5 years beyond Hep C, non-detected for the virus, and cured. It’s now been over 25 years since I was infected with Hepatitis C. It’s been long journey with ups and downs, a total of 3 Hep C treatments with the 3rd treatment in April 2012 resulting in the cure.

I recently had my 5 year post Hep C treatment appointment with my hepatologist Dr. Willis Maddrey M.D. at Southwestern Medical in Dallas. During that final visit to follow my Hep C journey, Dr. Maddrey said, “It’s been a long journey, but you made it. Your new diagnosis is, History of Hep C.” We discussed general health information then he proudly reviewed my blood work, all normal. For a long time my liver enzymes and viral load was big in my life. It served as a gauge for how my Hep C was doing. But no more.

Dr. Maddrey had told me since my Hep C treatment ended in 2012 that he would follow me to 5 years post treatment. My husband Mr. Fix-It and our daughter Laurie recently went with me to see Dr. Maddrey. They wanted say thanks for his care, and dedication to helping Hep C patients and their families.

Our daughter hugged Dr. Maddrey and he said to her, “We got Mama back.” Wow! We weren’t the only ones fighting the Hep C giant, this good doctor was right there with us. We talked about how I became infected 25 years ago, (See my story) and the long journey to get to where we are now. April will always remain a huge mile marker in my life. New beginnings. New life beyond hep C. A great blessing, in which I give God all the glory, honor and praise!

Upon my release as a “former Hep C patient,” Dr. Maddrey said it’s very important for Hep C patients to continue to have follow up tests with an ultra sound once a year to be proactive against liver cancer. He mentioned Hep C patients even though you’ve been cured of the virus still have a 1 in 500 chance of developing liver cancer.

So even if you’ve been released from your specialist for Hep C, you still need to follow up once a year for an ultra sound. This is wise advice. A proactive step all Hep C patients need to take. If you’ve been cured from Hep C, remain proactive with taking good care of yourself and keep current with follow up tests. You’ve come too far to get beyond Hep C. Your life is precious. Live it well.

Where are you in your journey with Hep C? I’d love to hear your update and how you’re doing.

This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, and is reprinted with permission.