On November 10th 2014 my neurologist at the UBC Centre for Brain Health confirmed the diagnosis given by my GP few months earlier that I did, in fact, have multiple sclerosis (If you haven’t read my diagnosis story yet, you should totally read it here. I promise it’s worth the read!). After looking over my MRI images and chatting with me about my disease progression he recommended a brand new treatment called Lemtrada as a first line treatment, a treatment that would hopefully halt the progression of the disease for 10-15 years. The drug had just been approved in Canada (even before it was approved in the US) and I would be one of the first to undergo the treatment outside of the clinical trial patients.
I read every piece of information I could get my hands on and after much consideration and prayer, I decided the benefits outweighed the risks and on March 2, 2015 I went for my first of 8 infusions (you can read about my first infusion here.)
My first round of treatment (March 2 – March 6, 2015) was 5 consecutive days and began the process that would protect my malfunctioning immune system from attacking the myelin (the outer coating on the nerves – kind of like the outer coating on an electrical wire) in my brain and spinal cord. 12 months later I would have to return to finish the process off by doing 3 more days of infusions. Well, today I finished my last one!! All 8 infusions are complete and I will hopefully not need any more treatment for 15 years!
5:00am – I had a great night’s sleep last night and woke up ready to take on my final day! I started the day off with a quick shower, wrapping my IV in plastic wrap to protect it from the moisture, got myself ready, and once again started my day with a VegaOne smoothie to give me some extra nutrients to start the day!
7:30am – When we arrived back at the clinic I was still experiencing some heaviness in my chest, making it difficult to breathe deep. My vision was also blurry with little floaters. Besides that I felt pretty good! My IV line wasn’t working as well as needed so my nurse switched it up to another vein and I was ready to go!
8:00am – Before I get the Lemtrada each day I get an hour of steroids (prednisone) to combat some of the side affects that come with an intense treatment like Lemtrada. I also take benydryl and gravol to fight off nausea and rashes/itchiness, which induces what I like to call my drug coma because that stuff knocks me right out!
9:30am – As soon as a doctor is in the building I can start my last round of Lemtrada! Yay! It takes about 4 hours to run through completely, most of which I sleep through because of the other medication they give me.
1:30pm – Once the Lemtrada is finished dripping I was observed for 2 hours to make sure my heart, blood pressure and temperature were okay. Clark and I passed the time with a game of cards, which I totally let him win. That’s not true, I never let anyone win. I love winning.
3:30pm – After my 2 hour observation was up I had my IV removed and I was cleared to go home!!! Peace out Lemtrada! Time to make some new memories!
I am now in recovery, resting and taking care of myself so my immune system can come back to full health. For the next 4 years I’ll be having monthly blood and urine tests to monitor any side effects that may arise so they can be treated as soon as possible!
I would appreciate your continued prayers as I have so many dreams and goals to look forward to now that this season of treatment is behind me! Thanks for your continued support! I wish I could express my gratitude adequately!!!
I’m so excited for the future!! We have some big things planned coming months and years, which we’re excited to share as the time comes!! The best is yet to come!!! Right?