..was long but encouraging. We took a class on a new drug Don will be taking to fight off his Hepatitis C. It raises the cure rate to 75-80% which is really substantial. Our appointment was scheduled for 10:45. We arrived about 3 minutes past and as usual, the waiting room was packed. Almost 45 minutes later, we were called into an exam room. I was thinking it would be held in a class room .. maybe with other patients. I was wrong.
Once in the exam room, we were handed a large stack of papers to both read and fill out. Not only was this basic drug information, but a slew of questionnaires about how he was currently feeling.. both physically and emotionally. One thing I can always count on from Don is having a positive attitude. In fact, looking back, I can only recall one time where he had a look of defeat on his face. That was the day we found out he had relapsed. That information sucked the oxygen right out of his lungs. It was not long though before he was back to being his jovial self...
It took us a good 30 minutes to both read and fill out all of the paperwork and it was then that one of the doctors came in to talk to us about it all. The previous medicine Don was on (interferon/ribavirn) only killed the Hepatitis C virus. The additional drug (? can't remember what it is called) stops the Hepatitis C from reproducing. For this reason, he will only take the new drug for 3 months along with the old drugs... and then continue the old drugs for an additional 9 months.
The list of side effects is daunting to say the least. Don suffered so the last time he was treated, it is hard for me to imagine not only him doing it all over again, but now along with even more torturous symptoms. One drug must be administered via an abdominal injection, another, in pill form must be taken every morning and night and yet another must be taken STRICTLY every 8 hours and must be consumed with food containing 20 grams of fat. If he goes longer than 1 hour past the scheduled time to take this last medicine, he misses the window...YES - it is that strict. For this reason, they have given him an alarm to carry with him EVERYWHERE. He will have to have weekly blood work done keeping a close eyes on his white, red and platelet counts. These drugs effect all of them. Please pray for him. We are looking to start the medicine on the 08 October. IF the drugs come next week, we will start them on the first of October, but that is highly unlikely since they are going to be mailed to us monthly.