Beginning Hep C treatment can seem overwhelming. Good preparation makes a big difference. This week we are hearing former Hep C patents’ advice in ways they prepared for their Hep C treatment that made a big difference for them.

Hep C Warriors: What ways did you prepare for your hep C treatment?

Hep C Warrior Mary:

  1. I researched, utilizing reputable professional sources (Mayo Clinic, American Liver Foundation, etc.) I read and absorbed as much as my brain could handle.
  2. It was critical for me to find a support group here at Life Beyond Hep C, where I could learn from other believers who had walked the Hep C path and received their support and prayers.
  3. I also got terrific information from Lucinda Porter’s blog. As a nurse who had Hep C, her input was quite valuable.
  4. Just prior to starting treatment, I spoke numerous times with the staff at the specialty pharmacy (Diplomat) that dispensed my Sovaldi and Ribavirin. They were more knowledgeable about side effects, other drug interactions and how to manage side effects than my Hepatologist. I leaned heavily on them throughout my treatment, and they were always accommodating.
  5. Keeping my Bible close at hand!

Hep C Warrior Richard:

  1. I think it is important to take the medicine at night,
  2. Drink a lot of purified water.
  3. Stay out of the sun.
  4. Get your rest.
  5. The most important item is and has always been have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hep C Warrior Suzanne:

  1. Set up a support group of people that knew of my diagnosis; this particular one on Life Beyond Hep C was a life saver the entire time I was on treatment.
  2. Since brain fog was a huge issue with me (due to cirrhosis) I posted scripture so I would see it every day with an attempt to memorize it or simply remember Jesus is with me.
  3. I sat down one on one with a pharmacist to get reported side effects of the medicine and asked the Dr. what I could safely take if I experienced them.
  4. I made myself known on Life Beyond Hep C so I could interact with others that have been through treatment of some sort; at that time my friends had no clue but the nurses in my class at church were somewhat familiar.
  5. I simply read the articles on Life Beyond Hep C and followed the information and suggestions put before me (journaling was a biggie)!

Hep C Warrior Christine:

  1. Find a trusted friend to open up to is vital as emotional support and preparing for treatment. For me l had no experience or knowledge of Hep C and did not really have anyone to support me in those early days.
  2. Life Beyond Hep C website was my lifeline. The website gave accurate information and with people who understood and cared.
  3. Preparation in realizing that YOU are important and that the household responsibilities must come further down the order of importance.
  4. Organizing time off from work during treatment if possible.
  5. Hearing the hope of a cure from the testimonies of others who have been through this. It gave me the strength to fight for the treatment l needed at a time when l just wanted to curl up in a ball and hide.
  6. Timing the medication at a consistent time of day and working out what would be most appropriate for your personal circumstances. For me l took my Hep C treatment meds at 8.30pm when l would be home from work, so l didn’t have to worry about taking any medication away from home. I didn’t want to risk losing medication.
  7. I was given my Hep C treatment medication in two weekly amounts for the first month and then the 28 day supply for the last month. I put the first letter of each day of the week on the bottle and crossed them off daily as l held the medication and put it in my mouth. That way there was no confusion as to whether or not l had taken it and as suggested by a fellow warrior l prayed and thanked God before l swallowed my medication.
  8. I bought bottled water in great supply.
  9. My family was aware of my Hep C and treatment and although they did not treat me any different it was good to inform them that l may need extra help.
  10. Getting out into the fresh air walking the dogs and being thankful.
  11.  I used prayer, worship music, and scripture from the Bible.
  12.  At first it was hard to know what site l could trust. I think people need to be careful as to where they look for their information.

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