I never thought I’d see a drug therapy with a 90-94% efficacy for non-cirrhotic patients, and 86% for cirrhotic patients in my lifetime, and it’s 90-94% for cirrhotic as well if they extend the 12 week to 24. There are no injections and it consists of two of the most expensive single pills to be so widely used. What is this drug combo, you ask?
Simeprevir and Sofosbuvir! ORRR as they’re better known: Sovaldi and Olysio. This drug combo is two pills a day, and it’s so much easier than any of the other treatments. The symptoms I’ve had so far:
Initially Diarrhea: Then, after using lactulose to balance it, constipation. Once I really got the balance down, just 3-5 poops a day. It’s a lot of poop.
Photosensitivity: Like maaad photosensitivity. For a few days I wore my sunglasses inside (I still do on occasion if the sun’s being a jerkface). But hey, “the sun never sets on a badass.”
Overall increased senses: Improved taste is kinda cool, food tastes awesome. But smell, God so much smell, which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for...
Horrid gas: I mean atrocious gas, and all the time, so bad you could call it a miassma. (This also has to do with the other drugs I’m on and my insanely high protein, high caloric, low sodium diet.)
Exhaustion: While this trend is declining, there are still waves of being unable to function which are magnified by sun exposure. The longer I’m out the in the sun, the more sleep I need.
Headaches: Mostly due to photosensitivity and exhaustion, I wake up from my naps with a headache for 1-3 hours. It doesn’t fade and the only pain med I can take is Tylenol, which is hepatic, so I would rather suffer the pain than further damage my liver.
Dried skin: I have to lotion-up constantly during the day; my skin becomes dry very quickly and flakey if I ignore it for too long.
Brain fog: It’s just a weird encephalopathy-- it’s like talking on end, never really to a point, and usually in circles. Remembering things is futile, I just write everything down (if I remember to do even that). I needed to get FOFAs to be able to find all of my important items. FOFAs are key finders that each respond to each other.
Improved function: Yes, there are bads and GOODS on this list! In a few weeks, most of my cirrhotic symptoms have started fading as a result of this treatment, recently allowing me to stop taking diuretics and lactulose. This has gotten rid of the encephalopathy to a manageable degree. While my liver isn’t much better its functions temporarily are.
Recently, June 28 2014, my Liver Life Walk team raised over $500.00 and we had around 20 some odd people show up for the walk. Our team ’Why Not Zoidberg?’ was even part of the opening newscast that day! I cut a couple corners on the walk-- this 5k was the most I’d walked in months. Had I not, my legs would have reminded me that even with proper hydration I still have limits. Thankfully the overcast sky kept things cool. Everyone was pumped and so many wore our team shirts. I posted a few pictures of my team at the event on my twitter.
Yesterday’s six week blood test will show my liver’s progress, and I will be able to definitively say how this treatment is going. If it’s any refection on how I’m feeling, I’m looking forward to it.