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THE FINISH LINE with Victrelis
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THE FINISH LINE with Victrelis

This is gonna be long…

It’s 7pm and I feel like I should be doing something.  What oh what could it be?? My cell phone alarm is ringing, but……I have no more tx pills to take!!  Wuuuu Huuuuuu!!  The Victrelis bottles are empty, the Monday – Friday pill case of Ribavirin is empty, and the fridge doesn’t have any syringes of Interferon waiting for the Friday Night Darts Club injections. I am done!  I have survived.  I am nauseous and exhausted today, relieved and happy, grateful and humbled.  The last 2 months have been extremely draining for me and I have missed many a post on UND and otherwise.  

How do I even begin to thank everyone in this forum?  For once, I am ‘almost’ at a loss for words.  Almost.  Where else could I make 43+ friends, have over 650 posts (to date) and receive 100 notes…in 10 months…from total strangers??  In the Hep C Community on Med Help, I have encountered the most supportive, honest, and knowledgeable problem solvers.  I have felt GUILTY for enjoying my time here but it gave me such a safety net and sense of purpose at the same time.  While family grows weary of the week by week details (of which I am certain I gave too much), this is full of members willing to listen and lend encouragement.  THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU & YOURS, right where you are.

This process has taken me through many stages: DENIAL – How can I have this??  I have no idea how I got Hep C; ACCEPTANCE – Okay, my tests keep showing my Viral Load is chronic; FEAR – My life just got shorter; DECISION – being African American, it made no sense to me to treat, as odds were so low, but the new P.I.’s offered much more hope, so I finally agreed; TREATMENT – September 1st,  2011 – March 16th, 2012.

I don’t have any labs to report at this time (UND at week 21) but expect to in one month.

For all my cyber-friends, official and otherwise…….YOU ROCK!!  I will always appreciate you more than you can ever know.  Wishing the very best for EVERYONE, and giving a special shout out to those who started this journey in September/October with me, just as scared to walk through that door:

Aj7538! Arlenedupee! Brianmo! Cieritaqt! Coeric! Dee1956! Dreamcat! Hondapatches! Jillybean! Indy531! Libzo2! Livingontheedge! Mykids247! Needinghelp213 (wishing you well) PJHep! Pooh55811! Screaming48! Starshine1ca! Vannh9!

Special thanks MUST also go to Frijole, for maintaining spreadsheets, from which I got most of the start dates.

Thank you to ALL the experts here for sharing your journies and advice, and also to the volunteer moderators (Claire and Emily).  And most, most of all, I give thanks to God, for whom I could never have done this without.  Time will tell if I am off and running to SVR-land (as ElPasolady would say)!

Blessings Always,
Bee :)
Tags: end of treatment, victrelis
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46 Comments Post a Comment
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766573_tn?1365170066
Wow, this has been a long & rough couple of months for you and you came out like a champ. It must be weird not feeling compelled into action every time you hear your alarm or other indicators ~ but you are free of that now. I admire your stamina and gratitude and hope I feel the grace to be the same way no matter the outcome of my treatment; since, it truly is exactly like you say how there are so many folks who take the time to listen and read what you in particular have to say and taper a response just for you. I realize I don't know you and haven't interacted with you however I wish you the best and hope you check in from time to to time to let us know how your recovery progresses. Take care and be well♪
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Congrats on finishing, you've had a tough and at times a scary road but you hung in there, wishing you the best.

