Saturday, September 24, 2011

Aiming for nothing

It has been a long time and I decided I need to get back in the swing of things. I got some really big news right after week 4 of my treatment - I became UNDETECTED. This means that the viral load was negative and is the first step to achieving sustained viral response (SVR). If you achieve SVR for six months after your treatment has ended then you are clear of the virus and can officially declare yourself HEALED. Although the HCV has had lots of fun with my liver, clearly I am ready for the party to be over. Speaking of parties ...

A group of wonderful coworkers threw me a surprise "way to fail a test" party. It really was the sweetest, and quite possibly one of the nicest things anyone has done for me. We had some yummy goodies and a cute poem written by our resident poet laureate, and the best part, drum roll please:

Shirley Temples! Some of them had never had a Shirley Temple before but I do think they were impressed. Maybe not so impressed that they want them to be their signature drink, and some of them did or did not discuss how they would be even better with an adult beverage added, but I still think they were a hit. Seriously, I can't say enough about how nice they have all been and what great people they are. I would gladly toast a ST with this bunch any day.

As far as treatment goes, I am currently in week 11. Since this is my third go-round, I totally expected this to be easy breezy. I wish I could say that this has been the case. The addition of the Incivek has really thrown this ol' girl for a loop. Let's just say my CBC numbers are consistently low, I have been prescribed one "rescue drug" so far and this week I added an antibiotic into the mix. I also take folic acid to help keep the hemoglobin as high as possible, and diaper rash ointment has become a new best friend but I will spare you the details of all that fun. My mouth and nose bleed so much I think I should be in the next Twilight movie. Last week I even noticed I am bleeding under my toenails. Take that OPI, I have my very own shade just in time for Halloween. I am moody, weepy, sleepy, spacey, basically the seven drawfs rolled into one.

However, at the end of week 12 my love affair with Incivek will be over. I will not be sad to see it end. I will still have 36 weeks left on the other medications, but I really think it will get a little easier. They will recheck my viral load on Oct. 5. If it is still negative at that time then I will continue will the treatment. If for some reason the virus is detected then all bets are off and the treatment is stopped. So keep your fingers crossed, we are pulling for a big fat ZERO.

Before treatment, I really had intended to keep running. Oh silly, silly girl. Before treatment I thought running made me sound like an asthmatic oompa loompa, now just leaving my cube to get to the bathroom can do the same. If some of the other people that share my cube walls weren't so loud, some of the other office workers might think I have a nasty two-pack-a-day habit thanks to my lovely smokers cough. No, I don't smoke, except for the nine months in utero courtesy of my mother, it is just a side effect of the medicine that the doc calls riba cough. So the running shoes are collecting dust in the closet for now. They have been traded for a bathrobe and flip flops - which is my standard dress code when I get home in the evenings. Adam is such a lucky little fellow.

Now that you are completely caught up in the medical life of this hypochondriac, I plan to do another post soon. All of this pity party throwing reminded me of a funny story about my mother's grandparents that I want to share. It involves a blind man, a gun, and even when you think you are on the bottom you can still hit just where you are aiming (well, almost).