Comment 1

Yep, RA is progressive

Mary  JoDuring the treatments for my cancers, my RA was uneventful.  Yes, I did have monthly flares that lasted just about 12 days.  Yes, I was always in a simmering level of pain.  I grinned and bore  it like a good Irish Catholic girl.  Instead, I  focused on surgery, radiation and life changing drugs.  I even completed a cancer rehab program.

One day as I was starting a zumba class, my ankles screamed in a pain that was the equivalent of trying to dance on joints full of shattered glass. Determined,  I tried moving my feet differently (how many ways can you move your feet, you might ask).  After 10 seconds, I realized that it was futile.   I stopped.   Since then,  it has been downhill.  It was a steep hill, I might add.

Although I am on Methotrexate (a life saver for me), Plaquenil, (Sulfasalazine did not work for me), meloxican, prednisone and  all the supporting drugs, I am still progressing.  All the little joints in my feet and my ankles are inflamed and swollen.  The swelling has moved into my feet and ankles.  I am so swollen that it is hard to walk. And that is just the joints in my feet.  However,  I have no intention of boring you with the rest of my joint assessment.

My point is that RA, in a large number of cases, keeps getting worse.  The drugs eventually don’t work and the choices of alternatives keep getting smaller.

I had an emergency appointment with my rheumatologist yesterday.  Yes, my RA is out of control.  Time for a biologic (she had been suggesting that we might need to go in that direction for a while now.)   Boy, am I ready!  The eyeopener was that with all new drugs out there, my choice will probably be only one drug. Possibly two.  Why?   I had cancer.   I probably still have cancer.   Most biologics are not compatible with cancer.    I did not know this.    Scary thought.

I was given a pneumonia vaccine booster, sent for a shingles vaccine, a new prescription for more pain medicine and lots of labs.  All prep work for the next step. She will track down a clearer picture of my thyroid cancer, discuss options with colleagues and  discuss the next step at next week’s appointment.

Phew! I am supremely lucky to have my doctor. She belongs in the Doctors Hall of Fame.


This entry was posted in: Treatment


Woman, friend, mother, RN, photographer, gardener, writer, researcher, observer, swimmer. Pretty much the same as everyone else with my own little twist to things. RA, and three cancers and counting. Life is good despite the obstacles. It's worth the ride just to see the infinite variations of the human spirit.

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