Hepatitis Forums

Hepatitis C Main Forums => On Hepatitis C Treatment => Topic started by: Mike on March 06, 2014, 05:13:46 pm

Title: Week 6 of treatment
Post by: Mike on March 06, 2014, 05:13:46 pm
I just want to share a little bit.

I'm 50 years old and have had Hep-C for about 35 years. I was part of the clinical trials for PEG back in 2001. I have grade II fibrosis (moderate) and about 90% liver function. I had a high viral load, which at that time was  6 million/ml. I'm genotype 1a.

In 2001, I started a 48 week course of treatment (PEG+RIB) and made it to week 36, discontinuing because I hadn't cleared the virus and was hovering around 200,000/ml. The side effects were terrible - chills, fatigue (a lot of fatigue), depression, headaches, muscle aches - I basically felt like I had the flu, everyday for a year. It was rough and no results.

Fast forward a decade and 1/2, and the prognostic picture changes: PEG+RIB+ SOLV.

I began the new treatment in January 2014, and the thought of starting the shots again was heart-numbing. I really didn't want to go back to 2001...

Well, I just had a 6 week follow up with my GI doctor to review side effects and blood work.

My baseline viral load was 9 million/ml (which is really high). As luck would have it, I had blood work at week 1 and the lab made a mistake and rechecked the viral load (wasn't suppose to be rechecked until week 4). Guess what: In the first 7 days of treatment I went from 9 million/ml to 103/ml! From 9 million parts to just 103 parts!

By week 4 there is no detectable virus (I got those results last week).

Solvaldi is a game changer, folks! It's a miracle drug!

Are there side effects? Yes. But they're not as bad as 2001; just fatigue and a little depression.

The key is to drink a lot of water (something I didn't do in 2001) and it seems to reduce the adverse effects of the PEG. Dink plenty of water!

I have 6 weeks to go, and my doc thinks I'll beat this (it was the first time we both looked at each other and smiled)! I thanked him for being my doctor and hanging in there with me for all these years.

I'm still not out of the water, and there is always a chance of relapse after I stop treatment.

The difference now is that I have hope. Hope for a cure! If not this time - then in the near future.

My advice is to hang in there - PEG and Hep-C suck - but we have hope!

These new drugs are game changers. If you're sitting on the fence about treatment, I'd encourage you to move forward - there's never been a better time! 12 weeks goes pretty fast!

Title: Re: Week 6 of treatment
Post by: lporterrn on March 07, 2014, 12:10:44 am
What a wonderful message of hope and encouragement. Thank you! Please keep posting your progress. I am cheering you on, and I bet others are too.