[blockquote style=”2″]PS 2013 update by SCW: The following is my own personal first experience with Hydroxyurea. I eventually ended up taking it for 6 months a year later, to no avail and really bad nausea/vomiting. However, Hydroxyurea does work for some people, and has to the ability to drastically reduce your pain crisis episodes, improve your blood counts, and quality of life. This is based upon my own personal experiences. You should use your own discretion and the advice of your physician.[/blockquote]
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Last year, after numerous bouts of falling sick, my doctor practically ordered me to give Hydroxyurea a shot. Also known as Hydrea, this is one of the medications that has been known to reduce the incidence of sickle cell crises’. When she explained it to me, it sounded good, but as soon as I had the script filled and in my hands, I started trembling.
For some reason, my skin crawled and I recoiled from accepting the two large canisters for 300 pills. I had done my research, and the list of side effects was monstrous, however she assured me that ‘most people don’t have side effects.’
I got home and Norio and I read the whole packet, front to back, and the more I read, the more discouraged I got about taking the medicine. Developed originally as a chemotherapy drug, Hydrea has the potential of preventing crises by actually killing off the neoplastic ‘sickle cells’ and prevents the developed ones from taking the sickle cell shape. Since it’s the clumping of the shape that causes a crises, it’s been known to reduce crises’ by as much as 50%.
Except it’s a cancer drug.
It’s a cancer drug. Ick, ick ick! That alone comes with it’s own list of complications. The list is so long it’s atrocious to call it a medicine. I was having thoughts of my hair falling out, horrible GI symptoms, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, exhaustion, more anemia, constipation, diarrhea, skin turning pale, insomnia, cough, soreness, fever, chills, back pain, black tarry stools, bleeding, confusions, convulsions, seizures, blackening of nails, sores in the mouth, fatigue, itching, numbness & tingling. And that was just the stuff that didn’t sound deadly.
I just really felt so scared to take it. It seemed like I would be putting poison in my body to try and rid me of this ailment. There had to be another way—there just had to be. Norio and I prayed fervently for some conviction before I even tried taking it and for some reason, the only one we got was a strong reaction NOT to take it.
I know that Hydrea has worked for some, and many will laud it’s apparent helpfulness. But those two canisters sit at the back of my closet, untouched and unopened. This warrior has spoken.