“Just a pill”… Sounds so simple, easy, and convenient, right?
Well, yes and no.
First, there’s “chemotherapy training”–reading a twelve-page summary about the drug’s application and long list of possible and probable side effects.
Second, signing a consent form to document that you understand the treatment and its risks and grant your permission to start.
Third, it takes a week or so to submit the prescription to a specialty pharmacy and to get approval from your insurance company (this is not a given).
Fourth, you start asking all those questions you forgot to ask at the doctor’s office. What time(s) of day do I take it? With or without food? Is taking at the same time as my other medications ok? What do I do if I start puking my guts out? How bad do side effects have to be to rush to the ER or urgent care? (Being a crybaby is a very real fear)
Fifth, in order to measure the effectiveness of the treatment and monitor side effects, you need to do a ton of tests to establish a baseline. (discussed in next post).
Sixth, I was advised that it will likely take months to know how effective the treatment is going to be and how well I will tolerate it.
But be prepared: Side effects typically show up after just a few days.
In the meantime, that nasty list of symptoms that ruined my Covid summer was still destroying my quality of life.