Welcome to the forum.
This is an older thread although people do post in it at times. You may get a better response if you start your own thread by going towards the top of the page, and clicking on the orange bar, and posting a question.
We were all very scared and anxious before and when we started. We all expected the worst, I think.
Everyone is different and the body responds differently in different people. Some have few side effects, others have more. Some have mild side effects, others have more serious side effects. You will not know how you willl respond until you are on the meds. The other thing is the side effects, most of them, come and go and change around. You may have one side effect for a week or two and then it disappears. On the other hand, a few tend to hang around.
You did not state which drugs you will be on, Incivek or Victrelis. Some side effects are peculiar to one or the other.
That said, most people do experience some flu like symptoms from the interferon, some fatigue, some malaise, and a few other things. You may want to start your treatment regimen on a Friday eve so you have the weekend to recuperate (that is, if you have weekends off).
I find taking a couple of tylenol near the time I take the injection does help the achiness feeling.
If you are going to be on Incivek you probably will gain weight (due to the fat intake). I did. But I lost it all after going off Incivek. In fact, now I am losing weight (still on Inf. and Riba.).
If you have a history of depression then you should talk with your doc about that. The doc may want to start you on antidepressants prophylactically. They take about 3 weeks to kick in and about 6 weeks to reach full effect. Many of us are on ADs. Otherwise, if you have no history of depression, and if you start feeling depressed during treatment, let the doc know right away so you can get started on meds.
Work is another story. You do not say what type of work you do other than it is physical. The type of work does matter or may matter. Also the number of hours may matter. Many people do continue working while on treatment. Others work part time, work shorter hours, do a desk job, take sick days as needed, etc.
If you are doing presision work or dangerous work (electrical) or climbing ladders or balancing on roofs or beams, or lifting heavy objects, work may be a problem. While not everyone gets these side effects, the following side effects, if you get them, may interfere with work: brain fog or inability to think clearly (and doing things incorrectly that you normally can do correctly, like putting a postage stamp on the wrong side of the envelop or driving past your exit several time and having to turn around and go back several times or wondering why your TV remote won't open the garage door), problems concentrating, memory problems, balance problems, weakness, dizziness, extreme fatigue, anemia (thus extreme fatigue and shortness of breath), nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, etc. You can see why if you are on a pole repairing electricity, you may have a problem. Besides the weakness and dizziness, you may connect the wire to the wrong place and electrocute yourself. Or you could fall off of high places.
If Plan A is to work, then I would have a Plan B and a Plan C waiting in the wings in case you need them. Plan B and Plan C could be sick time, vacation time, holiday time, comp. time, short term disability leave, longer term disability leave, family medical leave, flex time, part time, shorter hours, temporary desk job, etc. You should talk with your boss and see what is available if you need it. I think eveyone is entitled to family medical leave if they need it.
You may be fine and have only mild side efects, but you cannot count on that. You need to be prepared for any scenario.
If you are on Incivek, you must take at least 20 grams of fat every 8 hours and you must take the Incivek within 30 minutes after eating that fat (every 8 hours). The fat and the med timing are crucial to treatment success.
To do this I would recommend getting a watch with an alarm that is capable of being programmed to go off when your meds are due. At home, use the watch, use alarm clocks, use portable times that you can carry with you. Anything to make sure you remember to take your meds. Most of us would never remember to take our meds without those alarm reminders.
Also, get a pill organizer if you need one (depends on how your pills come). Mine came in blister packs and I just wrote the days and the times on the blisterm packs. Do not rely on your memory to remember if you took a dose or not. You have to have a system because more than likely, you will not remember if you took it 10 minutes ago let alone a few hours ago. So you really have to figure out a system that works for you so you take all of the pills on time and so you do not miss doses or take too many doses.
If you are on Incivek, here is a thread that gives you many food with high fat content:
Scroll down to 80mecheng's very long post with many, many foods to choose from.
A few thing you may want to have on hand when you start:
Huggies baby wipes (if on Incivek)(to keep the butt very clean)
Preparation H supp. and cream (if on Incivek)
(I know there are more but I am blanking on them.)
If I think of anything else I will post it.
You may be fine but you have to be prepared that you may get problematic side effects.
Also, the three things that really need to be controlled as soon as possible are nausea and/or vomiting, rash/itching, and diarrhea. You can get prescriptions for the first two if you need them. For the stools, just keep them firm, quite firm. I found if they get loose or even soft, the anal problems really kicked in.
Also, be sure your blood counts are monitored at least every two weeks, preferably every week. The hemoglobin can drop fast.
Get hard copies of all labs that you have done and keep your own file.
Hope you have few side effects but post any that you get and we will offer suggestions and remedies.
Best of luck.