It has been a long and tedious wait. There has been much silence and thumb twiddling going on with me, mum and my ‘action people’. You know those people who have offered help and you’ve gratefully accepted it. The ones who help with transport, everyday chores and just assistance keeping your sanity in tact.
Finally yesterday the tension was snapped.
For me the situation was no longer as tense but more like an old elastic band that was close to disintegrating. For Ma, Pa and Gallowe it still had bounce though and I had to keep reminding myself of this. I was at the desk, studying Educative Research practices for uni and the phone rang. I rushed outside for clear reception and was greeted by a young doctor from Mr Leo’s (one of my NeuroImmunology doctors) team at Royal Perth Hospital.
My first treatment is booked for Thursday October 1st at midday, the second will be October 15th. A letter will be sent through will times, locations and specifics so I know what to do.
I asked a few questions.
She gave me a few answers.
I was pleased.
She was positive.
I ran inside to spread the word.
Pharmaceutical name: Rituxan
Drug name: Rituximab
Classification: monoclonal antibody chemotherapy
Function: immunosuppressant and destruction/removal of lymphocytes
Typical application: treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Contraindications: for treatment of cancers must be applied in conjunction with other forms of chemotherapy pharmaceuticals
I would love to tell you more, really, but there is not much I know, having not been on this drug before. Yes, it is chemo and yes I don’t have cancer so we can take from the small data above that it won’t be used in conjunction with another chemotherapy pharmaceutical. It will be isolated so I’m only treated for the immune suppression and eviction of the lymphocytes from my vasculitic lesion.
The details I have are that there is a preparation period, followed by the intravenous injection (IV). I will be kept in the hospital for a brief few hours before release on the same day. This means its a daybed affair with no overnight stays (yay). Rituximab (RIX I will lovingly call it) is tolerated well with the majority of patients and has few side effects.
I just feel that I am in the majority here.
I just know it.
Ma will come with me. Gallowe is going to take the day off (night shift week). Its a study week at uni so not much stress there.
My hair won’t fall out but if it does I have plans. Which I’ll never do because it won’t happen. But if it does its ok. I’m at peace. Not that I need to be. Because it won’t fall out.
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I had Rituxan infusions for 6 months with great success. I was given zofran and benadryl ahead of time to manage any potential nausea and/or allergic reactions. I had an aneurysm in my brain due to vasculitis related to lupus. The aneurysm is now gone!! Best of luck to you! You’ll be in my thoughts…