News like this just plain freaks me out and reminds me that I am still largely a guinea pig for medical science.
When a friend emailed me after reading this to see if I was on any of them, it brought up a dilemma that I think many people with RA and other autoimmune diseases struggle with all the time - at least I do: which is worse, the disease or the meds? I think it is increasingly worrying when you are young and know you have decades (potentially) ahead of you on these meds, or others like them.
It's a bit of a 'possibly damned if you do, definitely damned if you don't' situation. Back in November and December, I was on a fast track to not being able to walk without assistance, among other things, and in so much pain and so f****** tired that the choice to go on enbrel didn't even feel like a choice. It felt like a necessity. I knew that there were risks associated with it, including a higher risk to infections, more serious infections and, according to some, a higher risk of lymphoma since the meds work by suppressing my immune system. I've reacted pretty well to the meds, luckily, without troubling infections (knock on wood!!). Although it's always lingering in the back of my mind that no one out there really knows the long term impact of these drugs, I mostly don't think about it because I'm so beyond grateful for what I've gotten back since being on them.
News like this drives home the fact that there really is a lot of unknown territory. So what is a gal to do? I guess not much, other than to be as vigilant as I can be about my health. I'm not willing to forsake the drugs that are keeping me mobile and a part of my life, at least not until something scarier comes out about them (let's hope not!!!).
It's one hell of a choice, though.