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What If I Don

What If I Don’t Clear The Virus?

It came up twice last week. I had two friends facing the question. We’ve all asked. Your doctor might be optimistic and give high hope assurances. On the other hand, they might wear a gloom and doom face and send you home sad. In the end, you are left alone with a very personal decision.

My friend needed a ride to her 7:00 AM endoscopy, I sat in the waiting room. A couple of hours later, they called me back to talk with her doctor. I took notes while she drooled. The topic? When to start treatment for the hepatitis C virus. He told us that with her medical history and background, she had an 88% chance of clearing the virus. I watched her expression. She had treated before for almost 30 weeks and relapsed.

Soon she was settled in on the couch with her little dog snuggled in a blanket. She wanted to talk about whether to try treatment again. It was a long day, with a bout of throwing up followed by ginger ale and crackers. I steered her away from the lingering questions tugging at her mind.

That night I checked comments on my blog about hepatitis C transforming your life. From my perspective, getting SVR DID transform my life. But a dear reader commented about her own experience of not getting the SVR she wanted. She treated and still has the virus. She has one more chance to treat and is not sure she will clear then. It felt like a ton of bricks.

What if…

What if I don’t clear the virus? I remember the feeling well. My own treatment began signing paperwork after watching videos and power points presentations. A guy setting next to me wasn’t sure. I was carrying 10 lbs of water weight and my platelets were 60. I was just hoping they would let me stay in the group. I put on my best dress and heels and tried to act like I was with it. I hoped that taking notes and nodding my head wisely might make me appear less sick. My chances were in the 80% range – this was the highest they had ever been in hep C history.

Back then, they stopped the meds if you didn’t get a sustained viral response (SVR). The first test came two weeks after treatment started. Another cut was made at 12 weeks. It was more than sad to get a few weeks in and have your viral load pop back up.

I started researching the newer Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) meds. My friends, yes – my neighbor and YOU, are counting on my opinion. After reflection on my current state of health and where my life was heading with hep C, I would definitely take the treatment. Just like when I was diagnosed 7 years ago. It is still a very personal decision and each person is left alone to make the choice. Watch for my post about The Dark Forest of Hep C Treatment.

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.