Archive for October, 2011

From Side To Side

I have looked at Lancelot outside my window.  The prison remains, but it is weakened.

Two beautiful, beautiful doctors in Norway have discovered a drug that has significantly improved.. and in two cases, cured, patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  This is very good news.

They ran a double-blind trial testing the effects of Rituximab, a drug used to treat cancer, on their CFS patients.  Not only did a full two thirds of those given the drug show remarkable improvement (and those blessed two patients who completely recovered) this study underscores the fact that CFS is a real, physical illness and not something that’s just happening in our heads.  The doctors went out of their way to make that point.

And not only do they actually believe what we’ve been saying for decades, they believe CFS is going to end up being classified as an auto-immune disease.  That classification has always made sense to me; it just fits.  My body is attacking itself, thus I always feel like I’m ill and tired.  It causes strange, unexpected side effects, like my muscles and joints which seem to be made out of bruisable putty.

These are good findings.  They help validate the experiences of all of us who have been living with this illness.  They tell us there are people looking for a cure.  They tell us we’re not crazy, not imagining things, and not simply whiners who need to man up and walk it off.  We are sick… but there is also hope.

There is still a long road ahead.  Studies need to be reproduced, conclusions confirmed, and even then there will be years of testing before the drug would be available to those who need it.  But it’s a glimmer of hope.  One we didn’t have before.  And I’m going to hold on to it, and breath softly into its embers.  The mirror has cracked.

And yes, there have been some really lovely things happening in my personal life which I will be noting soon, but for the moment, this is what I’m going to blog about.  We are not out of the woods, but I am still going to do the unheard-of and crack open a beer on a Thursday night to celebrate.

Those who would like to read more about the trial itself can find some good info here.

Breakable - A photo I took about having CFS.


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