Hello! I’m Cara Sharenko from Atlanta, Georgia lover of fashion, my husband, and tackling Lupus everyday with a smile. I launched this blog in October of 2017 to share how I am dealing with a chronic illness with a smile and in style. More about my story…..
For as long as I can remember I loved musicals. Growing up I used to watch all the old movie musicals with my grandma and knew it was something I had to do. After attending a magnet high school for performingarts in Atlanta, I was accepting into the prestigious Webster Conservatory to pursue a BFA degree in Musical Theater in St. Louis! My sophomore year at Webster was the first sign of my body struggling. I was diagnosed with ITP, a platelet disorder that can lead to is a disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. After being rushed home to Atlanta and received intense IVG treatment for a week, I was able to return to school to complete my finals performances.
Things improved, life went on but it was definitely one of the hardest parts of my life. In May 2012 I reconnected with my 5th grade sweetheart who I hadn’t seen in over 10 years, and I had no idea he would end up being the true love of my life. I slowly recovered and knew I needed to continue to head towards my goal of moving to New York City even if I had just found this amazing man in Atlanta! July 2012 I packed everything into 2 suitcases and headed to the big apple. I was auditioning in the mornings and nannying at night. I felt the best I had in years! Then, I started to feel very stiff in the mornings with pain in the arms and hands. As this progressed quickly I knew something wasn’t right. The turning point was being in an audition for The Little Mermaid where I had to lift a prop over my head while dancing and I couldn’t do. It became clear I needed to be placed on methotrexate but the side effects made everything difficult; sleeping, eating, walking and most importantly, working. We decided I would pack up everything and go back to Atlanta. I will never forget crying in the cab on the way to the airport being so angry at the world. Of course this move home wasn’t all terrible as I was able to be with Ben.
In the summer of 2016 I started a new medicine, Benlysta, 3 hour infusion every 4 weeks to help manage Lupus symptoms. This is the first new drug that as come out for Lupus in 40 years!
Through all of this I have had a passion for pop culture, fashion and social media. I have thought for years about sharing my story and starting a blog, but I was ashamed and embarrassed that I had to abandon my Broadway dreams and move home. But in January 2017 I had the fairy tale ending of marrying my 5th grade sweetheart in Mexico with 68 of our closest friends and family. I am so lucky to have an amazing husband and family that support me and understand my day to day struggles. This made me realize life is short and why not?!
Every day is different.. I will never take that for granted as many Lupus patients are struggling alone. I plan to share my tips and tricks of surviving this crazy disease and how I do it in style!