Sep 10, 2011
It is now 3 weeks and 4 days since I started my treatment. I still can't complain about any side effects that merits a real complaint. I notice getting a bit winded easier, feeling tired at times,, but I find if I just keep busy I don't notice being tired. I notice it when I stop and sit still. My eyes feel heavier at times, but like I said, I really have NOTHING to complain about. The rash I had is gone and has been for about 1 1/2 weeks now. I learned that my rash was most likely due to the Riba, and not the INCIVEK.
I don't know why we all handle these meds SO differently. I posted once that our side effects are just about as different as our individual fingerprints. I am blessed beyond measure that SO FAR, things are great. It doesn't seem fair and I find myself feeling guilty at times when I read about all my forum friends suffering.. I know I am only 3 1/2 weeks into this and I do expect that I will start feeling more fatigued/ anemic any time now, based on what others have posted. I read a post the other day from a mom that was doing great for the first 3- 4 weeks and it all came crashing down. I felt so bad for her. I am ready for anything.....hoping for the best but preparing for the worse.
God is good, ALL of the time, even when things don't go as we would like them to.
On another note, I got my 2 week labs back, as well as the result of my LIVER FIBROSIS PANEL I had taken the day I started treatment. I really wanted to know if my liver had gotten any worse these past five years since my biopsy. I should not even admit this but I feel like I have to get this out....The entire time I have had Hep C I have continued to drink alcohol, with the exception of 4- 5 years. Of course, the first 20 years I did not know I had HCV. I partied like crazy in my 20's and settled down when I got married at 33, but still had drinks on occasions. Then, a few years after I discovered I had HCV ( I stopped drinking then) A friend and I developed a kind of love affair with red wine, back in 1999. I was pretty much in denial of having HCV and lived my life really forgetting about it. Looking back, it was probably just convenient. As the years progressed, I realized I have a problem with alcohol. I was never a full out drunk, but I would come home from work and the cravings for that glass of wine, were just too strong to resist. I could never have just one, it had to be at least two. Social settings, dinners out...wine. SO STUPID, but I kept thinking that my liver is fine, so this must not be affecting me. If I went all those years of partying, and my liver still shows no signs of disease, then what difference is one more drink going to make? And so on , and so on... ridiculous rationalization.
I finally had an AHA moment in May of 2007. I stopped drinking completely for 3 years and upped my health game. Healthier foods, more exercise, even though I did those things already. I felt better than I had ever felt and swore I would never go back to that lifestyle and drink again. I did not even crave it, not once. I wanted to be healthy and drinking alcohol was NOT in my best interest. I wanted to be around to enjoy my life and my grand kids. That was all behind me, or so I thought.
Last summer that resolve came crashing down as I was faced with an extremely stressful situation, more than i have ever faced in my life, and the wine started again. Once it got back in my system, that was it. It wasn't every day, but it was far too often. I was so ashamed of myself, but it was my dirty little secret. Of course my husband was on my case, but I never let on it was because I could not control it. He always thought if I had one glass,, it would be okay. He always got upset when he saw I was having more than one, So of, course I got sneaky.
Fast forward to deciding to start treatment. I knew i was hurting myself, I just had to be. When the third drug was approved, I had to go for it now. I knew the dangers of drinking during treatment. I felt confident that I would be able to NOT drink, but there was a small part of me that was not sure. I am happy to say, that my last drink was about 1 week before I started, when I was on vacation. I have NO desire to have a drink and I don't see where that will change. I don't need to say how relieved I am about this. I did not start out writing this journal today with the intention of spilling my guts. It just gushed out of me. So, this has become a true confession journal entry, but I think I really needed to get this out, for anyone that wants to read this. I wonder if there are others out there like me.
I started writing all this to say that, despite my lack of respect for my liver and this horrible disease I have, my liver is still in great shape. I am really baffled, and it was results like these in the past, that gave me that false sense of security to keep on with the lifestyle I had. It obviously wasn't hurting me,right? I don't doubt that if my liver had not stayed so healthy, I would have stopped drinking the moment I saw things going downhill.
So, when I got my fibrosis panel done, I really did not know what to expect. I would not have been surprised at all if I had come back with fibrosis, to some degree, if not cirrhosis.
So here are the results of my blood test....
My HGB came back non changed at 15.5. It stayed the same. Not sure what to think about that.
Platelets...99, down from 199. ( that seems low to me)
Absolute Neutrophils ....1076 down from 1707....my Dr said we have to keep an eye on that. she doesn't want it to go under 1000.
And, the important one.....
Hepascore .... 0.49
Metavir score..... F0-F1
All I can say is that I must have a heck of a immune system or a super strong liver. Maybe it is all the healthy foods I eat, along with exercise. I guess we will never know.
For anyone that may read this...I AM NOT CONDONING ALCOHOL USE for anyone with HEP C!! I can't stress this enough. It is wrong!!! This is simply my story. I had a problem and did not address it. Some people become BIG alcoholics and some are LITTLE alcoholics, but simply, an alcoholic is an alcoholic. It could have turned out differently and I have been really stupid all these years. All I can say is that addictions are a strong enemy and I was too proud to think I needed help. I AM LUCKY!
I have to be honest...if I had known that my liver was still in such good shape, I may not have treated right now and waited to see what new drugs come out down the road. I guess I am glad I did not know , as it feels good to just get started, plus, I would have taken the chance that my liver would get worse in the years that I would have waited. I have had this disease for 33 years now. On top of that, who knows if I will have health insurance in the future.
My 4 week VL Hepitmax test will be taken at the end of next week.....I am beginning to feel the beginnings of nervous excitement over those results.
To be continued.......