A very merry Christmas to everyone, especially Dr James,
It's a long time since I posted on this forum but I do look in from time to time. Thanks to the good people at Fixhepc I no longer have Hepc and have just enjoyed a really good Christmas, with a few glasses of wine.
It was a sudden inability to cope with alcohol - having a glass or two with dinner gave me day long hangovers - that alerted me to the fact that I had a liver problem. People can be pretty stupid, especially myself! For several days I suffered and thought it must be an ordinary viral infection, but it didn't improve at all until I stopped my (very moderate) drinking. That's when the penny dropped.
Now the next bit may make you laugh. Many years ago, actually about 25, I had an HIV test which was negative but was told that I had contracted Hepc. At the time I said, when offered counselling, that it was about the least of my problems since I was going through a very painful divorce. So I did nothing about it. Some years on from that I moved to a new town and routinely signed up with a GP whom I told about the Hepc. He wanted to send me to a gastroenterologist who he said would do a liver biopsy etc. etc. What was proposed sounded very unattractive and the treatment sounded even worse. Please bear in mind here that I was quite healthy and had no symptoms - or not many but see below. Consequently I said to the GP that I wished him to take no action and decided simply to get on with my life and ignore the diagnosis! I actually forgot about it.
It must be said that I was right for all the wrong reasons (over many years certain people have had the temerity to suggest that I'm a posh, arrogant bastard who always KNOWS that he's right though it's a vile calumny) because the early treatments on offer for hepc were both unpleasant and often ineffective. In fact they caused long term damage to some patients without curing the disease. By the time I developed the alcohol problem DAAs had become available and thanks to Dr James et al they were affordable too, at a time when the NHS was rationing them and therefore keeping patients on waiting lists while their condition deteriorated leading to great suffering, an inability to work causing poverty etc. Frankly this is a damning indictment of a poor health care system which employs corrupt and uncaring medical personnel, but I digress.
So I want to express my enormous gratitude to an honest and caring physician and the good people around him here at Fixhepc as well as the many good people who post and have posted on this forum. One in particular stands out: Guy, or GAJ as he was known here, is no longer with us having lost his long fight with the disease. I think he was probably the kindest and most worthwhile man I have ever encountered in my 64 years on planet earth. If he hasn't disappeared into the oblivion which I think awaits us all and is actually floating around on a pink cloud that's within earshot then RSF says "Hello mate, hope the cloud is comfortable and there's something good to read!".
Again, I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a much more settled (and entirely Trump free) 2019!
PS For years I had what I thought was irritable bowel syndrome. But it wasn't because all the symptoms went when the virus did. Also, I am mildly asthmatic and believed that was why I got chest infections, needing antibiotics, every time I caught a cold. However I have had several
colds in the last two winters but no chest trouble, so that was hepc too. R
G3a. Probably infected 40 years ago.
Diagnosed July 2015
7/7/2015: ALP 69, ALT 209, WBC 5.8, VL 40,000. Fibroscan 9.5 Kpa.
Commenced treatment Sof/Dac (Natco Pharma) 24 wks in Feb 16
VL UND @ 4 wks, 12 wks
PHEW! Thank you so much Dr James, Monkmeds and all at Fixhepc
Very happy that you got rid of this terrible disease Rightsaidfred, it's amazing how many health problems Hep C ends up being responsible for, the Liver is obviously just the start. Glad you got lucky and didn't have to go through Interferon and the old horrendous treatment. You're right about Gaj, what an amazing human being he was. Merry Christmas and a happy 2019 to you.
Mar, thank you for all you do here , answering people always so kindly and promptly. Have a great New Year.
It has been a big year for me, one which I would not have lived to see without FixhepC coming to the rescue. I graduated with a law degree a couple of weeks ago, and I have my sights set on medication pricing, human rights, kicking some butts . And enjoying seeing others beat hep C.
Genotype 3 30 years, 2x treatment interferon/ribavirin non responder. Cirrhosis 17 years. Fibroscan, decompensating, 40 down to 22 by 29/3/16- now down to 6.5, normal, no cirrhosis. Started Buyers Club Sof/Dac 14 Nov 15. SVR 12 29/0716
Thank you Hazel for your very kind words, Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year to you. Congratulations on getting your law degree, that's really awesome. You already kicked butt by playing a part in New Zealand's decision to offer free Hep C treatment to the rest of its citizens. Now that you're officially a lawyer, look out world
I'm coming in with a late Merry Christmas but an early Happy New Year. I echo the sentiments in your posts.
Splitdog - it gave us such a fight but we got there....
RSF - I loved your tribute to Gaj - I also carry him in my heart.
Mar - totally agree with Hazel - you are such a constant and wonderful support especially to our new members.
Hazel - Look at you! Big congratulations for achieving your law degree and your activism on behalf of people with Hep C. We are so lucky you are on our side!
Best wishes for 2019....
G1a probably early 1980's, Biopsy F1(2010), F2-F3(2015). VL 5+mill; 2+mill (2014) Tx naive. Accessed Sof/Led through Dr Freeman at GP2U and Buyers Club (lifesavers!!!)
Commenced tx 12/11/15. 9 wk: VL <15 Detected but LFT = Normal 12 week results: UND (Yay!) Due to slow response commenced Sof/Dac 4 Feb for 12 weeks. EOT @ 24 weeks 27 April 2016. (With thanks to Dr Freeman et al). SVR11 result: VL 1,950,000. It's back!
New tx 030916 (Viekira Pak, Solvadi, Ribavirin UND @ 111116. EOT 170217.
SVR12 and SVR 24