I finish this dissertation is to get on a writing schedule. I’ve made appointment reminders in my calendar for periods of 3-4 hours at a time, with a full day off writing/researching.  My primary goal this summer is to get my first three chapters (my introduction, review of past literature, and my method [what my research study will be]) done and ready to request a proposal date as soon as fall (as as close to it)  semester begins.

But for tonight….resting and relaxing! 🙂

Hanging in there!

Tough days are here for a reason right! For some reason by early afternoon today I was just exhausted! That could be because I had a lot on my mind and a lot to do….but hey this week is THE WEEK!!! My comps are due on Friday and I spent some time today editing my first question. I know my second question is good…now I am working on editing my third question. Whew! Getting there!

Tomorrow, I go in for an echo and to avoid getting behind at work I worked an extra two hours. That made for a long day that’s for sure! It is soooo sad to walk into work at 7:15a.m. and not walk out until after 5:30p.m!! No  wonder I’m Vitamin D deprived!!! 🙂 Living under fluorescent lights and cold cement walls is NOT healthy! I see my dermatologist in two days….it seems like Accutane was working that first month…haven’t seen to much improvement this month 😦 I was disappointed…but I hope that is due to just the normal process of adjusting!

We are also meeting our minister on Wednesday night! One of my to do items is to start working on our vow renewal ceremony again. I have my dress (I think), the place,  the minister, the venue to eat after. I still need to book the hair salon (just added to my calendar to do), the hotel, order a small cake, and then some figure out the flowers. So a few things are done and just a little more to go!

Back to comp writing I go!


I’ve spent most of the weekend writing, editing, and resting as I can. The kids have been crazy and fun, it is nice to watch the Leia and Bruce bond! They are starting to sleep side by side as well as cry if they cannot find the other one. It is so fun to watch them play and steal each other’s toys. They make the house so fun! And of course the cats are enjoying having a new toy to boss around!

The hubby and I went downtown tonight for some relaxation time. We enjoyed some great food and awesome weather! I hope next week is a good slow week. I have four doctor appointments next week. I am getting an echo done for my heart murmur,
following up with my dermatologist, following up with my cardiologist, and seeing my rheumy again. My lupus and RA panel came back. Not surprisingly my ANA IFA was positive at a 1:620 titer, speckled and homogenous pattern. My Mitrochondrial AB test was also positive at a 1:320 titer. And also not surprisingly my RF was neg. I’m interested to see how my appt goes on Friday! Not sure what if anything will change. The Mitrochondrial test is a new one, I’ve been reading that it can confirm an autoimmune issue (among other things), including RA. While I was hoping my body might have made up its mind as to which disease it wants to have…I’m not sure if that has happened…or will happen.

Comps due this weekend, many appointments, and I’m exhausted! Will stay strong, didn’t come this close to stop now!







Still hanging in there!

Comp studying has kept me soo busy! But it ha been good…very cool to see the pieces together! I have drafts of Question #1 done, my question #2 is done, and I hope to start on my draft of question #3 tomorrow. My goal is to have drafts of everything done over the weekend… that way I can edit all next week and submit them on time (Friday, 23rd!). Whew!!

I am hoping to enjoy at least one week of relax time before my last class starts the first week of June! There will be 9 classes and then NO MORE ClASS!!! I hope this summer won’t be too crazy…I have a feeling thought the Program Eval class be interesting!

Off to do more work….and listen to Hell’s Kitchen in the background 🙂

So far!

Yes!! There is nothing more encouraging than getting positive grades! So far the grades are in for two of the three classes….excellent grades. I never know how that happens…but I’m so glad it does! Well I say I never know…that is because I physically never know how it happens. I pray and thank God for all his strength this semester. If he had not encouraged, granted peace, mercy, and hope in some difficult days… I don’t think I could have finished as strong as I did this semester. 

I have started the foundation for my comprehensive exams!! WOOHOO! It is nice to take pieces from each of my class to make a final product….I feel like a baker who is baking a final challenge (or one of the final challenges). It have been given a pantry full of ingredients these past two and half years of coursework….now I have to take these ingredients and make something that shows that I am capable to move up to the next level. 

Much easier said than done….but I am confident!  🙂 Despite the pain and exhaustion is encouraging to see things progressing! 🙂


Whew…the days have flown by these past few weeks….it has been nuts. The good news is that the semester is OVER! Yes, finals are done…papers have been turned in and that makes me feel soooo good. Now I’m working on completing my final exams, those are due by May 25th. Once that is done, I will be finishing one class and then I’ll be dissertation writing only! Feels good to be this close to being done but I also realize that writing is probably the hardest part! My goal is to get a writing schedule so that way I stay on top of things. Once summer is done I can work at balancing the writing most nights a week and then getting some me time in too!

The kids are doing great! Leia and Bruce are bonding and enjoying picking on each other. It is like watching a brother and sister fight. He steals her toys, she steals his toys, they fight over who gets what side of the bed. But yet when one gets up, the other quickly follows. If one gets into a bedroom and the other doesn’t, whining and crying ensues. I hope that it helps Leia stay positive when she is home alone and of course I know we will be giving Bruce a great home!

I’ve also been going to the doctor more these past few weeks. I had to set up a new PCP, so I made her appointment. She determined I might have developed a heart murmur. She sent me to a cardiologist who just confirmed that diagnosis. I’m headed to get an echo and a few other tests run on my heart. I also have standing appointments with a new rheumatologist (insurance changed so I have to set a new one up)…that is in a few weeks. I finally got around to getting a dentist appointment! So yes running to dr offices left and right! Good news is that Accutane is working…it is just draining me at the same time :(. Only a few more months! WHEW! It should be worth it….right??? 🙂

I’m working on organizing myself to write! I’ll be updating more now that the crazy past few weeks have successfully ended!