You are never alone here, we all were scared, confused, and didn't know what to do, we all here for you and way over a hundred years of experience in all this, and this forum is like a family. Welcome, and feel free anytime day or night to talk, vent, or ask questions, there isn't anything some of us hasn't experienced and willing to share.
I AM SORRY BUT I NEVER UNDERSTOOD THE stygma PART? THIS IS A SICKNESS THAT 170 MILLION HAVE IN THE WORLD AND 4 MIL IN THE US.
WOULD ANYONE BE ASHAMED OF THE FLU?
PEG-INTRON IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE THE BEST SUCCESS RATE BUT PEGASIS THE LEAST SIDES. THIS IS NOT THE END BUT SOMETHING TO LIVE AROUND AND FIND A CURE.
WHAT IS YOU BIOPSY SCORE. 1 - 4 ?
What part of B.C. are you in? I'm on the Island and was a geno type 2, treated and cleared in '04. Husband had a liver transplant at Vancouver General in '04 also. This is a nasty virus, and although some people have a harder time than others, the tx is doable. I think the hardest past is the diagnosis and all the questions and fears it represents. You have found an excellent place to come for support and information, most if not all of your questions will pretty much be answered here. Personally, I never cared about what anybody thought about me and my husband having hep, in the grand scheme of things, does it REALLY matter?
You came to the right place then Daylin. And I'm sure everyone else began where you are, terrified and alone. And you're quite right about ignorance being the major cause for the stigma. I had never heard of hep c before. Maybe I'd heard the word but it never registered. Now I know more than I ever wanted to know. Funny the little bubbles of a world we sometimes live in huh? Jeez, I remember my heart pounding so hard and feeling like a little animal that had to hide out. Later on I felt like the Dragon as I've heard some call hep c was really just a rotten little virus and I couldn't wait to put the "rat poison" down (interferon) to kill it. Not sure which interferon is best. I ended up doing a long haul with one called infergen. It's kinda tough Daylin but quite doable if you want to bad enough and you can tolerate the treatment. Hold your head up high, shoulders back and one foot in front of the other. After a little while the stigma fades because for me anyway it was mostly in my own head. If you choose to tell friends and you loose one or two, smile and pat yourself on the back for ridding yourself from them. We'll all be looking out for you here.
DayLyn: This is not a death sentence. In fact this is not a disease that you may actually ever feel symptoms of. Yes, it's something you have to deal with, but keep in mind that there are many, many people that die of old age without ever even knowing they had hepc. You will learn to live with it and find the strength to wage a fight which you will win. Either way, it's something you can deal with. Good luck.
I vote pegasys. That's what I'm on. Pre-loaded very easy. (I'm a 2b)
I have read here on this forum that there is less side effect with pegasys. And peg-intron has more sx.
I think this would be a question for your doctor.
I probably shouldn't say this but I think I read here that some who treat with pegasys and relapse, then go to peg-intron. I really don't know the difference.
You said you are alone. Do you live alone? I know how hard that is and how you must be feeling. I was alone in Las Vegas and then moved to Tennessee with family and live with brother. After I got here I found out my DX, was glad to not be so alone in this but it's still hard with no significant other.
You have friends here 24/7. I googled a support group that meets at a local church once a week and I might do that.
What an excellent post from Couchpotato, really, does it matter what other people think in the long run? The way I look at it, they don't pay my car payments or rent, or even care about me one way or another after 2 minutes of consideration....if they are not friends or family.....so why the [email protected]
should we care what strangers think about us for having this? Unless we are going to get active and ralley for ourselves...
What I can't stand is every once in awhile, I beat *myself* up for having this, why did I hang out with those kids way back when? Why was I so stupid? ...such wasted energy, as if beating myself up now for things I did in the past would do me any good "now" whatsoever...Best we can do is go into a certain amount of acceptence and do whatever we need to do, now, to deal with this...get the best docs, everything we need to do as far as testing procedures, etc....
Daylyn: of course this is easier said then done, and so many people do it, but I hope you can be as positive as you can be under the circumstances...and not do a six month freak out like I did, where I just sat around and thought it would be the END of me...cause that was 5 years ago now and I'm still tickin...for myself, positive media in the form of funny movies and books, and counseling and meditation helped tremendously to get me out of that slug like state after diagnosis...be well...
