Monday, July 26, 2010

A Way of Life

    I am now on week 13 of treatment. Things are settling into somewhat of a groove, and I am trying to establish a pattern of functioning day to day that is compatible with the treatment effects.  
    My last appointment with the main doctor was good, if not a bit disconcerting.  My blood work is going well, and my hemoglobin is back up to 12.2.  He states that I am at an 80% level of my "norm", which is a workable number.   I haven't been back to the gym since I began treatment, and he gave me permission to begin again at an "easy" pace.  Exercise is recommended for a number of reasons, including increased blood circulation to deal with the meds.  It's on my list of "to-dos" for this week!
     I continue to respond well to the meds, and my viral levels are UD (undetectable).  That means it's working!  I questioned him about this current treatment in lieu of the fact that I am now officially gen 1a.  Should I be holding out for the new drugs??  His advice is to continue this regiment, since I am responding.  The new drugs are still a ways away and may be difficult to obtain once they are officially approved.  That's the good news.
    The "bad" news is, the current ideal recommended length of treatment is now 72 weeks.  That means, if I want to give this my one and only best shot for SVR and know that I have done everything in my power to slay this "dragon" in my system, I will be adding another 24 weeks to the original 48 I signed on for.  My face dropped at this news, my daughter looked at me with concern, and when I got home and told my husband, his face visibly dropped also.  
     It's not something that has to be decided now.  I will continue to take it a bit at a time, but the seed has been planted in my thought process.  That's why I am trying to take a new approach to this whole thing as a "way of life", versus a limited time of my life.   That extra 24 weeks takes me through all of next spring, and all of next summer and on into fall.   If I'm going to beat this thing, it has to become a way of life and I still have to function and live each day to the fullest.  That's a big thought for me to wrap my head around, and I'm still dealing with it. 

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