Chemo Effing Therapy

It was a long day with the doctor yesterday. Everything is okay, but it’s not good. Good being “remission”. My hands are swollen, my hips ache and I can’t walk well the first hour of the morning. Maybe that’s not actually okay?

I’m not a good patient. I am not good at taking pills… recreationally who isn’t but this whole thing of two pills on an empty stomach isn’t working very well. I never have an empty stomach and I don’t want to wait an hour for breakfast. But I try to wait that hour for breakfast because they tell me it will make me feel better. Then I have a pill that I take two of on even days and one on odds. I take that with food. The food part is easy. I am always eating. Of course there’s the monthly injection. Even though it doesn’t hurt much anymore it’s the most depressing part of it all. I hate that injection and I hate seeing the syringes in my refrigerator. I’ve considered buying a small refrigerator just so I don’t have to look at the medicine every time I eat (which as you might imagine is often).

My hands are still in bad shape. I’m going to see an acupuncturist tomorrow for some short term relief because I really need to avoid the prednisone and I’m tired of celebrex upsetting my stomach.

The doctor wants to add back methotrexate which I’ve taken before and not liked. With “not liked” being a massive understatement. Part of what worries me about methotrexate is the liver damage. I don’t want to live with RA but I can live with RA. You can’t live cirrhosis.

I’m not filling any prescriptions just yet. I’d really like to celebrate my birthday with a glass (bottle… jug???) of wine and travel without worrying about side effects.

Here’s hoping.

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  1. Blerg, I am sorry things are not good and that you’re having to make these crappy choices. I know what you mean, it’s that injection that makes you feel like you’re ill, and you don’t need that little reminder. Maybe a small fridge is the ticket. I’m hoping for a happy pain-free birthday for you.

  2. Aw Jessica. After reading about Oprah, this is upsetting to know. I’m sure you’re dealing with it in your usual manner. But I’m sending positive thoughts your way and hoping you buy that small fridge. that’s probably a good idea.

  3. Dear Jessica,
    One thing I know will help make you better–and helps all of us, too–is your amazing ability to laugh. You find the humor no matter what. I love the line “I never have an empty stomach.” 
    How about a small bin, with a lid, for the syringes in your fridge? that way they’re covered, and hidden. I agree, not nice to see them every morning, but a small fridge and its humming noise might drive you nuts too. On the other hand, it might make you feel like you’re living in a dorm again. Could be good…
    Best of luck with this period…we’re all sending hope and affection.
    Dominique

  4. It is not easy being a patient especially when it involves therapy for a chronic condition like RA…when we feel good we forget (temporary amnesia) about what is helping us to be able to feel well. I am thinking about you…hide the syringes somewhere in your fridge…if it is like my fridge, I can’t find anything.  
    Keep your sense of humor going. :)

  5. Damn, I hate that you’re not feeling as well as you should and that your med’s are still in a state of flux. Sucks.

    MTX was not my favorite thing either. I had a *huge* discussion (well, he discussed, I fumed) with my rheumatologist about MTX. I started with 5 bitty pills (got up to 8) and when they started to tear up my stomach, I moved to injections. Much better overall and as much as you dislike shots, you should consider it. The “lovely” neon yellow would curl my eyelashes (and raise eyebrows when I received the box marked “Hazardous Materials” at the office.)

    As for drinking – I planned for it (the doctor went along with this), which sucked spontaneity right out the window, but it beat raising my liver enzymes. If you know you’re going to be drinking, don’t take the MTX that week. Just pick it up right where you left off.

    Put the med’s in the side door inside a bag or the travel container you should have received when you got them in the first place. That’s where I kept mine – out of sight, but not out of mind.

    I’m here, anytime you need to vent. I totally get how you’re feeling.

  6. So sorry to hear that, Jess. I was on methotrexate for 4 years and I know how much it sucks :( I hope that its only temporary for you, and wish you an easy run of the course. *hugs*

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