Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New Opportunity?

Wow! It's been nearly two months since I last posted on this blog. The chaos of the holidays have kept me busy, but now they are over and there's lots of news to share.

The biggest change for me in the past 60 days is that my doc switched my immunosuppressant from Prograf to Gengraf. The docs at my transplant center are going to try one of the new Hepatitis C treatments on a small group of transplanted patients and those patients must take Gengraf. I'm one of the people being offered the chance to try the treatment, which creates a dilemma for me. A year or two ago I probably would have jumped at this opportunity, but now that I feel better I'm very reluctant to go back to feeling unwell all the time, which is almost certain to happen on the drug regimen. And because my liver has become cirrhotic, I'm not confident it will work.

So what's the right road to take? For now I've adopted a wait-and-see approach. Because it takes just four weeks to know if the meds are effective, I want to observe what happens to some of the transplant patients who take them. If it's successful, I might give it a go. Regardless of the outcome, I'm very grateful to have this choice.

In the meantime I'm trying to determine if I can handle the Gengraf side effects. The acne (ugh! face and back!) and hair growth (face and who knows where) aren't pleasant, but they fall into the "inconvenient" category. Leg cramps, night sweats, upset stomach, etc. - these are a bigger issue.

The year is off to a good start and 2012 promises to be as much of a roller coaster as ever. Here's wishing you and yours peace, grace and health.

Photo courtesy of michaelaw


Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

That sounds awfully hormonal, much like the side effects the testosterone they had me on which strongly warned females and children to not touch or they could get severe acne and grow hair in certain places.
I know the thought of dealing with illness and being sick all over again sounds bad, but if there is a hope of getting rid of the virus I would probably jump at the opportunity.
I hope this year is good to you. Be well.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you first hand what the side effects will be. After my liver transplant in 1998 I was put on Neoral(Gengraf) and took it until about 2 years ago when I was switched to Prograf. I had swelling,acne, and hair growth, but none of the other side effects. It is worth trying if you can be well, but only you can decide.

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