Kind of depends on weight. Pegintron is weight based so some doctors prefer it for larger people. Pegasys is same dose regardless of weight. Statistically there is little difference. Pegintron is available both in redipen and as powder you self mix. If you travel a lot the powder is the way to go as it does not need to be kept in the fridge. I preferred the powder, hated the redipen 'cause I found it awkward to hold and didn't trust it. But I think almost everyone else in the world likes the redipen better. Unsure if pegasys is available in powdered form or not.
Best of luck.
Welcome to this forum, and I am sorry for your diagnosis. We were all where you are at one time, so you are not alone among us. As TravisB said, try to remember that most people die WITH Hep C, not from it. I know there are some, so I do not mean to minimize the seriousness of the virus, but just want to provide some perspective. As for the treatment options, I have heard different things about whether or not one is better than the other, but I don't think any of it is proven, I did 48 weeks on Pegasys w/ few side effects and am approaching my 6 month post PCR and hope/pray I am still negative. Keep us informed as you learn more about your status.
First of all welcome, I think you've come to a good place for help and support.
Many of us are at or have been where you are at. Some, like myself, struggled through the initial stages of diagnosis, biopsy, beginning tx without knowledge and alone. IMHO having been ther done that, you're fortunate to not have go that route.
As for your questions, I think you would find a variety of opinions and an equal number of studies for and against one treatment over the other. Few, if any have actually done head to head studies for these treatments, and the one I am aware of was largely funded and heavily staffed by one of the companies which produces the recommend treatment (imagine that).
Personally, I am on the Pegasys/Riba and also like the preloaded syringes. I've never had to mix a formula, so am not familiar with how easy or complicated that can be. Having been one of those bad IVDU for a short time 30 years ago in my youth, which is where I probably contracted this insidious disease (shame on me for playing a possible part in the stigma, but I never reached the point of having track marks and physical atrophy) and a breeder/exhibitor of dogs who vaccinated my own dogs, I never was bothered by the thought of SQ injections. Couple that with my recent experiences of having to draw Procrit and Neupogen from multiple vials (more than I care to count these days), I don't think I would be hampered by having to mix and injection like PegIntron requires.
My suggestion would be to go with the treatment your doc is most familar and comfortable with you using. That way he/she will be more on top of your treatment should to become more complicated, as it seems many Geno 1's tend to do.
Hello there. Do come and join us when you need to. We all have been where you are now at one time or another. It is scary. I too found out in March. I think I cried for 2 weeks. Now I realize I can live but have to do the nasty treatments. Hopefully you have some support where you are. I have told very few and mostly my family. They are all supportive and that has been so great. I have a tendancy to hide things and go it alone so this is a whole new approach for me. ANyway have you had any of the tests yet? I am geno 2 stage 2-3 and grade 2-3. I start treatment Sept 29th.
Welcome to the forum, and just know you'll never be alone here. You'll find a lot for support and knowledge on this forum, from people who care.
Hang in there and let us know how you make out.
Join the fridge brigade - someone posted that to me and it made me laugh. I start today with my first tx. And the PegaInterfuron is in the fridge like the 10,000 lb gorilla. Again I was petrified when the Dr told me. It was how could I have that and what is it and how did I get it. The unknown is scarey. I'm single and high stress job and it's like I'm at the peak of my career and this has to happen now. But I'll be tougher, more educated, more empathetic to others going through this and I will get through this, but I won't be able to do it alone. I researched, and learned a lot. The people you discuss things with here, you think sometimes they read your mind and tell you things you haven't asked yet but were going to. They become your support and you can learn from the experiences. Everyone here is so helpful, caring and kind. You need a positive attitude and a will to get better and you will. Good luck and welcome.
Welcome to the forum. You sure are talking about a familiar place, with the fears and the worries in the beginning. We humans should all put our heads together to come up with a name for that room, where we feel overwhelmed and alone and afraid and uncertain about the future. I
Which interferon to use? In the words of William S. "2a or not 2a" or "2b or not 2b". As you know the are two choices with traditional combo therapy Alpha 2a or Alpha 2b. Studies that I've read show not appreciable difference in the effectiveness of either. If you research further you'll see a lot of these studies are sponsored by the drug makers themselves and the people who conduct a lot of the studies are funded by the makers.
I am facing the same choice and don't know what to do. The first time around I used Alpha2b (Shering's). I got to undetected virus levels and then relapsed after treatment (tx). So I've decided to take a scientic approach to the decision. But, I am undecided even with what scientific approach to use. But, it will be one of coin tossing, rock-paper-scissors with my self (this one needs more thought), throwing a syringe a a target while blindfolded, or by polling this group (ala Family Feud). So stay tuned.
