Today I am going to talk about a cause that is very near and dear to my heart… PBC Awareness. PBC stands for Primary Biliary Cholangitis and is an autoimmune liver disease. I am one of many other PBC warriors and although this is considered a rare disease there are thousands of others just like me. I was diagnosed nearly 2 years ago, on September 5th, 2018. My life has changed astronomically since that day. And yet I still feel new to this autoimmune life.
PBC is a rare autoimmune disease that causes the bile to back up into the liver, causing scar tissue that turns into cirrhosis of the liver. This disease is extremely painful and causes fatigue and itching. September is PBC Awareness month, and International PBC Awareness Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of September.
PBC affects roughly 1 in 1000 women. Women are more likely to be diagnosed than men, and nobody seems to know why. Only 1 out of 10 PBC patients is male. More research is needed for this disease. If you want to help further their studies, please consider donating to either The American Liver Foundation or the PBCers Organization.
When I was first diagnosed, I was told that I would need a liver transplant with ten years. So, every September I find myself subconsciously counting down how many years I have left on this liver. Don’t get me wrong here… I do not believe that I have only 8 years left. That is just the initial estimate that I was fiven upon diagnosis. I don’t tend to believe that doctors know everything. Many years ago I was told that my baby would not survive. He’ll be 13 in December. Doctors don’t know everything, so I just keep living my life as if it’s going to last forever.
In the last 2 years, I have learned many things about myself and this disease. I have learned my limitations, weaknesses and shortcomings. I have also learned that I am a very strong woman who can take on whatever the Universe sends my way, but I have also learned to rest, recuperate and listen to my body. Finding balance between all of this has and continues to be my greatest challenge.