*Let’s Just Be Friends
This is a hard letter for me to write. We’ve been together for 15 years and it’s been terrific. No, terrific isn’t enough. In fact, no words can define what we’ve had together. You’ve given me so much and asked for so little. It’s hard to imagine what my life would have been had I not met you. I admit, when we were first introduced I was scared. I hadn’t been with anyone else like you before. All the other meds were for individual symptoms and when I had an attack…well you know who I ran to – Steroid. Although that was good for a quick high (and I’ll never forget the dinners we ate together – OMG, beyond words), I was always left damaged. The more I ran back, the more damage was done. I knew I couldn’t keep doing this to myself, but there were no other options. And then BetaSeron came to town. I tried to get a date, but everyone wanted a piece. Ultimately the calendar was filled, and we couldn’t agree on a time to meet. Every day was booked until like, 10 months from my first phone call. Forget that! I’m not waiting around just because they said this new one was the only one that could help me. And those side effects – oof… flu like symptoms? Liver damage? Screw that! I’ll go back to Steroids for that kind of abuse – at least I know what to expect!
But then you came along, all cute with your pre-FDA-approval name, Cop-1. Nobody knew much about you then, but the gossip was good. And I felt special getting to know you before the rest of the world. But don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all wine and roses at first. You were different than anyone I had known before. On our first date you had a sharpness about you that was scary, even painful. But it didn’t take long for me to get over my phobias and just go with it. And I’ll be honest here Copaxone, you were my first in many ways. We shared some very special times together, ones I will never forget.
Do you remember that time when I walked so far my feet hurt? We’d only been together for a few months, and for the first time in years my feet actually hurt! With you I could walk far enough to feel pain. Oh that is surely when I fell deeply in love with you. And it was just the beginning of what you did for me. I had so much energy because of you. Remember those walk-a-thons we did? We had a team with shirts baring your name- Copaxone Walkers. And that’s not all you did for me. You changed my life. Years after we got together – I had a baby (of course you know that!), got a master’s degree and could even commute to NYC 5 days a week. I had so much energy with you – those subway steps couldn’t slow me down. You were there for me in so many undefinable ways and our relationship was so comfortable. Sometimes I got sick of the daily sticking points, but it was always worth the trade-off. I really shined in ways I couldn’t have without you. And that is why it is so hard to say that our relationship must end. I can’t even believe it…as I type these words. But the time has come to move on to something new. Yes, the salad days are behind us – and I have new needs now. You’ve done all you can for me, and I must start over. You are a tough act to follow Copaxone and I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get over you. Who knows, I may find healthy distraction in my next affair. But don’t feel badly, I will never forget all we had together.
I’m starting Rebif tomorrow and like the end of one relationship and the start of another – I’m afraid, though hopeful. I’ve done some research, but not too much. I’ve asked for shared experiences…and got more than I wanted. The reality is that everyone responds differently to any drug. It may work, it may not. It may cause side-effects, it may not. It may affect my liver, it may not. So as usual in my uncertain future with MS, I forge ahead. I’m hoping, maybe even praying, that this relationship will be the one. The one who will love me for who I am on the inside – scars and all.
So Rebif, if you are listening, go easy on me and maybe we’ll have some good times together. I’ve heard great rumors about you – and I’d like to think we can share the same magic.