Another gap in my blogging, but why? Well first comes the excuse; I have been relapsing… again. I had been really fatigued after what felt like a week of insomnia and then on Tuesday (the 24th) I woke up crazy dizzy and feeling weak. The sort of dizziness that is not the result of oscillopsia. I had forgotten just how bad it could be so I guess that even though I still have remnants of these symptoms every day, I am actually doing way better than I was last year. The improvements have just been so slow I could hardly notice!
It has been a rough week or so… Maybe 2 weeks ago I was experiencing a sharp pain in the knuckle of my big toe (right foot). It felt like nerve pain but I just could not justify it as Multiple Sclerosis pain as it was in such a small and specific spot! But I had no other explanation as I had not stubbed it, there was no discoloration, bruising, or swelling. It didn’t even hurt when I pressed on it or bent it which tells me it is not an injury! The pain came in random pulses just like the nerve pain I have had in the past! It went away though so I didn’t give it much more thought but last night? It came back with a vengeance! It was so intense but once again in such a specific, small spot. It felt like someone was randomly squeezing my toe with pliers! This morning it is not so bad but the pain is still there. Now it only feels as bad as it did a couple weeks ago… But last night it was causing me to randomly jump as if someone snuck up behind me and poked me with a needle.
What is Lemtrada?
Lemtrada (Alemtuzumab) is a humanized monoclonal antibody used to treat people with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) who typically have not responded to 2 or more treatments. It is technically a type of chemotherapy as it was originally released as Campath (first FDA approved in 2001) to treat B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (B-CLL) but was used at a much higher dose (Campath). It was later FDA approved for treating Multiple Sclerosis on Nov 14, 2014.
Is Lemtrada Chemo? Click Here to Read!
How Does Lemtrada Work?
First let’s briefly explore the role of the immune system in Multiple Sclerosis and what a Humanized Monoclonal Antibody is/does. Multiple Sclerosis is believed to be an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks itself (the Myelin Sheath in the case of MS).
For the last few years, I started getting really cold hands and feet. I used to be able to hold my hand in a bucket of ice water longer than all my friends (growing up) but now when it get’s just a little cold outside my hands feel like they are going to fall off! Even if the rest of me feels hot my hands and feet are freezing! My ex-girlfriends would always get mad at me when I accidentally would bump my feet into them first thing in the morning; no one likes to be woken up by the feeling of something ice cold pressing against their skin!