I live in New Mexico.

Roses and mountain

Home of green chile, Roswell, Santa Fe Opera and blue skies.  I was raised up on New York’s border with Canada of Irish and French-Canadian parents. I inherited the spice of both. So, I have spunk.  I lived in many places before settling in Albuquerque. It is a good place to be.

In 2013 I was diagnosed with a severe Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The diagnosis followed an ER visit and a visit to a rheumatologist.  Methotrexate was the starter drug.  Prednisone and meloxicam were added.  The medications helped but my body was still badly inflamed. Plaquenil was added. Next, I was diagnosed with stage three thyroid cancer followed by surgery. Two weeks after the surgery I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Again another surgery.

The cancers complicated the RA treatment as the biologics were not allowed with a cancer diagnosis.  Sulfasalazine wasn’t tolerated.  The next year was filled with radiation treatments and attempts to find solutions for the RA.  Leflunomide was tried but didn’t work.  I spent another year with a third cancer caused by Tamoxifen. I spent several more years with complications from methotrexate, soft tissue necrosis.

Currently I am on Orencia and low dose Medrol.

My blog has a purpose.

The purpose of Mary’s Arthritis is to relate my experiences and to share my perspective on this tough illness. It is also to discuss what I have learned about rheumatoid arthritis.

My front page includes the following:

RA body

RA Solutions

Maneuvering the medical world

My Journal

Other Diseases related in some way to RA


  1. From a fellow nurse (retired). I wish you well in your illness journey. I like your writing! I’ve chosen to follow you in this zero to hero challenge. Looking forward to learning more about you.


  2. Mary, From one seronegative A/C patient to another. Stay strong and may we journey together. I was diagnosed with Antiphospholipid Syndrome in November (not seronegative) and then in March my Rheumatologist added Lupus/Sle (seronegative) to my diagnosis. I have 7 of the 11 criteria needed for the diagnosis but my labs are still coming back negative, he says its just a matter of time though. Especially since Lupus is on both sides of my family and I have APS. I was already on Plaquenil to as part of my treatment for APS and was still having insane amounts of joint pain and my butterfly rashes and sun-triggered rashes were getting more frequent so he started me on Imuran. I started it last week, and stepped up to my full dose this morning. I managed to stumble across your blog due to Day 11’s assignment to comment on people’s blogs that I had never commented on before, in the 101 challenge. I am so glad I found your blog on the blog roll! I love your writing style, and I look forward to following your story.


    • Nicole,
      It is a pleasure to meet you. These auto immune diseases are a journey with their ups and downs, changing when you think you have a handle on it. I am amazed by the people I have met, sturdy in their hearts even with the uncertainty in their lives. The human spirit is an amazing treasure.
      Glad you have a good doc. I love my rheumatologist. She makes a big difference in my life. Sounds like yours will find the right mix for you. Then you will feel better.
      Mine suspected that I have cancer too. I do. Two kinds. My RA was a good training ground for what I needed as a cancer patient.
      Keep in touch.


      • I have met some amazing folks so far as well. Their strength continues to amaze me. It is amazing me how strong we can be when we have no other choice! My doctors are pretty awesome. My rheumatologist is the newest member to my team, I’m just forming a relationship with him but he is on top of things! I am hopeful the addition of this new med will help turn things around. I am hopeful your journey as a cancer patient is a successful one and I will keep a watch on that journey. I have watched loved ones go through various journeys with different cancers.I know autoimmune conditions are not the same, but like you said, good training ground. I wish you much luck. I’ll stay in touch, you do the same. I want to know how you are doing from time to time!


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  4. Mary I am so glad I found your blog in zerotohero. One of my dearest friends has RA and is having a bad time of it right now. I feel very helpless and very uninformed. I hope to understand her illness more by following you. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.


  5. Alice Castagnier says

    I’m thrilled to find your “blog” and to know how much you live life and how much you have to give to others. Love you so! Alice


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