Life Is Good, Then Suddenly...hep C+

First Signs:
One day I wake up, realize that I'm 48. So I started running in October of 2011, my plan was to get into the best shape of my life by the time I was 50. I started by getting a dog and running in the morning. Everything was good, but it became apparent after a very short while that I would run into this wall of exhaustion. I pushed against it...constantly being pushed back, then the joint pain...then the rashes...ugh.

So I went to the Dr's in February or March of 2012 to find out why I couldn't handle the added pressure of running, plus I developed a rash on my wrists and legs. The good news was that I didn't have HIV, as I am always afraid of having, even after being tested, because of my late 80's and early 90's with the untold number of women I'd been with. The bad news was that I have Chronic Hepatitis C, further testing provided the "Genotype 3", which is supposedly good news.

I accepted the Dr's advice and decided to start the Pegasus/Ribaviron therapy. I'd put off the start date for most of the summer. Told my bosses at work, my friends, and now you. So here we go...

Successful Launch:

I started my first injection on the 21st of Sept, 2012. Two days ago. I decided to do this Friday night at 9pm then taking the pills at 9am the following morning. Great plan and I thought it was going to be a breeze. The shot didn't do much too me, I felt fine... But then the pills the next morning. About 2 hours after I took the pills the wheels came off my super hero bus!!! Remember the worst flu fever you ever had? Add about one more level of discomfort to that. The good news is that I felt better as the next series of treatments went on, leading to now...a very manageable reaction. Just in 3 days I've developed a sense of balance and trust that I will be able to complete the 12 week series and keep running. Let me tell you this, taking the pills Saturday night went against every sort of self preservation I'd ever been taught. I hated that I actually took them and waited for death to come get me. What I think is happening is that the Pegasus shot is going to be the new bastard in my life for next 12 weeks.

I would like to tell you that if you work a Mon~Friday job, start on Friday night and don't plan anything for Saturday or most of Sunday. I feel confident to go to work on Monday.
Run2Me Run2Me
46-50, M
12 Responses Sep 23, 2012

Well...here I am 2 years after the treatment and all is well. They say I'm cured with Zero Viral Load... so I have that going for me now...

i have had hep c for 33 years now and i am geno type1a , your right , the geno type 3 is easier to cure , the first and last injection i took i was sick for 2 weeks ans since i was a cabinet maker made it hard to work , but sounds like you have it on the run and once you get rid of the virus your liver can regenerate itself you'll be fine

So I am in the last month of the treatment, 2 or 3 months ago I started producing "No detectable signs of HEP-C" on my monthly blood tests. What this means is in 6 months after this last treatment I test one more time to determine if this treatment worked.

The energy I had at the beginning of the treatment is gone...I feel like an empty shell or a boxer in the 12th round with this blurry view of why I'm even here. An example is a lady at the grocery store talking me out of buying some baby carrots...an hour later all I wanted was baby carrots and I was too ashamed to say or admit it. This treatment has not been a good experience for me, but at the same time...it's been the best experience for my outlook on life.

Some people are born again...finding god as a new inspiration in life. I'm too pragmatic for that ideology, but I did find myself in this chemical fog. The person I was before had some rough edges that are smoothed down and matured from this experience. It's very humbling to accept support and friendship from family, coworkers, and friends.

Keep up the good fight brother. I know it's a ****** situation, but you'll be better off down the road. Keep us posted on developments please.

thanks... update coming..

It's good to see you being so positive about it.

My mum had similar symptoms, but today found out she has vitamin D deficiency. Maybe a trip somewhere hot and sunny would do us all the world of good.

Ahhh...to the Keys...a voice in my head keeps screaming. I've been tough on my wife...and kids. So when someone says "It'll be better..." my initial response is "at what expense?" I hate being fake, so there is anger associated with not being upset all the time. anything that tests my patience is a argument. So now I'm focusing..."Be the cow, be the cow." is my new motto...until this Tx is done.

Im sure they understand that you're going through something nasty, and worrying. Take the time to get over it, then make it up to them, by moving to the Keys :D

I don't really understand what is meant by "It's worth it" and "It'll be better"...sure I will be free of the virus...but then what? I don't know if I was in pain all the time, sure there was pain...but wasn't it natural or normal pain of a 48 year old man? I just don't know what to expect on the other side?

Way to go my Man! Ill be starting next month. (gulp)

Good luck with your treatment. Hang in there!

Had not checked up on you in a while, mister... What a crap sandwich! Good luck with getting better.

It's taken me six months to figure out what corner of that crap sandwich to start chewing on. 11w,5d to go. Figures today is the worst day so far...

You are unbreakable

just about ready to start my regime on taking the treatment. Like you I am wondering if this is going to kill me, having bad time with this and the things I've been told about flu like responses. No one seems to have much to say about it...I have the geo type 2.

Well, the shot will not do much to you on the first night. It's in the morning when you eat those white pills marked ZA... The first two days don't plan on much, but by the 4th day, you should have full control of yourself. Flu symptoms without the poop, boogers, or coughing. I describe it as heat and pressure pushing outwards on your body, face...chest.

I was diagnosed with genotype 2. I did my first round of treatment about a year ago. It was the worst treatment for anything I have been through. My doc start me off on a half dose of the Pegasus once a week and the full dose of ribarvion twice a day for six months. My viral load didn't come down far enough so I fail out of treatment. Come next month I am start the three drug treatment. (Pegasus/ribaviron/Incivek) Hope all goes well.

Keep a good attitude. This HEP stuff is alive and is trying to stay that way. It's going to put up the fight of it's life...so you should as well. Getting to this age, 48, wouldn't have happened if it were for modern medicine... I'd have been another dead baby story told my an old lady.

Another treatment is just around the corner, reported recently in NEJM, about a nano-bot treatment that's been pushed into the FDA for approval on the fast track. Apparently HEPC is about to become a nationwide epidemic (already is), so much that they started march 1, 2012 as the first HEP awareness day. Which coincides with about the time I found out I had it.

Matt...you can do this!