Hello! First and foremost, I am so happy to have found this website- I have been feeling very alone, scared, and confused since my RA diagnosis. I am a 31 year old female and a new momma to a one and a half year old.
About 6 months ago I started experiencing pain in my knees. When that subsided, my left foot began to hurt. I went to a podiatrist, who told me I had ankle instability and had me wear a brace. After wearing the brace, I ended up with worse pain and at urgent care. Urgent care ran some x rays and gave me some crutches to walk and referred me to another podiatrist as they expressed that my x ray came back normal. Long story short, after three months of pain, several different diagnosis (planter fasciitis, tendonitis, etc.), and no improvement- only worsening, I took it upon myself to go to a rheumatologist (at this point, I wasn't able to walk without excruciating pain in my left foot).
The Rheumy ran blood work- it all came back negative for RA protiens. We did an MRI which showed edema and erosion in several bones and tendons (however not enough of them to fit the RA diagnosis) He also ran the VECTRA test in which I scored 55 (high?). This leads me to my first questions: What does this mean, could I have RA with no markers in my blood? With pain in only one concentrated area (non symmetrical)?
My Rheumy decided to treat me "aggressively" although he stated several times that I was not a "text book" case. He put me on Enbrol and Methotrexate (not sure if I spelt these correctly). I saw results within the first week. I stayed on these meds for about 5-6 weeks getting the injection weekly. When I started to get better I took a 5 week break. About a week ago, I started up with pain in my left heel(always on left side)- my doc suggested that it might be the beginning of a flare up and put me back on embrol. I feel better, yes, but still a little hesitant to admit that this diagnosis is the correct one.
I am also very afraid of the drugs that I am taking. I have done a lot of research all pointing to Enbrol being a culprit to cancer and increasing the chances of cancer dramatically. I can not stop thinking about this. It brings me down all the time thinking that while I am healing one thing, I might be poisoning myself in a more terminal way. What are all of your thoughts about taking these medications? Any success stories of being able to get off for an extended amount of time? What have been your experiences of being on these meds long term?
I am so sorry to ask so many questions. I am on a quest to become as educated about RA as possible so that I can feel good about the decisions that I am making for myself.
Thank you all in advance.