When I was actively participating in the forum while I was undergoing treatment from October 2011 through April 2012 I recall some people lamenting that we don't often hear the success stories. Well, here's a success story.
I received my 6-month post treatment viral load test result today and I can now declare SVR!
I started triple therapy (Incivek) in October 2011 with a viral load of 22,000,000. After one week on treatment my VL dropped to 65. After 2 weeks on treatment my VL was UND -- and I've been UND ever since.
Here's my advice to the new patients starting triple therapy with Incivek:
1. The first couple of weeks are absolutely critical -- make sure you take your meds like clockwork!
2. Get anti-nausea meds before starting treatment -- and proactively take them -- don't puck up your Incivek during this critical stage!! I took Ondansetron/Zofran.
3. Eat plenty of fat with your Incivek! If you have "fire in the hole," some of the Incivek is passing through your system and you probably are not eating enough fat.
4. Proactively pursue treatment for the host of side effects that may arise. I took Ambien for the insomnia, Zofran for the nausea, Gabapentin for the neurological itching, Procrit for the anemia, and probably some other meds that I don't remember.
As I am typing this I'm reminded of a line from the movie Platoon -- "The war is over for me now, but it will always be with me ......"
I'd like to thank my dear MedHelp friends: Kathy, Eileen, Judy, Marc, Susan, Faith, Linda & Bo -- plus the many others who interacted with me during this exceedingly difficult time of my life.
Wishing your treatment will be equally successful!!!
Cheers to your success, Glenn!! I was just thinking about you today :D
I loveds the way you took charge of your Triple Tx, and the charts you posted. It helped me alot, when I first started my Tx. I hope you wont be a stranger around here, I have missed your input~ Katy
sentinel - this is wonderful. You were a 2-time loser and did low dose interferon for -- how long? maybe 2 years? Your hemoglobin never got too low and I (secretly) worried about that so I am very pleased to see that this treatment "took."
Any extended post treatment issues? How is the gout?
Over the past decade I was on weekly Pegylated Interferon injections for about 5 years. That amounted to over 300 shots. Often the full dose -- sometimes a half dose. Fortunately, I tolerate Pegasys very well.
On the bright side, when I had my post treatment liver biopsy last April my liver had improved from G3/S3 (prior to treatment) to a grade/stage between 0 and 1. That was 6 months ago. I think it's safe to say my grade & stage is both 0 now. :-)
My memory still is not what it used to be. It did improve immensely over the past 6 months. Maybe I'm just getting old or maybe the months of being oxygen deficient during treatment took a permanent toll.
I'm on maintenance meds for my gout (Allopurinal and Colcrys). I'll never know for sure, but I suspect the prolonged high uric acid level I experienced during treatment, which was caused by my rapid turnover of red blood cells, resulting in terrible gout, may have affected me forever. Seems like many of us have a treatment side effect that stays with us for a long, long time. Guess the gout is mine.
Well, it's time to go to the office ......... hope I can remember where it is. ;-)
Congrats on your SVR! It is incredible isn't it? I am so happy for you. I hope the gout moves out soon. You liver biopsy is awesome too. I hadn't heard anything about redoing the biopsy post tx. Is this something most people do? I was a 1 or 2 prior to tx.
I think your memory will return. I am 10 months out and my mind and memory are great. I just took a computer memory test and mine was exceptional so yours may return too. Again congrats on your SVR!
Most people do not get a post treatment biopsy. I asked for one because I wanted to see if being on Pegasys so long helped.
Years ago, I read that pegylated interferon helps heal the liver in about half of patients. Then I read that wasn't true and that it only reduces inflammation.
Anyway, I believed the Pegasys was helping me so I stayed on it for half of the past decade. I really wanted to know if it was worth all of those shots so I had a post treatment biopsy. Of course, I'll never know if it was definitely the Pegasys that healed my liver, but whatever it was my post treatment biopsy results were excellent. Lucky Me!
My pre treatment, and post treatment, biopsy results are posted on my personal page if you are curious.
Wow this truly is an amazing success story! What with an decrease and fibrosis and everything. I started treatment at the tail end of your treatment so our paths have never really crossed but this story is inspirational nonetheless. Thank you for posting. It is easy to lose hope when you feel crappy!
If I hadnt already said it. So happy to hear this sucess story!! Its a nice feeling to be able to get this dragon out of the way so you can battle new things going on in your life without this hanging over your head..... The Hurry up and Wait is over!!
Best wishes on your new HEP C FREE LIFE!
Nice to see you around Sentinel! I believe you were finishing up your treatment just as I started. It is so very nice to hear this wonderful news! Congratulations, Enjoy your wonderful HCV free life! :)
Hey I have been a way for a bit fighting a heel spur
I just saw this and wanted to say congratulations.
You have done so well. I am thrilled to be able to read that you are SVR
Let's get the red shoes out and do some dancing!!
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