This is probably the most serious post I've done in a while. Usually I like to think of my Crohn's Disease in a happier light. I joke a lot about what I go through and the struggles that pop up in my life. This is just my coping strategy. In life, I never like to be seen as vulnerable and sharing how upset and scared I can be about certain situations is the most anxiety inducing thing I can think of.
I started this blog to be honest though. I want to share exactly what I am going through, no matter how vulnerable, because I know there are others out there who are going through the same thing and are just as scared to share.
I'll dive right into it.
My Crohn's is not improving. As much as I would like to think the Cimzia has made things better, it has not gotten me into remission like I had originally hoped. This past Friday when I went to the doctor, he suggested I switch over to Remicade. I agreed, took some literature on what the effects of Remicade would be, and signed the forms to get the treatment approved through my insurance.
I've been seriously thinking and researching this past week and have to admit I am so scared. Number one, the stakes on the table for this treatment working feel incredibly high. Right now the chances of me being able to have children in my current state of health are very low but if I can manage to get and stay in remission for a decent amount of time those odds improve dramatically. I also am getting to the point where I struggle to make it through days between my pain and fatigue. Me wanting to be the bad ass at work and at home that I want to be, that just can't be the case. The stakes of trying Remicade also seem to be pretty bleak though.
Through my online research I have found a plethora of side effects (even more extensive than Cimzia) that make me cringe while I read them. It seems so superficial but just the thought of gaining weight and losing my hair brings me to tears. Being on Cimzia already caused me to gain a bit of weight which seems trivial but to someone who suffered from and eating disorder can't be taken lightly. Remicade seems to promise similar side effects from potential weight gain, to cancer, to hair loss, even all the way to Lupus and Fibromyalgia symptoms following treatment. I have found myself questioning, is this even worth it?
As of now it is. To be able to have a chance at kicking ass in my career and having a beautiful family of my own, it is definitely worth it. The health risks scare me and honestly, I am a superficial mother effer so it does bother me that I may gain weight and lose my hair.... as it would basically ANY woman that I know. But what would YOU do? What would you do if you were faced with this option?
I called my dad, who is basically my rock, to vent about this and he told me that the longevity and quality of his daughter's life means a whole lot more than how pretty she is... easy for a dad to say, right? But then I started to think about it. How many women do I look up to, especially in the chronic illness community, who I think are the most beautiful women in the world who probably doubt themselves and have struggled with these same side effects. I look at them and think, damn, because they did it I can. So why can't I be one of them?
Why. Not. Me.
I 'm going for it. I am trying out Remicade. Side effects and all. I will take it as it comes. I will conquer Crohn's. Because I want the happy spark back inside of me. Because I want to be the best version of me that I can be in every aspect of my life. Because I want the chance of having a family someday. And because I want to inspire others and show them that this can be conquered no matter how defeated you may feel.
My fellow Remicade users, please feel free to reach out via any platform. I would love to hear your experience and your story as well as get tips and tricks from you. Do not hesitate to reach out. We are a community.
Mental health advocate.
Sharing my raw and real journey through motherhood and navigating Crohn’s Disease. CrohnicallyBlonde is a place where I serve up my unfiltered commentary on chronic illness, mental health, pregnancy, and motherhood alongside lighter lifestyle content like beauty product reviews, travel tips, and book recommendations. My hope is that by authentically sharing my story I can help others going through similar situations not feel so alone and maybe even laugh along with me.