Treatment Week 15 Update

I am VERY thankful for the prayers and care of many of you. I just took injection 15 out 48 last night. So one third complete. My numbers are doing well. After week 12 I was still undetectable for the virus and my ALT (liver enzyme) was 31 still (it was up to 210 before treatment). This is the first time I have had normal liver readings in thirty years.

Yes, I am doing good numbers wise but this treatment continues to beat me up pretty good. I am always short of breath. If I bend down and up quick or slow I get pretty dizzy. The pills are really nasty (I have four of them staring at me right now that I have to take). They have many side effects. A nasty dry cough that just will not go away, plus I have a creepy dry skin rash kind of feeling on my whole body. My taste is totally messed and no food tastes good. I have lots of trouble eating. (Good thing – I think, is that I have lost 23 or so pounds so far). My smell is messed up and I have a constant dirt taste in my mouth and the same as far as smell. Of course the worst side effect of all is feeling very fatigued and flu like most every day. I am getting to work a day or two a week but it wipes me out after that. Pastor Kohl and FBBC has been most gracious about that. Praise the Lord for that. It helps remove much stress. I have been doing real good depression wise. Depression is a very popular side effect seeing how the side effects are so nasty and the treatment just seems to never end – 48 weeks!

Thank you so much for those who inquire about how I am doing. That means so much to me. Every little bit of care and every prayer is helping me continue on. Before I started treatment I interviewed eight people who took this treatment and only two of the eight were able to finish. It is so important that I complete the whole 48 weeks. Determination alone will not get it done – but the prayers and care of my friends will help me do it!

THANK YOU!

Good news update on TX

I went to my liver specialist this week because I have been feeling so tired and my hemoglobin is getting to the point of being too low. While there I learned my ALT (liver enzyme) number went from 210 down to 31. I am in the normal range for the first time in 30 + years. That means my liver is no longer being damaged as of now by the virus. I get tested at the end of next week to see if the virus is still undetectable at this point as I was after week four. I will get my thyroid checked out – well just about every test I have ever had is being redone next week. Should have a good picture of how I am doing in two weeks. But the numbers are looking very good.

I had a decent day yesterday – put in a full day of work for the first time in a while and no headache. I have some friends over from Rochester and today we are going to go on a slow paced hike. Still a long way to go for me, and the road is still pretty hard but I am learning how to deal with all these very nasty side effects.

Week 9 – Treatment Update

It has been a long 9 weeks on treatment so far. This past weekend had to be the worst yet for side-effects. By Saturday evening I was totally wiped out. Picture this: nasty chest cold, upset stomach, diarrhea,  and the flu and you can begin to understand how my weekend went. Last weekend was almost the same. The cough is not from having a cold- my lungs are clear – it is a nasty side effect of the Ribavirin. The upset stomach and the nasty d word went away by Sunday evening. I had my best sleep last night that I have had in two months. I feel kind of decent this morning. I am going to go and get out of the house. I bought some new hiking boots last week so I think I shall try to break them in on a short hike with Frank Jr. this afternoon.  I think I am up to it.

I am waiting for the doctors office to call me with analysis of my week 8 blood work. Red blood cells get killed off with this treatment and if they go too low others meds are prescribed. I do not want to go that route – hoping the red blood cell count is okay. Also white blood cells get killed off – a very important one is Neutrophils. This is the wbc that fights off infection. If this one gets too low a med is prescribed – also do not want to go there! I pray my Neutrophils are at an okay level.

On a good note – I have lost 12 pounds so far. Only 40 more to go!

Thank you again to all the support so many of you have been to me. This has been a very hard time. The mental battle is tough let alone the physical.

Great News Update on my HCV Treatment

My blood work results are in and I just learned today after speaking with the nurse in charge of my treatment that I have cleared the virus (the RNA level went from 3,080,000 to undetectable!). There was only a 50 percent chance of this happening. Thank you – all who have prayed for me. This is very good news for my family! The nurse said that because of clearing the virus at such an early stage that I now have a 96% chance of permanently keeping the virus dormant if I finish the 48 weeks of treatment. Week six starts tomorrow. It will be a long row to hoe, but now I know it is working! I will just continue taking it moment by moment. Last night I went to church for the first time in a month. It felt good to be back in the house of the Lord. I still am pretty sick from the treatment but this news sure helps. I was able to do some work around the house the last couple days and that felt real good. Please continue to pray that I can handle this treatment and the side effects go away. Also please pray that I loose some weight. I have gained back all the weight I worked so hard to loose (60 plus pounds arg!).

Thank you again for your prayers and thank you Lord Jesus for answering this one great prayer request.

Treatment Update

Obviously I have not posted any updates in two weeks. I have been too ill to even care about my stupid computer. I have only checked my email two times in the last two weeks. Those that know me know that it is not me.

First, thanks to those who have called me on the phone and sent letters and cards over the last few weeks. I appreciate it very much. This treatment is very difficult. It has been four plus weeks now. It has not been a fun time at all. Picture having the flu for four weeks and you can start to get the idea on how I feel. After week four I had some blood drawn that will give me some very important information – like if this treatment is working! I will find out today or tomorrow if it is killing the virus. There is a 50 50 chance it is working for me. So much so that I could be RVR  – Rapid Viral Response – the virus being undetectable. That is the ultimate goal. If there is no reaction to the treatment I may be pulled off as soon as week eight. Insurance will no longer cover the treatment if there is no reaction. If it is working we go on!

It is hard to explain how I have felt these past four weeks. There is no way I could have done this without my wife Carol. She is a true friend! I love her dearly. Of course I thank the Lord Jesus Christ, who sustains me, for giving me peace in my mind and heart through this time.

I will post the results of the blood work here when I find out today or tomorrow.

Blood work results and update

So far week two is better than week one for sure, although this weekend was tough to get through. Last night I had the first good night of sleep in two weeks. I felt decent when I woke up. Then four more Ribavirin pills down the ole hatch. Yikes…. I dread these pills. Little over an hour after taking them flu like feelings come upon me. Today though was better than the last few days. I will just have to get used to having this terrible taste in my mouth and having chills every now and then.

Now the good news. I called the doctor’s office this morning to see if they received the results from my blood work on Friday and indeed they did. The numbers are good. Red and white blood cells are not down either are platelets. That is good news as they explained it to me they would be down some. Mine are not!

I am very happy for all the prayers. THANK YOU!