As the New Year comes upon us, it’s time to reflect on the previous year and consider the upcoming
year. Here is a summary of topics from this blog – both general and personal.
- A third ankle surgery and other RA symptoms was the straw that broke the camel’s back on being physically active. My snow skiing days seem to be over but I won’t give up fishing.
- I went through a variety of medicines this year. It began with Humira, then Orencia for 11 months, and ended with Actemra in the search for a treatment that would work. In terms of DMARDs, I stopped using Arava and am now taking Imuran. I’m not alone because many RA patients experience the same search for the right treatment.
- I experienced receiving monthly infusions in a clinic. The process is not bad, the nurses are knowledgeable and nice, and I’m pretty well off compared to the some of the cancer patients in the clinic.
- Biological treatments are crazy expensive and I’m so thankful for health insurance.
- RA and its treatments bring about many side effects. The immune suppressing drugs contributed to recurring sinus infections and ultimately, sinus surgery.
- A change in rheumatologist was the best decision made in years. Lesson learned – don’t always go with the first doctor you find and spend time seeking out recommendations, patient reviews, and nominations by regional media for best doctor awards
- I met many other bloggers who struggle with RA. A close relationship and support system exists among the RA blog community and I’m very thankful for these friends.
- Misinformation and incomplete information about RA continues to pervade media. We must continue to work at advocating for RA patients.
- This blog was listed as one of the best 22 RA blogs by Healthline and summarily nominated for their best health blog of 2012.
- The first new oral medication for RA, Xeljanz, received approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
- There are numerous new biological treatments for RA in the clinical trial pipeline bringing the possibility of new treatment options.
- Much research continues into the genetic and biochemical processes involved with RA which may eventually lead to better treatments or even a cure.
- Autoimmune diseases including RA, while impacting a large proportion of the population, continue to receive a disproportionate amount of research funding when compared to cancer and heart disease.
- While the currently available biological treatments for RA bring much needed relief, they do not work for approximately 20-40% of RA sufferers.
Thanks to all those who took time to read and comment on this blog. I wish everyone a wonderful and healthy 2013!