Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Goodbye Imuran

I waited for this day for several months now. And I almost thought it wouldn't come. After 2 1/2 years of taking Imuran to regulate my platelet count, I am finally declared well enough to be taken off the drug. So as of today, I am finally drug free! The moment I found out my platelet count was at 250,000 (up from last month's 248,000), I nagged the fellow in charge of my case to look at my chart and recall that today was dc day (discontinue day). After a few minutes of debating, she finally agreed. I texted my close friends and my sister the good news. I wanted to share with them my joy. Ves was the most ecstatic. She's been nagging my doctors to take me off imuran for almost a year now.

It's been a long journey. Had some really close scares. And in truth I'm not totally off the hook yet. The next two weeks will be my final test. If my platelets remain normal and stable, I might be finally considered to be going on remission. Because ITP has no cure, I can never be declared disease free. So I'll be happy with what I have. At least for today, I know somehow I am back to normal once again.

When I relapsed last Feb 18, 2003 my world nearly collapsed. My entire lifestyle was changed in one day. Steroids gave me a body that I didn't even recognize and a number of other side effects that caused so much distress. Imuran nearly drained my financial resources not to mention the endless needlepricks I had to go through every month. Plus Imuran has a number of serious side effects that I had to look out for.

But still I am glad. My relapse allowed me to reexamine my life-- and made me choose to live the rest of it with grace. Without my ITP I probably wouldnt have started playing badminton or get to ride that tiny plane to Boracay. Without my ITP I wouldn't have taken the risks I've taken the past two years. ITP forced me to live in the here and now.

I may not know what will happen in the future but one thing is for sure. Today is a great day. Today I can finally tell the world that I am normal and happy.

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