Hi, Holmes! Do you have liver disease or does a loved one have it? If so, tell us what is going on and vent away!
This is not a new subject for me, I have to vent.
I have had this darned Hep C, Geno 1 for 33 years from a stinking blood transfusion. The reason why I sound mad is I just completed the 48 week treatment in June. My viral load was negative from about week 6 until the very end; I just found out my viral load is 502,XXX.
I'm shocked and mad that it would come back after just 2 months. I went into it knowing there are no guarantees, but I was so hopeful that the horrible treatment was worth the end result. I don't believe that anymore. I know that sounds to be so pessimistic, but right now I am.
Hi, Holmes! Well, that sucks! I would be angry, too! But I know it happens. I, myself, am waiting for the 3-drug treatment that PG mentioned. It's in final trials now and should be available early next year. It has a 75% success rate in genotypes 1a and 1b. By the time it is ready, we should know the relapse rate, too. The Vertex version adds a 3rd drug, Telaprevir. Other versions are similar. It only has to be taken for 24 weeks. So take a breather, while still keeping a healthful diet, getting plenty of rest, etc. Then, when the treatment is FDA approved next year, perhaps you will be ready to try again.
Holmes, what are they doing about the tumor? Do they think it's benign? I honestly know where you are coming from. When I was first diagnosed with hep C back in '93, I tried the only treatment available at that time, Interferon injections 3 x a week. I took it for about 6 weeks and my doctor was alarmed because my white count dipped so low. He tried cutting it down to twice a week and then tried decreasing the dosage, but the white count kept falling and I was catching every germ going around in my office. So he took me off treatment. A couple of months later, I had different insurance and a different doctor, and tried Interferon again. After 3 weeks, the same thing was happening, so I took myself off it that time. I decided to do nothing and just live with the hep C. I did get increasingly fatigued, to the point where I could only work P/T. I started out with 28 hours a week, but by the time I got approved for SSD in '05, I was down to about 12 hours a week. Around the same time, I was diagnosed with liver cancer.
So you can just live with the hep C and not do treatment again and you may be okay for awhile. But eventually it will start affecting you. The risk of liver cancer in untreated hep C is very high. After the cancer was dealt with, my hepatologist was nudging me to try the "combo." However, I felt I could not put my body through any more after having bilateral hip replacements and revisions and cancer treatment and surgery. In Jan. of this year, I was told about the new treatment that will be available next year and because it's taken for half the amount of time as the combo, and because the success rates are so high, I've decided to try it when it becomes available. I may not be able to handle it, but I'm willing to try. You are right about transplant patients with hep C...they still have the C, the transplant doesn't take that away. It's in the blood stream. Transplant just gives them a new liver. Since hep C takes years to damage the liver, if a person has a transplant after age 50, he could live a normal life span.
That's why I said to give yourself a break. Take time off from doctors and treatment for hep C for awhile. Maybe by this time next year, you will be willing to give the new treatment a try.
Meanwhile, that pituitary tumor is concerning. What is your doctor saying about that?
The brain tumor is supposedly benign; will recheck next month.
I went through Interferon treatments in the 90's and had low white cells too.
I am going to give my body the break that it deserves for the next year and then some. My liver function enzymes, etc. is good, so I have time to decide.
The amazing part of this is I knew I had Hep C two months after the transfusion in '77 with an acute attack and it never bothered me again. My liver profiles were up and down through the years but I always had energy and I know I will have energy again once the treatment is completely out of my body. The doctor told me yesterday I'm not even close to a transplant. I hope she's right. Thanks for the input from all of you.