Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Let’s crack open the bubbly!

What a hard couple of weeks it’s been.

Let’s not beat around the bush, my poor body is taking a worse battering than anyone could have anticipated. Constantly tired, I can’t remember the last time I felt I had enough energy for anything. I went from marathon-fit to ‘panting-breathless-after-a-five-minute-walk’ within a couple of months. The metallic taste of bile hasn’t stopped for over 10 weeks, and nausea is becoming second nature now. Blinding headaches, insomnia, and nosebleeds have joined the party. Other side effects have also come along but I’ll save the graphic details for anyone who asks over a cup of coffee.  Reluctantly, I’ve even have to admit defeat and follow my gastric nurse’s advice to take an extended period off of work. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention I’m anaemic now too? It’s really no longer about recharging my batteries but about making sure my body doesn’t go into full meltdown.

So, yeah, it’s been a hard couple of weeks. Health-wise, the hardest of my adult life ever, really.

And yet, I’m going to break my teetotalism today and have a bit bubbly to celebrate. Why, you ask? Well, at week 10 (this current week) of my treatment, my liver function test result is 36 – the first time it’s been within ‘normal’ boundaries in nearly two decades. My poor liver is having  a well deserved break. And that’s not even the good news. I’m typing this after getting off the phone with my gastric nurse who called me with the results of my viral load for Hepatitis C and they’re ‘undetectable’. Allow me a moment for a little cry here. Let’s say that again because it bears repeating, my bloody Hepatitis C results have come back negative! At week 10! It’s exactly the trajectory we wanted them to take if this horrible treatment is going to work but to be honest, I never actually expected it to work this well. Two decades of false starts and heartbreak just made me a bit cynical. But having said all that, for the first time in my adult life I’m negative for Hepatitis C as we speak. Very happy days indeed!

This all means the treatment is working beautifully and my chances of actually clearing my Hep C are good. I’ll stay on the treatment all the way until the bitter end now (Spring 2014) and we’ll hopefully not have a ‘positive’ viral load result ever again. One can only hope.

So, this is brilliant news and I’m so happy I might burst.

I’m going to ignore the fact that my gastric nurse has asked me to come in for urgent blood test with concern in her voice after I mentioned the nosebleeds. I’m going to ignore the guilt about having to take time off work. I’m going to pretend for one day that I’m full of energy and have a little party with my wife and son. I’m going to swallow my pills like they’re fudge and ride the nausea train happily. Let’s crack open the bubbly. Cheers!



Since I've been asked before, please feel free to share this article wherever you want. The more people who know we can beat this crap, the better! I'm over on Twitter as @gatulino and I'm using the tags #hepatitis #wecanbeatit


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