It seems that this battle has gone on forever, something I’m sure
those of you who are fighting scleroderma certainly identify with.
The recent news regarding our daughter, Karen, is both good and bad.
She went back to her original physician, the one who had diagnosed
scleroderma in the first place. She was also diagnosed with
rheumatoid arthritis at the same time but, since the scleroderma was
life threatening, the arthritis was put on a back burner.
He ran the latest tests. They were negative for scleroderma! She
questioned him at length: “Could it be just a strong remission?”
“Are you sure you didn’t misdiagnose it in the first place?”
“It’s not in remission; it is gone. There was no mistake. You had
rapid-onset, systemic scleroderma.”
The regimen at Dusty’s Place worked. It is difficult and requires an
‘I-will-beat-this’ mind set but there is real hope for you who are
afflicted with this dread disease.
The bad news is, of course, the rheumatoid arthritis, also an auto-
immune disease. It has gotten severe. Unfortunately, Karen’s
arthritis has done a lot of damage to her joints especially in her
hands, wrists and feet. Medical science has not, as yet, discovered a
way to replace cartilage.
Nevertheless, over seven years ago she was given an estimated life
expectancy of “five years and pray for a cure.” In retrospect maybe
the advice should have been, “go find Dusty’s Place.”
And here she is, in fine spirits, handling what life deals to her.
Her husband, Scott, is also a marvel of endurance. He sees this whole
process close up on a day by day basis and never waivers. He is her
strong support and her ally. Amazing what love can do. We are all
very fortunate to have him.
Betsy and I get together with them as often as we can to talk and
laugh, enjoy each other’s company. We draw strength and support from
each other. This is absolutely vital when one is fighting a horrible
And Karen? She is a marvel of strength and stamina…. far beyond what
I could ever do.