I had hep C for 20 years before I did 48 weeks of combination therapy in 2005. I took it on thinking “don’t worry about the side effects, I’m doing this treatment, I’m not going to worry too much about what happens, I’m just going to do it,” I told myself.
The virus was undetectable within four weeks and I didn’t get any flu-like symptoms or any headaches; the worst side effect I got was constant itching and a subtle downwards mood swing.
I treated the itching with a few different things before I discovered Pinetarsol bath oil. The reclusiveness was harder to notice. I wasn’t doing the things that I usually love to do like spending time with my daughter or surfing.
I do still have some fond memories of my year with combination treatment. I pushed my reclusiveness aside to sail to Hobart on the James Craig tall ship and I have exhilarating memories that will last a lifetime. Treatment also coincided with a time of change. It was linked to the idea that if I got rid of the virus, it would be easier to find someone. Indeed, not long after treatment finished, I met my new partner.
The specialist rang me at work and told me I had relapsed. I sat there, got teary for a minute. I started to tell people, made a few calls, told a few people at work. It was a bit of a slap in the face, but after a few days I was over it. I had given it a shot.
It’s been four years and I am on 48 weeks of a triple therapy trial and all seems to be going well.
People’s perceptions of treatment are sometimes out of whack with the reality. I would definitely encourage people to give it a go. Find out about it and don’t go in blindly but give it a go.
The potential rewards of treatment far outweigh doing nothing.
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For people living with a hepatitis condition, it really helps to know theyu2019re not alone. Thatu2019s why weu2019re inviting people to share their stories.