I started my triple therapy treatments today.
For the last two weeks, I was switching my anti rejection drug from prograf to cyclosporine and getting a serum level to work with before the other medications were added. My level is good, but we made a preemptive cut in dosage, since we expect the levels to rise rapidly with the introduction of telepravir. My blood counts are low, but tolerable at this time, so we won’t worry about neupogen (to increase white blood cells), procrit (to increase red blood cells) or transfusions (for anemia) till next week. I am set up for blood work three times a week to monitor all of this. (they said they would do pediatric draws so as to not further the anmemia…. I always wondered if having that much blood drawn was detrimental… I guess it is, in fact)
I started the treatments about 1 hour ago and I already have that old familiar feeling of “the Flu”. Nothing from the telepravir, yet.
I am prepared for the side effects which are (combined) migraines, nausea, diarrhea, muscle and bone aches and pains, rash, anemia, impaired immune system, shortness of breath, fatigue and depression. From experience, I know I will suffer at least 3/4 of these. (I am already on antidepressant so I’m not to worried about that.)
God is in charge and he has provided excellent health care providers for me, so I feel confident that I will weather this season.
The first 30 days will determine the course of treatment. If we have a good response in the first month, then we will continue for an additional 11 months, and be rid of the beast. If we have a negative response at the end of thirty days, we stop treatment.
So, prayers are need for a positive outcome, and for me to have the strength to take this therapy. Also, prayers for my family, who will have to deal with me in this state for the next year.
I’ll keep you posted!