In Devon Nicholson’s 27th week on Incivek (telaprevir) hepatitis C treatment, which is experimental for his genotype, he has been experiencing a lot of stomach problem side effects. Nausea, general queasiness, diarrhea, stomach cramping, strong urges to vomit and flu-like symptoms are medication-related effects Devon has experienced on certain days of his therapy.

Devon has been prescribed 1,400 milligrams of ribavirin tabs a day by his liver specialist, Linda Scully, MD, of the Ottawa Hospital. That dose is 600 mg higher than the common ribavirin. The upped dose has been recommended due to his previous treatment failure.

Nicholson has been testing negative for the hepatitis C virus since November 2012. His specialist believes he will have over a 90 percent chance of cure six months post treatment if he can fight through the side effects and complete the full 36 weeks of therapy.

Having hepatitis C has caused a lot of stress in all areas of his life. The knowledge that there is a disease that can rapidly create more virus producing cells in the body is a frightening though. The spread of the virus can lead to the removal of years off an infected person’s life, liver cancer, liver failure and eventual death.

As Nicholson’s first hepatitis C treatment was unsuccessful he is very concerned of the possibility that his second treatment will fail as well. He lost a high-paying dream job contract with World Wrestling Entertainment in 2009 due to being hepatitis C positive. He was laid off from another, well-paying job in one of his other fields of work in 2011 due to the disease, which was a massive emotional and financial hit to him. It took him nine months to find similar-paying full-time work again.

Nicholson has been on doctor-ordered sick leave due to the chemotherapy-like hepatitis C medications he is  taking. The powerful drugs carry several potentially deadly side effects including heart attacks, strokes, blood problems, internal organ damage, suicide and others. Unfortunately the real world is a harsh one and Nicholson is still experiencing discriminatory treatment due to the stigmas associated with the disease.

Nicholson reminds fellow hepatitis C patients that despite the virus being known to affect more than 170 million people worldwide and multiple celebrities being public about their battles with the disease, there is still a huge negative stigma surrounding it. He believes it is very important to have positive friends and family members around anyone who is considering treatment as it is a nearly impossible battle for anyone to handle on their own.

Both Nicholson’s psychologist and hepatitis C specialist believe that he is doing remarkably well both physically and psychologically considering all the circumstances against him while on treatment. Devon warns future hepatitis C treatment patients in this update to be prepared financially and mentally for extra pressures to be put on them during treatment as life becomes much rougher in every day.

Many hepatitis C patients become overwhelmed by treatment stress due to side effects, having to remember to take medications on time while dealing with memory side effects, comforting loved ones who are affected by the suffering and having dealing with every day responsibilities/demands of life without normal abilities. Poor concentration and memory problems as well as the inability to sleep are a few common symptoms of Hepatitis C treatment that Nicholso is experiencing regularly.

He believes permanent cure is well worth the suffering during treatment in the end as health is the most important thing in life and he key to long term survival for a Hepatitis C patient.