• Announcements

    • Joelf

      Upgraded Sclero Forums!   05/18/2017

      Welcome to the Upgraded and Redesigned Sclero Forums!!   Our Forums are even better and more up to date than before.   Happy Posting to all our Members!!
jad12

Hi, I am new and new to this disease as well.

64 posts in this topic

Thanks you guys. I'll let you know how it goes.

I prefer corn flakes.

Yeah, I am eating all my favourites but also trying to keep within my pant size but that went right out the window this morning when Hubby made me a huge..HUGE...plate of bacon and pancakes all drizzled with Canadian maple syrup to cheer me up (on top of the french toast etc he made me on the weekend!). I ate every bite too. He knows my weak spots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm reading the trials and results from links here. Has anyone tried the antibiotic route? I was bitten by a tick a loooong time ago in Virginia (like about 18 years ago!) Are there any more studies on Minocycline?

 

How about Cyclophosphamide? I'm trying to get some idea of what may help me?

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jad12,

From our Medical page on

Scleroderma Clinical Trials: Completed, Negative Results/Minocycline

Warning: Minocycline (doxicycline) treatment has been proven to be ineffective for the treatment of systemic scleroderma by reliable scientific study.

I've included a link to Minocyline from our medical pages and we also have a previous thread here explaining about it.

Regarding Cyclophosphamide I underwent 6 months treatment on this drug which consisted of IV infusions every four weeks. It's a powerful drug and in my case it was very effective improving my lung diffusion from 48% to 85%. BUT I would emphasise that everybody's reaction and result to the drug is different and just because it worked so well for me unfortunately doesn't mean it may be as effective for everyone. My consultant has told me that I was very lucky to have had such an improvement; a lot of the time the drug results in stablising the lung function, not improving it as it did in my case. There were other factors involved with my lungs as well; I was physically very fit at the time, so noticed very quickly that there was a serious problem and was able to treat the ground glass on my lungs whilst it was still in the inflammation stage. Also my lungs were in pretty good shape to start with (fit, non smoker all my life).

Very nasty to be bitten by a tick; I knew a pony who suffered Lyme's Disease through a tick bite and she did recover but was very ill at the time.

Kind regards,


Jo Frowde

ISN Assistant Webmaster

SD World Webmaster

ISN Sclero Forums Manager

ISN News Manager

ISN Hotline Support Specialist

ISN Chat Host

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update, I was trying to find definitive proof it's ineffective. I did read about the original study which wasn't anywhere good enough to tell one way or the other.

 

Like you, I am very fit, my ideal weight too (though I won't be if I keep up all this junk I was eating the last two weeks!), never smoked and have decreased lung diffusion (the scan to see if it's ground glass has been ordered so I'll find out) My lungs are currently 58 percent.

 

Cyclophosphamide sounds like it may stabilize the lungs. (I'd be happy with stable).

 

Do you know anything about plasmapheresis as a treatment? Or have any links to anything? Thanks a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And oh yeah, I got a letter today that said I'd hopefully get to see a rheumatologist in the next six months but if not I'd be referred back to my general practitioner. :angry: It says if my condition worsens I can see my general practitioner who may refer me again for a more urgent assessment. I don't feel very urgent but on the other hand I don't like the wait either. I suppose it may work out well since it gives me time to get all the tests done first including, I hope, the CT scan of my lungs. As I said my echo cardiogram is tomorrow. Fingers crossed for the old ticker! :spoon: I'm not sure what a spoon smiley means but hey!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Julie,

 

Spoons are spoonfuls of energy, maybe you don't measure yours in spoonfuls yet but you likely will some day in the future. We say you can estimate how many spoonfuls you feel you can cope with in a day. When I got home from hospital in early March my spoonfuls numbered about 1 or 2. Just getting dressed and eating was about all I could do. Now I am back to a whole lot most days.

 

You say you don't feel as though you want to see the Rheumatologist urgently, but I think 6 months is too long and I would suggest that you keep seeing your general practitioner for every little thing (remember about your frequent user card). Keep yourself right up there in their faces until you get some action. The other thing is that my general practitioner says that unless I tell her everything she doesn't know what is happening.

