I will no longer wait for weekly results on my blood tests. In five days I will have my end of treatment blood test.
Whose results rest my future. Will I have ten years left? Twenty? Fifty? Will I wait in line for a liver transplant, only to re-infect the organ and return to my level of damage within a few years?
And what happens when I reach the coveted SVR12 (Sustained Viral Response, the point of "cured")? If I can clear it, if in this game of life-or-death tic tac toe I manage to avoid a fifth cat's game...what does that mean for my liver? What does recovery look like?
I am the extreme, What happened to me at the age of twenty is more likely to happen to someone after forty to fifty years of infection. I am lucky, I came from a tiny likelihood of vertical transfer, and at less than 5% I beat the odds, and live with a decompensated liver so early in life... I have been in study after study since I was sixteen. Most studies bulk young people in an under 40 bracket. Inherently, a twenty year-old and a forty year old have wholly different recovery abilities, which only makes data harder to find/interpret.
What research can I find to help me understand what my future looks like?
Almost none. As most of the F4 and decomp patients are considerably older there is simply not enough data to provide more than a strong inference.
Even the classifications (F0-F4) themselves have been recently been looked at.
Where I sit now, the majority of my liver is...well... to say garbage would be an improvement. How my body chooses to handle the different parts of my liver is the subject of debate.
Whatever parts are near healthy will recover in around a year, the early stage fibrosis areas will recover within a few years. But the worse off the fibrosis is, the less likely it will recover. The last chunk of my liver, is the cirrhotic bit, which probably isn't going anywhere.
While there are some RXs for helping the fibrosis, the level of damage to the remainder of my liver has already been done. It is, most likely irreversible.
This is why I'm so insistent on testing, on looking at your options early. Early detection can prevent situations like mine.
I say a lot of probablys and likelys in this situation, because as I said before, I am the extreme.
So true to my nature, I hope to be the extreme here too, and recover in the dramatic flair that has engulfed my treatments.
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