Saturday, May 29, 2010

Still Riding the Hep C Rollercoaster

In May 2006 I learned that Hep C had damaged my liver so badly that I needed a liver transplant. Thus began my rollercoaster ride, which begat this blog. And that ride continues ...

In January I started treatment on pegylated Interferon and Ribasphere and last month, at the 12-week mark, we learned the treatment hadn't cleared the Hep C virus from my system. In other words, it didn't work. It was no surprise to us: After all, the treatment didn't work 2 1/2 years ago (seven months after my transplant) when I was placed on it.

But there was a bright spot in the results - my liver enzymes, Alkaline and GGT all had dropped significantly and this was news to celebrate. In spite of research indicating no benefit from staying on treatment for "maintenance therapy," we decided I would continue on it because of the improved impact on my bloodwork. However ...

My last three sets of blood test results show a steady rise in liver functions. AST and ALT are closing in on 200 and GGT is 519! What the hell?!

This is virgin territory. It never occurred to me that the numbers might increase while I'm on treatment. Candidly, I'm not comfortable in this realm of the unknown.

Next step: Repeat basic labs in just over a week, along with PT-INR and Hep C viral load count. Depending on what those results show, my doc may order a liver biopsy sooner than later. And I'll keep riding the rollercoaster, hanging on for dear life.

Photo by Lars Sundstrom

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