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First Step Toward the Cure!

| 3 Comments
Finally.
 
So this morning after breakfast it was two of 200mg ribavirin.  My first injection was at 1130 this morning.  Injection site little sore but, I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to needles. At suppertime it was three of 200 mg ribavirin.
 
Little bit of a headache around 4 hours after the injection but I was told to take care of it right away so it was some advil for that and an hour later seems to be gone.  
 
Took two advil about 5 minutes before the injection and this is the recommended thing.
 
Just about bedtime now and I don't feel any different than I did yesterday.  Maybe tomorrow will bring more, don't know.  Love not knowing. LOL
 
I was told I have Genotype 2 with a viral load of 1.24 e4.  Not sure what this means but I know it needs to go down.  Every 4 weeks I will be getting the viral load blood test at the hospital.  Will find out then if there has been a decrease.  I was also told there is an 80 % chance of ridding myself of the virus to start and, if there is a reduction in the viral load after 30 days, there is a 90 % success rate.
 
I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

3 Comments

I am about to start treatment and am very interested in how it's going.

Cathy,

First off, thank you for your openness in sharing the progress of treatment for this daunting disease. I share your pain. I am co-infected with Hep C and HIV.

I am about a month ahead of you in treatment, Happy 2012 to me! I have just had my 5th injection and my first since-beginning-treatment blood tests. I expect the results in the next few days.

A little about my own experience thus far:

Peg-Interferon Injections:
These injections are sub-cutaneous, for me that means given into the abdominal muscle area (gut). The needle is very small and the medication sometimes, but not always, burns going in. I develop bruises about 2.5" in diameter after each injection. They don't hurt, but I am not ready for beach appearances either -- although, if we can get the bruises placed "right" I could also look like I have a killer 6-pack too.

The first two were the worst. While initially, within hours, I was hyper and a little aggressive, that quickly dissolved into flu like feelings. Body aches, mild fever, inability to sleep and a general malaise feeling set in and lasted for a couple days with each of the first two injections.

The next three injections have been better. There is still aggressiveness shortly after the shot -- this is when I get on my political writing high-horse, Komen took the brunt of my wrath most recently. The sleeplessness and body ache has been much better.

Like you, I developed a plan to use Ibuprofen (Advil) with my doc to help with the aches and pains. Ibuprofen is metabolized by the kidneys, hence is is not as big of a strain on the liver function.

Interestingly, I have found that hard workouts just after and the day after injections help to mitigate the effects.

Ribavirin:

I take 3 pills, 600 mg 2x a day. The worst side effects I have noticed from this is dehydration, bad breath, and a mild bluesy feeling. I have also noticed an out-of-breath sensation when doing something cardio, but this doesn't last that long and I can push through it and it dissipates after 15-20 minutes. Ibuprofen also seems to help with the blahs and malaise. Much, much water helps with everything else.

So in summary, while I really dreaded this treatment, it has turned out to be not that bad. The initial two injections left some pretty nasty side effects, but, that too has gotten better. I am very much looking forward to my four-weeks status report.

RB

On St. Valentine's Day I received the best gift every from my HCV team, I was undetectable!

What does my Doc attribute this too? In 4 weeks, I was late by 2 hours once with meds. I continued to be very active - there were some days when my big activity was a trip to the mailbox. There were other days when I was on my bike for hours climbing a mountain or when I was on my skis shushing down one. I personally think, keeping active and keeping a positive mindset were key factors.

What's next. We are now looking at length of treatment options. My Doc has mentioned 24 weeks total, I believe I have read studies that advocate as little as 12, the HIV/HCV co-infection complicates things, thus we shall see. We well be discussing and comparing notes next week.

I hope your treatment is going well and that in a few more weeks you too can have as good of news as I have I was devastated by the HCV diagnosis, I am elated by the treatment results.

RB

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This page contains a single entry by Cathy Johnson published on January 30, 2012 7:14 PM.

The Big Day. Finally. was the previous entry in this blog.

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