 

The other thing would be to find out who the Rheumatologists are at your hospital and find out if they are any good. The one at North Shore Hospital was as useful as a wet bus ticket and I pay to see somebody else now. My general practitioner was at med school with him and knew him! It is not easy to get to know who is who because of our privacy laws but there are ways. Just keep asking around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Judyt, I've been wondering how to find out. I've googled him with no luck and asked an ER nurse who works there but she didn't know him and I asked Hubby's specialist in Auckland who also didn't know him. I thought I might try to track down his office at the hospital in Tauranga today while I am there (visions of stalkers) but I'm not sure what I would do when I found it.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Also I am not sure what good he'd do anyway since I can't see much that looks very promising medication wise anyway though I would still like his opinion on minocin and plasmapheresis since I still have yet to read an actual study that rules it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, looks like you have tried all the ways I would use. You don't say whether you have tried your general practitioner. If you did track down his office at the hospital you could try to find out if there is a Nurse Specialist attached to him you could talk to. Otherwise the Rheumatology booking clerk might know. That is what worries me about hospital consultants, if you can't find out who they are and what they know how can you be sure you are going to get good advice.

 

As for the DMA's (disease modifying agents) your general practitioner should surely have some idea or at least tell you which research is the best to read. Not that I know anything about anything really except how to burn potatoes (again last night!!!!!!!) but if I was in your position I would be wanting somebody to try something to help. Once your organs are damaged it is too late, as I well know.

 

Don't give up. Something will surely start to be the best choicer.

 

JudyT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ended up asking the people who booked me for the echocardiogram while I was at the hospital and she was quite enthusiastically in his favour, so there we go. I also went down to his office after the echo to drop a copy of all my records off (since I was in the building anyway). :emoticons-clap: I didn't get a glimpse of him because he was off sick for the day, but I DID talk to his scheduler who said I could have an earlier appointment if I were willing to drive there instead of waiting until he came by closer once a month so of course I said I'd be willing to drive back again. My boss will be less than pleased unless it takes place on a holiday but oh well.

 

I totally forgot to ask the echo tech what she thought of him.

 

So all up it was a worthwhile trip. I won't know how the echo went until the doctor gets to see it but the technician didn't seem disturbed by anything.

 

I don't usually cook, the hubby does. At least you can MAKE potatoes, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes Julie you seem to have done quite well. I have certainly found that it helps to talk to the clerical staff who can help to move you up the list. As well, they can make things easier for you if you need it. Keep up the good work.

 

Judy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I asked my rheumatologist if she thought I had diffuse or limited, she said she thought limited because of my mouth involvement. Even though my skin involvement includes my upper arms, my chest, and a little bit on my stomach. But your doctor obviously didn't think that mouth involvement excluded the possibility of diffuse. Interesting how different doctors look at things.

 

I suppose things are going rather slowly though for me, so that could be part of the limited diagnosis. It all started with finger ulcers 2 1/2 years ago. Then I started getting some joint pain. The skin started getting blotchy about 2 years ago, on my wrists, and then it spread from there. I guess diffuse skin thickening occurs much more quickly.

 

Just yesterday I got an echocardiogram and an ECG (I originally thought they were the same thing, with ECG being an acronym for echocardiogram, but apparently they're different tests), and will do the pulmonary tests in a month. The rheumatologist wants to do these once a year to stay on top of any potential issues with my heart or lungs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a doctor but I'm happy to share my thoughts. I didn't take their word for it, I looked up all the symptoms and indicators. I unfortunately definitely have diffuse. Rapidity is part of it. Having SCL-70 instead of anti-centromere is a big tell. They are almost always mutually exclusive, a very few people might have both antibodies I read somewhere, but I have just SCL-70. I just had myself tested for anti-RNA polymerase III to see how much at risk of renal failure I am. I haven't got that result back yet. I understand some people don't test positive for SCL-70 or anti-centromeres and still have scleroderma, but with me it's pretty cut and dried. Now especially that it's marching up my arms and I just got diagnosed not that long ago. It was just six months ago I noticed the Raynaud's and shortly after the thickening skin on the back of my hands.

 

By the way, I grew up in Ontario. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, yes, I didn't realize you had the Scl-70 antibodies. I continue to test negative for all antibodies (other than the ANA). Even though a lip biopsy shows I have Sjogren's, and a skin biopsy shows I have scleroderma.

 

And yes, since your skin changes seem to have occurred in a few months, that is faster than a couple of years like myself.

 

I understand that there are still many severities of the diffuse kind, so hopefully yours decides to move slowly when it comes to the kidneys and other organs.

 

I would imagine New Zealand is quite beautiful and the weather's probably a lot nicer than in Ontario (unless you're one of those people that actually liked the winter - I don't! :P )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like winter either, it was part of the draw to NZ. I am also hoping for a mild course, thank you for the kind thought! I wish for you the best of results as well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now