Preparing Mind, Body, and Soul

MS & Power of Positivity

Getting ready, upcoming treatment for MS, Lemtrada

My 5th treatment of Lemtrada is coming up February 11-13th and I have been gearing up for it both physically and mentally. One of the reasons I really like this medication is because I only take it once and year, the second it because it really works for me.  Lemtrada, being a chemotherapy medication, causes me to have nausea and bad headaches while taking it then mostly fatigued for a couple of weeks following it. So before going into a treatment, I like to prepare in advance for how I will do by getting ready for it in a few different ways.

Eating healthy is always important to me as is trying to keep my body fit and weight at a healthy number; but I really kick this into high gear as early as possible after my treatment is scheduled to be given. To accomplish this, I started working out daily on a treadmill increasing my work out time and also the endurance levels. With it being a very cold winter this year, it has limited me to my usual walking outdoors, so the treadmill has really come in handy. I must admit though by using this, I have found muscles that I had forgotten about. My outside walks are usually a slower pace and really no incline to speak of, but enjoy it because of being out in the sun and having my faithful four-legged baby walking with me to keep me company.  The faster pace along with steadily increasing the incline has made me sore but I have found that by performing this daily routine, my fatigue level has reduced and have felt overall better. Because my legs still have difficulty walking, I hold on to the handrails to prevent falling or tripping over my feet. The outcome by exercising is to build up stamina so that I won’t be down very long after completing the treatment, and also to control weight gain by the Solumerdol treatment that they give each day prior to receiving Lemtrada. Solumderol is used to help reduce the side effects, but like many of you it can pack on the weight, especially water retention, if not careful.

Next I prepare meals in advance to freeze so when I return home that I don’t have to worry about cooking if experiencing any side effects. You know when you are tired or nauseated that the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. This also cuts down on the desire for purchasing to-go-foods which may be high in calories, carbohydrates, or refined sugars. My pantry is stocked full of healthy soups and foods and refrigerator is loaded with fruits and vegetables that can be added to the precooked frozen foods to cover a healthy nutritious meals. This week, I have went on a big cleaning spree so that I can come home to a clean house. This will include a spray down of all items that are touched frequently with Lysol  before leaving to that my immune system won’t be compromised by bacteria after taking the chemotherapy drug. It is important to eat healthy and stay well after receiving this treatment because it does attack your immune system.  Besides, it always feels good to come home to a clean house with clean sheets on the bed after being away from home for a while. My doctor is 3 hours away so I always rent a hotel room while getting my treatment to prevent further stress on my body by riding back and forth each day.

Mentally getting ready is just by surrounding myself with all things that make me happy like listening to music, reading upbeat books and the bible, and praying. My husband and I have a large support group from family and friends, especially our church family who keep us on an on-going prayer list. I believe in the power of prayer and the blessings received by praying, so I must say that is probably the most calming thing that I do. My fear or stress level is basically zero because of going through this so many times, but I don’t like feeling bad, so it is natural to wish it was already completed. Look at it like training for a marathon, the more prepared you are in advance, the better the outcome. I am already looking forward to how it will improve my MS.

MS Blogger and Multiple Sclerosis Activist shares her journey living with MS, tips for others living MS and her husband, Steve, offers his insight as a caregiver for MS.