Thursday, September 6, 2007

If this gets approved, I'm in heaven!

I was just thinking about how nice it is that I only do a shot once a week. I'm sure those of you who haven't had a shot since getting their last boosters as a child would beg to differ, but for people with MS, shots are a part of reality. A necessary evil.

Since getting diagnosed in '99 I have had to stick myself on a daily basis (well, okay, my family knows that I fell off the shot wagon for a while and then got back on). Copaxone was the MS fighting elixir of choice. A tiny needle the goes only into the fat just beneath your skin. But the medicine it delivered was like battery acid. The stuff burned and there's just no way of getting around it.

At no time in the history of MS medications has a person been able to take a pill once a day that is designed to modify the course of the disease progression... until now. True, I can't pull the sheet out of the box and read about side effects or what not to take it with, etc., but I take my one pill a day and that's it. Well, except for that once a week shot, but who's counting? I do it Monday morning and by Monday afternoon I'm over it. It's done, gone, forgotten. For a week!

From what I have read recently, Fingolimod may even be able to repair previous damaged caused to nerves by multiple sclerosis. If that's the case, not only should I have fewer relapses to look forward to, but maybe I'll get some feeling back in my feet and not be quit so off balance.

It will be a sad day if, at the end of this study, Fingolimod doesn't get FDA approval. I will miss my little brown pill and all that it represents to me as a future that looks so bright.

For now it's looking good. No side effects and no relapses so far. You would probably say that two weeks isn't long enough to say whether it's making a difference in slowing the relapses, but consider this: I have been having relapses on a continual basis every three months for the last two years. I couldn't catch a break. Just when I would start to heal from one flare, another one would wash over me. Like an ocean of symptoms that threatened to drown me, I could get no relief.

My last round of steroids (which is all they can do for you to quiet down an acute attack) was back in June of this year. This is now September and I am having no signs of a new attack. All is quite on the MS front. I hope it stays that way, and with this medicine I'm pretty confident I will.

How nice it is to finally be able to get back to the business of living. Just having a regular life without constantly being nagged by your body that you have a disease is a nice thing. If Fingolimod gets approval I will be the happiest woman on earth. Well, the only request I would have would be to give it a jazzier name. Something like "Gold Finger" maybe? James Bond fighting M.S. -- I like the visuals.

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