"There's a myth that anyone who has a liver problem has brought it on themselves" This quote is from a Crohn's disease patient living with a blocked portal vein hoping for a liver transplant (Independent 31st Oct 2010)

Thursday, 29 March 2012

"You don't need this"

Driving along on the way to my hepatology appointment and what should play on the Editors CD in my car stereo but the track 'Bullets' with the lyric "You don't need this disease" (which by the way they repeat 37 times). This helped with the decision to say to my hepatologist 'Right, what's the plan then'.

My current viral load is 123copies. Normal treatment protocol for Hep B is not to treat until the viral load reaches around 2,000copies per mL. This is for patients with no cirrhosis and no history of HCC. Any measurable viral load is a risk factor for an HCC recurrence after the surgical liver resection I had. And cirrhosis makes me higher risk for HCC.

Opting for treatment under these circumstances was a no-brainer decision.

The possible downside of treatment is the drug side effects. Significant long term ones are kidney damage and osteoporosis. Because they know about these, I will be tested every 3 months to see how my kidneys and bones are coping.

I was asked by a poster on the liver forum "Can you change your decision later?" The answer is No. The drug is a type of anti-viral, or what are called nucleoside analogs. These control viral replication. They don’t eradicate the virus completely. So you have to take them for ever, as if you stop after you have started the virus will start replicate again.

I've the first 3 months supply of Tenofovir ready to start. Just waiting for baseline blood results and a Dexa scan to get a baseline for bone density.

And then we're off....

1 comment:

  1. Fiona,
    It is good to hear from you again. I'm glad you are staying on top of all of this ... I just really really wish that it wasn't necessary! Amen, to the bullets sentiment!
    P.S. Steve saw his surgeon yesterday and is recovering nicely from his hernia surgery. He just has to take it easy for a couple more weeks to make sure everything heals up completely. At least that is one doctor we shouldn't have to see again!