Treatment, treatment discussed
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.


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