About Me

Hello Friends, Family, and Guests! 
My name is Chanel. I am a 27 year old wife, lover of life, and proud cat mama! I started this website to keep my family and friends updated in my rigorous treatment for severe Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, and its comorbidities. I have found that nothing is more powerful than putting your thoughts into words. It has been both an incredible decompression for me emotionally, and a wonderful opportunity to educate those seeking a realistic glimpse into the life of someone suffering a serious illness. I was diagnosed with treatment refractory MCTD in 2011 and underwent a life saving Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant or HSCT (also known as a Bone Marrow Transplant) in January of 2017. 

MCTD is a rare autoimmune, connective tissue disease with clinical features of three distinct diseases - while also having a very rare antibody; U1-RNP. The three distinct disease include: Scleroderma (Systemic Sclerosis), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus), and a form of Myositis. These disease wreak havoc through all systems of your body including, but not limited to: muscular, vascular, nervous, circulatory, integumentary, digestive, and respiratory. In most cases these diseases cause decreased mobility, diffused organ failure, and eventually death. 

I have received many other comorbid diagnosis' over the years as a result of my primary conditions, just to name a few: Vasculitis, Dysautonomia, Gastroparesis, lung disease, heart disease, and even had a close call with Guillain Barre Syndrome in 2014Anything made of connective tissue becomes the target of my overactive immune system. After a complicated and frustrating 5 year battle, one I was clearly losing, my physicians decided it was time to take drastic measures to ensure this disease did not take my life. I was referred to a Clinical Trail program that preformed Stem Cell Transplants on severe, treatment resistant autoimmune patients. I received my transplant in January of 2017. While it was the hardest thing I had ever faced - we saw drastic improvements in my health.

These disease are what you call "Invisible Illnesses" because for the most part, they are unseen. To the typical bystander I look like your average young woman; however, my body tells a much different story. Though I don't look sick, I am actually fighting for my life every minute of everyday. These disease have no cure, only treatments to help the patient with discomfort, mask symptoms, and hopefully prolong life expediencies. Thank you for taking the time to read about my journey. 

Disclaminer: I am not a medical doctor and cannot give medical advice. This blog and its information are sourced from my personal understand of my conditions and treatments.