I am beginning week 5 of hepatitis C clinical trial, and still feel good most of the time. When not on treatment I can say I feel good most of the time, so overall, I am managing very well. I am officially non-detectable.

I have spent a great deal of time considering what to say about my current hepatitis C treatment. People mostly want to know how hard it is, and if it is easier than peginterferon plus ribavirin. I don’t know the answer to that because my first 12 weeks of my previous treatment were relatively easy. We all have different experiences during treatment. I don’t want to be the poster child for hepatitis C treatment. I don’t want to be someone that is pointed to as an example of how easy it is, because what if your treatment is hard. Will you feel like a failure? Will you feel wimpy?  Will you feel blind-sided because you were expecting it to be easier? Comparing ourselves to others usually does not serve us, unless we use the experiences of others to inspire us to meet challenges.

I believe that anyone can succeed at treatment if he/she is supported. Successful hepatitis C treatment is largely a matter of learning how to navigate a journey. We wouldn’t try to cross an ocean without a boat, map, compass, life preserver, and such. Preparing for hepatitis C treatment is much like crossing an ocean. I feel so strongly about solid preparation, I wrote two books about it (the second is scheduled for Sept 2013 release by Demos Medical).

The downside of preparing for hepatitis C treatment is that it can scare the proverbial solid waste out of some of us. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would want to try treatment after reading the side effects list. However, despite the alarming number of things that can and do go wrong, hundreds of thousands of people have done this treatment some two or more times. I know someone who succeeded after five attempts.

What I know for sure is this: If treatment doesn’t stick this time, I’ll do it again, no questions asked. I guess that answers one question - how hard is hepatitis C treatment? Not so hard that I wouldn’t do it again.