Many have asked how Jen is doing now and what lies ahead.
The short answers are that Jen is doing well and we’re not quite sure what is next. Please read on for the more full explanation of what is happening.
Jen continues to do well and feel well as a result of the Prednizone (steroid) that she has been taking for the last 9 weeks. The steroid has reduced the inflammation that was causing a lot of pneumonia-like symptoms. As a result, she has felt a lot more like herself.
But the goal now is to get off the steroid (because of some of its negative side effects) without seeing the symptoms return. To do that, she’s received 4 weekly infusions of Rituxan, which is designed to put the vasculitis into remission so that when she is tapered off the steroid, the symptoms do not return.
Last Wednesday Jen received her fourth and final infusion. Her doctor also has begun tapering her off the Prednizone.
Where are we now in the recovery process? We don’t really know. We really have to take a wait and see approach.
Jen had some blood work done this week which we hope will show positive signs with many of the markers that the doctors look for when analyzing her condition. Specifically, they’ll be looking at inflammation rate, kidney functioning and the presence of certain anti-bodies.
Over the next 6 months, Jen’s immune system will begin to break down as a result of her infusions. In about 3 months, she should reach the low point of her immune system being compromised and as it builds itself back up, the hope is that the vasculitis will not return.
Please continue to pray with us. Specifically, pray that the Rituxan medication would be effective and that her symptoms would not return as she is slowly tapered off of steroids.
Pray too that Jen would not get sick during the time that her immune system is compromised.
Lastly, please continue to pray that we would trust the Lord as we navigate the various issues associated with this disease.
Thanks again for your continued prayers and your notes of encouragement. We feel loved!