First Dose of Ocrevus Is in the Books!

I kept a running log yesterday of how my first experience with Ocrevus went. It was a long day for me, but it went pretty smoothly. Even so, I’m glad it’s over because the anticipation of the unknown was getting pretty heavy to carry. In hind site, I don’t think it was the best decision for me to join a Facebook Ocrevus group. There were some pretty extreme experiences shared and a fair amount of misinformation conveyed about both MS and Ocrevus. Each person’s body reacts differently to the ever growing range of MS Disease Modifying Therapies (DMTs), though. This was mine.

7:15 Checked in at Hospital Admissions
7:30 Rode up to the Infusion Center via the scenic route with a blue haired volunteer who got lost in the hospital πŸ˜‚
7:50 All checked in and IV lead placed then taken to a chair. Waiting for pharmacy to bring my drugs up.
8:33 Drugs arrive. Benadryl, Solu-Medrol, and Saline into the IV first… I’m getting sleepy. Solumedrol is flowing, it feels a little cold as it hits the vein. They gave me a couple of Tylenol, too.
8:40 The nurse starts the Ocrevus Juice (O.J.πŸ˜‰) and says, “You’re off like a herd of turtles, Sister.”
8:51 I have a funky sweet metallic taste in my mouth😝.
9:50 They’ve now bumped up the infusion rate twice and all is well other than a mild headache.
10:15 The rate of infusion was bumped up again and all is well.
10:35 Well, I just had a mild reaction consisting of a worsening headache and dizziness. They are pausing the medicine for 30 minutes and then they are going to slow the rate of infusion down when they resume it. So… it’s going to take a bit more time than the originally planned 4.5 hours.
11:00 I feel better now that they’ve stopped the med and are just running saline.
11:24 Infusion resumed and I’m eating the lunch I packed for myself.
11:55 Bumped up the rate again and I still feel fine.
12:24 Last bump up to the same rate that gave me the headache and dizziness. Fingers crossed it’s okay now. There’s not much left in the bag.
12:40. I have the slightest of headaches but the bag is so close to empty that I’m going to ride it out.
12:52 Ocrevus half dose #1 is in the books! I have to stay for an hour to be monitored but then I’m freeπŸ•ŠοΈ!!
1:50 The last drop of the saline has dripped, IV is out, and I’m heading out for a dear friend from church to drive me home
2:20ish I’m home, ready to shower, and put my jammies on. I have still have a headache so time for some Advil. The icky metallic/sweet taste won’t budge. The metallic part is the very familiar taste of the Solu-Medrol. I guess the sweet part is the Ocrevus because it started within seconds of it beginning.
3:40 I walked around the house for about 25 minutes doing little chores here and there before I felt the usual, sudden onset of fatigue settle in and bind me to the recliner. I’m going to be here a while, but I don’t think it’s related to the Ocrevus, just my typical MS. The headache remains entrenched, though, and it’s definitely from the infusion. I’m not sure which drug has caused it, Solu-Medrol or Ocrevus or even the two together. I do regularly get headaches from Solu-Medrol, but not typically until closer to the 24-hour mark and Advil or Tylenol shuts it down pretty quickly.
6:00 Ate dinner and resting. The headache is still slowly throbbing away. It’s not terrible, just there.
8:15 Added a couple of Tylenol to my handful of night meds and got ready for bed.
8:30 Tucked up in bed, getting ready to pray, and hoping the headache gets tired of hanging around and runs away with the dish and the spoon or hitches a ride with the cow jumping over the moon.

Friday, August 30th
7:20 The headache is gone!! I’m flushing red from the steroids and feeling tired but other than that I’m great😁.

I just have to survive the next couple of days while the steroids ooze out. I go for the second half dose two weeks from yesterday, September 12th. And then…I don’t have to go back for six months in order to get my first full dose!

Thanks for hanging around to read this and for the many who have reached out to me to let me know they’ve been praying for me. I know the prayers have made all the difference!

God be with you,

Amy

Date Set for Ocrevus and I Have Two New Friends

So, last time we met here I told you my Neurologist and I decided it was time to try a new Disease Modifying Therapy (DMT) named Ocrevus. It turned out that making the decision to try the drug was easier than tying to get it going.

Somehow my insurance got my name mixed up with someone else’s. It took about a week to get it all sorted and prove I don’t have Hepatitis B and can walk more than 5 feet. I told my dad about the mix up and he said that the same thing happened to him years ago. He got a letter in the mail saying that his hysterectomy had been approved πŸ˜‚πŸ€£!

The next step was to schedule with the hospital the first two infusions, given two weeks apart. Over the course of trying to get my insurance information straightened out I had to speak with my neurologist’s medical assistant several times. She had warned me that the Outpatient Infusion Department at the hospital was “understaffed and didn’t have enough chairs” so to expect a bit of a wait. Wow, was she ever right. The nurse I spoke with apologized when she told me the earliest they could get me in was (at that time) a little over a month out, August 29th.

Five days ago I started a regimen to get my current DMT out of my body before beginning Ocrevus. I’m mixing two packets of finely ground prescription death into water and forcing myself to drink it every eight hours. I live in dread of 6:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. for another six days 🀒.

About two weeks ago I was introduced to two new friends. They’ve turned out to be very supportive and affable, as they are willing to go just about anywhere I want. It’s nice to have friends.

Hopefully, I will be able to post something soon after my first dose of Ocrevus.

Thanks for following along!