Cando
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2062453_tn?1350336542
Congratulations on staying the course! You've completed a very personal journey into the relative unknown with friends & forum as guide posts along the way. Now on to SVR! Cheers, GB
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My friend we have shared this trip from day one. Many ups, downs, fears, decions, sys, and everything else along the way. I thank you for all your support. Only someone else going thru this can truly understand. We are free and done and with gods blessing on our way to svr.funny, it almost feels.like something is.missing. Went to lunch yesterday, and kept looking at the clock. Finally realized, I can eat whenever I want. No more pills, or alarms. The sense of freedom is joyous. God bless u and enjoy every moment of your new found freedom. Aj
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I am so happy for you bee.  It's so wonderful to be done.  It will get better each week now and just in time for spring and good weather.  Wishing you a speedy recovery and svr.
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That is great Bee, isn't it a wonderful feeling to not be tied to a clock and pills and needles? Now the healing starts, best to you and thanks for letting me ride with you whooo hooo....anne
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1669790_tn?1333666195
Great job Bee.  You're a prime example of being able to push through the rough times to get to the finish.  Enjoy your freedom from the meds and hope you begin to feel back to normal soon.  Keep us posted for that SVR coming soon!
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I'm right behind you with bells on! 2 weeks! Enjoy your life, you walked thru the fire and you will thrive! Congratulations!
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1148619_tn?1332014584
Fantastic, I am so happy for you. I can't wait to get up in the morning and say, Heck, I am going back to sleep, no pills to take!!!!!  18 more days and I will be where you are at.  I am having a firepit party to burn all my boxes on the Full moon in April.   Thanks for your wonderful post, yes, this forum has been a God Send.

Mo
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Congrats to you!!!!!!! I did my last shot on friday and my last riba will be tomorrow night. It was a journey and I agree, I dont think I could have done it without all you guys. Lets hope that the next six months goes by quickly and we can all come on here and shot SVR!!!!! I cant wait to get back to the beach and stop living like a vampire............  enjoy your freedom, you deserve it.  Take care and stay well.  :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Looking forward to hearing your recovery experience.  I am 2.5 weeks behind you and struggling with fatigue and working a lot from home to deal with it.  Also, everything tastes lousy so looking fwd to tasting food and having enough energy to get back to the gym.
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A BIG CONGRATS to you!!!
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1986676_tn?1329866071
Congratulations!
Wishing you the best and SVR.
Enjoy the spring season without a pill in sight.

Another angel has got her wings!!

Reva
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Thanks for giving the rest of us hope!
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1494170_tn?1361754460
Congratulations,,,Great Job!!!!
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1674874_tn?1332721274
Very happy for you!! ....keep going! the final finish line is in sight!!! God bless - Fred
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148588_tn?1407125204
Nicely done. Best wishes for SVR.
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Avatar_f_tn
Absolutely wonderful news!  I finished about 3 weeks ago, and life is slowly getting better.  I'm so happy for you and look forward to seeing you post UND here shortly!  There were quite a few of us that all started around the same time.  It would be nice if we could all get together this fall for like a weekend somewhere.  And truly, people that haven't done treatment, just can't understand.

CONGRATUATIONS FOR A JOB WELL DONE!!!

Jilly
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1711722_tn?1356491154
THANK YOU!!!  You are all such a blessing.  Once I get my energy back, I will surely be doing my happy dance.  In the meantime, I will settle for doing it on the inside:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYP4MgxDV2U

Still tired but feeling better today!!  
Hugs,
Bee :)
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190885_tn?1333029491
nice going bee! keep in mind it might take a while to feel good...right after tx new symptoms started...i got really achy and bad headaches...at 6 weeks post things turned around big time...every week i noticed a change up until 3 months post..now theres not much going on..i'm getting stronger...and feeling better still but i'm almost out of the woods....looks like by 6 months post tx i'll be doing better then 10 years ago...just don't be disappointed if things take a little time...good luck....billy
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Avatar_m_tn
Well done Bee...!

Hope you feel better soon and looking forward to hearing  an SVR from you...

Will
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1652596_tn?1342015226
GREAT job, bee.  i wish you nothing but the best for your future.  i have 9 1/2 weeks more and i'll be stoked like you are.  congratulations cyber friend.  best of luck for SVR.  belle
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Congratulation on compleating treatment!1
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1711722_tn?1356491154
Still exhausted but......less than yesterday.  I'm healing.
There are so, so many here I wish I could thank personally (Hector, Cando, NYGirl, Eureka, Working Dog, Willb, Flcyclist, Crossroads, etc, etc) but ya know what.....if you have commented even once on my threads......you have made a difference and I send you a very heartfelt THANK YOU!

