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Life is Good……..

Hi! I would like to share my story in hopes that it would plant a seed in baby boomers to have an HCV Antibody test…………

In my late 20’s I shared needles and became infected with the HCV virus. Fast forward to 2011………I had been feeling “not quite right” for about 8-10 years with worsening depression, body aches, migranes, stomach issues, tired constantly and fogginess. It was hard to keep up at work, which I never had a problem with before. Decided to leave work for a few weeks. I had not been to a Dr. In more years than I will admit, but my mental and physical health were suffering. So off to a MD I went!

Filling out the flurry of paperwork I met with my dr. The usual new patient questions and then she asked to see the palms of my hands. I had noticed for sometime that they were always red and itchy. I thought that it was a strange request but I showed her my palms. She just confirmed my age again and asked the year I was born…”1955″ and see that you were an IV drug user.

She then said to me, “I believe you have Hepatitis C”, and I’m ordering a full blood panel and an HCV antibody test to confirm my suspicion. I’m thinking “I don’t have Hep” and so I went home and did some research and was not pleased with what I read. The SOC (standard of care) at the time was the Triple therapy with Interferon or similar treatments. I was horrified by the side FX.

Test results came back and my dr. Told me “your test has come back positive for the HepC virus, you have GT1a.” I was stunned and couldn’t speak for a few seconds and then began to cry. I asked her “am I going to die of liver cancer?” She said “no” and proceeded to tell me about the available treatment option- triple therapy which included a weekly injection of a chemo-like drug. She had explained the side effects and I would treat for the 48wks and the treatment would be challenging or I may not have the SFX at all. I decided to treat and live no matter what. VL 31.5mil

I lasted only 5 wks due to horrible side effects, severe anemia, low potassium unable to eat or walk by myself and two blood transfusions. I really believed I was going to die. So I waited for a year and a half for something new to come along with a higher success rate for my genotype and it did! I was so afraid of the side effects of SovaldiRiba I almost said no treatment I’ll take my chances.

I began my 24wk Tx on Aug 2014 with a VL of 11.5mil and finished in Jan 2015. Within 21 days into my Tx I was UNDETECTED. I was elated and very hopeful I could now beat this. I have has subsequent lab work done and have still been undetected.

Currently I am waiting for the results of my EOT12 labs on Apr 9th and the three letters I have been waiting for……..SVR!!! No celebration espresso until then! 🙂 I fully expect to be cured, at last with a functioning liver after 30+ yrs.

So…for those of you that have yet to be Dx and those who are currently treating…there IS Hope, AND LIFE IS GOOD!…..

Good Luck and Speedy SVR

Visit Part II of Life is Good.

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.