I thought that I was doing the right thing by taking Tysabri...in fact, yesterday, I received a phone call to set up my 1st Tysabri infusion (they wanted me to schedule for today, but I rescheduled it to Monday).
So as the days have gone by, I have thought a lot about what COULD happen...the risk of PML is like 1 in 1,000. In my history, if there is going to be a side effect, I will get it. I had to put those thoughts aside for a minute and listen to my doctor. His words were something along the lines of, " The risk is greater if you are on NO therapy, than if you are on Tysabri" Listening to those words really made me think a lot about the way I am handling my disease. I am thinking of the present moment...not looking at things down the road. I really need to stop worrying about what MS is doing to me right now, and think about what we are going to have on our hands 10-20 years from now.
The medications I have taken in the past, have all done "nothing". No effects are measurable from Copaxone. Rebif and Betaseron both gave me painful side effects. I think that I am willing to go back on those therapies - only because they do not have deadly side effects.
By the way- It was one year ago right now that the 35W bridge collapsed. I am sure that I will remember that day for the rest of my life. I was leaving HomeDepot in St Louis Park- and a young man than was collecting carts in the parking lot came running out to us and said- "Do not get on 35W- it just collapsed!" I just stood there - in a moment I heard ambulances and fire trucks and helicopters all racing to the scene. It was one of the worst days I have ever experienced living in Minneapolis. Driving home, listening to the radio, trying to call friends and family. It was one of the worst things when you are driving and look at a car next to you and the person is crying. I deove by a coffee shop in the neighborhood we lived in- and the people were all standing in the streets crying. No one could actually comprehend what had happened. I did not understand what had happened until 6 months later I actually drove to the site and took a look for myself. I had a really hard time doing it before that- I used to live just blocks from the bridge, that is the exit that you get on to go to the Aveda Institute. I lived on 5th Street and the exit that collapsed was the 4th street and University Avenue exit. Pretty intense. Bless all the people that were affected that fateful day. I took the time to sit and be still for the moments that were observed on the news. It stilll gives me chills.
Back to my lesser important rant---
Okay, this is what happened this morning. The phone rings and I see that it is Dr Calkwoods office. I answer, Brenda says, "Hello Kim Its Brenda! I wanted to see if you have gone in for your Tysabri dose today?"
me "No I changed the appointment, now I am going to take it on Monday."
Brenda" Okay Kim Hold the line, Dr. Calkwood would like to speak to you personally."
Me -thinking...is he calling to wish me luck? WTF? I am getting a little nervous now...
Brenda "Here is Dr. calkwood"
Calkwood" Kim I am so glad I caught you, did you already take your dose? Because I need you to NOT go to that appointment. Information that was released last night says that there are 2 new cases of patients that have PML. They are in Europe."
Calkwood "Canary in a coal mine, remember I told you about that at your last appointment?"
me "uh huh"
Calkwood"Well, until I have further evidence and research...I am pulling everyone off of their Tysabri"
me"Wow, I feel really lucky that you caught me just days before I was going to start Tysabri"
Calkwood"Well, 1 dose would not have hurt, but it also would not have helped either"
So this is what I think-
I think that all of the waiting and the fighting the insurance company and the hospital...I think that that was the reason that I never got the chance to take Tysabri. I think that DEVINE INTERVENTION actually does happen- I think that because I waited so long and my doctor called me at home ans told me not to take the drug- I think that I will NEVER take it!
I went to sit on the couch to digest what had gone on with the Dr and the phone call. I turned on the tv and turned it to the NasDaq report...the report that was on was about Biogen Idec and how their stocks plummeted today because of these new PML cases. They went on to report that Biogen Idec makes Tysabri for Multiple Sclerosis patients who cannot tolerate other therapies (ME) and patients who have severe cases of MS.
If that is not proof enough- I do not know what is.
So WHOMEVER is looking out for me...Thank you. I am listening to whatever the universe is trying to tell me.