Sunday, May 18, 2014

A New Hope

Well, it's been quite awhile since I have posted here. Not much has been happening with my Hep C guy....he's still feeling the sting of the last failed cure attempt with the Incivek. But his doctor has been uber positive down the road, promising a cure, so how can we, um I, not be positive along with him?

In February, my guy had an MRI and blood tests to prep for doctor visit on the 23rd. The doctor was, again, positive and even informed us of the two new drugs out there: Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Olysio (simeprevir).  Unfortunately, my guy is intolerant of both Ribavirin and Interferon, so our hearts sank at first hearing of this. However, Dr. G told us he was going to treat my guy with the two (what I call "killer" meds). He was going to prescribe the Sofosbuvir AND the Simeprevir. Both oral ... no needles this time. Other good news was that it's only a 12-week program.  And the cure rate is in the 90 percent range!

Now for the bad news:  the MRI showed that there is a tumour on my guy's liver.  It doesn't qualify as cancerous based on the many criteria the doctor mentioned, but it took a good 3 days for my guy to even feel like talking about it. All he could hear in his head was "tumour" and he had already decided he had cancer.  I reread him the notes I took at the doctor's office and it took a lot to convince him it wasn't cancer. The doctor scheduled a follow-up MRI for May 15th, which he had the other day. We'll be seeing the doc on Monday, the 19th, so we'll have more info then.

The doctor also set my guy up with an appointment with the Transplantation Group at the hospital.  Since we're hoping that once my guy is cured, he'll be on track for a new liver.  If he's not cured of Hep C, then no transplant because the disease could infect the new liver and he'd be right back to where we are now. So, we've got fingers crossed, toes crossed...everything we can cross crossed that everything goes well!

Minor aside ~~ after that first MRI, the doc discovered gallstones, which would be the reason for some abdominal pain he's been having, but he is, for all intents and purposes, asymptomatic.

So, my guy's been on the treatment since April 9th and is tolerating it pretty well.  He does have tummy issues (and diarrhea) and that has prevented him from eating basically anything over the last 6 weeks, so there is weight loss ~~ he's dropped 20 pounds (he had one GOOD day on the 15th, where he ate very well through the day and even enjoyed a wonderful fish dinner at home that night; however, that's the day he had his MRI and the injected him with the dye, so I wonder if that had anything to do with it).  But, he refuses to even think about giving up; after all he's at the halfway mark right now and he isn't anemic, anorexic, or having any internal issues like he did on the last treatment, so he is quite determined to make it work.

And, oh yeah, he's still smoking.  A shock to me especially since we had a very dear friend pass away in November from lung cancer.