Thursday, May 1, 2014

Day 100, Recovery & Moving Forward

Since my two ER visits last week, I have since completed my antibiotic therapy and am recovering slowly from the sinus infection from last week. Some lingering after affects from the ordeal have left me with sore lymph glands under my chin and neck area near my throat. Even today, it hurts to swallow food and water, but I must press on and continue with the daily fight. My wife, the RN, is keeping a close watch on my tender and aching glands under my neck, as it's typical for those areas to become tender considering the trauma I've went through the past week. I'm no stranger to glands swelling up by the way. It's not uncommon for someone like myself to experience these types of occurrences after an infection has been sited. When I lived in Kentucky, during the Spring, my glands would swell so bad, they were visible from just looking at my neck and jaws. Spring time in Kentucky I do not miss at all. Florida is green all year around, and we have mild Springs in January through February. Yet another reasons why I love the sunshine state.

I can't believe today is officially day 100 of treatment. It's been such a journey just getting here, and now, next week, I'll call the pharmacy to order bottle #5 (month 5) of therapy. I had a follow up doctor's appointment with my liver doctor this past Monday the April 28th, and my CBC labs looked great. No decline in white blood cells, and my immunity is at an all time high since I've been keeping track. My liver enzymes were also at an all time low, ALT-14, AST-15. I guess with the swollen glands, I take that as a good sign, not a bad. If my immune system was compromised, I would not and could not have the bodily defenses to attack and fight back. A doctor at University of Kentucky once told me, "...swollen glands, though scary and painful, for you are not a bad sign, it's a good sign that you have immunity and that your body's defenses are doing their job." My liver doctor whose treating my HCV asked to see me next month for follow up and labs. I asked her before I left, given my unique case, what is her protocol for calling me cured post treatment? She told me given my complex medical background, a viral load would be taken at 3 months, 6 months and 1 year post treatment. The true definitive gold standard in her eyes is I'm still undetected at 1 year post treatment, that would be the declaration of a cure in her eyes.

In terms of moving forward, amazingly as I literally knock on wood, haven't had any major side effects to report in the past 2 weeks while on liver treatment with Sovaldi and Ribavirin (800mg). Sure I have the afternoon waves of lethargy, moments of zoning off into Neverland, but overall, everything can easily be managed with drinking lots of water, eating right, and taking my Ibuprofen as needed. I give credit for all of this to God in Heaven. Truly He's looking over me during this whole treatment process, and I know for sure His Mighty hand is orchestrating this entire journey to mold me into something far more greater. It's time for the Slayers to awake, it's time for our dragons to die, it's time for lambs to become lions and lead the pack. We're on the cusp of this exciting new era in liver treatment, and I for one don't fail to give God all His rightful deserved glory daily!
I thought I'd never hear the words Hepatitis C and cure uttered in the same breath, but truly these are remarkable times we're living in. Stay fruitful, and strive 2 thrive in everything you do daily! #IStrive2Thrive

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