Great interview with Talib Kweli and Ma Dukes, mother of the late great J Dilla. About an hour and ten minutes in, Ma Dukes speaks about Dilla’s battle with lupus. As I’ve shared before, Dilla was one of the first people I thought of when I was diagnosed.
In an effort to keep my writing teeth sharp, I am participating in the Daily Prompt posted by the good people at The Daily Post.
For today’s prompt, tell us three things that you believe in your heart to be true. Tell us three things you believe in your heart to be false.
1. I believe that love transforms.
I wake up everyday further convinced that living in a loving way is the best way to go about things. I don’t want to be out here judging people’s lives or acting like I am better than anyone. My hope is to follow Christ’s example and demonstrate love everywhere. Living my faith has got to be far more effective than attractive words or compelling arguments.
2. I believe that things will get better.
It’s hard out here for an optimist. I try to see the glass half-full while respecting others who view the glass as shattered. I’ve been really captivated by laments in the Old Testament recently. They teach me that:
3. I believe that it’s already done.
It’s important to operate from a place of abundance. My lens is completely different when I live with a victorious mindset. I feel grateful, am able to encourage others and am able to understand that adversity may bend me but it is not capable of breaking me. One of the most encouraging words I received in the hospital came from my uncle who told me that “Every challenge we face in life is there to be overcome.” I often ask myself if I am an actor or merely acted upon. I don’t want to live like a victim, God’s got me.
What I think is false:
1. I do not believe that “it is what it is.”
I understand why people say this but it rings in my ears like despair. Like its cousin “It’s all good (baby, baby)” an indifferent cool is displayed but it’s really nihilism in a cheap suit. Even if everyday feels like the same soup reheated, don’t give up. Prayer and perseverance can turn the ship.
2. I do not believe that anyone is worthless.
It hurts me to see folks struggling. Whether they are being oppressed by others or cutting their own noses, it grieves me. How can I enjoy my bread when I see you starving? What can we do to make community contagious?
3. I do not believe that you cannot have light without darkness.
Balance sounds very attractive and it too has its place. But I don’t subscribe to a worldview that equates good and evil or love and hate. I believe that light always casts out darkness and that we will overcome.
An excellent advice column I stumbled upon. Greatly appreciated this perspective.
Japanese researchers have confirmed for the first time an association in mice between a genetic mutation and the intractable autoimmune disease lupus erythematosus.
“He wakes up each morning with the pain,” said Bertrand. “His pain is often a 7-plus, and he’s going to experience the pain 24/7 for the rest of his life. Rich was an avid runner, 30 hours per week stuff. Now, he is afraid to exercise for 30 minutes. He is an athlete, but he can only dream of what I did.”
Talking about when she was told by the doctor she had the potential life-threatening condition, she said: ‘ I just thought, “So are we talking a week off or something,” and in the end he [the doctor] just went, “You need to sit down … this means you could end up in a wheelchair, you need to take this seriously.”
“Without healthy niches, the bone marrow cannot make normal blood components,” said Lijun Yang, M.D., an associate professor of hematopathology in the UF College of Medicine. “When you stain lupus patients’ bone marrow for dead cells, it is dramatic. In contrast to normal people, most lupus patients’ bone marrows are full of dead cells. Twenty, 30, 50 percent of their cells are dead.”
This past Friday, the 7th, would have been J Dilla’s 40th birthday. Today, 8 years ago, he passed away due to complications from lupus.
When I was diagnosed two years ago he was one of the first people that came to my mind. He lives on through his incredible body of music. Peep the video where Questlove offers insights into Dilla’s method and enjoy a special episode of Crate Diggers that talks about his expansive record collection.
The National Institutes of Health, 10 large drug companies and seven nonprofit organizations announced an unconventional partnership on Tuesday intended to speed up development of drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
“We are getting together in a way that has not happened before,” Dr. Collins said in an interview. “We are bringing scientists from different perspectives into the same room. They will leave their egos at the door, leave their affiliations at the door.”
Initially posted this on Medium.
Today furthered my rich appreciation for the absurd.
On my way back from an interfaith prayer vigil for gun violence victims, I look in the next lane and see a man on a motorcycle with an amazing sound system blasting “Niggas Bleed” by the late, great Biggie Smalls.
To his heart’s content.
On Martin Luther the King day tho? Slow down son, you killin’ em.
Yet this did not take the crown.
At the aforementioned vigil, I was ready to leave with my group when a police officer approached me.
“Excuse me. Were you with this group?”
“Well, would you mind cleaning this place up?”
This isn’t one of those moments where I’m sweetening the story; substituting what I should have said with how I actually reacted. See, I like to give folks the benefit of the doubt. Maybe we misunderstood each other.
I meant that I was part of the group in respect to I was a part of a group that was one of many groups of participants in this interfaith rally. Perhaps he meant the group of people who put the vigil together. Surely that’s what he meant right? After all, no one would go up to a Yankee fan on Broadway and ask them to start sweeping tickertape.
But I didn’t have time for clarification. My group was leaving and he wasn’t asking if I could help clean up, he wanted me to be the help. And though I try to be kind, I’d like to think I’m too smart to fall for the okey doke. He wasn’t accusing me of littering; my sticker (unlike the few stickers on the sidewalk) was still clearly on my shirt. So after processing the situation I promptly responded,
“Yes, I would mind,” and walked away as his face filled with surprise.
I’m proud of myself but initially felt like a jerk. It’s not that I’m too good to clean litter. In the spirit of the day, I could have reasoned that doing so would be servanthood. But I’ve been pricked by too many microagressions, too many #AccidentalRacist episodes to give the benefit of the doubt.
I don’t know if I was the closest person but I know the officer didn’t stop my group, he stopped me, the closest black man he could find.
And I thank God that my response only inspired surprise.
In the past I’ve made a flurry of posts on Sunday night to share information about lupus thrivers, new medicines and the like. I’ve decided to condense this into one post and share my thoughts where necessary. Let’s see how this goes…
The Lupus Initiative, a lupus provider education program initiated by the Lupus Research Institute in collaboration with the federal government, stands to receive $2 million in the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill released by Congress.
An autoimmune disease destroyed a Wadsworth woman’s kidneys, but the travel consultant was not going to let it take away her life, which revolves around traveling. So Dyana Shanahan now packs up a couple of hundred pounds of equipment and solution that provides her dialysis while she sleeps, cleaning out the toxins.
“Selena has been going full throttle the past few years and her Lupus is really catching up with her right now,” a source told Popdust. “She knows that she needs to take some time to address the disease and look after herself better if she wants to live a full and healthy life.”
The next morning the pain had faded. Normally, I would just move on because with lupus I get all kinds of random pains. Now that I’m pregnant, I wanted to make sure everything was ok, so I called the nurse line. The nurse didn’t seem too concerned and almost talked me into not going in, but she said that if I was concerned enough to call, it might not be a bad idea to come in. So I made an appointment for later that morning with my doctor.
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