Two people, yelling at each other

Old Treatments Versus New Treatments

The past versus the new, current treatments… With so many new, wonderful treatments on the market, many curing patients at a rate over 98%, it’s a very exciting time for those of us who are advocating for the newly diagnosed. But more so exciting for the newly diagnosed is the wide range of treatments available.

A source of controversy

This, however, leads to some pretty heated discussions in my foundation’s sponsored support groups. Reason being, and for example, we had a newly diagnosed patient receive and being placed on a new regime of treatment that only requires her to be on for 8 weeks… Can you believe this?! 8 weeks! Incredible!

What happened next, we could see forming into a heated battle. This new patient started her treatment and was full of questions as to what she will feel like and what are the side effects. One of our older treatment survivors responded, and he implied it would be “mild headaches and maybe moderate fatigue”, making sure he stated that “This is NOTHING like the older regimes I was on years ago”. Well, those of us who did treat with interferon do have horrible memories of those side effects, and there are a few of us who then went on a newer regime and were cured. Feeling the treatment differences, we knew the newer regimens were nothing compared to older ones- simply sharing from experience.

“Is that all?!”

Well, as the days of her treatment went on, she began to post how she was feeling so miserable. This gentleman asked her, “What do you mean?”. She told him that her body is tired all the time and she can’t stand the headaches. With a quick response to her reply, “Is THAT all?!” he barked. He continued, “A headache and maybe a little tired?” “Oh, lady, you have no idea how lucky you are to only have those symptoms. Back in my day, it was debilitating. It took life right out of you. I think you need to be more appreciative of only having a headache”.

You can imagine her response. She was offended that her symptoms were brushed off. How dare he tell her what she should be feeling. A full-on argument began, for which my team intervened and cut it off.

In the end, the fight is the same

We shared a simple statement: “Although many of us in this group are new to this disease and being treated, you must understand that most everyone in this group are pioneers on the older, very harsh regimens, which nearly killed us trying to cure hep C. We all must be thankful for those who cured before us and also thankful those are coming forward to be cured. This disease is nasty no matter which way you are treated. We must respect those coming into this and their side effects. It is not for us to judge whose side effects are worst. For in the end, every side effect is just that, a side effect. Until these treatments do not carry any side effects, we continue to respect each other’s fight. In the end…All we want is to be CURED”.

Not without a FIGHT! ~HCV~ ©

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