Well, I think I found out what happened and why my lovely butterfly rash appeared. I realized that I had begun taking frankincense capsules and the rash suddenly appeared. Now, frankincense is relatively safe for everyone to take or use the essential oil. It is really good to help with many areas and one is regulating the immune system and helping balance it. In lupus, our immune systems are overactive, so by balancing our immune systems, it aids in disease activity.

So, for instance, when I take prednisone for flares, I always get the rash. It is like the med triggers the rash but the rash leaves soon thereafter. I am thinking this same thing is happening with the frankincense as well. Since it is attempting to balance my system out, it triggered the rash, much like the prednisone does for me as well. So, I am happy to see it is helping me overall! Now, I found this excerpt below that tells more of frankincense benefits. PS. I take capsules of it, called Boswellia, every day and I use the essential oil daily as well.

Here is an excerpt from a web page that helps explain a little bit more of the benefits.

Frankincense Essential Oil Benefits: Fighting Pain and Inflammation

The beauty of immunomodulators is that they can stimulate an under-productive immune system that allows illness to creep in, while also relaxing an over-productive immune system that attacks itself or benign substances with inflammation, often becoming painful, chronic, and debilitating.

By regulating inflammation, frankincense oil is a powerful tool not only for acute illness but for chronic and autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and bronchial asthma. Weight and other metabolic issues are tied to inflammation as well, so even when these chronic conditions are not an issue, inflammatory illness is still a concern to monitor and prevent.

While inflammatory conditions are often painful, frankincense essential oil benefits can help with other pain relief as well. In Omani culture, it is traditionally used for pain in muscles, intestinal discomfort, and arthritic pain. (10)

In 2014, researchers local to Oman tested frankincense essential oil and extracts to validate this practice compared with aspirin. Of the various preparations tested, frankincense oil showed the strongest pain inhibiting results with over 50% in both early and late phase pain. Researchers concluded that,

“The present study provided the scientific justification about the analgesic properties of the essential oils, extract, and various sub-fractions obtained from the resin of B. sacra, thus validating its use in traditional folk medicines and other products; and hence supporting the development in the analgesic properties of bioactive natural substances.” (11)

from the web page


Chemotherapy For Lupus?



A lot of people do not realize that lupus patients, at times, are put on chemotherapy medications in an attempt to stop disease progression. You see, in lupus, we have overactive immune responses and our body is attacking itself. Kind of like instead of fighting a normal infection type of thing, it attacks normal parts of our body thinking it is an invader. This leads to a lot of problems, especially if it involves an organ.

Chemotherapy is used to drop the immune response down and help slow down the lupus activity. Do not be confused, lupus is not a cancer. However, chemotherapy medications, whether in pill or IV form, are used to lower the immune response and hopefully, slow the disease down. It is usually used in patients who have kidney involvement and/or central nervous system involvement.


Chemotherapy is not pretty. I have been on it a few times myself. I had side effects like nausea, fatigue and some mild hair loss. It did help though, in the long run. While it is a scary thing to undergo, if it helps it is worth it. I have not had chemotherapy for over ten years now. Since beginning this natural approach, would I consider using chemotherapy again if needed? Yes. It is something that can save a life. Would I want to use it again? No. However, I am open to it if needed.

Have any of you been on chemo for your lupus?

Plaquenil for Lupus


Some information on plaquenil. I was on it for over 20 years to treat my lupus. I came off it six months ago. This is one of the first meds usually after a diagnosis. It is used to treat malaria and autoimmune diseases. It does have some serious side effects though. It also can take time to kick in and help. From the website, webmd here is the information on Plaquenil:


Hydroxychloroquine is used to prevent or treat malaria infections caused by mosquito bites. It does not work against certain types of malaria (chloroquine-resistant). The United States Center for Disease Control provides updated guidelines and travel recommendations for the prevention and treatment of malaria in different parts of the world. Discuss the most recent information with your doctor before traveling to areas where malaria occurs.

This medication is also used, usually with other medications, to treat certain auto-immune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis) when other medications have not worked or cannot be used. It belongs to a class of medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). It can reduce skin problems in lupus and prevent swelling/pain in arthritis, though it is not known exactly how the drug works.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug, but may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This medication may also be used for other types of infections (e.g., Q fever endocarditis).

How to use Plaquenil Oral

Hydroxychloroquine is usually taken with food or milk to prevent stomach upset. The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to therapy. In children, dosage is also based on weight. For malaria prevention, take this medication by mouth once a week on the same day of the week, or as directed by your doctor. Mark a calendar to help you remember. This drug is usually started 2 weeks before entering the area with malaria. Take it once weekly while in the area, and continue taking it for 4 to 8 weeks after leaving the area or as directed by your doctor. To treat malaria, follow your doctor’s instructions.

For lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, take this medication by mouth, usually once or twice daily or as directed. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose. Once you have been taking the medication for a while and your condition has improved, your doctor may instruct you to lower your dose until you find the dose that works best with the fewest side effects.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. If you are taking it on a daily schedule, take it at the same time each day. Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not stop taking it without talking with your doctor, especially if you are taking it for malaria. It is important to continue taking this for the length of time prescribed. Stopping prevention or treatment too soon may lead to infection or a return of the infection.

Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens. It may take several weeks or months to see improvement if you are taking this for lupus or arthritis. Hydroxychloroquine may not prevent malaria in all cases. If you experience fever or other symptoms of illness, seek immediate medical attention. You may need a different medication. Avoid exposure to mosquitoes. (See also Notes section.)