One hint, if you are a heavy person (and I don't mean ponderously thoughtful but ponderously large, alpha2B might be for you). If you are normal size Canadian, it's back to a toss-up.
By the way, love your geese but they **** all over my neighborhood. Good luck.
Don't feel too alone; you have this web forum. Maybe you could find a support group in your area. There is a good support group at my VA Hospital in Connecticut. It's a good place to find out more about treatment, and to know that your not alone. There might be a hep c a support group in your area.
I didn't worry about the stigma; I told everybody about my hep c and treatment. I didn't have any problem. People we're nice to me. Maybe it would be wiser to not tell people because if you tell one person, you better expect that everyone will hear about it. Still I told people and nobody seemed to shun me or anything. When I talked about it, I always said that hep c isn't casually contagious, you can only get it from blood transfusion, or if you share a tattoo, or that sort of thing. People gave me a lot of nice support and they still wanted to go out with me, or come over to visit.
Day: and many people are ignorant or uneducated, or both.
(With my best DeNiro Voice)...."Ya talkin' to me !!!! :)
Pegasys or Peg Intron?
Not surprisingly, the studies sponsored by Roache suggest Pegasys and the ones sponsored by Shearing, suggest Peg Intron :)
Probably most people here treat with Pegasys and probably because their doctors recommended it and probably because Roache (makers of Pegasys) have a bigger marketing budget in the States.
Personally, I treated with Pegasys -- successfully I might add -- but from what I've read and heard, to do it all over again (and believe me I have no desire to :) ) I'd probably go with Peg Intron due to the molecule size and some other stuff I really don't understand all that well.
Molecule stuff aside, Peg Intron is dosed per body weight, while Pegasys is dosed the same for all weights. Therefore an argument could be made that if you're on the Twiggy side, you get more drug for the pound (kilo in your case) if you treat with Pegasys. On the other hand, if you're on the heavier side, Peg Intron may make more sense. There's also the issue which drug your medical team has more experience with, however I imagine the managment of both is fairly similar.
Anyway, welcome to the discussion group and try and learn as much as possible before making any decisions.
All the best.
Oh, the stigma thing. I'm sure you'll get lots of different input here but here's my two cents.
I only told a few family members and one or two friends. I work by myself so that was not an issue. However, it has been an issue for a number of folks here and from what I've read, the recommendation is not to disclose at work unless you really have to, and then just maybe to your immediate supervisor.
Jim works by himself because nobody can stand to be around him for long.
Just kiddin, Jim. How did those beverages taste w/ your triple lobster platter?
As for pegasys v. pegintron. . . . . My opinion is that Pegasys is like Jennifer Aniston and Pegintron is like Angelina Jolie. Jennifer is very nice, but sort of vanilla. Jolie is salsaaaa.....
I guess that would make Consensus Interferon (Infergen) more like Scarlett Johannson :) Yeah, Lobster dinner was great with a couple of cold ones! May have to repeat soon. Hope this finds you well.
If Pegasys is Jennifer Aniston and PegIntron is Angelina Jolie then ribavirin must be Roseanne Barr.
No wonder I threw up after ever Riba!!!!!!!!!! Agggghhhhh!!
But personally, if I had the choice described to me like the ole' Rifleman put it, it would defiantely be Pegintron for me. I have Anniston at home already!
welcome to the place you will call home during tx, a lifeline. Ignore the hissing fits when they happen and enjoy the happy chats and jokes. \
Choose any of the interferons, they are statistically the same as stated by some. Some that have relapsed with Pegintron try Pegasys and get SVR and some that relapsed with Pegasys try Pegintron successfully.
Members have said that pegasys was easier on the sides so I chose it. I liked the vials because I squeezed every drop out into the syringe. After they switched me to the prefills, I was mad! But the prefilled syringes are very convenient to have.
I got my SVR with Pegasys/copegus after 72-74 wks of treatment.
Thanks to everyone! I cried reading your replies. Oh, to be accepted.
I have three children and an ex. My family all live about 14 hour drive away. My kids are 10,13 & 15. They are wonderful, but are kids, so just want what they want, and don't understand why mommy can't do it all.
I live in an upper middle class neighbourhood, in the Fraser Valley and it's enough of a stigma to be a single mom here - having hep c ....well, people are cruel.
Time to move, perhaps :)
I have been reading this forum for weeks - the kindness and support here is extraordinary.