My 8 Week Check-Up

Hello Everybody:

It has been a little while since I wrote. I had my 8 week check-up at the Clinic on Tuesday, November 27th. I was scheduled to see my NP, Carla, and then my Hepatologist, Dr. Kevork Peltakian. It was a great visit. First of all, I was feeling and looking pretty good. I am always worried when I have to go out because I never really know if I'm going to have a bad day or not. Luckily, I was having a very good day.

I met with Carla first. One of the first things she told me was that she had good news about my meds. She said that I am now able to take my Incivek only two times a day. That means that instead of taking two pills, three times a day, I would now take three pills, two times a day. Now, this is very big!!!! As you know, Incivek really is a miracle drug....I believe it is the one that is truly killing this disease for me, but.....it does have some nasty sfx. You have to take it with at least 20 grams of fat for each dose. It also causes me a lot (and I mean a lot) of terrible nausea. It was at the point where I had to go to my family doctor and get a prescription of Zofran. This is a very powerful anti-nausea med that is prescribed to people undergoing cancer / chemotherapy treatment. As you all know, when you are treating for Hep C, you are undergoing chemotherapy. This Zofran has made a big difference for me. It has stopped the nausea and I am having very good days. My biggest sfx with the treatment was the nausea and I knew if I could get that under control, I wouldn't be having such a hard time. It is true.

Anyway, being able to take the Incivek at 7 a.m. and 7pm. each day is wonderful. That means that I can take the meds with my regular meals...breakfast and supper. I won't have to bulk up on fat, fat, fat three times a day and then also have my regular meals. So far I believe I have gained 20 to 25 pounds of fat!!!!! I may be a little unusual because I have been eating a lot more fat than they say to.....it is imperative that you have a minimum of 20 grams of fat with each dose and more is better. I want to kill this disease and I have been eating a lot of fat to help the meds work their best. Now, I won't have to eat so much fat all day long. I also won't have to stay up until 11 p.m. every night and eat the fat. I can't tell you how happy this news makes me. Dr. Peltakian said that they were waiting for the results of a study that proved it was just as good to take the pills twice a day as three times. I only have 4 weeks left of the Incivek but this will make a huge difference for me.

The other good news I received is that all my bloodwork is great. My hemoglobin has levelled out and that was what they love to see. I was also told that I get a break from being poked for bloodwork every week and won't have to have any done until December 20th. My poor arms are thanking them!!!!! I had bloodwork done and I am having my Viral Load done again for the 8 week check. As you all know, I was Undetected at 4 weeks, which is critical. I do expect I will be UND again at 8 weeks but I have to wait until next week to find out. Please wish me luck!!!!! The next real important one is the 12 week Viral Load. If that comes back UND, that means that I have the best chance of the cure and do my 24 weeks. This is all such good stuff and I know it will work for me.

Well, I just wanted to update everybody about my progress. I am going into my 9th week of treatment. So far I have suffered a lot with the sfx...nausea, back pain, headaches, heartburn, fatigue. It has taken a while but I believe I have most of these under control. The only thing that will still cause me some "discomfort" is the time after my injection of Interferon. This is the drug that really does a number on you. Just to let you know, we produce Interferon naturally in our bodies. It is an anti-viral and to let you know how it feels.....we have all had the flu at one time or another. You know when you get the flu and you have the headache, body aches, chills, fever and nausea? Well, that is not the flu that makes you feel that way.....it is your natural Interferon fighting the flu. The injection of the Interferon that we do once a week, is just like the natural stuff in our body and so we suffer the "flu like symptoms".....only really, really severe. I am learning so much during this amazing journey of mine! Anyway, the Advil that I take helps with the sfx of the Interferon and I will continue to suffer somewhat with that.

I have also been told that it takes about 8 to 10 weeks for the drugs to load up in your body and you should start to level out after that with sfx. That means that I should start to feel a little better any time soon. The drugs have pretty much built up in my body and the sfx shouldn't be getting more severe. That is good news as well. I'm looking forward to stopping the Incivek in 4 more weeks. That means I will just be taking the Ribavirin pills twice a day and the Interferon injection once a week for another 12 weeks. I think I can handle that. If I can go through what I have gone through (the worst, I believe) then I know I can make it through the next few months. I am The Believer!!!!!

I will say bye for now and I will update with another Blog as soon as I get the good news from the Clinic about my 8 week Viral Load results.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a great day and will talk soon!!!

Love to all....

Believer

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