Toward the end of last year, I received an email from one of the patient advocacy groups I keep informed of. It said that a lupus drug had failed in trials and was being scrapped – but not to lose hope!
We’ve had only one new drug approved for lupus in the past 50-60 years, so the news of a potentially newer drug failing in trials was tough to hear. True, in the 20+ years I’ve lived with lupus, there has been some progress in better managing the disease and better diagnostics to identify precise ways in which lupus and the autoimmune process is at work.
But, couched in the news of a potential drug’s failure and the ‘encouragement’ to not lose hope is something that defies a superficial response, a question that many chronically ill patients – not just lupies – have to grapple with, if we are to have lives of purpose and light:
How can you have hope when you’re told, “There’s nothing more we can do” or when there are no truly curative medications for your condition?
I’ve dealt with this question by taking “hope” out of the realm of science and healthcare, out of the hands of men and women. Rather, I put my hope in the fact that, no matter what, new medication or no new medication, worsened disease or awesome cure, God is present in my life and He is guiding, comforting, encouraging, and upholding me. Always. No matter what. And I pray.
I pray for researchers, doctors, and other medical professionals who are in the trenches, working on finding “why,” and then “what can we do?” I pray for my fellow lupies and others who are challenged, fighting, and working hard to mold goodness from their lives. I pray for the people who read this blog, those who feel so very alone, and those who feel afraid. I keep my hope alive and growing as I reflect on others, on our amazing fellowship across miles and time zones.
I pray for peace of heart for all as we move ahead, despite and in spite of our health challenges.
And I pray that hope will grow ever-stronger in all of our hearts as we work with our doctors and stay close to our God – our awesome, loving, ever-wonderful God!