Tbird, while lupus can have serious implications, most of us will experience lupus as a disease of ups and downs. We'll have times when the disease is really active, and we'll have times when the disease is less active. But it's no longer a disease that's considered generally fatal. Go to the www.lupus.org and check out the "statistics" page. It says:
"While some people do die from lupus, most people with the disease will go on to live a normal life span."
I belong to a local lupus support group in my community. There are people in my support group who have had lupus for 20 or 30 years and some know others who have had lupus even longer. They've lived pretty normal lives, making adjustments to accommodate their symptoms. Please talk to your doctor about how you're feeling. You need reassurance that there is hope for those with lupus.