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LEMTRADA is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Because of its risks, LEMTRADA is generally used in people who have tried 2 or more MS medicines that have not worked well enough. It is not known if LEMTRADA is safe and effective for use in children under 17 years of age.

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Preparing for Infusions Together LEMTRADA patient blogger: Rachel By Rachel, Wife, Mother, Domestic Engineer • June 20, 2018

LEMTRADA® (alemtuzumab) patient, Rachel, and her husband and Care Partner

When my Care Partner (also known as my husband, Corey) and I made the decision together for me to start the LEMTRADA journey, there was a lot to discuss. We both like to be proactive and knew that we needed to have an open and realistic discussion about these infusions and my experience on LEMTRADA.

Thanks to my doctor and nurse educating us, we felt like we had a pretty good idea of what to expect for the infusions. They prescribed medications for me to take before, during and after my infusions. Those were something we could check off our list. Speaking of lists, we also found it helpful to keep a list of the medicines they gave me, and write down when I took what. Corey was so helpful in keeping me on track. That list also came in handy when communicating with my healthcare team. Corey and I had lots and lots of questions and my healthcare providers took the time to make sure that we were prepared.

The infusions were going to take up a better part of the week. Getting infused was basically my job for 5 days. Now we all know that life still goes on regardless of RMS, right? La, la, la, la, life goes on. I needed to take the time to get my treatment and Corey still needed to literally take care of business. Thanks to the amazing staff at the infusion center, as well as my excellent team of healthcare providers, I felt comfortable sitting through the actual infusions without my Care Partner next to me the entire time. But we both felt it was probably best for me to not drive myself back and forth. Corey arranged his work schedule that week around the infusions so that he was available to be my chauffeur. We live close to the center where I was infused, so thankfully it wasn’t difficult for him to drive me to and from my infusions each day.

So that took care of some of the logistics. Now what else?

The house. The kids. How could we prepare the house and manage the children during all of this? My doctor and I had discussed that I might experience fatigue after the infusions. Knowing this was a possibility, we wanted to do whatever we could ahead of time to have things run smoothly. Corey and I got to work making sure that clothes were clean and other chores were all caught up. Who isn’t always overwhelmed with the endlessness of laundry to begin with? Please, please tell me that I am not alone in this struggle!

My children are super high-maintenance because they are young and nowhere near independent. We’re talking the kind of high-maintenance that is emotionally and physically demanding. Corey and I knew that we needed to call for reinforcements, aka my in-laws! He had to work and I was going to be away all day getting infusions. His parents have always been our #1 supporters and we don’t know what we would do without them. They stepped right up to the plate to watch the kids during the days I was infused so that Corey and I could both concentrate on what we needed to do. THANK YOU TO MY AMAZING IN-LAWS!

Another task I figured I could take care of ahead of time was to channel my inner chef by preparing a bunch of make-ahead meals. My family, like most, enjoys eating dinner, so this made life easier for all of us. That was one of the best decisions I made and I would highly encourage anyone to do the same. It’s a
habit that I’ve kept up even after my infusions. I enjoy prepping meals ahead of time and putting them in the fridge or freezer for sooner or later. It’s almost like a gift to myself. You’re welcome, future Rachel. I also like to write the instructions on top of whatever I cover the dish with using a black marker. Corey also really appreciates being able to just pull a meal out and heat it up.

Preparing for infusions can seem overwhelming. There is so much to think about when you’re beginning your journey with LEMTRADA. But with the help of a good Care Partner and some determination, you can do it! I hope that reading about some of our experience can help you readers! And please take a look at some of my tips for caring for yourself after infusions. I’d love to hear any tips you have and how you prepared for your infusions.

  • CARE PARTNER
  • FAMILY
  • infusion
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  • FAMILY
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  • YEAR 1
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  • THE DECISION
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  • LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
  • CLINICAL TRIALS
  • INFUSION PREP
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  • EDUCATION
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