Hey everyone. My name is Monaye Etana.

My story:

I am a 47 year old mother of two young adults and have lived in Florida for most of my life. I enjoy traveling, reading, writing, cooking and adventure. I am also a foodie!

I have been living with Lupus for the last 8 years. My diagnosis was discovered by my Dermatologist after I mentioned the excruciating hand pain I’d been having during one of my appointments. I was referred to a Rheumatologist and after some blood work, the diagnosis was confirmed. I have heard of stories where people did not get a diagnosis until after several doctor visits. I guess I was fortunate in a way to have gotten an answer right away. I really had no clue of what Lupus was. No one in my immediate family had it which led to so many questions. Why me?

It has been an interesting ride with this chronic illness. It’s unpredictable and it completely changes your life. The thing that bothers me the most is the comments from people who say, “But you look healthy!” Lupus is an invisible, cruel and frustrating disease. I have experienced many of the common symptoms which can occur at anytime. My diet has changed in an effort to combat the inflammation in my body.

Lupus can affect every organ in your body from your hair to your skin as well as your mood. It’s a lonely disease and I’ve often felt isolated, tired and irritated.

What I have realized though, is that Lupus is only a diagnosis. I am better-not bitter, and I have grown so much stronger and I will continue to fight to win. My hope is that my blog inspires you or someone you know who is fighting Lupus or another battle of their own.

Try to find the beauty in all things.

Persist through the pain. Have faith when you feel like you’re falling. You are stronger than you realize.

Thank you for taking this journey with me.