Nausea, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, diarrhea, dizziness, or headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: arm/leg/back pain, fast heartbeat, hair loss/color change, mental/mood changes (e.g., anxiety, depression, hallucinations), ringing in the ears/hearing loss, worsening of skin conditions (e.g., psoriasis).

This medication may infrequently cause serious (sometimes permanent) eye problems or muscle damage, especially if you take it for a long time. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these unlikely but very serious side effects occur: sensitivity to light, vision changes (e.g., blurred vision, seeing light flashes/streaks/halos, missing/blacked-out areas of vision), muscle weakness.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: severe stomach/abdominal pain, severe nausea/vomiting, easy bleeding/bruising, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), seizures, shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, extreme tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.

A very serious allergic reaction is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Some Favorite You Tube Channels


OK, I admit it…I am a fan of several really knowledgeable you tube channels for a variety of different topics and such. I wanted to share a couple today. I will share more in the near future too. So, on to the folks I watch and why.

As someone who is homesteading, I find the experience of others who are doing the same thing invaluable. Each family does their own brand of homesteading but there are endless bits I can glean and use in our family. So, I enjoy “Big Family Homestead” because they are honest people who do not sugar coat the truths of good times and not so good times. They have 7 children, homeschooled most of them, Christa is as major cook with simple recipes to follow, and Brad is a hard working dad and husband on their homestead.  They are very informative and share many gems I have used. I really do follow them daily.

For gardening information, I love the “MIGardener” channel. This guy is devoted to not only helping new gardeners but he shares his mistakes too. He will plant new things just to see how it works out. He also sells seeds of his plants. This is my go-to garden channel. If you have questions he will answer you. If you need information on gardening, check his channel out!

As for canning and other methods of food storage, I can recommend two pages. One is “The Kneady Homesteader” and the other is “Homesteading Family”. Both are knowledgeable and they not only give you recipes but they also take you step by step through the preserving process. These two are my top two food folks.

OK, so I have many more channels I watch as well but these are a few starters. These are the ones I check daily. I hope you can mine the nuggets you need from them too. Also, share any channels you enjoy! Have a great day!

New Lupus Problem?


I am not sure if this is a lupus thing or just a me thing. Have any of you ever had you face break out in teeny tiny little bumps? Kind of like the rash but finer? I have had the malar rash quite a few times so this is different to me, much finer and not so red. My whole face and I neck are broken out right now in these little bitty bumps. My skin feels like sandpaper too. Rough. I have tried coconut oil and believe it or not, it soaks in so fast but the rough skin is not any better. I am trying vaseline today. I have also used cortisone cream and it did nothing.

I am wondering if it is lupus related because it is similar to the malar rash but not red. It is raised though and noticable in the mirror if I turn my face to a certain angle. I can feel it with my fingers but unless you look good, it is hard to see otherwise.

So, anyone else had this? If so, please let me know what you used for it. I am going to try to research it too. Thanks!

** added note**

Ok, when I get a new thing like this, I always look it up. That can be good or bad. It is not good today. Crap, looking like it is definitely lupus related. Crap. I am thinking this whole bitter cold, snow and such is what triggered it. My body reacts to big temperature changes negatively. Well there we go. I guess I will keep the cortisone cream going too. If it gets worse, I will see the doctor but otherwise I am thinking just use the cream and see what happens.

Common symptoms of Lupus


I got this list from the lfa webite. It is important to note that this is the tool doctors use to decide if lupus may be the answer. Please read and learn. Thanks! j

Common Symptoms of Lupus

To help the doctors diagnose lupus, a list of 11 common criteria, or measures, was developed by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). ACR is a professional association of rheumatologists. These are the doctors who specialize in treating diseases of the joints and muscles, like lupus. If you have at least four of the criteria on the list, either at the present time or at some time in the past, there is a strong chance that you have lupus.

  1. Malar rash – a rash over the cheeks and nose, often in the shape of a butterfly
  2. Discoid rash – a rash that appears as red, raised, disk-shaped patches
  3. Photosensitivity – a reaction to sun or light that causes a skin rash to appear or get worse
  4. Oral ulcers – sores appearing in the mouth
  5. Arthritis – joint pain and swelling of two or more joints in which the bones around the joints do not become destroyed
  6. Serositis – inflammation of the lining around the lungs (pleuritis) or inflammation of the lining around the heart that causes chest pain which is worse with deep breathing (pericarditis)
  7. Kidney disorder – persistent protein or cellular casts in the urine
  8. Neurological disorder – seizures or psychosis
  9. Blood disorder – anemia (low red blood cell count), leukopenia (low white blood cell count), lymphopenia (low level of specific white blood cells), or thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
  10. Immunologic disorder – abnormal anti-double-stranded DNA or anti-Sm, positive antiphospholipid antibodies
  11. Abnormal antinuclear antibody (ANA)

People with lupus also may experience symptoms that do not appear among the ACR criteria:

  • fever (over 100° F)
  • extreme fatigue
  • hair loss
  • fingers turning white and/or blue when cold (Raynaud’s phenomenon)

Where is all this snow?




We will call this post, never listen to weather forecasters. A few days ago, we were told we would get 4-8 inches of snow.  What did we get? Half an inch of ice with half an inch of snow on top. Today, we have another winter weather advisory. They are calling for 1-3 inches of snow. I woke up with a migraine. Hm, that is usually indicating a barometric change. I cannot wait to see how much, if any, we actually get. Stay tuned…