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Hep C Treatments and Riding
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Posted on Fri, Nov 03, 2006 19:48

First I will say that the :2000 character limitation sucks, so I will post tthis in 3 posts.

My name is Frank, and I typically post under the pen name treecutter, thats what I do for a living. I was an IV drug user for aproximately 30 years. I was diagnosed with Hep C around ' 93. At the tme I was told that " It was an innoculous disease. And I was also told at the time that I would probably die of old age or something else before my liver failed as a result of hep C.I belived them. I continued to drink and drug until 2001. During which time the AMA came to learn more about the disease. I came to understand that many many people had the disease, but it was undiagnosed. I have had many friends die of the disease. I knew of a friend who treated his hep C with a Chinese Herbal treatment. But while using I couldn't care less whether I lived or died.
In 2001 I went into recovery and entered into the Narcotics Anonymous fellowship. While in NA I came to hear and know several ex addicts that went into Hep C treatment.Most were succesful. A friend of mine in NA with 18 years clean died of liver cancer. After a year and a half inrecovery, I decided to try the treatment. I was diagnosed with Geno type 2, and had a viral count of just over 7,000,000. I was started on the 3 shot a week regimen of pegasys couple with ribavirin. This proved to be unsuccessful. I only made it 8 or 9 weeks. I reacted so severly that I was ospitalized for 6 days. I was diagnose as allergic to the ribavirin. I discontinued treatment.Looking back I am convinced that the reaction was due to many reasons. I am further convinced that it was mostly a psychotic reaction that I suffered. Most of the fault lies with a very fucked up Md.The doctor diddn't do any monitoringor follow up with me. I didn't know this at the time. I stayed with the idea that I would remain untreatable until a new med could be developed.
Two years ago I did a tree job for an oncologist. Upon learning that a worker of mine was diagnosed with throat cancer and was traveling from our local rural area to a university hospita 30 miles away for his chemo and radiation treatment on a daily basis, he offered to take over the treatment and do without regard to whether or not his office took his insurrence. He was offering to do this for free if need be and I was impressed! So last year when I had finally gotten a health insurence policy, I called the Docter and asked if he could/would treat me. He said yes. I had some other health issues (a rotary cuff tear) that might need surgery, so we waited until April of this year to start. He was of the opinion that I was not untreatable. he was the one who decided that it was a psychotic reaction. I hadn't been eating well or resting enough and was not drinking enough water.



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Posted on Sat, Nov 25, 2006 18:40

Tree God Bless you. With your sharing your knoweledge I am now ready myself to try treatment for melanoma. I was offered interferon and chose not to do it. Now there is a drug that has a higher percentage of working. I will not be cured but at least hopefully will be at a stand still for awhile to ride ride and ride!!!



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Posted on Sun, Nov 12, 2006 17:28

Got it dureing a blood transfussion in 82. Also had Luekemia and a bonemarrow transplant .Have done several years of the study drugs. I gave myself the interferon injections and did the pegasas and pegulated intron,The drugs almost killed me and put me in the hospital for 2 months in 05.I have 1/4 of a liver but thats still not bad enough to be on UABs transplant list. I have heard docs say that the old drugs worked and have knocked the viral loads down to zero and CURED people but, I have as to yet met anyone of those so called cured people.I also take exception to the uneducated assholes that treat Hep-C like aids. My ex and I had unprotected sex for 14 years and shared everything and she never became infected.I would never share anything that would transfer fresh blood from myself to another and now that I'm single again I would rather practice safe sex not just for the other person but,,,For my on protection.Oh and the hep has always presented as a 40-50 year illness as far as start to finish.Now some good news,do a search on Valopicitabine , Its the newest drug that will be comeing.They say its really working so????Who knows if we hang around long enough?????????? I have a left over prescription of the pegasas ($999.00) that I can GIVE to anyone that needs it(Skull busting headache included)Richard



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Posted on Fri, Nov 10, 2006 18:59

Frank........you are one remarkable dude! Your strength and endurance are amazing. But I'm not surprised.........having talked to you for a year or so now, I'm convinced that you can beat just about anything.

Write soon, ok? Tell me what trouble your're gettin yerself into.......ok? Love you, Blue



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Posted on Wed, Nov 08, 2006 07:56

Hello my dear friend, Frank...thank you for sharing your story. Hugs to you my friend! By the way? Nice new pic you have up of yourself! Love you sweetie.



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Posted on Fri, Nov 03, 2006 19:50

In April of 2006 he started me on just the shots, but this time it was peginterfeuron. I took the shot once a week , and did only the shot for a month. This , he felt would allow us to see how I tolerated the shot. When we were convinced that there was no severe reactions, just the normal ahes and pains a and slight emotional stuff, he then started me with the pills. I was closely monitore for two months with 2-3 office visits a week and that many blood tests per week. After a month on both treatments I switched to once a week. At this point I have to say it was very rough at times. I mostly was always irritable and always tired.
From the start of my office treatments I said that I would only do this if it DID NOT stop me from riding. It did and didn't! I found that if I drank a lot of water and took alleve and rested a few hours a day, I could go riding every day. I even took my shot on Thursday so that I would feel shitty on Friday and be better by saturday. You see with me it was 24 or so hours AFTER I took the shot that I would suffer the most. This usually lasted for 24 hours , after which I would not be too fucked up. It was not always easy. There were times that I went on a 80 mile trip, and when I got to my destinaation if I stayed too long I could barely get home.I eventually would move my shot towards the weekend and if I wanted to go on a long trip 2-300 miles, I would move the shot to Sunday morning so that when I was coming home it wouldn't kick in till that night.I found that full days of riding (8-19 hours) were alays hard on me regardless of what day it was. Ther were days that at 11 pm I could only ride at 35 miles an hour after ridng all day. It made the return trips very slow!
After two months on both meds my hepc converted. I was tested and the viral load was undetectable. And all live fnctions were normal. However I suffered a bad case of food poisening at 5 months. It was mis diagnosed and I had an abdominal surgery. I there fore had to suspend the treatments. It has been two months , and I am still virus free. In the surgery notes, the surgeon descibed my liver as being unremarkable. Today i resumed the teratments. I did so hesitantly and with much soul searching! It seems that if I stayed off th treatments, my chances statistically are 50/ 50 for not recurring. If I complete the year it can go as high 75/25 for no recurrence. I have to say that to choose to return to the morose symptoms of aches and pains and emotional turmoil is not an easy choice! But my work season is basically over until spring and I will be mostly idle anyway; what better time than now to complete this? Just likke recovery I will do this one way at a time.
I would say that if one took th treatment with all the proper precautions it is do able! Dink lots of water, take Advil prophylcticl, eat well rest daily, rest the day after your shot, and ride ride ride! I hope his helps some one else!
Frank



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