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Newly diagnosed and full of questions

Recently diagnosed with RA. Hands, feet and now I fear hip. I am on prednisone, folic acid and methotrexate. Just had a visit and discussed meds are maintaining but not eliminating inflammation and pain so my RA doc has now added “Humira”! This is my fear and questions!

The more I read the more my head wants to blow up lol. The first thing is it will not replace the meds it will be ADDED to the meds, seriously, I feel I am not that debilitated by this disease. Mainly the side effects are what have me delaying this new step and fearing it.

I am a nurse in a nursing home so that small fear with a new treatment, but more important is CANCER! I am a cancer survivor, lung. That word in any combination of any reading throws up flags for me.

Do I try to just work with what I am doing and not start the injections, do I try injection and ask to stop the pills so I am not loaded down with all these meds, is the daily pain that bad, I can tolerate it I have for a while now?

I am afraid to start and then one day with blood work or x-rays find cancer again. I am RUNNING SCARED right now.

Help please.

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  • Erin Rush moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Rosey475 and welcome! First off, let me say that I can see why you would be feeling overwhelmed and anxious about starting another new medication. One reason (as you probably know) rheumatologists are so proactive about treating RA is to help slow the degeneration of joints that occurs when RA is left untreated. That said, YOU have the final say about which treatments you choose to pursue. As a cancer survivor, your concerns about medication side effects are no small issue. Some physicians will avoid prescribing certain RA meds to cancer survivors for the reason you mentioned. Here is some information about Humira that you may find helpful, if you haven’t already read it — and The good and maybe not-so-good thing is that there are a number of medications that people living with RA can try in order to manage their symptoms. Please know you are not alone. Being newly diagnosed can be an especially challenging time and our members understand that! You CAN do this! Here is a piece from one of our contributors that has been living with RA for many years. It’s a piece about the advice she would offer to herself when she was newly diagnosed — Thank you for reaching out and we are glad you found this community! Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have further questions or concerns. While we cannot offer medical advice, for you safety, we are happy to help in any way we can. Best, Erin, Team Member.

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