Hepatitis C: Week 4 done & dusted
Week 4 is all over, red rover. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far.
With the last Hepatitis C treatment I was on (peginterferon/riba/boceprevir in 2013) I was in, round and out by Week 3. I had a low platelet count going into the treatment so they wanted me to do blood tests weekly. My platelet count only got worse, along with my neutrophil count and various other important markers. Done. Out the door. Out of options. Out of luck.
This time, I’ve managed a whole MONTH. It was a psychological hurdle to clear Week 3, especially after some concerning blood test results in Week 2 (including Hg, Bilirubin, Creatinine, e-GFR). They were concerned about either early renal distress, early liver failure or an over-reaction to the ribavirin. My greatest fear was that they’d discontinue me from the program - the Week 3 voodoo. But so far so good.
The side effects, once my ribavirin dosage had been adjusted, have been very manageable: mostly ... well mostly nothing much! Tiredness, perhaps. But not fatigue. Water has been both my friend and my constant companion.
So the numbers:
My haemoglobin just squeaked into the average range (116). It had been falling since I started treatment which was not unexpected.
My albumin, which had been falling, came up to 39 and has gone down again to 36.
My bilirubin has caused massive problems for me. It went from a baseline measurement of 40, which was already too high, to 152, back to 103 and this week is 76. Still way too high but dropping.
My platelets have been all over the shop too. A starting point of 74 saw a jump to 108, the 127 then a drop to 98.
My RBC have been falling. A baseline measurement of 4.5, to 3.81 to 3.5 to 3.41.
Of course it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t something completely out of left field in the results. And this time it’s my glucose levels. WAY too high. Diabetic level too high. I’ll have to do a fasting test to get a better idea of what’s going on there.
So those are the weirdnesses. My week 2 results had them quite concerned about renal function among other things, but it seems it was the ribavirin making a mess of me.
But the good news is my liver function tests.
From a baseline measurement of 137, my ALT has dropped to 42, then 30. NORMAL RANGE. Incredible.
My AST has fallen from 185 to 46 to 36 (two different laboratories give two different ranges - it’s normal in one range, just out of normal - by 6 in another).
I don’t have a Week 4 viral load yet but my Week 2 results were a drop from 342,600 to 45.
So on we go. Week 5 is calling.