Fears Faced: Remicade

11 Feb

This past Tuesday, I faced my biggest fear.  With a picc line in my right hand, and my closest friend beside me, I admitted to myself that I am ill.  Sure, I talk about it, but I in this moment, I fully admitted to myself that I have a chronic illness that does not have a cure – that I’ll never be “healthy” again… But the possibility of long-term remission is in sight!

First Infusion 2.7.12

Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.  Since then, I have battled denial and pretended to as healthy as my friends and family… I’ve been on 6 different medications and have been on and off steroids more times than I can remember.  I’ve had three colonoscopies.  I’ve swallowed a capsule camera.  I’ve had two surgeries – one in an emergency without anesthesia and another that took almost 6 months to heal from.  I’ve missed weddings, parties, showers for friends and family.  I’ve run out on interviews, meetings and dates.  I’ve made road trips three times their normal length.  Let’s just say that the disease is humbling….

A few weeks ago, my GI looked me in the eye and dropped the bomb… I was no longer in remission – and it was time to bring in the big guns.  It was time for the last class of medications, biologics (short story, they shut off part of your immune system).  After 3 weeks of stressing, reading horror stories online, Remicade and I finally met. (Won’t bore you with the details, Google if it if you are nosey.)  With my best gal pal in tow, I faced my biggest fear.  Turns out, it is not so bad!  The 3-hour drip gave us plenty of time for girl talk, and allowed us to sit back in comfy recliners and watch Footloose (the classic, of course).

I was so impressed with the drug – I was actually able to go 3 entire days without an attack!  I’m don’t think I could tell you the last time I had relief for such a long time!  Of course, all good things come to end… this weekend I’ve slipped right back into my normal self.  Bummer.  But I really shouldn’t complain, because most patients don’t even see positive results until their 3rd or 4th infusion.  I was beyond lucky to feel them the day of my very first infusion!  I can’t wait to go back next week for infusion #2.

Things are looking up – I may be in full remission by May 2nd!!  A new home and a new life?  YES PLEASE! 🙂

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2 Responses to “Fears Faced: Remicade”

  1. Diane Hubona February 12, 2012 at 9:56 AM #

    One brick at a time, Amanda! Undoing 7 years does not happen overnight!
    I know you’ll feel the positive results sooner than later; it’s important to take every experience in life and learn and grow from it…that’s what you’re doing, and I am proud of you:) May 2nd, huh? You’re old teacher will be 51 on that day!

  2. sallystoma February 19, 2012 at 4:36 PM #

    very interesting to read about your time on remicade. I’ve only recently been diagnosed with Crohns disease after my bowel ruptured and I was given an ileostomy bag. Was looking to see different reactions to different drugs. I wish you all the best, I hope you soon get some relief from the dreaded disease! – Roisin. x

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