Thursday, November 18, 2010


Big week in the news for lupus, it seems!
Benlysta, the drug created specifically for lupus, has been recommended by the panel for approval (not yet approved, but recommended).
If you've been reading my posts, you know I'm not a fan of drugs as a permanent solution to chronic illness. Taking pills indefinitely can cause as many problems as it solves. However, there are times when the disease is running so rampant that you absolutely must intervene with something, or it will kill you or cause permanent damage to your organs. And it is refreshing to see that someone out there is trying to find us something better than prednisone for those times.
So here is the announcement:

Toni Braxton has lupus

One would hope that the announcement that Toni Braxton has lupus would help bring some much-needed attention and compassion for the disease. Instead, below we get comments like this (note: Toni Braxton filed for bankruptcy with debts of $50 million- admittedly, a sum I cannot fathom, but a separate issue altogether from illness):

"No, Toni Braxton I am not giving you my hard earned money to get you out of debt. No matter how many stars you bring out or variety acts you have. Instead of shopping sprees how about going to the doctor? Lupus is NOT cancer. You can treat your symptoms and if you take care of yourself, you can live. Bet that girl from the Lion King wished she had Braxton's money. But she's dead now, from cancer not lupus."

No, lupus is not cancer. And cancer is not lupus. And cancer, for god's sake is not the only disease that deserves to be taken seriously! Why are we even bring cancer into the discussion? I'm afraid the cancer people (breast in particular) have done such a great job getting people to care about their disease that there is no compassion left for any other diseases. Infuriating.

It would be nice if one of the online articles covering Toni's lupus announcement would either tell the whole story of the bankruptcy or leave it out, because it is completely clouding the issue of lupus awareness. It is making her announcement entirely ineffective.