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I’m late in my daily project but it’s for good reason AND with great news!

Yesterday I took Laura White, the amazing ‘miracle of God’ who survived the shotgun wound in the stomach, (her husband shot her when she went to pick up the divorce papers,) to Dallas to film an “I Have a Voice” video.

Laura getting ready for the shoot,  Laura and I together.

Laura getting ready for the shoot, Laura and I together.

In telling her story Laura brought on the awareness of the psychological wounds in domestic violence. The picture is clear when a woman is depicted wearing dark sunglasses to hide the bruised eye or cheek but domestic violence isn’t as noticeable when a woman is emotionally beaten and weak to her husband’s continuous degradation. Interesting enough, the people I’ve met that have had a family member murdered in a domestic violence situation (or as Laura did, survive a near fatal attack) the sudden act of violence was something family and friends found shocking because they never saw physical proof. However, most were aware of disturbing signs such as the withdrawal from family and friends, change in mood, lack of interest in usual hobbies or activities, etc.

What I enjoyed most from being with Laura and hearing her story is seeing the joy and happiness on her face as she proclaimed, “I’m free! Free to do what I know what is best for me.” I’m so proud to have Laura’s story as a part of the project and hope to release it soon.

The other great news I received today was during my follow-up visit with my Rheumatoid Arthritis doctor. I was diagnosed with RA when I was 23 years old. At the time it began in my knees, then in my wrists and before long I suffered a full body flare up. For five years I took steroids and medication to slow the degeneration of the joints and ease the inflammation. Once I had Seth the flare ups became less and less to where I no longer needed the steroids and other meds. Occasionally I would need an Aleve and eventually I found I didn’t need anything at all.

About three years ago I began to feel the familiar body aches that signaled a flare up and went in to get blood work done. The tests showed my RA count was back up but that I also had a high ANA that showed for Lupus. I was devastated even though I wasn’t surprised. When I had the boys the doctor’s treated me as I was a Lupus patient and when I went in for an emergency hysterectomy at the age of 31 I had some complications that could have been pointed to Lupus.

To receive the ‘official’ diagnosis set me back a bit emotionally but I was determined to do as my husband does with his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis and not let it get the best of me.

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Which brings me to this doctor’s visit. I’d been having severe pain in my hips for a little over two months before I finally gave in and made the appointment to see the RA doctor. The last news I wanted was that my RA was out of the ‘remission’ diagnosis I’d received even though the markers were still apparent and fully active.

Greatest news EVER…I get to proclaim “I’M FREE!” The doctor seemed just as shocked as I as she read for the first time all of my blood test results – RA – negative, Lupus – negative – NOTHING…no more high counts or markers what so ever. No one would say I even had RA or Lupus if they were to ‘diagnose’ me now. FREE!!

The X-rays of my hands and feet were CLEAR of any erosion. The only news that needs to be handled is ‘substantial erosion and disk protrusion’ in my L5-S1 spine. Another bulging disk…just below the one I had the macrodisectomy on 5 years ago. And now they have a new procedure that is even less invasive than a macrodisectomy. I’ll be making an appointment soon to talk to a referred doctor.

Otherwise I floated out of that office building and wanted to get on my knees in the parking lot to proclaim my thanks to God for the wonderful gift. Instead, I got in the car and laughed out loud (literally), cried a few tears and called my husband. WOW

A part of me does feel guilty because I know others who have this debilitating disease and I know they’ll read this. It is my prayer that they receive hope in the progression in medicine. Even Neal made the comment, “That is awesome news…maybe one day we’ll receive the same news about my MS.” And my heart ached with guilt. With all that I am I do pray for miracles of healing, for Neal and my friends.

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Being free from what has held us captive is an unimaginable gift and I do believe it is one that we can actively achieve. If it is a matter of reclaiming YOU AND YOUR LIFE to be ‘free’ from what (or who) holds you captive then that is an active decision that can be made (with prayer, faith and those who have the ability to help you too)…when it is a disease I think true ‘freedom’ is of the mind. Not allowing the disease to control your life.

I won’t take my small miracle for granted and I thank you for sharing in this great news with me! Blessings Shannon

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