Andrew’s Lupus Survivor Story

Andrew KuzykI was diagnosed with Lupus after a difficult battle with Renal Cell Carcinoma, requiring my right kidney to be removed. Not many men are stricken with Lupus, which cannot be explained by the medical community. All the unbearable pain, signs and symptoms along the way we’re never collectively considered by anyone, including myself. From Gall Bladder Cancer, Malignant Melanoma, extreme fatigue, organ failure, headaches, memory loss, extremely painful joints, nothing ever added up. That is until a routine blood test confirmed I suffer from the incurable disease, Lupus. Suddenly, I began to experience horrendous joint pain, especially in my knees, hands, and feet. I noticed them swelling up and turning red, while the pain only increased in magnitude. I ignored it for months as I take care of my grandkids and 5 chihuahua rescue dogs. I was simply too busy trying to take care of my family instead of taking time to care for myself. My joint pain has increased and due to my physical and mental decline, I am trying to balance how to deal with these life-changing illnesses. I had a great physician in Arizona, who never dismissed me or my condition. Unfortunately, I lost my home in Arizona, relocated to Georgia to be near my 4 grandkids and now live in a small basement with my chihuahuas. I am in a world of hurt right now from the effects of 6 bouts of cancer, sickness, and Lupus. God gives us the strength we need each day. He has also given me my life, my 4 grandkids, and 5 chihuahua rescues, who help me when times are tough, which seems to be quite often these days. Of course, God has given me the will to keep going, no matter how severe my pain and suffering become. I still feel I am very richly blessed even though life is slipping away. I have been in the workforce since I was 13 years old and never in my worst nightmare thought I’d find myself here like this. I have dealt with multiple bouts of various cancer, Ewings Sarcoma (Bone Tumour) Adenocarcinoma (Gall Bladder Cancer) and was forced to have my right kidney removed due to Renal Cell Carcinoma. Orthopedic surgeons were forced to have my left leg sawed in half to remove a large cancerous bone tumor there, which has now been affected with severe degenerative arthritis and I suffered a serious heart attack. I now require double knee joint replacement surgeries but have no insurance. and severe rheumatoid arthritis. Being affected by Fibromyalgia, extreme depression, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, advanced Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease, and now this incurable sickness, Lupus for me is quite overwhelming at best. Lupus is one of the world’s cruelest, most unpredictable and devasting diseases with a brutal impact on the human body. The inflammation and permanent organ damage caused by Lupus has harmed everything from my kidneys, joints, internal organs, heart, and brain. The physical and mental implications can be different from person to person. Many people say to me “you don’t look sick” when there is actually a horrible battle raging within my own body and vital organs. I try my best to avoid negativity at all costs and embrace God’s grace and spirit daily. That being said, The physical pain is now so intense I cannot even roll over in my bed any longer and am definitely losing the battle. Sometimes it means taking a four-hour nap simply because my depleted body says “No More”. I cannot work any longer because of my conditions and the pain is so intense. I cannot afford the medications I need to even attempt to manage it. The list of lifestyle changes seems only to grow longer as time passes by and I realize my time here on Earth is very, very limited. I take pride in my ability to keep my spirits up, even in my darkest hours. God gives me the strength I need each hour and every day…even though Lupus, Melanoma and high blood pressure is destroying my healthy organs, which I have already lost my gall bladder and right kidney to cancer. I’m a Grandfather and a friend much like many others who have been diagnosed and cannot physically or mentally function any longer. I simply push forward. Just a small window into my private life. I would be grateful for any prayers and positive thoughts sent my way. I am still here.

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