Saturday, April 27, 2013

26 months and counting

avodartYes, it is hard to believe that 26 months ago I started taking dutasteride (Avodart). At that time I didn’t know what to expect, but I was hoping for something special. If you have followed my journey, you know that my first couple of months were fantastic. After that, things calmed down a little, but it was still good.

One year into my experiment, I was very thankful that things were still good. I hadn’t noticed any negative side effects and my strength and stamina were good.

I came down with the flu in January and it was a tough three weeks. I was also on a blood thinner at the time for a blood clot in my calf. Combined, the two destroyed my strength. I found it difficult to even lift a glass of water or stand for more than a minute. Fortunately, as I stopped taking the blood thinner, I was also recovering from the flu. Almost immediately I could tell the difference. Leg strength improved daily and within three days I was back to where I was before the clot and the flu. Boy, was I thankful

strength-testIn reviewing my daily journal, the one I started over two years ago, the consistency of strength and stamina is most apparent. Prior to starting the dutasteride trial, I had at least one ‘down-day’ a week where I felt more tired (fatigued). I just don’t have them anymore. I have also increased the length (number of exercises) and reps over the last couple of years. Instead of a gradual decline in my strength, it appears to have stabilized and I am doing as much today as I was two years ago. Additionally, my ability to swallow without choking has improved.

In December, along with my annual physical, checkup and blood tests, my doctor and I reviewed my last two years of taking dutasteride. We decided that I should continue to take Avodart for another year.

On February 15, I celebrated my second year. Celebrated? Yes, celebrated. Dutaseride is not a cure for Kennedy’s Disease.  And, it is not an effective treatment for everyone.  But, it works for me and for that I am most thankful.

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