After much deliberation, tomorrow morning I will begin a brand new treatment regimen with a chemotherapeutic agent called Rituximab (also known as “Rituxan”). This particular drug is a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the protein CD20, which is primarily found on the surface of B cells. Rituximab destroys B cells and is therefore used to treat diseases which are characterized by excessive numbers of B cells, overactive B cells, or dysfunctional B cells. This includes many lymphomas, leukemias, transplant rejection, and autoimmune disorders. While I do not have lymphoma, I have tested positively for an elevated level of CD20+ markers. Additionally, Rituxan is used in instances of autoimmunity that fail treatment with IVIG and plasmapheresis, which is the case for me.
I am comforted in knowing I am under the care of two of the most kindhearted practitioners I have ever encountered. I have faith in their work, because I know the depth of their goodness. Hahnemann/Drexel University Hospital is blessed to have physicians as talented and devoted as Dr. Styler and Dr. Heiman-Patterson.
What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly? ~E.H.