I just needed to vent to someone who would understand. I hope you
don't mind. I went to go to the doctor for my yearly check up yesterday.
My liver functions are still not in the normal range but they have
remained stable year after year and have not increased. I feel great
and, so far, am not symptomatic.
My doctor, who never brings this up, casually mentioned that he
has another patient who took interferon and "seemed to handle
it fairly well." He said that her Hep C was "gone."
He said that might be an option for me. As soon as he mentioned
interferon I could feel my skin start to crawl. The very thought
of going through that torture again made me want to bolt out of
the examination room.
I know that most remissions don't last but I didn't want to get
into it with him so I told him that I tried interferon before and
that I had to go off of it because it made me suicidal (this is
true). He backed right off after I said this. I was glad he left
it alone but my brain started to chew on the whole Hep C thing and
whether or not I'm doing the right thing, how long will I live,
blah, blah, blah..... (I'm sure you and your readers understand
this thought process).
I thought of an old friend of mine who also has Hep C. The last
time I saw her in March she told me that her doctor was pushing
her to try Pegasys (she did a year of interferon / ribaviron about
5 years ago and, surprise, surprise, the Hep C came back). I called
her last night to see if she was on Pegasys. She told me that she
had been on it for about 12 weeks.
She told me that Pegasys "wasn't as bad as the interferon /
ribaviron." But when I pushed for details she told me that
she is feeling emotional and edgy, can't handle loud noises, can't
sleep without taking benadryl and has lost weight because she has
no appetite. She said her immune system is so suppressed that she
got bit by a spider and almost had to be hospitalized. They thought
she had that skin eating disease! The spider bite turned into a
major infection where she had to be put on massive antibiotics.
She also told me that she itches badly. She told me that she can't
help but scratch her skin, and since her immune system is messed
up, if she scratches too much it turns into a major infection as
I didn't have a chance to get more out of her because she was on
her way out the door. I guess I don't understand how a drug that
wrecks your red and white blood cells and ruins your immune system
can help you. After I talked to her I was even more convinced that
I will not take any form of interferon ever again.
It's sick to think that a scratch on your skin could kill you on
that stuff! She is also on a lot of other medications to combat
the damage that the Pegasys doing. I am convinced that she is being
used as a guinea pig. That makes me very sad because I believe that
this treatment will cause long-term damage to her system.
Your right, your friend is being used, for what, I am no longer
sure. Pegasus is worse for many, it is actually the same drug, different
Interferon's do not work well the second time as HCV mutates with
each replication and rapidly builds an immunity to interferon.
The medical community is worthless for treating hep c with interferon.
And that is an understatement. They are killing people for the sake
of money. They are damaging the quality of life of people for the
sake of money.
I have spent 10 years trying to stop this. I think that the United
States should have sanctions placed against it for human rights
violations for allowing Pharmaceutical companies to get completely
out of control and for helping them in their quest!
According to the anthropologists at Berkeley, the state of medicine
in the US is at the lowest point in human history. Just