I am in the process of getting ready to start up on new treatment.
The past few years I have been treated with methotrexate to help ease the inflammation in my joints. Now the larger joints like hips and knee and shoulders are getting worse and because of that, my specialist and I have decided to try biological treatment. This means preparations with a lot of blood tests to be done, to make sure that my body can take it. Also I must not have a cold, or fever or anything before treatment, because it blows out my immune system. So I must really be carefull to avoid people sneesing, because I will catch a cold so easy. But what will you not do in order to get rid of inflammation in larger joints?
So upcoming Tuesday I will start up on Orencia, generic name is abatacept. Abatacept is an injectable, synthetic (man-made) protein produced by recombinant DNA technology that is used for treating rheumatoid arthritis, so since my diagnosis is systemic sclerosis, this treatment will be experimental. But we will try this, because my inflammation symptoms in larger joints are similar to those with RA.
Abatacept is an immunesuppressant, a drug that suppresses the immune system by cutting off the T-cells (T-lymphocytes). In RA you have more T-cells in your system, and this causes inflammation and pain, similar to my inflammation and pain.
So we send into my body this little army called abatacept to shut down the T-cells having a party causing destruction of tissue and causing symptoms and signs of arthritis.
I dont know how I am going to react on this, so I have asked my Dad to come with me – I dont feel like going by train on the first treatment if I am going to be sick on the way home. (I have to go to the hospital in another city where my specialist is to get the treatment – hopefully I can get the treatment in my city somewhere in future, if this goes well without any complications).
Cross your fingers that this will go well – I am very positive.
More info on abatacept here.