First off, I don't belong to any religious groups, but I do consider myself a Christian. I try to live right and never do harm to anyone and help when I can and tell everyone I couldn't do any of it without God's help. I have had Lupus for years and thought I dealt with it pretty well. Through the years, I always managed to meet all my responsibilities, even if I had to stay up hours after everyone else, it would get done, but gosh, I was just so tired all the time, but that's what a wife/mother/family/friend does, right? I was (and still am) married with two grown sons, one in college, one living and working out of state. In August 2009, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Due to the stage of the disease and the fact that I have Lupus, radiation was out of the question, so I had to have a mastectomy, chemo and then reconstruction. I don't mind telling you, there were many nights I was afraid if I closed my eyes I wouldn't open them again. My husband has always been my biggest supporter/cheerleader, but he is the one with the job that supplies our insurance so I made him go to bed at night, he would get up and check on me, but I would tell him to go back to bed. I don't know, maybe I was pushing him away in preparation for my death, they had to stop my chemo early because of my health. I had always been sensitive to sunlight and temps, but after chemo started, it got a million times worse. Of course, I had to go to the next town for chemo, so not only was I dealing with the chemo effects, I was dealing with the Lupus too, I can honestly tell you the Lupus is now worse than chemo ever was. No matter the sunscreen or expensive sun-protective clothing, within 3 hours of exposure, I am so very sick. I have learned to minimize the effects but I can't escape them all. During all this, I had plenty of time to think, one thing really stood out; I had spent my entire life taking care of and trying to please everone else, all during my treatment no one called to check on me or visited me. I take that back, one sister in law brought me some meals for my freezer once, LOL. All that time and worry wasted, years of my life, apparently I didn't mean much to people if I couldn't be of use to them, it was a real eye opener, a hurtful one, but a real reality check. My youngest son spent his first semester at college commuting on weekends to help take care of me, which I hated, then he wound up just leaving college to move back home, for which I will always feel guilty but extremely grateful. My sister in law convinced my older son to move back home, which I would never have asked him to do. The young man who moved into my home wasn't the same one who had moved out, except for the fact that he still wanted me to do everything for him, cook, clean, laundry, and now he was an alcoholic too. He and my husband both worked close enough to come home for lunch, EVERY-SINGLE-DAY, one day my son stood there and waited for me to quit puking to ask me had I cooked any lunch, another eye opener. I prayed many a night waiting for him to stumble in the door, wondering how the heck he drove home and thanking God that he didn't kill anyone that night, but still waiting on "the call", oh how I prayed. Finally he met a wonderful young woman with a young son, he wasn't drinking all the time, he was actually happy and living a good life again. Well, things moved fast, they got engaged and then on his 31st birthday, they told me they were going to have a baby. Hey it happens, children are gifts from God, just sometimes a surprise. As soon as they told me, I could see my granddaughter in my mind and she was going to be glorious, I thought my prayers were finally answered. Well, you can guess what happened. Long story short, he started drinking again and they broke up. I explained to him that even though they wouldn't be a traditional family, he could still be a father to his child. He just needed to decide whether his child would look up to him or be ashamed of him. As a child of an alcoholic, I did not want that for my grandchild. Of course he made all kinds of promises. After his DUI last August, I told him I had to turn him over to God, I couldn't watch him killing himself everyday, then I dropped him off at his vehicle and cried and prayed for God to heal his heart and soul all the way home. He made many promises, none of them kept, just more excuses and somehow anything that goes wrong is never his fault and usually mine. He would only call or come by if he needed something, when I told him I would give him food but not money which could be used for booze he became very upset and started his usual tirade, screaming and yelling at me. I had had enough. I told him to leave and that he was not going to talk to me that way ever again, he left but kept trying to call and yell at me on the phone anytime he got upset about something, I told him if he didn't stop I would hang up, so I did. It may sound heartless, but I didn't know what else to do. I love him and always will but I will not watch or give him the money to kill himself off a drink at a time, not to mention the other people on the road with him. I have had a lot of time to pray and think and pray some more, I am so grateful that I have that faith. When he walked out that door, 98% of my stress walked out the door with him and you know what stress can do to the average person, to a person with Lupus it can be devastating, it was like a big weight had been lifted off my heart. While I still grieve that we are no longer close, I hope one day that he will understand that I was the only one who actually cared enough to tell him the truth, whether it made him mad or not, I loved him enough to try to make a difference. His ex-fiance? She made numerous efforts with him, but he would always find a way to throw it back in her face and then be ugly to her. She called and kept me updated on the pregnancy, there was a scare in the last month where they sent her for test thinking there was something seriously wrong with the baby, thankfully they were wrong. On November 14, 2011, my granddaughter was born weighing almost 10 lbs, perfectly healthy. I have no doubt prayer works, I live by the grace of them everyday. I did doubt that I would ever get to know my grandchild with the way my son was behaving, I figured I'd have to just see occassional pictures and hear stories. Well, Julie prays too, and we both pray for the same thing, for her daughter, my granddaughter, to be a healthy, happy, well loved child. Neither her nor her family have held any of my son's behavior against me, that truely shows me God's grace. Against everyone's advice, my drs included I decided to try to watch my granddaughter when her mother returned to work and prayed to God to help me do it. The cancer is gone but I do still have Lupus, I still have all the problems associated with it too. But you know what, if I wasn't confined to the house during daylight hours, would I be available to watch the baby? No. If I hadn't gone through all this, would I have had the strength to finally stand up for myself? No. The baby is almost 7 months old now, have I had to ever skip a day watching her? No. See, God makes the schedule, the angels help. If you have Lupus, you know that you know ahead of time that you are getting ready to have problems, those are the days that the angels arrange the other grandma's schedule, that just happens to be the day that she is off work and spends time with her, funny how that works every single time. So I guess you could say that Lupus brought me closer to God, he always arranges what is best for me and gives me rest when needed. You are born into a family, you can't choose that. When you are an adult, you can make your own family, they don't have to be blood relatives, just people that want the best for you and make you happy and are there for you, just pray you make the right choices. God always answers prayers, just not always the way you expect, but God does NOT make mistakes. One last thing, my granddaughter IS glorious, and even more than I hoped for, and her face is exactly like I pictured it in my mind the first time I heard she was on the way. God is Good.