Cynthia Powell said it was refreshing to hear the stories of other lupus survivors earlier this month when Winona Baptist Church held their Lupus Awareness program.
“There were people saying things that I was dealing with too. It showed my family that I’m not going crazy,” she said. Powell said many times she may complain about something and because her family doesn’t understand and are learning about the disease as she battles it, she said she feels they think she’s making it up.
“I’ve had to undergo chemotherapy and it made me so sick, so sick,” she said.
She said she’s developed problems that she never had until she got her diagnosis. “It attacks your kidneys and your organs,” she said. Powell said before her diagnosis, she would experience pain but she felt fine.
“I was healthy. Well, I thought I was healthy anyway. My joints would ache and I had the butterfly rash to spread across my face,” she said. Powell said she didn’t know there were different types of lupus until the awareness program. All she’s ever known is lupus.
But, the pain that Powell feels is very real. She said when she learned of her diagnosis, she was in shock. “It’s scary,” she said, adding that the disease is unpredictable. “Some days it’s okay and others it’s unbearable.” She said but she pushes through.
And the amazing thing, throughout her battle with lupus she still works at Heatcraft. “I don’t miss days,” she said. Powell said she’s had spells where she’s passed out at work, came to and went back to work. “They know about my lupus and they fuss at me. They tell me to go home but I’m not. Someone has to pay the bills. They don’t stop coming because I got lupus.”
Powell said she finds motivation in her daughter Shadedra and in God. “She’s my motivation to keep going,” Powell said of her daughter. She said with lupus, she’s learned to develop a prayer life and her church family at Winona Baptist Church and Pastor Mark Williamson encourage her, uplift her and push her to keep going.
But, her biggest motivator has to be her brother. “He takes me everywhere I need to go. I don’t drive, he drives me. If I need to go to the doctor, he’s right there. He’s never left my side,” Powell said of her brother.