UCinNC, my decision was based pretty much on the fact that if I have a problem or change my mind I can stop the Remicade. Once my colon is gone, it's gone and there's no going back. I figure I'd have surgery and six months later someone would find a cure for UC.
I haven't had any bad effects from Remicade at all, and I've been on it for 23 months. Before the Remi, the best I'd been was 8-10 stools a day with blood at least three days a week, cramping and pain with the bleeding, and my diet was severely restricted.
I think the main concern most people have about
Remi is the tiny chance of developing lymphoma. This risk has pretty much been found to be with Remi and Imuran or 6-MP taken together. I've gone off the Imuran at the suggestion of my GI, and am doing fine so far.
I was in flare for so long that it seemed like I'd never been healthy. My hope now is that Remicade will hold me until another drug comes along, and that pattern will continue so I never have to have surgery. I'm also past 50, and don't especially want to give up a year of my life to recuperate from surgery.
It's an individual decision for each of us, and there are some people who go straight to surgery without even trying meds. Whatever you decide, just be sure it's the right thing for you. Good luck, dear.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Intolerant to Asacol and rectal mesalamine preparations.
On Prednisone then Entocort 2001-2006 with only short periods off.
Current meds are Colazal,
Azathioprine Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.