After Failed Treatment

The best thing that helped me refocus and press on was my group (I worked with kids for about ten years), at the school where I worked at the time. They were some of the strongest personalities and rather chaotic group of kids. Helping them, watching them improve over the few months before their promotion was one of the most gratifying things I’d felt in a while. Seeing how in spite of all their arguing and rather bizarre antics they worked together was amazing. Their compassion for one another inspired me, alongside their struggles and accomplishments. To this day they have been one of the single biggest factors in what drives my passion for working with children. And when I needed it, they helped me find myself.

I had to improve, so I began eating healthier, working out more, and within the next year, a new job. I had to be in better shape for the next treatment. After two years, a higher dosage of the Interferon/Ribavirin treatment would reinforce my title as a non-responder.

Esophageal varices and new symptoms began to illustrate my decaying liver. Just as I had done before I refocused, my next job was accommodating to my situation for a corporate job, and as I started it I saw my mom go through the roughest treatment yet: the triple cocktail (Peg/Riba/Incivek). With Procrit (an RX that helps boost red blood cell counts) and two transfusions keeping her going until she’d zeroed out and was cured, I was elated for the result. Not only because my mother was clear of the virus, but because it meant that I would have a path myself. I prepared for months ahead of time; With the help of a dear friend, I was in the best shape I’d ever been in.

The Triple cocktail was harsh and fast. Within a month I shot from over 9,000,000 to just 220. Every day I was weaker, and more sick, but the results were amazing. The next nine weeks kept me at less than forty. Things were slowing down, stalling, and I got nervous. Finally, Something! The veins in my throat burst, not only would I lose a third of my blood within a few hours, but any hope of continuing the Peg Interferon, Ribavirin, Incivek combo. I had failed a third treatment, I was not as lucky as my mother.

Visit part 1 and part 2 of Rick’s series.

Learn more about the hepatitis C terms used in this article.

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