Francis, my cockapoo who never leaves my side, is curled up on a pillow next to me. Francis prefers to sleep in, but he is a creature of routine. We get out of bed and go down to the kitchen for a cup of French roast coffee.
He has his first trip outside into the morning air. I watch him. We have hungry coyotes in the neighborhood. They can jump high fences and snap the neck of a little dog in moments. Francis doesn’t linger. He has no fear. He just longs for the comfort of his pillow. Life is good.
This is a good time of year in Albuquerque. Blue sky. Sunny. Dry mountain air. Chilly last night as we slipped into the thirties. The temperature moves slowly back up to the seventies by afternoon. Soon it will be hot again. Too hot to go outside. Now is a perfect time.
After total neglect last year, both my thymes, English and Lemon, are happily growing. My French tarragon is amazing. It loves our weather. My big surprise was the clematis I had growing in a pot with a trellis next to the patio door. I bought it about four years ago at Costco. It has four-inch, deep blue flowers when in bloom. It looks better than ever. It is always a joy in the spring to see plants wake up and start their growing season.
Today is Wednesday. It is the day I give myself an injection of Orencia, abatacept. It is a drug with a low list of complications. No cancers or bowel perforation. Infection is the big one. This time, I have been taking it since last August, eight months. It was working about fifty percent for me. The rest has been a struggle. I feel like it is slipping. Not fifty percent anymore. More like twenty to thirty.
There is not much left in my RA doc’s arsenal. I have tried many of the other biologics and they didn’t work. Or they cause cancer like the JAK inhibitors or bowel perforation like Actemra. I am at risk for these complications. I have had too many complications from other drugs in the past to brush off the warnings.
She brought up Imuran last time we talked. It is a drug also used to suppress the immune system for organ transplants. It takes up to twelve weeks to start working. It is a scary sounding drug. But as my RA cycles back into severe pain, I will, like most people, try anything, almost anything.