From diagnosis to decision......I was completely overwhelmed.  Finding this forum was a gift from God and just what I needed to guide me through.  Starting, continuing or discontinuing tx is such a personal, individual decision.  Go with your gut.  Asking questions here takes the shadows away so that we can see more clearly and feel more secure (and knowledgeable) in all the steps.

Wishing strength to everyone still treating.  Wishing SVR to those who have finished.  And for those of you still faced with the decision.....I pray you find what you're looking for from the wonderful people here.

Hugs & Admiration,
Bee

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317787_tn?1373214989
Dear Bee, what a wonderful post, you ROCK!  You were so helpful to me when I was going through hell of the medication interaction
I am so very happy for you, that you made it to the end.  Now we will all wait for SVR.  I finished mid Feb and while so much better can not wait to regain my energy and my hair
Bless you
Dee
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1714930_tn?1319648173
Congrads - its been a long road. I'm so very happy for you! Now its time to help your body recovery from all the meds.

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910090_tn?1332171060
Congratulations to you and I am sooo very happy for you, Bee!  you have been such an inspiration to me and so kind.   I cannot imagine how joyful it must be to know that spring is here...and you have sooo much to look forward to this year. SVR!!  :-))  

It's soo good to read such positive posts like this when you are getting down and cannot see the light sometimes and this shows me it is shining bright!  God bless you always,  Anita

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1972385_tn?1343830676
Another one crosses the finish line.It must feel great.Congrats.I stopped a month ago and had after effects which were short lived.The morning headaches,body aches,fatigue,and over sleeping didn't last long.I got a little worried there for a couple of days.Every morning was different.My wife said I acted like I was recovering from an addiction.These were strong drugs and quitting them had like withdrawal feelings.I still have them but every day now seems better than the last day.It is now onto to SVR.My next blood test is in 5 mos.I noticed my blood looks different now.I work with my hands,in the past I would cut my finger and put it in my mouth till I treated it.It tasted bad.Now my blood tastes fine.I guess it is finally over with the hepC.
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Congrats!  Now it's time to heal from the experience and start living the rest of your life!
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223152_tn?1346981971
bee
you have a beautiful way with words.  Maybe you can take your Victrelis bottle raft and drift into the sunset.

But please, please, do not be a stranger here.  We still need your help, humor and support.  My very best to you on a Hep-C-Free life.

bean
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1746242_tn?1318213302
Congrats! Now on to SVR
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1974758_tn?1330824766
Sounds like alot of ups and downs, I can relate. Most of us here can, I think.  It seems to be all uphill from here though.
Wishing you good health :)
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1815939_tn?1377995399
It is wonderful that you are free of pills and injections. Congratulations on finishing treatment. Now, SVR!
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1856494_tn?1340546214
Dear Bee, Your words felt like a hug.  We did it.  Many of us, the first starters, took the dive into that cold pool of the blind faith with these new miracle drugs.  I am so proud of us paving the way.  We were very couragous and hopefully giving hope to those who may be shakey (shaky) about committing to start.  

The next step - securing that SVR affirmation at 6 months out - our final step in this life saving process.  I look forward to comparing notes.  

Bee you beat the odds hep sister and I am happy to have shared this journey with you.  Thank you
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Bee,  so happy for you and glad to hear you are done and recovering from this ordeal!  This treatment wasn't easy, without the help of this forum, many of us would have had a much harder tx.  You are in my thoughts as you heal.  I am sure you will SVR and I will be right there with you!
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5 DAYS LATER........
I almost passed out at the mall tonight.  A guy came to see about me to make sure I was alright, so I thanked him and told him I was battling Anemia.  Didn't really think of shopping as anything real strenuous (sp), but I am obviously not quite up to speed just yet and know I am also fighting Vertigo again.  Still having other side effects and know it will take some time for my system to re-adjust.  What fun.

