Many thanks for the input. I haven't had a biopsy. I've just been monotoring things with blood tests every so often and trying to take care of myself with the alternative stuff. I haven't been to a dr. yet who can make me feel confident enough about the treatment. It's time for another test. I guess I need to get brave enough for the biopsy, because the blood tests clearly don't reveal enough to make a decision about treatment.
I would like to hear your comments about going through treatment. Were you able to function at work pretty much the same? Is reaction to the medication individual, or does everyone pretty much have a standard set of symptoms?
First of all, hi Chev! Best of luck with your pcr tomorrow! I'll be thinking of you.
Laika, I too am 2b, and Friday is shot 22 of 24 (woo hoo! Home stretch!). I (and everyone in here, really!) knows just what you're feeling. The fear, uncertainty, etc., is a LOT to get over. To illustrate, I was diagnosed with Hep C in 1993, had liver function tests for a few years afterwards, and then basically ignored it for the next decade. Finally, I started feeling "off" (have no idea if it was the HepC or not) and decided to finally do something (fear was the impetus for doing something, as well as for doing nothing, it seems!).
I'm so glad I did. Discovering you are 2b should be a great incentive to move forward. The success rate for our genotype is higher than for those with non-type 2 or 3. Knowing that I was 2b (and would only have to treat for 24 weeks!) were two deciding factors to treat for me. When I discovered that I was clear at 4 weeks into treatment that encouraged me even more to continue. When I discovered that I could lead a pretty much normal life on treatment, that encouraged me even more.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this: let any fear you have be an impetus for being proactive, not innactive. You'll find that everyone in here who cleared the virus (and many who haven't) say that the trials and tribulations of treatment were worth it (those who don't clear are often grateful that their liver got a "rest" during treatment).
You'll also find that everyone is different in terms of side-effects from treatment. Mine was basically fatigue and some rritability that has come and gone, and it was totally manageable with a few minor changes in my life. For several weeks now, side-effects have been nearly non-existant (except for dry-mouth lately!). Last Sunday, in fact, I came back from 10 days in Paris where I was on the go, all day, every day. Before I went, I was concerned I wouldn't be able to do much, but I was proven wrong. Again, the fear for me has always been much worse than the reality.
Finally, this board is amazing. Come often, listen, and contribute! It's been a wonderful lifeline for me. I look forward to seeing you in here, and good luck!
Wow...this forum is just a miracle. Chev, I think your advice is just right, thank you so much. (No prediction...I feel like I'm stepping off a cliff)...but I'll keep visiting this forum and maybe I'll get a little more comfortable as I learn. I was diagnosed in 2000 after a routine blood test showed elevated enzymes. After I started taking care of myself, they went down. But then they went back up, and down, and up and down. My viral load was almost 18 million the last time I got it checked, ALT 181 AST 174. My white blood cell count was a little low 3.6, whatever that means. Thank you for encouraging me to think about my life circumstances, to put things in order. I have insurance and am not sole support for the bills and don't have any human dependents right now (just animals). When I write it down, it looks pretty simple compared to a lot of possible situations, but it feels complicated.
Philaguy, I sure identify with what you say. The fear keeps me hanging back, but I feel better seeing that people really do get thru the treatment and some get well. I will attempt to schedule a biopsy. Turns out my gastro is presently very sick, so I have to find a new one. Anyone know of someone they recommend in the Tampa area?
new-sojourn, I appreciate what you say about it picking up speed as you age. I've been thinking lately that "to not decide is to decide" and that I'd better make sure I'm ok with whatever my decision is, because it might stop being available to me. I guess I haven't been very symptomatic, so it's easier to remain in denial about the whole thing. (Until I go to the dr, once a year, and then I'm depressed for a long time, trying to figure out what to do.) Both of the gastros I've had don't really help you get comfortable with the idea of treatment. Don't encourage you...just "this is it, this is what's available, you have to do it".
Hey Chev! Feeling great, counting down the days till October 14! Glad to hear you're feeling well, too. Paris was incredible - had a great time just seeing everything, and eating my way through the week. The last time I was there was on a high school trip..I must say, Paris is more fun without two nun chaperones!
are you sure you are on 22? didn't you just started yesterday? Holy Cannoli! good for YOU!
best to you in your choices. get that biopsy(BX) soon, it is the only way to know if you have progressed to fibrosis/cirrhosis. A good radiologist doing an ultrasound guided biopsy can make the procedure a piece of cake(or liver).
The treatment, I am on Pegasys, and 66 wks later(my choice due to genotype one) I am still working full time, nurturing my 15 yr old daughter and having fun with my boyfriend. There were some minor crises along the way, but were managed. Anemia will be a most common side effect with its own set of sides, make sure it gets managed when it becomes disabling to you, not when it reaches some magical number the doc likes.
again, as stated by others, read around from personal accounts of those treating and those that aren't...get the Bx and then decide.
I was 2b. I tx'ed and it was no sweat. I cl'ed by day 18, fin tx-24wks-2yrs ago. My liver failed before I was dx w/hep c. I almost bled out from esophigal varicies that was uncontrollable b/c of non-existant platletts.
I didn't bx. didn't have insurance. b/tx went just fine. I was infected in 1967 and the hep c and its handmaidens-encephalopathy, depression and ascities-ruined my life in retrospect. I can only gauge how sick I was by how much better I am now. And it makes my sick to see how people used my illness against me!
I'm also 57. This disease picks up killing speed in the later yrs of life and infection...having any active infection will cause serious complications when other health concerns pop up!
If you don't tx, you'll only get sicker. That's a given. I have never understood the rational of waiting until you're so sick you can't avoid tx'ing. Why would you choose to become as sick as I still am-ESLD-end stage liver disease. I might be cl, b/I measure my life in days and wks. Will i make it until spring and the new plantings? Why wait until the damage is so sever you have no real future and just a past of difficulties?
Well if your chain of command are wanting you to get better and well not to sound mean but not spread it to other cuz in Iraq you never know whats gonna happen. i been there and done that twice. So if they are a good chain of command they will send you home and start your treatment. Talk to the medic and have the recommend you be sent home. last tour I was in 2009-2010 i had a buddy that got it and they sent him rite home and he cleared it keep your hopes high and your head low ya know what i mean.
Is it just me....I don't understand the push to put poison in your body when the studies show that no one is ever "cured" even with treatment. There are some natural remedies that have been used to treat this for hundreds of years with success. Hepatitis is a virus that you control but never rid the body of. I am lost.
I am wondering now if you got treatment. I am 58 and have had the disease for 12 years. I am gentotype 2b and am just now seeing a gastro dr. I have let myself get sick now and am considering treatment but I have other issues now with thyroid, lung and heart disease. I have a lot of tests scheduled over the next 2 months and am fixing to overload on everything. I am afraid of the treatment and don't know if the side effects are going to be worth it. Any advice??
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