Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hepatitis C's Day in Court

This year I participated in a twelve-week clinical trial for hepatitis C. My stats when I began: I had hepatitis C for 25 years; genotype 1a, viral load greater than 8 million, and stage 2 fibrosis.

This was my third hepatitis C treatment. The first was interferon monotherapy in 1997. I did not respond and stopped after three months. The second was 48 weeks of peginterferon and ribavirin in 2003. I relapsed in the post-treatment stage. This time I underwent 12 weeks of triple therapy with Gilead’s sofosbuvir (formerly GS-7977), ledipasvir (formerly GS-5885), and ribavirin.

Hepatitis C is close to cure
Hepatitis C's Day in Court
Although this was much easier than the two prior hepatitis C treatments, it was not without challenges. The rash and headache were easy to deal with. Sleep was impossible without the aid of modern chemistry. I was fatigued, my head was cloudy. Apparently, I was a neurotic mess during treatment.  I thought I was moderately together, but my husband would testify in court that I was “difficult to be around.”  Fortunately, I didn’t do anything illegal that would force him to testify in court.

The recovery period was swift and nearly immediately noticeable. Unlike peginterferon’s tedious aftermath of two-steps forward, one-step back, I felt better every day. At my 12-week follow-up visit, I remained free of hepatitis C. I have a 98% chance of remaining this way until the official 24-week post-treatment date in November.

Perhaps I am being overconfident, but 98% sounds like darn good odds to me. The real question is, if I am cured of hepatitis C, will I have material for The Hepatitis Comics? I am sure I will continue to do and say ridiculous things, but without hepatitis C to take the blame, will I be reduced to dumb blonde jokes? The Blonditis Comics just doesn’t have much of a ring to it…

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to my first chance. To kill the hep c virus. That's been in my body for 38 years. With drug sofosbuvir out on the market by the end of the year.