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Kristen Johnston talks lupus and chemo: I wanted to kill myself

Kristen Johnston talks lupus treatment: Chemotherapy and steroids
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Actress Kristen Johnston is doing well after being treated for the autoimmune disease lupus myelitis, People reported.

Johnston, who was diagnosed with lupus in November 2013, said her harrowing road to recovery included steroids and chemotherapy.

Lupus myelitis, a neurological disorder, is a rare form of lupus marked by severe inflammation of the spinal cord. There's no known cause or cure for lupus myelitis, but getting enough rest and eating well are crucial.

Johnston received her diagnosis after seeing 17 different doctors over the course of four months, she wrote on her Facebook page. In November 2013, Kristen spent two weeks at the Mayo Clinic, where doctors finally diagnosed her with lupus myelitis and began treating her.

Johnston, 46, said she began to suspect something was wrong when she was unable to climb a set of stairs last summer. Her lupus left her weak, exhausted and barely able to move.

Not surprisingly, Kristen fell into a deep depression due to her declining health. "If I had to live like that forever, I would have killed myself," she said.

Johnston's doctor, rheumatologist Dr. Daniel J. Wallace, told her if she had waited a few weeks longer before getting treated, she would have wound up a quadriplegic.

Kristen is now in remission, six months after getting steroid and chemotherapy treatments. She's still in recovery, but is grateful to be well. "Every day I'm amazed that I can lift my head," she said. "Every single day is a gift, and I don't take one second of it for granted."

Lady Gaga, Anna Gunn, Selena Gomez Have Lupus

Johnston isn't the celebrity who has gone public about coping with lupus. In 2010, Lady Gaga revealed she tested "borderline positive" for lupus, which she manages through stress reduction, a healthy diet and rigorous workouts. Gaga has a genetic predisposition toward lupus, and said her aunt died from it.

Former "Breaking Bad" star Anna Gunn is also reportedly battling lupus, and attributed her shocking weight loss to the condition.

In 2012, singer Toni Braxton was hospitalized for health complications related to lupus-induced blood clots. She is doing fine now. In 2011 and again in 2012, Nick Cannon (the husband of Mariah Carey) was hospitalized for kidney failure and other complications related to lupus nephritis.

In December 2013, Selena Gomez cancel the Asian and Australian leg of her tour, reportedly due to lupus, which she was diagnosed with four years ago.

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