Happy New Year!!!
Today is Thursday, January 3, 2013....Wow...time does fly, doesn't it?
Today I had to go for an Ultrasound. My appointment was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. I arrived back home around 8 a.m. While I was getting my coat and boots off, the phone rang. It was Carla, my NP. She was calling to say she got my results back from my VL test for 12 weeks: She tells me that I am still Undetected!!!!!! That is fantastic news!!!!! I am so very happy to hear this. I really knew it in my heart and soul, but you have to hear it from the health professionals before everyone else knows it!!!
About a half hour later, Carla called me again. She said she just received the results from the Ultrasound I had about an hour ago....can you imagine? I had the ultrasound at 7:30 a.m. in Sackville and she gets the results in Halifax an hour later. The technology continues to amaze me. She told me that the results of the ultrasound were perfect: my liver looks so good...no problems there at all. My spleen is perfect and my kidneys look great. Well, I guess you could say that is pretty boring, but I'll take boring any time!!!!!
I am so happy that everything is working out the way it should, so far. I am now half-way through my treatment of 24 weeks. I finished up my Incivek and I feel like a brand new person. I have virtually no side affects from the Riba and Interferon and I truly hope this stays this way for the duration of treatment. I do know that it is likely to change, as the drugs do build up in your body and side affects can come at any time. Right now, the way I feel, I know I can handle whatever it throws at me. I am so happy and feel so good.
I have gotten back to my very healthy eating and exercise routine. After 3 months of eating so much fat and feeling so bad, it is a wonderful feeling to start getting back to my old self. I cannot run at this time, but I did go on the treadmill yesterday for 45 minutes of fast walking. My Hemoglobin is slightly low right now and therefore I do tend to get more tired than usual. We are hoping that since the Incivek is stopped and I am feeling so much better, my Hemoglobin may go back up. If it doesn't, they will reduce my Ribavirin dose. I have been assured that reducing the dose of Ribavirin when you have been on triple therapy with Incivek, does not affect the chances of SVR. Whatever I have to do, I will do.
Not too much else is happening with me. Tonight is Thursday and it is my regular "needle night". I do my injection of Interferon on Thursday nights. This will be my 14th needle and that means I only have 10 left!!!! I should mention that the whole process of injecting myself with the Interferon and the after-affects have been a non-issue for me. Right from the very first injection, I have not had any bad side affects from it. I did not get the fever, chills and flu like symptoms that most people get. The only thing that the Inteferon does to me is it makes my joints in my left wrist, lower back and shoulder hurt more. The pain in the joints is the only thing I get from the Interferon. Sometimes the pain is pretty bad and I need to take an Advil and put some cream or a patch on the joint. Other times it is tolerable and I don't have to do anything. I have not had any of the "Riba Rage" that I hear about. Apparently some people taking the Ribavirin have episodes of real anger and rage. It seems to be something that is out of control for some people and very hard to go through. I am very lucky (so far) that I have not experienced any of this.
The next big thing I am waiting on is the FibroScan. I am waiting to hear when I will get this procedure done. This is something that is quite new and a lot of doctors are using this procedure to get the amount of damage, etc. to the liver. A lot of people have to have a liver biopsy to get these results. This procedure is very invasive, painful and does have some risks involved. My doctor is going to give me the FibroScan....this is a non-invasive procedure, very similar to an ultrasound, but it gives a very accurate score for liver damage. This test will prove to everybody who thinks I have cirrhosis, that I do not have it. As you will recall, I was given the diagnosis of "Presumed Cirrhosis". This was given to me without any tests being done other than my regular bloodwork. I did not have a biopsy or any other proven methods of showing damage to the liver. I am absolutely positive that I do not have cirrhosis....I know it in my body, my soul and my brain. I know I do not have it. I know that my liver is in great shape. Once I have the FibroScan, I will know exactly what shape it is in and I would be surprised if it was anything other than mild scarring....very mild. Of course, I cannot state this as the truth, at the moment, until I have it done. I am so anxious to get it done and to have the paperwork in my hands that proves everything I am saying. This seems to have become an obsession with me. I think if you were given the news that you have Hep-C and that you have Stage 4 Cirrhosis, you would be obsessed as well. Having the Hep-C is something I can get my head around and I can treat it and be cured. The diagnosis of Stage 4 Cirrhosis is something that is akin to being told you only have a little time to live. Truly. Cirrhosis is irreversible....the liver does not recover from it. If you have some scarring of the liver and the damage is not too bad, the liver is a wonderful organ and with treatment for Hep-C and taking care of the liver, the liver will actually repair itself and get better. I know this is what I will be doing. I know I do not have cirrhosis and I need to get this confirmed as soon as possible. With the diagnosis of cirrhosis, the medical people insist that you do 48 weeks of treatment. If you don't have cirrhosis and you are responding to treatment by being Undetected at all the critical weeks, then you only have to do 24 weeks of treatment.....that is why it is so important for me to get the confirmation of no cirrhosis. I will not do 48 weeks of treatment, knowing I do not have to. My next biggest milestone in this crazy journey of Hep-C treatment, is the FibroScan and the results I need to hear. I will let everyone know when that happens, for sure.
I will end this blog now. Right now my life and world is pretty darn good. I am feeling so great and with the good news today, I feel like I can take on the world.
I hope everyone is doing well and I wish everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful 2013.
Love to all.....