Author Archives: Ed Tobias

MS Marathoner Cheryl Hile Conquers Antarctica

Back in September I told you about Cheryl Hile. Cheryl is a young woman with MS whose goal is to become the first person with MS to run in seven marathons on seven continents. In September she had just completed her first marathon, in Cape Town,…

MS and Falling the ‘Right Way’

Uh oh! My cat, T.J., is under my feet trying to nibble my ankles as I stumble toward the bathroom in the middle of the night. I know what’s about to happen. As I try not to step on T.J.’S tail, it’s already started. I’m going down. It…

My Lemtrada Coaster Has Been Rolling

About two weeks ago I wrote about my roller-coaster ride being pretty smooth since my first round of Lemtrada infusions ended in early December. Well, the loops are now looping. Month two post-infusion began with a good lab report, but also with an appearance of the up-down fatigue monster.

Pills, Shots or Infusions for Your MS?

Oral multiple sclerosis meds appear, more and more, to be the first choice of patients who are just beginning to receive an MS treatment. A recent report by the independent marketing research firm Spherix Global Insights shows that oral disease-modifying therapies captured a significantly higher…

Bicycle is Designed to Mimic the Symptoms of MS

Want to know what living with MS feels like? Take a ride on this bike. Those of us who have MS know that our disease has lots of symptoms. There are the legs that feel like they have 20-pound weights on them … balance that can have you…

MS Drug Treatment Costs Start the Year Headed Up

I don’t think this will surprise you. Multiple sclerosis drugs, some of the most expensive drugs there are, are getting even more expensive. Drug industry analyst Eric Schmidt, quoted in the Boston Business Journal, reported that Biogen began the new year by upping the price of Tecfidera,…

Lemtrada for My MS: First Month Report

It’s been a month since I completed my first round of Lemtrada infusions, so it’s time to bring everyone up to date on how things are going. I was told to expect a roller coaster of side effects. I’m pleased to say that, at least so far, it’s…

Are You In or Out of the MS Closet?

An MS patient who reads my column sent a personal message last week. It began: “Sorry about the secrecy. I’m in the closet! Seriously, I haven’t told many people about my RRMS diagnosis, for many reasons. I really don’t want my kids knowing. … I want to spare them that…

Still Waiting on Ocrevus

Several months ago I wrote a blog on my personal website about Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), the first drug that’s designed specifically to treat primary progressive, as well as remitting, multiple sclerosis. The clinical trials for Ocrevus posted excellent results. The buzz in the medical community was good,  and it was…

MS, Mercury and My Mouth

When I was a child my teeth had a lot of cavities So, I had lots of fillings in my mouth. The fillings were silver amalgam, which contain about 50% mercury. Mercury is a pretty toxic metal. In fact, these days if you break a thermometer and its mercury spills…

Lifting a Toast to Andrew Barclay

I don’t want to write about Andrew Barclay. But I have to. Because Andrew Barclay could be you or me. Barclay died in early December. He was a former civil servant in the U.K. and a grandfather. He turned 65 on his last birthday. And, Andrew Barclay had multiple…

My Lemtrada Infusion: Five Days Done

I’ll admit I was nervous as I sat in the infusion chair for Day 1 of Round 1 of my Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) infusions. I’d read a lot, and talked with my neurologist a lot, about the drug. I knew the benefits of Lemtrada could be great. My multiple sclerosis…

Volunteers Needed to Make MS Research Project Meaningful

Have you ever wondered how your MS experience compares with others? Your ability to go out and do things? The therapies you’ve used? Your symptoms? Your age and ethnic background? Researchers from the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis have been collecting this kind information for nearly two years…

Starting Down My Lemtrada Road

Here we go. This is the week my Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) infusions begin. A few weeks ago I wrote about how Lemtrada has been successful in stopping disease progression in folks with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, and those who have transitioned to secondary progressive MS but continue to have relapses. There have…

Beating the MS Clock

I’m 68 years old.  I’ve had multiple sclerosis since I was 32. I’m not sure where I expected this disease would take me when I was diagnosed 36 years ago, but I hoped that MS wouldn’t steal too much of my life from me.  I certainly never thought of…

Information Overload Precedes Lemtrada Infusions

You know the saying about having too much of a good thing? I think that’s me, right now, as I think about starting infusions of the multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada on Dec. 5. Lemtrada is supposed to be a super drug. As I wrote in an earlier…

Have Scooter, Will Travel (Part 2)

My column, earlier this week, about traveling with a scooter, generated a couple of questions. What do you ride? Where did you get it? How much did it cost? Here are a few answers for the group. Less than a week ago I finally trashed my Pride Sconic, which…

Have Scooter, Will Travel

“Round, round, get around. I get around.” I was humming that classic 1960s Beach Boys tune this morning (yes, I’m that old) as I thought about a feature story that I saw on one of the TV networks recently. The story profiled Cory Lee. Cory has spinal muscular…

Letter to a Scared Young Woman

Dear Lauren Parrott, I know you’re scared. The fears that you shared in your video blog ring true to any of us who have faced the unknowns of a new multiple sclerosis medicine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eS9-nSfvgSI I’ve been there. I’ve gone through three major multiple sclerosis drugs over the…

Would You Fund My MS Treatment? (Part 2)

“… in 3 years we went from living decent not rich to poverty and will prob have no utilities soon and maybe homeless.” An MS patient wrote that after I posted Part I of this column a few days ago. “I went threw (sic) all of our savings…

Would You Fund My MS Treatment?

I’m not asking for your money.  (At least not yet.)  But I’ve recently seen a lot of news stories about MS patients who are. Multiple sclerosis battler fights for $200,000 treatment Or… Fundraiser for Deanna Or… Burbage dad’s £50,000 appeal…

Getting in the Front Door

It’s happened to us all.  You arrive at a business and discover there are steps at the entrance. A few years ago my wife and I arrived to check-in to a 4-star hotel near The Wheel in London, and discovered that there were a dozen steps at both of…

Brace Yourself for MS

One of the MS blogs that I follow is written by Jen, who lives in England.  It’s called Tripping Through Treacle.  Doesn’t that neatly sum up the lives of many of us in just three alliterative words?  From MS newbies to old-timers like me, we worry (or have…

MS Drugs – Who’s Using What?

Most of us who live with multiple sclerosis also live with a disease modifying therapy (DMT) — a drug that, we hope, will positively modify the course of our disease. One of the earliest of these was Avonex, a weekly injection into the muscle. I was one of those…

Are the Benefits Worth the Risks of Lemtrada?

My neurologist calls Lemtrada “HSCT lite.”  She says that not only is the drug able to reduce exacerbations and limit the overall progression of multiple sclerosis, it’s actually reversed some symptoms in some of her patients.   I guess I’m going to find out if she’s right about…

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