Got what might be some good news today. I've been accepted into the clinical trials for a new drug that may be able to help me with my bleeding disorder. This drug is actually in the third phase of the trials, which means the part where it's determined if the stuff will kill you has been taken care of. <Grin> So at least I won't have to worry about the cure being worse than the illness.
All of the treatments I've received to date work by suppressing immune system activity, thereby reducing the rate at which platelets are slaughtered. The bad part of this is I can get sick very easily. The common cold can become a major illness, and something like the flu can become life-threatening. This situation has put both my wife and me on edge, since she works with small children, who are a veritable Petri dish of who-knows-what.
This new drug works by causing the body to amp up the production of platelets to a level that maintains a reasonable count, thus not requiring the suppression of my immune system. With my immune system back to normal, I won't have to worry about some insignificant flu bug taking me out. I'll, once again, be able to go to events that involve being around a lot of people, such as concerts.
This new drug can be administered at home with a standard hypodermic syringe, using a once per week dosage. That is how it will be given to me in the trials, except I'll be at the hospital when it's done. Everything else I have received up until now has had to be administered via IV under clinical settings, with emergency medical care immediately available in case of a potentially fatal infusion reaction.
The drug I'm currently being fed, vincristine, has significant side-effects, including gastrointestinal nastiness, fatigue, insomnia and, most annoying, peripheral neuropathy. The latter has greatly diminished my ability to type, do electronic work and play the bass (I play bluegrass, blues and jazz). It's no fun constantly having numb hands and feet. This new drug has mild side-effects that are more than tolerable by comparison. We'll see...but I am eager to get started!