Just the other week i hit the halfway point. It's a milestone for a number of reasons. The first being that i've never made it to a halfway marker. Previous treatments have had either no or ill effect and provoked me into dropping out early.
The second being the ease
Comparatively this treatment is the easiest and smoothest one yet. While i wait to find the efficacy my best hopes are pinned on this never-before-seen RX production in HCV care. They're coming out with a new RX in October, it's another one of Gilead's Manhattan projects.
But what does being cured mean? How has having a zero viral load physically affected me?
Psychologically it's a huge deal, but let's get down to the day to day bullshits. The cirrhosis in my liver is the virus' gift to me for the remainder of my life. The scarring will never truly fade. My hopes are for the remainder of my liver to recover to a state where i no longer require transplant.
This would require the chunk of a liver i have that isn't necrotized, to heal. Healing this much of my liver creates room for a new problem.
If you don't know how cancer works, or have some confusion on the matter think of like growth. Whenever regrowth happens there is risk for cancer (there are lots of other sources, but this is a big one), when the cells reform sometimes they're not perfect. Nature miracl...fuck-ups, really. A cell has this cool map of how to replicate, but sometimes it's like "nahhh fuck directions i got this." And then it just runs around replicating even stupider variants until some other cells notice and go "Dude, it's called RNA, use it." Of course the dumb cell in response is gonna be like "Nah man, the man tracks me with that shit, NO PAPER TRAILS, WOOOOO." And then the other cells eat him, in a sense. Well, it just gets ripped apart for material. Either way, this regrowth my liver will be doing is on a massive scale, so there is lots of room for error. I have a very large number of something called Regenerative Nodules. These are one of my largest risk factors.
So, two years down the line I've avoided much of my risk to cancer, what's happening with me?
No one knows.
HCV is creating this weird situation about an organ we know little about.
My mom is actually part of the study of how an HCV liver regenerates post treatment.
I , too will be part of the study for regeneration.
But these are the things we know:
-My liver will take years to fully recover
-I will never have a fully functioning liver as other people do.
-Even with all of this done, i may still need transplant later in life.
-My liver will function at its best within between a year or two.
-No one is sure how my body will treat the virally damaged cirrhotic tissue.
-My jaundice, ascities, encephalopathy and everything but breath restrictions will slowly return to a "normal" level.
-I will forever be short of breath, the respiratory damage is presumed permanent, thus keeping fatigue a major factor in my life.
That being said, this treatment is fantastic, not only because it's put me on track to be cured but because of what it's doing for my liver function.
In the past it was like i was going to Golden State Gas in Poway, ya know... 20 cents cheaper since it was 10% water. Now i'm going to a real gas station and getting the fuel i need, the damage has still be done, but the car runs a lot smoother.