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I know, I know, it's been a long time! Here it is June 7th, 2010. A lot has happened in the last 4 years. I was living alone for the first time in my life and I loved it. Jennifer is living with her boyfriend, (that alone was a real stressor), but she loves him and they are happy. Then 2 years ago I went to California and brought my mother and her 15 year old three legged dog back to live with me. Momís health is not what it used to be so she needs to be close to someone that can help and she would also be here to help me, so it works out. My MS and my health were doing well. I was on Copaxone and no longer having the Navantrone therapy. I still had my normal MS stuff, pain and fatigue, but it was all manageable.

We had done some house remodeling, bought a new glass top stove and had a built in Microwave installed. We had completely landscaped the front and back yards and it was beautiful. Then on September 23 of 2010 I was frying eggrolls and the kitchen caught on fire. It all happened so fast. One second Iím turning an eggroll and the next Iím standing in front of a wall of flames. They shot up and across the ceiling and engulfed the whole room. Within 30 seconds to a minute I was on the phone to 911 and trying to get the dogs and cat out of the house. My dogs were no problem but momís dog Buddy, now that was another story. He would not go out; he hid under her bed and would not come out. The 911 operator told me to leave him and get out of the house. I live very close to the fire department and I could hear the sirens. By this time the whole house was full of thick black smoke, I could hardly see to get to the front door. The FD was pulling onto my street when I got out. There I stood in my driveway crying and coughing. The Fire Chief asked if everyone was out, I told him about Buddy and he said they would get him. Then he asked where my mom was, I told him thankfully she was at Church. A neighbor from across the street came over and hugged me and that was when I really started crying, it was so bad I couldnít catch my breath. The EMS put an oxygen mask on me and I finally stopped gasping for air. By this time all my neighbors were out there. They had moved me into a neighborís driveway and I watched as black smoke billowed out of every window and the vents of the attic. It was horrifying. A fireman brought Buddy out and they put an oxygen mask on him as well. He was so scared but fine. We spent four long months in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment. In the mean time Mom got very sick and even went to the ER several times. Not being at the house every day with the early winter weather we lost a lot of plants. All in all it was not a good time. It was such a relief to move back in early January. Iím slowly replacing lost things, but we are happy to be home.

I was working part time for the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, just filling in as a program registrar while someone was out on medical leave. One month soon turned into four. I love working there, most fun Iíve ever had on a job. Best group of people too, (if you have not already joined, check it out!) I started in late January and felt fine. Then in the middle of February I woke up and could not feel the bottom of my feet. Over the next few days it got progressively worse, the numbness moved up my right leg. I was having a hard time driving so I started using my left foot for both the gas and the brake pedals. I know this was stupid, but at the time it didnít seem that bad. I actually got pretty good at it. I called to see if I could get in to see Dr. Gordon and to my horror found out he had retired. Turns out he just left the practice. The office sent me to get an MRI and blood work. I had that done the same week and got in to see Dr. David Altman early the following week. He did a through exam and went over my records. He suggested I start Tysabri. We talked about it at length and he sent me home with a packet that had all kinds of info, it even had a DVD. I did some more research on the web and talked to Jennifer and my mom. Mom was completely against it, she didnít like the side effects. Everything has side effects. Jennifer and I were both for it. Itís an IV infusion that only take 2 hours and itís just once a month. I have spoken to people who have used it and people that know people who have used it. The results of most people have been amazing.

I sent in the paperwork and got the process started. My insurance approved it and my first appointment was set for May 19, 2010. I have a grant from The Chronic Disease Fund, they cover my co-pay from all my MS Drug. Everything is done in a Tysabri approved infusion center. Iím going to the Cancer Care Center of South Texas, itís in the Medical Center section of San Antonio which is the opposite side of the city from me, about a 40 minute drive with no traffic. I was both excited and scared. Jen, Mom and I set out for the other side of town. When I first get there I have blood drawn and then I see Dr Beeram before every infusion. He is very friendly and always makes us laugh. For my first time the RN (Melissa, so sweet!) told me what to expect, where everything was and she even set up my next appointment (June 16). All the patients sit in recliners. For some reason the infusion room is very cold, which is good for me. We all came prepared. Jen had her laptop (they have Wi-Fi so she was happy). Mom had a blanket and a magazine. Earlier that month Tysabri sent me a great carry bag and a fleece blanket. So I had my blanket, mp3 player and a book. Jen sat on the floor right next to me and Mom sat in the recliner next to me. Melissa got me all hooked up and we got started. They first run saline for about 30 minutes and then the Tysabri takes an hour and then 30 more minutes of saline. The first session went very well. The only problem I had was getting the IV started, my veins have a tendency to blow and I end up with ugly bruises. Melissa suggested I see about getting a port implanted.

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