Yesterday, I had a talk with my rheumatologist about my blood results. I take a blood and urine test every three months so that we can keep on top of my illness. I want to mention that I have a great doctor because he calls me every time I have a blood test. If you want to know more about Wegener's Granulomatosis (Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis) here is a good article from the Mayo Clinic. Just a side-note: there is NO full recovery from WG. It is a lifetime disease. There are only ways to manage the disease.
Anyway, the imuran/azathioprine that I have been using to manage my disease has caused some toxicity in my blood. The marker MVP is too high. We have been watching that number for years. I have been on imuran for six to seven years. In the last three months the marker has jumped ten points. Here is an article that explains what the blood test means.
In my case if I continue with the medication I will probably get anemic. So thankfully there is another medication that I can use called Cellcept generic Mycophenolate. Since many of the transplant drugs are really good for managing our disease, researchers have found that this drug, which is also used for transplants, is good in keeping the auto-immune system suppressed.
So far I have used cyclophosphamide oral and I.V., methotrexate oral, and azathioprine (imuran) to control the disease. Cellcept and Rituxan are the only two drugs left in my arsenal. But, I am still alive and kicking after nine years of fighting this disease.
To keep the disease under control, researchers learned that using a chemo drug partnered with prednisone suppressed the immune system and kept the disease from progressing. At this time there is no cure for WG. Also, the researchers do not know what triggers the disease. They do know it is two parts. One part is the genetic component and the other part is the trigger. Some people with the genetics are never triggered into the disease.
I am looking forward to three weeks off chemo before I start this new drug. Please, wish me luck.