Nov 04

Liver Biopsy Results And A Treatment Dilemma!

Ok, so here it is the results of my liver biopsy which was described in my last post. Firstly, it is good news… very good news. There is no fibrosis or cirrhosis and indeed the only problem I have is that there is some inflammation of the liver. The doctor was happy for me and explained that this minimal damage was probably owing to the fact that I have only had Hepatitis C for 4-5 years. I was very happy to hear this 🙂

The only problem with this very positive outcome was that it has left me with the classic Hepatitis C treatment dilemma… to treat or not to treat… that is the question!

On the one hand I have no desperate need to undertake any form of treatment. I am young (well compared to most people comtemplating treatment – early 30s), my viral count is not huge (1.4 million), as mentioned there is minimal liver damage at present and I still have no symptoms for hep C. If I take treatment there could be a bunch of side effects that my life could really do without but…

On the other hand, it would be great to get rid of this virus! I do not like the thought of it hanging over me and I do really want to get over this thing and get back to my life again. The sooner I can get rid of this the better, before any significant damage is done.

I actually had the liver biopsy results a couple of weeks ago now and my thought process after receiving the results went as follows: initially I was happy that they showed no damage and my immediate response was that I didn’t want to take any treatment and I would be ok to wait a few years until new drugs arrive that could be much easier to take. I actually had decided in my mind that I would therefore do nothing more than ignore this virus for a few years, until new (non-interferon based rugs) arrived.

However, after a couple of days of having made this decision I started to feel uncomfortable. Just a tiny little thing at the back of my mind wouldn’t go away, like an uncortable niggle, an annoyance, an itch I wasn’t scratching. You see I’m not the type of person who backs down from a challenge, never have been. I didn’t/don’t like the feeling of doing nothing and I feel that it could only get worse over the years, and that my mind would not be settled and comfortable unless I am doing my best to get rid of this thing. And because of this I have since contacted my specialist to confrirm that I would like to start triple therapy treatment on the 23rd of November. As this Geoff said on my thread at hepcukforum.org :

“My personal opinion would normally be, treat, treat now, hit it hard, if it moves hit it again, and if you see so much as twitch napalm it. All the reasons why you feel you could have time to delay treatment, low VL, relatively short length of infection and no permanent liver damage, are all the factors which will increase your chances of a successful tx if you start now. With new triple tx I would guess your chances well over 80%.”

I have selected the 23rd of November date because it is two weeks prior to a block of four weeks off from work. I have been informed on the same forum thread that people are often ‘okish’ for the first few weeks as regards side effects as it takes a while for the toxicity levels to build up in the body. In fact one of the gentleman from the forum named Martin has his own website which is very straight talking and clearly based on a lot of personal research and knowledge, you might want to check it out here.

So, it is with eager apprehension that I am looking forward to the 23rd of November. I have done a fair bit of reading around the subject but I think you can only do so much in preparation for something like this. I know, I am generally in life a very determined (stubborn) person that is very motivated when I put my mind to something (at other times I am a lazy sod!), so I’m just killing time now before this hep c treament thing starts. I must confess though I have been having a quite a few beers recently. Generally I have been a very light drinker since being diagnosed but right now I’m not sure that a few beers is going to make any difference to my successful treatment.

In my next couple of posts I’m going to give a run down of some of the websites/blogs that I have found useful so far in my hep C journey and also contemplate more the start of my hep c treatment regieme,

later guys!

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  1. catha

    I am glad you are attacking the disease but do lots of research. The doctor informed you wrong if he said you can get rid of the disease, it’s like cacncer it will go into remission but can come back. the interferon treatments are horrible and as the meds build up in your symptoms they get worse. If you need any advice I will assist in any way. The last time I did the latest interferon it was horrible I decided I would rather die than live that way. The first batch with interferon I went into remission but it was only for one year. I wish you good luck!!

  2. MyHepCTreatment

    Hi Catha. Sorry you had such a rough time on treatment. I’m halfway through now and can honestly say it has been pretty much ok! No days off work, still going to the gym etc.. I guess everyone responds differently to this treatment but for me it has defineltey been worth giving it a shot. Good luck to you.

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