First of all,
sincere best wishes to all on slaying this terrible dragon.
I was feeling really weird and ill for a couple of months
and all the doctor tests came back normal. Also during this
time my life insurance premiums were increasing because I
was at the end of the term and over forty.
Decided to shop around and found same coverage at half the
price I was paying. Nurse came and did the urine and blood
collection and I figured that was that. Two weeks later I
get a call from my agent saying I better get to the doctor
right away! - Wouldn't tell me anything else and it took another
three weeks before I found out that they discovered Hep C
in my blood.
I freaked because I knew nothing about this thing - pretty
Family doctor referred me to a Hepatologist in Ottawa and
she is excellent. My mom died in 1986 and this doctor looks
so much like her it almost threw me for a loop when I first
met her. That's gotta be a good sign right?
The treatments available at the time were only 15% effective
so we decided to wait for the Pegetron which was in the process
of being approved by Health Canada. Sure enough I got the
call that Pegetron was approved and available! I jumped on
the opportunity to slay this dragon!
May/2003 I started my first treatment.
My Genotype is 1b and my viral load at start was 682,000 ppm
I applied for and was approved for Short Term Disability and
the meds were covered under my company drug plan. I had to
shop around a bit because most of the drug dispensers were
charging above what I was covered for. This stressed me out
because the cheapest I could find was still needing a $300.00/mth
co-payment. Finally I got it at no charge through the Hospital
pharmacy!! These are important things to know for patients
that face big co-payments. I travelled an hour every month
to pick up my meds and finally I found a local pharmacy to
provide the meds at the same price. And they even deliver
it right to my door now! awesome!
Anyway, this Pegetron is nasty stuff and the side effects
are wicked. I'm a pretty stable guy but this stuff made me
into a grizzly bear! I'm seven months into now and over half
way there. Treatment is 48 weeks.
I'm so lucky to have a loving and supportive family - Sometimes
Im not even aware of being nasty or mean!
So many side effects but I always take a step back and remember
it's just the drugs ! I am pretty much fed up with the treatment
and the side effects and I miss me and my life a lot. But
I feel this may be my only chance to slay the Hep C dragon
once and for all.
Good news is that at 24 weeks there was no detectable virus
in my blood - this is necessary to continue treatment and
at this point I have a 70% chance of cure at the end of it.
Once I stop treatment, a final blood test is done six months
later and if that comes back clean - I'm Hep C Free cured!
I really hope this works out because it's certainly been a
year of hell battling this dragon.. Just have to stay positive
and remember it's the meds playing with my mind and body -
only felt like ending it all a few times but my honey stood
by me and comforted me through the darkest of times. I just
got overwhelmed with so much happening so fast. I have always
been a proud man and a good provider.
I have looked back to try and discover the cause of my infection.
I had two big surgerys but no blood tranfusions. I had worked
at a local hospital in the housekeeping dept and cleaning
up blood and needles was common but I don't recall ever being
poked by a needle - this was many years ago. In my early teens
I used to do some really stupid things. Me and all my closest
friends were blood brothers. This means that we used to cut
ourselves and rub the wounds together to mix our blood - this
was a promise to always look out for each other and be there
for each other. No disease floating around back then but still
a really dumb practice. Maybe I will never know, but if the
treatment works, it doesn't matter anyway.
Thanks for listening to my story and best wishes to all
Special thanks to my Boo for catching me when I fall.
Dave aka Sugarbear
completed Pegatron treatment on April 2/04
The final week I had to battle a dangerous bout with Pneumonia
Now I'm just resting up and slowly getting my mind back -
I plan to return to work on May 1/04 and very much looking
forward to it.
During treatment I went for blood work every two weeks and
the results always went unknown to me.
I finally found a family doctor and he was asking about my
blood counts ect and I had no information to share with him.
He asked me to tell the lab to forward a copy to him as well
as the specialist. That's what I did and within a few weeks
the phone started ringing and the family doctor was totally
freaked by the blood results - I got called in so he could
review with me and not one count was normal! - It was freaky
seeing this on paper - this one too low another one too high!
Since I was still on treatment at the time, we could do nothing
about it and this was apparently normal because of the medication
- another blood test and another call ! This went on almost
Started taking a multivitamin just for my own sanity as I
figured it couldn't hurt.
I'm getting stronger every day despite a few setbacks -
Latest bloodtests are closer to becoming normal and that makes
me feel much better.
Now that treatment is done I have to wait six months to take
the viral load blood test and hopefully everything is still
Sometimes I'm not even sure I want to know the results but
after eleven months of treatment part of me wants to know
and another part is worried about getting a negative result.
Anyway Im still thinking positive and I'd like to take this
opportunity to wish everyone health and happiness today and
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