Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Three Months Post Treatment

It is hard to believe so much time has passed. I feel guilty not keeping the blog going more regularly despite having little to say either medically or regarding Prometheus. However, there are few thing worth mentioning now.

I'll put the medical matters here and the writing ones in a separate post. I saw my liver specialist today and gained a better understanding as to where I am. He confirmed that my recent fibroscans show that I have scarring of the liver. However, combined with my normal blood results he does not feel it is severe and puts it in the 'A' category on what's called the Child Pugh score (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child-Pugh_score).

This comes as no surprise as someone who has had Hep for 30+ years. He did say that when you get in the 'B' category they begin to consider liver transplant. I asked was this inevitable. He confirmed it was. As to how long my damaged liver will last it is clearly hard to say. He said the average would be around ten years. Perhaps if I'm lucky I'll reach 65. Then it will be time for a change of liver. I asked how long that new liver would last, again he said about ten years.

As for Hep C treatment. There is nothing they can do at present. There are new drugs coming through which should be available in three years or so, but they only have a 30 percent success rate at the moment. Will it be worth the heartache? How many more years will it really gain my worn out liver? Well I'll have to make that decision nearer the time. I was hoping for a viral load test, but he said it would not be worthwhile. Apparently the level of the Hep C virus has no bearing on the progression of the disease; unlike AIDS. This explained to me why they stopped treatment even though my viral load had dropped so much. Unless its at zero its not worth a lot apparantly.

All that said. I have to admit to feeling better than before I went on treatment. Its been years since I have had such a clear head and such sustained energy. I have to admit to being pleased. It is one of the reasons I have achieved so much with my writing recently (see next post). Of course it comes with the fear that it will not last or is an aberration. While it is here though I intend to enjoy every minute.


Debi said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to see this, Rich.

Yay to living in the present. It's all anyone can do and you do it so well!

lowkeyhighflyer said...

Hi Rich - what happened to the writing post?! Not that I am one to talk, but I like to think blogging is about quality not quantity...

Chris Vacano said...

Hey Rich,

I'm truly glad to hear you're feeling better, and see the value in your attempt at treatment. About the best encouragement I can offer is to remind you that nobody knows what's around the next corner. There may be some meaningful breakthrough on its way. While the scarring/fibrosis is definitely a downer (I've got some damage, myself), bear in mind that progression moves rather slowly, so you have the luxury of a bit of time to see how things progress and decide accordingly. The liver (and the human body, for that matter) are pretty remarkable in their ability to heal and fight off deterioration.

Keep on keeping on... life is for living, not counting the days as they go by. You've got the right attitude, and I genuinely hope it carries you a long long way. :)

Best from your "blood brother" across the pond.


Rich said...

Hi Chris. Good to hear from you again. I can't thank you enough for your encouragement throughout all of this. I have just made my first novel 'Deathless' available online at lulu.com And would like to send you a complementary copy as way of thanks. You may think this a spurious honour, but if you would like it, email me your address at my email address below and I'll send you a copy. Live long and prosper yourself blood brother. Richard