Although I've been reading the posts on here for ages this is my first entry, mainly because the side effects have hit me hard and I didn't want to go on too much about them, as I am extremely grateful to be part of this redemption trial. I would also like to thank Dr. Freeman for making it possible, Dr. Debasis who wrote my prescription and gave me hope, and Jan and Iain on the admin staff who have been really helpful.
I've had hep c 2b for around 40 years (I think) and was diagnosed about 8 years ago and referred by my GP to my local teaching hospital with a specialist liver clinic (in the UK), who did their utmost to persuade me to take interferon which I declined. However my ALT was 150 so something needed to be done. Fortunately I was already paying privately to see a Chinese doctor/acupuncturist/herbalist who prescribed me herbal meds that brought my ALT levels down to around 49 which I've been taking for the past 7 years.
I attend the liver clinic once a year to keep an eye on my readings and in 2016 my fibroscan was 5.5kPa and my ALT as usual 49. It was at this time I was informed about the new treatment for hep c but told that I wasn't eligible as I hadn't tried interferon first and I have no liver scarring.
Needless to say I was very upset, but through a friend of a friend I learned about this website, as she was on the redemption trial herself at the time.
I returned to the hospital in January of this year to ask if they would monitor me while I was taking the generic meds, but the consultant was far from happy about it, she was aggressive and rude and basically reduced me to tears. She even refused to give me a copy of my latest blood tests, when I pointed out that it was my legal right she told me that I had to go through an agency, pay a fee and wait 6 weeks. It was obvious I wouldn't get any help from them without a fight, which I just didn't have the energy to engage in, so I asked my GP if their practice would monitor me, to which she very reluctantly agreed.
I'm now half way through my treatment and have only just received all of my 4 week blood test results. My liver function came back as normal, and ALT level down to 31 and no problem with my full blood count, which is marvelous. My GP telephoned me tonight with my viral load result, I was really hoping that it would be undetectable but the report states RNA detectable 26iu/mil log = 1.42. The doctor is a general practitioner and not a liver specialist and does not know what these readings mean. It would also help if I knew my previous reading but I could only remember the fibro and ALT results. However does anyone know if this is a low reading - as 26 doesn't sound high to me but what do I know? I would really appreciate it if anyone can shed some light on this for me please?
Also has anyone else still suffered the side effects when into the 6th week of treatment? I have good days and some partly good days, but in the main I feel pretty dreadful with the stomach aches and upsets being the worst aspect of it. I wonder if it's because I'm 61 and had this disease for such a long time and also could it be that I only weight 115 pounds. Having said that it's a small price to pay for getting rid of this horrible disease that has affected my life in so many ways for so long now.
Anyway I hope to hear back from someone regarding the readings, my friend tells me that Dr. Freeman reads these posts, if so any feedback would be most appreciated.