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Year of Yes

I was diagnosed with MS in March of 2015, just a few months after I turned 26. For the next few years, I felt busy with MS stuff — going to doctors, getting medicine, going to meetings, researching. Not bad things at all, but I just felt a little robbed of my 20s. So, when I turned 29 in 2018, I decided to have a “Year of Yes.” I wanted to make it a fearless year of me just trying to say yes, enjoying life and seeing where I would go.

Some of the things I said “YES” to in 2018:

More get-togethers with friends, a Judah & the Lion concert (I LOVE concerts), going with my cousin to visit another cousin in snowy Salt Lake City, as well as other trips to San José Del Cabo, and Seattle (for my first comic convention, where I also met Tom Hiddleston!).

I volunteered at the food bank and went to a book signing and The Nutcracker ballet.

I also went to the top of the Seattle Space Needle (I’m terrified of heights!), camped at the beach, and performed in “Mary Poppins” the musical.

A lot of these were things I really wanted to say “yes” to. I don’t think I would have done, or felt comfortable doing, half of these things the first two years after being diagnosed with MS. Looking back, I am so grateful I took advantage of this new empowerment/mantra for the year.

I think one of my favorite “yeses” was auditioning for “Mary Poppins.” I do not sing solo in front of others, but it was required for the audition. It was completely outside of my comfort zone, and I am so proud of myself for doing it. The whole experience of that production was fun and rewarding. It was nice to prove to myself, again, that I can still perform onstage.

The whole year was liberating for me; embracing the freedom of being able and wanting to say “yes,” from the biggest trips to the smallest things. It just felt nice. I remember considering going up in the elevator at the Seattle Space Needle. I almost didn’t do it, but my friend encouraged me. I am so happy I said “yes” because the view was gorgeous, and it wasn’t all that scary way up high. Definitely worth it!

I learned that while it is fantastic to say “yes,” it is still perfectly okay to say “no.” I learned to try to see the big picture. When I said no, though, I learned to cut myself some slack and to be okay with that decision. Sometimes my MS symptoms, or just I, might be saying “take a break.” I have become comfortable with that decision, too. Today, I am trying to incorporate “Year of Yes” into my everyday life!


See more of Nadejda’s stories

What is OCREVUS?

OCREVUS is a prescription medicine used to treat:

  • Relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults
  • Primary progressive MS, in adults.

It is not known if OCREVUS is safe and effective in children.

Who should not receive OCREVUS?

Do not receive OCREVUS if you have an active hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

Do not receive OCREVUS if you have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to OCREVUS. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had an allergic reaction to OCREVUS or any of its ingredients in the past.

What is the most important information I should know about OCREVUS?

OCREVUS can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Infusion reactions: Infusion reactions are a common side effect of OCREVUS, which can be serious and may require you to be hospitalized. You will be monitored during your infusion and for at least 1 hour after each infusion of OCREVUS for signs and symptoms of an infusion reaction. Tell your healthcare provider or nurse if you get any of these symptoms:
    • itchy skin
    • rash
    • hives
    • tiredness
    • coughing or wheezing
    • trouble breathing
    • throat irritation or pain
    • feeling faint
    • fever
    • redness on your face (flushing)
    • nausea
    • headache
    • swelling of the throat
    • dizziness
    • shortness of breath
    • fatigue
    • fast heart beat

These infusion reactions can happen for up to 24 hours after your infusion. It is important that you call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the signs or symptoms listed above after each infusion. If you get infusion reactions, your healthcare provider may need to stop or slow down the rate of your infusion.

  • Infection:
    • OCREVUS increases your risk of getting upper respiratory tract infections, lower respiratory tract infections, skin infections, and herpes infections. Infections are a common side effect, which can be serious. Tell your healthcare provider if you have an infection or have any of the following signs of infection including fever, chills, or a cough that does not go away. Signs of herpes include cold sores, shingles, genital sores, skin rash, pain, and itching. Signs of more serious herpes infection include: changes in vision, eye redness or eye pain, severe or persistent headache, stiff neck, and confusion. Signs of infection can happen during treatment or after you have received your last dose of OCREVUS. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have an infection. Your healthcare provider should delay your treatment with OCREVUS until your infection is gone.
    • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML): Although no cases have been seen with OCREVUS treatment in clinical trials, PML may happen with OCREVUS. PML is a rare brain infection that usually leads to death or severe disability.  Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new or worsening neurologic signs or symptoms. These may include problems with thinking, balance, eyesight, weakness on 1 side of your body, strength, or using your arms or legs.
    • Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation: Before starting treatment with OCREVUS, your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check for hepatitis B viral infection. If you have ever had hepatitis B virus infection, the hepatitis B virus may become active again during or after treatment with OCREVUS. Hepatitis B virus becoming active again (called reactivation) may cause serious liver problems including liver failure or death. Your healthcare provider will monitor you if you are at risk for hepatitis B virus reactivation during treatment and after you stop receiving OCREVUS.
    • Weakened immune system: OCREVUS taken before or after other medicines that weaken the immune system could increase your risk of getting infections.
  • Decreased immunoglobulins: OCREVUS may cause a decrease in some types of immunoglobulins. Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check your blood immunoglobulin levels.

Before receiving OCREVUS, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have ever taken, take, or plan to take medicines that affect your immune system, or other treatments for MS.
  • have ever had hepatitis B or are a carrier of the hepatitis B virus.
  • have had a recent vaccination or are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. 
    • You should receive any required ‘live’ or ‘live-attenuated’ vaccines at least 4 weeks before you start treatment with OCREVUS. You should not receive ‘live’ or ‘live attenuated’ vaccines while you are being treated with OCREVUS and until your healthcare provider tells you that your immune system is no longer weakened.
    • When possible, you should receive any ‘non-live’ vaccines at least 2 weeks before you start treatment with OCREVUS. If you would like to receive any non-live (inactivated) vaccines, including the seasonal flu vaccine, while you are being treated with OCREVUS, talk to your healthcare provider.
    • If you have a baby and you received OCREVUS during your pregnancy, it is important to tell your baby’s healthcare provider about receiving OCREVUS so they can decide when your baby should be vaccinated.
  • are pregnant, think that you might be pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if OCREVUS will harm your unborn baby. You should use birth control (contraception) during treatment with OCREVUS and for 6 months after your last infusion of OCREVUS. Talk with your healthcare provider about what birth control method is right for you during this time.
    • Pregnancy Registry. There is a pregnancy registry for women who take OCREVUS during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while receiving OCREVUS, tell your healthcare provider right away. Talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the OCREVUS Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about your health and your baby’s health. Your healthcare provider can enroll you in this registry by calling 1-833-872-4370 or visiting www.ocrevuspregnancyregistry.com.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if OCREVUS passes into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take OCREVUS.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What are the possible side effects of OCREVUS?

OCREVUS may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Risk of cancers (malignancies) including breast cancer. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions about standard screening guidelines for breast cancer.

These are not all the possible side effects of OCREVUS.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, go to www.OCREVUS.com or call 1-844-627-3887.

For additional safety information, please see the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

    • OCREVUS Prescribing Information. Genentech, Inc. 2016.

      OCREVUS Prescribing Information. Genentech, Inc. 2016.