Infusion number three has soon come round.
Today was an early start as I needed a fasting blood test to keep an eye on Glucose and Cholesterol levels while on Tocilizumab / RoActemra. We got to the ward at about 8.30am and the nurse that did my last bloods (when I fainted) welcomed me, told me I was looking brighter and went on to take today’s blood. We decided to fit the cannula there and then, because I only have the one vein that gives, and just bandaged it up well so I could go shopping for a few hours before my infusion in the afternoon.
All went fine, (no fainting spells this time!) and I was soon tucking into some cereal and my morning brew – don’t know how I managed to get up and out without it! Once I was feeling more human, we were free to go to the Trafford Centre to do a bit of Christmas shopping and get some lunch. It was nice to be out and soak up the Christmas atmosphere a bit, although I would rather not have bumped into the Occupational Health doctor while doing so!
Anyway, we were back on the ward just after one and it wasn’t long before I was hooked up to the Tocilizumab – thanks to the early blood tests, it had been mixed early too so I was finished a whole three hours earlier than usual. I had no reaction of any sort either, it all went through fine and I have my next infusion scheduled for January 5th 2012.
I was disappointed that I didn’t see my Rheumy though, as there were things I wanted to mention to him, but it sounds like he has a clinic off-site on Thursdays now. The ward sister came to unhook me and said she’d spoken to him and he’d said I was doing really well on the Tocilizumab. My blood work is better than it has been for a long time (I’m sure it says my CRP is less than 1?) but even though I am noticing small improvements joints-wise, there is still some way to go before I’d class myself as doing well. His secretary said she’d send a clinic appointment for me in the post but I’m not sure what I have to say is worth going all that way for.
I took a copy of my blood test results to give to my GP so I can keep him on track with how things are going. Of course I had a little nosey myself as I like to try and understand how what I am feeling translates into biologically on paper. Most of my results were pretty normal and much different to what I’m used to seeing – WBC and neutrophils for example, were well within the normal range rather than sky high and my Haemaglobin (hb) is creeping back up from 8.0 to 10.1. The Haematocrit results were a little bit out but that is probably to be expected with the anaemia; the only ones I have slight concerns about are my Serum ALT, which was raised a little and my total cholesterol, which was raised at 5.3.
I was home by 4.30pm and fell straight into bed for 2 hours. I always feel completely wiped out after hospital visits – physically and mentally.
Here’s to seeing some more improvement this month.