My HCV Treatment Starts

I have Hepatitis C, a blood-borne illness caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) which affects my liver. I am not ashamed to admit it. I have had it for over thirty years. After all these years I decided to visit a liver specialist as my energy level (like my friends can believe that) has gone way down to the point of I feel exhausted often. I had a liver biopsy this last year and it showed my liver was at level zero out of four levels as far as damage goes. That is very good all and all but my HCV level is very high and active. Because of this level and high liver enzyme levels it was determined that I would go on a treatment of Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin. This treatment will last for 48 weeks. I will take four Ribavirin pills in the AM and three in the PM everyday for 48 weeks and I will get one injection of Pegylated Interferon each Friday night for 48 weeks. Phew – seems daunting. I will just take it day by day the best I can.

I am putting this out in the open and my subsequent adventure with this treatment as a source of information to help others contemplating taking this treatment. Also so that my praying friends can get an update as to how I am doing.

Well then, no turning back now. I took the first four Ribavirin pills an hour ago this morning. My first injection will be at 9 PM tonight. The side effects can be very drastic and are common. Nausea and a flu like feeling will almost be for sure I am told. We shall see. So far I feel good.

This treatment only has a 50% chance of success (getting the count of the HCV down to dormant levels, less than 5 – I am currently at 3,800,000) this dormant level is called sustained virological response (SVR). Please pray I reach SVR!

For those interested, more information on my treatment can be found here:

More on Hepatitis C

Google Health Offers Personal Health Records on the Internet

Looking to store your medical records in a safe online environment for easy access? Look no further. Google Health is going live after a year and a half in development.

With Google Health, you can:

  • Build online health profiles that belong to you
  • Download medical records from doctors and pharmacies
  • Get personalized health guidance and relevant news
  • Find qualified doctors and connect to time-saving services
  • Share selected information with family or caregivers

See it live: Google Health

Read about it on the official Google Blog: Google Health, a first look.

Today is World Hepatitis Awareness Day

Today, May 19th, 2008, is the fifth annual World Hepatitis Awareness Day. Statistically, 500 million people are infected with either Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. That’s one out of 12 people worldwide. We must encourage testing for early diagnosis, for early treatment increases the odds of a successful outcome.

For those with HCV here is a good article from 15 Tips for Managing Interferon-Ribavirin Side Effects