At times, we had to pinch our pennies so hard that poor ole Abraham Lincoln screamed for mercy. Even so, my husband, Robert, and I always managed to come out on top.
It hasn’t always been easy, though. Our world took a tumble when I was diagnosed with a weird, rare, and hard to pronounce blood disorder. Immune Thrombocytopenia or ITP is an autoimmune disease that targets and destroys blood platelets, leaving its victims prone to hemorrhaging either internally or externally. We took a wide ride on the ITP roller coaster as my platelet count rose and then unexpectedly plummeted back to single digits. The corticosteroids I had to take to suppress my immune system were just as bad, if not worse, than the actual disease.
The hardest part of having ITP was feeling like I was the only person in the world suffering from this scary, unpredictable malady. My family and friends were very supportive, but I had no one to talk to and tell me I wasn’t alone. However, when I found online support groups, the isolation ended, and I no longer felt like I was the only person in the world going through this experience.
After receiving so much encouragement and loving attention from my ITP family, I decided that no one was ever going to have to go through the fear and anxiety of ITP by themselves as I did. So, I wrote Heartaches and Miracles ten years ago to help and comfort ITPers and caregivers as they navigated their ITP journeys.
Even if you don’t have ITP, it’s essential for everyone to become aware of this disease. It’s not as mysterious as it once was. In Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s novel, The President is Missing, the primary character has ITP. How’s that for a formerly unknown disease?
A lot of positive research, changes in treatments, and new medications have come about during the past decade, so I updated the book to include the good news. I am now releasing the revised edition and invite everyone to grab a copy.
Thanks for helping us spread ITP Awareness. To my fellow ITPers, always remember: I have ITP; it does not have me.
To learn more, go HERE.