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Hepatitis C Treatment Transforms Your Life

Hepatitis C Treatment Transforms Your Life

Most of the time I barely remember what it was like to have the hepatitis C virus. Sometimes a reader shares the excitement of getting an SVR, or Sustained Viral Response. Then I remember the relief that flooded through me. In so many ways, the me that had hep C lived a different life, with a different mindset, in a different body. I was transformed by the protease inhibitors. I went from being a worn out, high viral load, end stage liver disease mess to a brand new person with hope and higher energy.

I recently found a picture of a Monarch Butterfly that I took after my treatment began. In many ways, hepatitis C treatment is similar to the transformation that a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. I happen to be well acquainted with the process. Hundreds of them stop at my farm during their fall migration. If you are getting ready for treatment, there are some lessons to be learned from the butterfly. Hepatitis C Treatment Transforms Your Life

Start by eating healthy food.

Simple nutritious meals will provide the energy you need and help to store up strength for the treatment. If you have anemia or low platelets, your doctor may recommend a vitamin. By starting off as healthy as possible, your body will be ready to begin taking the prescription medications. By choosing healthy protein, your liver will not have such a burden. Butterflies start out in the early spring hatching as an egg. It takes a lot of leaf munching to grow from a small egg into a caterpillar. Getting good nutrition is important because it actually sheds it’s skin 4 or 5 times due to rapid growth.

Become aware of your own body.

Once you start to take the medications, try to remain active at work, or in the home, as your doctor recommends. But this is also a time to pay close attention to your energy levels. You are going to need plenty of rest in order to stay strong. If you experience sleepless nights, make time for a nap the next day. Be prepared to tell family, friends, and co-workers that you are going to be taking extra time for your health for a few months. The caterpillar knows that at a certain stage, it needs to slow down. It gets quiet and begins to build a cocoon. There in the darkness, a miraculous change takes place.

You are going to be brand new.

With the viral load of HCV being down to zero, your energy will renew much quicker. You can rejoice in the new you that no longer has a virus in your bloodstream. It might take a few weeks to really feel the full benefits. Be patient with yourself during this time, and remember the caterpillar. No longer moving slowly along the ground, the butterfly takes flight and begins a new cycle of life. The transformation is complete, and just like the butterfly, you are brand new. You are hepatitis C free.

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.


  • Josephine
    3 years ago

    Thank you for your honest replies, Karen. They give the fuller picture.

    As a failed responder with side effects issues, I know that my options are extremely limited. Three months after the Rebetron was pulled, my viral count did a huge jump. At the suggestion of a friend, I did 30 days of Haelan 951 (fermented soy), via a naturopathic doc in Dallas. Shipped direct from China. The most horrid stuff I ever tasted. Throw-up horrid. Dead mouse simmered in burnt coffee taste and smell kind of horrid. Keeping it down was a process I worked out. It didn’t eliminate the virus, but it stopped the morphing and multiplying for several years. My genotype is 1a. I only get one more shot at treatment, so I need to know that if I try another treatment it will work and not cause me more harm than good.

    Your genotype, Karen? I hope you will still do the third installment on suffering well.

  • Josephine
    3 years ago

    I’m calling bogus on this one. The implication here: “I went from being a worn out, high viral load, end stage liver disease mess to a brand new person with hope and higher energy”, is that the treatment cured your end stage liver disease. It will not. It cannot undo the damage already done, only stop the virus from continuing to do damage.

    Contracted virus in 1977 following multiple blood transfusions, called it non-A non-B hepatitis then. Diagnosed in 1999. The plan for me was Rebetron for 6 months, at 4 mths viral load <100, looked good on paper but I couldn't even open my own car door. Lost 25 lbs. that I didn't have to lose. Ended two weeks shy of completion in a seizure, and doc said no more, my body couldn't handle it. Therapy was hell. Living with it is definitely the lesser of two evils. I do my best to take care of what I have. I will die WITH HepC, but not FROM it.

    Stop the lie. You will not be "brand new". I'm guessing this is a paid endorsement.

  • Karen Hoyt moderator author
    3 years ago

    Thank you for speaking up for that percentage of people who are not cured. You’ve been through a lot physically in addition to treatment on the meds. I’m so sorry that you did not clear after all those months. Of course every person’s body is different. I have never heard of anyone having seizures and it sounds like a terrible thing to go. After all of those months of having such a low viral load, it must have been a blow.
    This is not a paid endorsement. It’s just my story and it definitely is slanted towards the cure. I was dying and the treatment kept me alive. Just that. I was a bleeding bloated mess and it worked for me. I got my wings. I got in 43 of the 48 weeks and they pulled me off because of a bleed out. But with a different ending because I cleared.
    Kudos to you for doing your best to take care of what you have. That is the only attitude that will get you through. I know how hard Hep C is on our bodies and I’m so sorry your “brand new” ending is not happening.
    I realize that everyone is not cured. More than one friend has relapsed or got the dreaded “detected” lab work. I went this morning with a friend to get her endoscopy and get ready for treatment. I heard the statistics – it’s not for the faint of heart.
    Again, so sorry for you and thanks for sharing from the side of those who do not get the cure they need. xo K

  • Alistair
    3 years ago

    This has not been my experience. I was on the old protocol of Ribavirin and Peg Interferon, The treatment itself was a nightmare, but completed the 48 weeks.
    I was waiting for this resurgence but it never came.
    This was with me supplementing with milk thistle, selenium, zinc, Vit D3 etc to help the process.
    Interferon itself attacks the and disrupts the mitochondria and dna replication within the mitochondria which produce the energy within the cell for cell function.
    I am still fatigued and brain fogged though am looking into reversing those insidious side effects pre/during and post treatment.

  • Karen Hoyt moderator author
    3 years ago

    We were having the same nightmare. We took the same vitamins too! I remember D3 was supposed to be the magic thing to help the PIs work. Congrats for making it to 48 weeks!! You must be very strong. I’m only sorry that no resurgence came for you. I take it that you cleared and no longer have Hepatitis C.

    I deal with the effects of Interferon. To be honest with you, it is still to emotionally painful to write about. I try to write about it from a humorous viewpoint. Check out my latest blog about zoning out. I know exactly what you’re talking about with brain fog.

    My hope is that you are able to live in a way that you can rest when you need to, manage your pain, and be surrounded by caring people. Reversal? Let me know when you hit on something. I went with a friend to the doctor today and she is taking the new meds with NO Ribavirin. I always wonder if I could have waited. Honestly, I don’t think I would be alive if I had not treated when I did. I wasn’t part of a trial, but they really didn’t know the long term effect of interferon with riba and PIs.

    I’m glad there are better, shorter term options now. Are you taking something that has calcium, D3, and magnesium now? It seems to help with night time pain. Walk as much as you can. I was told that weight bearing exercise helps our bones to build back up. xo K

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