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When the Medication Stops Working

By Catherine Weston
July 14, 2017

Being diagnosed with MS comes with enough baggage all on its own. But going through two years of a specific form of therapy and hearing the news that the medication hasn’t actually been working? Now that’s its own animal.

Hearing the phrase “we need to switch your medication, you’ve developed new lesions” is never something someone with MS wants to hear. After going through the turmoil of the diagnosis, finishing my bachelor’s degree without my dominant hand, and finally getting back on my feet (literally), the last thing I wanted to hear was that I was still developing lesions.
I was on Copaxone injections three times a week for about two years until I got my negative MRI results. I felt 100% better, just a little shaky. No more flare ups, no more problems… right? Wrong. My MRI showed many new lesions developing in my brain, proving that the medication’s magic had run its course.
My mind was buzzing with 1,000 thoughts!
Why me? Why can’t I just be normal? Is anything ever going to work?
Why even bother?
This only lasted for about two days until I finally realized that it didn’t matter. My life is going to be what I make it, and there is nothing else I can do about my condition than embrace it and try to live the healthiest lifestyle I can. I accepted the results, and I moved forward.
Today, I am on Tecfidera and am coming up on a year of this medication this August. I have an MRI scheduled this month, so I won’t even know if I’m going to be faced with the same issue as last time (and this medication came with a lot more side effects!). All I can do is stand my ground, listen to my results and do everything in my power to help myself get through it.
All I can say is this:
To anyone who is discouraged. To anyone who is on the verge of giving up. To anyone who feels like they have no one to turn to… just keep going. One of my favorite phrases is “this too shall pass.” Things are hard and they always will be, but if you can wake up every morning with a smile on your face, then you are winning. Your medication stopped working—it’s tough, but are you going to stop? You need to use a cane this week, while the week before you were running half marathons. But you are still strong. Just remember that you are strong every single day of your life that you choose to get out of bed.

I don’t know what my MRI will show this July. Does it worry me? Sure. But despite everything, I am unstoppable. And so are you. 

Catherine Weston

Catherine is a professional in the medical marketing industry from Long Island, NY. She aspires to show the world that MS doesn’t hold her back. She was diagnosed in 2014 and has been striving to help others overcome their fears and limitations since (she also loves sheep!). Keep up with Catherine and her adventures on her Instagram.

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