Tomorrow we head to Ann Arbor for the first time in 2 months. Haven't been able to say that in a long time! We're going to talk to Dr. Teener first (I have a ton of questions, well 20 to be exact) about the Rituxan treatment....I spent most of the day yesterday studying stuff about it...
I now know way more about cellular immunology than I ever thought I would...but it makes sense in an odd way.
Plasmapheresis takes antibodies out of my blood by removing the plasma and putting synthetic plasma from "normal" people, so the symptoms are alleviated. But as soon as the treatment is done, my body continues to produce antibodies.
Rituxan works on a cellular level, destroying B-cells (we have T-cells and B-cells in our immune system) therefore the possibility of medical remission is a very real one. If the B-cells are the ones that are out of control, and the Rituxan wipes them out, no more MG. Theoretically anyway.
I think the best thing I found out about this treatment is that is seems to work best on MY kind of MG. YAY! AND the incidence of PML is really, really low. In fact, I couldn't find any documented cases of PML in someone with MG who was treated with Rituximab (Rituxan).
What I am asking for specific prayer against other than the PML (Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy) is that Rituxan can make some crazy things happen because it works at the cellular level. One concern is the varicella zoster virus (chicken pox and shingles). Rituxan can like "reawaken" or whatever dead viruses in your body...so I could get shingles. But I won't. I'm just saying. Ya'll can pray against that.
I've also been exposed to TB (in 1999); I never GOT TB, and was treated for it anyway. But I do have a scar bubble in my lung that is encapsulating a TB germ....But again, TB seems to be one of the things Rituxan WON'T reawaken.
Anywho. I will keep you posted. Probably won't post tomorrow as I am having plasmapheresis as well. Going to see if that gives me any kind of pick-me-up. Thanks for your prayers!!