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Monday, July 18, 2005

It's baaaack!

I knew things were going way too smoothly, I swear I could feel it in the air that something bad was coming.I passed the one year mark with my transplant just a week ago and what do I get? A phone call from the transplant unit, that's what! I go in to the hospital every 2 weeks and give them a blood sample so they can keep tabs on my condition and there have been a few minor ups and downs with my overall condition but nothing serious, all fairly routine stuff. Occasionally they have thrown in an extra test to see what's up with my hepatitis c (which is what slowly destroyed my liver) and up till now they have told me that it appeared to be dormant and that everything is fine.

On Friday afternoon that phone call from my doctors office shattered my euphoria into a million tiny pieces. It appears that the hep c is charging back and now has the potential to do some serious damage to the new liver. Much faster acting than before because my immune system was constantly fighting it thru the years, slowing it's progress to a mere crawl. Official estimates are that it took 20+ years to destroy the old liver, I contracted it years before there was even a test to detect it! But now the very thing that keeps the new liver alive, my immune suppression drugs, will hold the door wide open to attack from the hepatitis because I have no internal defense working in my favor.

Remember a few posts back that I was afraid that my insurance changes wouldn't cover the $500 a month for my imune suppression drugs? Hahaha, that's nothing! The new drug therapy they want to place me on to try and cure the hepatitis will cost a staggering $2,000 a month on top of the other drug costs! Holy shit storm Batman!! Thats a lot of cash that I just don't have! WTF!! My only hope is to apply for Medicaid, apparently, or some other form of patient aid.

Can it get worse?? Don't be silly, of course it can! The drug therapy lasts for 6 months of injections and oral medication that are pretty much guaranteed to make you feel as sick as someone on chemotherapy for cancer. Because that's basically what it is, chemotherapy. Yes, all the not fun stuff that goes with chemo, and many of you know exactly what that is like and I've personally watched it in action up close and very personal, my second wife died from breast cancer. And my father last year went thru it and is now back to decent health. That was good news!

And then we come to the disclaimer, and another reminder that things could always get even worse. Huh? Worse you say? Yeah, well remember a couple of paragraphs back where I used the word try? Well, it seems that the therapy to cure hep c has a track record of best case 70% cure rate, not great odds but what choice do I have? None! Thats what! All I can do is go on with my bad self and do whatever is needed to kick this shit's ass!! Hell yeah! I might be down but I ain't out yet! If I gotta go, it will be kicking and screaming all the way, woohoo!