Many thanks again for ALL of your wonderful comments.  You know that column that runs on the right side of the page?  The part that shows the Top Answerers??  Well, I clicked on a link and here is what it says (Needless to say.....THANK YOU to all the Top Answerers for your time, wisdom and support):
====================
TOP ANSWERERS
Who are Top Answerers?
Thanks to all the members who are an integral part of the community, MedHelp has become a destination for people looking for answers to their medical questions. As the community has grown, so has the number of questions on the site. While the top community members devote time each day to helping others get answers or support in their time of need, there seem to always be more questions than answers.
In order to continue fostering a community where people can come to find support, we want to highlight our members who provide a lot of that support. Members will see an icon following the user names of the top answerers in each community based upon how many people they have helped and the quality of their answers. We hope that MedHelp will continue to be a place where people can find help and support.
What are Badges?
The icons following a user name are called Badges and represent the level of help and support provided to the community. There will be a formula that determines achievement of different levels of Badges and, in general, it may be influenced by the following factors: community response to your messages and the amount of contributions that a user makes to the forums. This ensures that the people we recognize as being the most helpful are helping as many people as possible through quality answers.
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1995824_tn?1330382649
Congratulations on finishing! I didn't see this post earlier, but congrats are always in order. Watch that anemia carefully and give your body some extra nurturing as you start the road to recovery without drugs. This will, indeed, be a blessed time for you!
Thanks, too, for your comments and encouragement on my posts. You are a bright ray of sunshine!

Bless!
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Everyday that goes on is one more day your system is free of treatment drugs and working to get you back to normal.  i have heard it can take a few months to feel better, it was a long treatment, it makes sense that it will take some time to clear your system of the medication.  

Probably hard to not want to just start doing your normal routine though, but please take it easy and remember you are in recovery phase now...Baby yourself, before you know it you will start to feel like your old self!
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163305_tn?1333672171
I finished tx this week.
Monday I saw the NP at the liver clinic. She said it takes about a month to see changes in our blood counts.

I'm sure our tiredness is our bodies making us rest so it can do the work of healing. Although I make sure to take my walk daily, I'm giving in to letting my body heal, the rest of the time.

Last night I made an appointment to get a massage, out with the old and in with the new, healthier us !
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1654177_tn?1319842094
Hey you! I'm so happy for you! You have remained so positive, and your posts really helped me through! Now we get to support new people who are scared and unsure! How do you feel today?
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1711722_tn?1356491154
Ciera -- Hey backatcha!  Thanks so much and thanks for your comments on the photos too!!

OH -- I am impressed you were able to do a daily walk.  I could NOT get up enough motivation.  Doing better since I started working with a trainer.  Finally feeling like I can go get a massage soon too :)

1oftheclub -- Hi!  Yeah, very true.  Finally having more good days than bad now, but still not totally outta the woods.

Looking -- Oh you make me blush :)  I can't tell you how many posts I have missed the past few months because I just could not focus.

Thank you all so much!  Can't believe it has been about 18 days since I finished tx.  Be blessed cyber people!!

Bee
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910090_tn?1332171060
Dearest Bee,  I know my doctor told me it would take at least 3 months to truly detox off the meds and that was the old treatment Pegasys.  I guess the riba has a very long life span in our bodies.  So be gentle with yourself...massages sound like an awesome idea!! :-))  
It is wonderful people like you that give me hope and help me see the light at the end of the tunnel...thank you for that!  

Hugs, Starshine
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Hey Bee  I don't know how I missed this post!  Congrats to you and thank you for all of your help!

Jules
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Hi Bee

I just joined the forum about a week ago.  Your post made me cry, as I am standing at the crossroads in regards to treatrment.

Your strength and courage gives me hope.  Many congratulations, continue to do well

oxox  delta_b
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Avatar_m_tn
Today is my last day on Vic & all.  28 week treatment cycle and did it without reducing Riba though I struggled with anemia, fatigue and all.  Had to do 8 weeks of Procrit and work from home about 1/2 the last 12 weeks.  I am sleeping in Friday (or going to try to) as a minor act of celebration.  No on to recovery!
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317787_tn?1373214989
Wanted to come back and say that it does take time for blood work to get back to normal.  Some levels may go up and down for a bit, it is normal.
My best thoughts coming your way.  You were one of my inspirations during my tx.
Thank you so very muc
Dee
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