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Sovaldi and Harvoni

Sovaldi and Harvoni

Lucky for me, in 2013 the symptoms began interfering with my brain. Encephalopathy, ascities, jaundice, my esophageal varicies and portal hypertension had new company. As my MELD went up, so did my need for treatment. Unknown to me, my liver decompensated, and I spent months balancing meds, supplements and diet to ensure I minimize my symptoms.

At the end of 2013 I also signed up for Covered California, an adventure in some ways, but over-all it’s been well worth it. Financially, it’s spared me from ruin and it brought me in touch with an amazing team of doctors. After four months of tests I was placed on the evaluation list for liver transplant. Due to my decompensated status, this was a new requirement to my treatment. We wanted to make sure transplant was ready in case of terrible. Weeks of the Sovaldi-Olysio treatment pushed me down to a zero viral load.

I had done it! It was a success! My fourth treatment cleared me! Well…almost cleared me. There was something wrong in my last test. They checked again for clarification, I decided it would be faster to pay them a visit. And by I, I mean my liver. My skin turned yellow as I began to get violently ill and after near a month of a finished treatment I was in the hospital with Bilirubin around the 30s, which made my eyes glow. As luck would have it, I’d contracted C. Diff at a local diner it hampered my immune system multiplying the effects of my damaged liver. When the dust settled, after a few days at the hospital they explained that my HCV (Hep C) had returned. I was so close.

Due to the timing and my doc’s expedience I was able to get onto Harvoni within a few months. After twelve weeks, I was able to zero out once again. Given the duplicitous nature of the results from the previous treatment, I was unsure how to take this interim result. But nonetheless i was elated for zeroing out. Which stayed a zero… for the next ten weeks. By treatment’s end, I’d failed Harvoni. Brought down to the double digits, it wasn’t good enough. The reason for this was my HCV’s genetic mutations. More than genotypes, there can be RAVs (Resistant Associated Variants) which dramatically impact the efficacy. As a result, I’m now looking at treatments who use non structural proteins other than NS 3/4A.

I presently awaiting a new treatment option, or variation which could help cure me. For now, I am lucky to wait.

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

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

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.