Today, in the epic battle to bring my asthma under control, I started treatment with Xolair, which I mentioned in my last blog entry. I had originally thought that the Xolair would kick in immediately and I’d be able to go jogging through a pollen-rich cornfield shouting out, “Come and get me, allergens!” this afternoon, but alas, that is not to be. Instead, it takes about a month, according to my immunologist, to reduce the bloodstream levels of IgE measurably, and another month or so after that before the asthmatic symptoms noticeably reduce.
Something else I was confused about: apparently there is an increased risk of malignant cancers in people taking Xolair — 0.5% incidence in people taking the treatment, vs. 0.2% in the placebo group. There’s a part of me which can’t help but worry over the increased odds (because that’s how I am), but intellectually I know that 0.5% chance of getting malignant cancer is still 99.5% chance of not (and anyone who knows more about statistics than I do who knows otherwise, please let me live in my delusion). And, of course, Xolair is just a couple of shots; nothing at all exciting about it.
So, I guess we’ll find out in a few months whether this is going to work out or not.