My First Actemra Treatment

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Actemra is my fourth Biologic treatment

My first Actemra treatment was two weeks ago. I never dreamed I’d be going for my fourth different kind of Biologic treatment. When my first rheum doc said I’d feel much better soon with Humira, I believed it. When the Rheumatoid Arthritis continued to progress, the doc seemed as disappointed as I was – and even more surprised.

When doubling up on Humira shots for two years didn’t help, I knew I had to make a change. The next year, I went through Enbrel and Orencia. And here we are.

Our Actemra treatment party

napoleon lemon candy with Actemra treatmentI waited a month for the last treatment the Orencia to get out of my system. Then I waited a month for the girl who works for the rheum doc to get in touch with my insurance company. Then I waited for my appointment.

When Actemra day came, my best friend drove the one hour from her house to ours and then we all rode the one hour to the cancer center. As we rode up the elevator, I remarked that next time we should bring chocolates to the party. Actually, I was a little nervous, but the supervising nurse set up my IV without blood or pain. A pillow from home made me as comfortable as possible.

Then we waited. Nothing happened. It was just a quiet uneventful little IV party.

The alcohol and the saline made me nauseous. It’s a sensitivity I’ve built up over the last few years. I blame the methotrexate. Why not? It gets blamed for everything else.

The nurse dispensed a special lemon drop that they buy for the cancer patients. Maybe she thought the fourth type of Biologic treatment was a landmark, too.

The hour passed quickly. The Actemra did not make me sick. It didn’t even give me a headache. So far so good.

If Actemra treatment works, we’ll know it!

Now I’m waiting to see if the Actemra works. The nurse said that during last year’s trial, she saw patients who were helped by Actemra in only a few days. I left the infusion room feeling pretty encouraged.

That’s worn off now. Every day for the last four and a half years, I’m a little bit worse. I have no idea what a flare is. This RA is 24/7 and wall to wall.

Therefore, if Actemra does me any good, it will be obvious. If there is improvement, I won’t wait two weeks and then write a little blog. I’ll send out a press release and shout from the rooftops.

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 at 6:00 am and is filed under RA Education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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