8 11 2011


The doctor appointment went exactly as I expected. Which is to say not good news.

My doctor is at a loss. The current treatment is clearly not working and my available options are slim. Even if I were to go on Tysabri at this point, the chance that it will work is only 50%. And that’s my best option.

My doctor basically told me I need to go back to Mayo Clinic or the University of Chicago and look into medical trials. We need to start doing research to figure out what will happen next.

The other thing she brought up which I may think about a few years from now is a stem cell transplant. That means they would either harvest my own stem cells or someone else’s and completely knock out my immune system, then reintroduce it via stem cells. It’s not widely done, but the hospital I go to uses it with decent results. The problem here is that my disease shows a strong genetic component, so reintroducing my own stem cells may not be as effective as using someone else’s, and there’s less research on that at this point. In the future, that might be something I’d look into. We’d like to wait awhile until research there comes together, and it would be an awful process using like, chemotherapy and radiation, but if it worked it might be worth it. We’ll see.

Right now I’m stuck on steroids and working on getting an appointment with the University of Chicago to discuss trial medications. I’ve also got to call Mayo Clinic this afternoon to see if there is a possible appointment availability while I’m on Thanksgiving or Christmas break. Not how I’d like to spend my vacation, but I’m lucky to have those days off in the first place so I might as well use them wisely.

This appointment sucked. It sucked because it confirms all of our worries. It sucks because the doctor that I really like is basically telling us that she doesn’t have much to offer me. It sucks because I’m 24 years old and my parents are devastated and I have a whole life ahead of me with not many possibilities in sight.

But there are still things in the works. There is still research being done and there are still options for me. Even if everything in my life fell apart right now, I’ve had more than my share of blessings. I am loved and I love people. I have a job that fills up my heart. I have faith.

As we were leaving I kept thinking, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I’m bad at memorizing Bible verses and I had to look this one up to see where it was (Philippians 4:13 in case you were wondering), but I do know that although this is difficult and awful and although I see how hard it is on my family to watch me go through this, although all these horrible things happen, I can handle it. I am tough enough. Through God I am tough enough. With that knowledge I can face every challenge. And I am thankful for that more than anything else.




3 responses

8 11 2011

i love you. you can do this. i have faith.

8 11 2011

Hey Melissa, I just saw this link off of facebook. Though I haven’t seen you in a while want you know that I still think of you often and that you are always in my heart. You are an amazingly strong person, and a great friend, and I know you’ll have the strength to get through the hard times and still be your happy, loving self. Love, Becca B.

10 11 2011

You’ll definitely make it through this, and your attitude is just amazing. I wish I could see things the way you do.

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