Stress takes a toll on your body. It’s important to reduce stress as much as possible so that you can rest, sleep, and re-center. Our breasties with lupus de-stress by their faith (through worship and prayer) as well as crafting, yoga, time spent with family and friends, and laughter—activities that allow them to take time for themselves and find peace.
According to Dr. Mo, “inflammation induces cell damage and cell damage is what leads to things like cancer. It’s what leads to the symptoms and the side effects of things like lupus.”
You can reduce inflammation through acupuncture or inflammation fighting foods like tomatoes, olive oil, leafy greens, nuts, fatty fish like tuna and salmon, berries and cherries, broccoli, green tea, mushrooms, peppers, and even dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa).
Advocate for yourself!
Don’t suffer in silence. Tell your doctor what works and what doesn’t work for you. Follow Dr. Mo’s advice: “Talk to your doctors. Ask about alternative treatments. Ask about clinical trials. Put your doctors to work.” Make sure you and your doctor are figuring out what works best for you.
Consider joining a clinical trial
Like with breast cancer trials, Black participation in lupus clinical trials is incredibly low. As a result, we don’t have the data we need on treatment effectiveness, side effects, or safety. As Lisa noted, we need more data on how medicines work in Black women so that we can develop treatments and drugs that work to fight lupus in Black bodies. Your participation in a clinical trial could do just that!
Find your tribe
Having a tribe to understand what you’re going through and support you along the way is invaluable. If you’re not sure who to talk to or where to find support, reach out to Lisa B. Jones SHARE Cancer Support Ambassador (www.sharecancersupport.org and www.facebook.com/lisafoodbytes) or Yvonne McLean Florence founder/president of Sisters Are Us Circle of Survivors (www.sistersrus.org). And reach out to us at TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance! We’re always here for you.
For those women with lupus who are struggling with treatments, know that new research is coming. Clinical trials, like Biogen’s trial aimed at reducing lupus inflammation in the joints, will continue to give you more options in your treatment plan. Help is on the way!