Dennis E. Haines
HEALTH UPDATE: April 7, 2005
I don’t mind at all that you added my email to your web site, my page and the info about how I’m doing. It looks great and I’m glad you appreciate me keeping you up dated on my health.
I had another doctor appointment at the VA Hospital Tuesday, April 5 and as you know Mary took me there. I had been feeling really bad on these treatments; my blood counts are critically low or very high. My doctor was really worried about a blood count that has to do with the white count and ability to prevent infection.
Lately I’ve been so short of breath, light headed and almost passed out. I found that the Ribavirin capsules I took with the Interferon could cause this. The doctor also was worried that my skin is becoming very pigmented. He had a viral load (virus level) done again and this time in one month it only dropped by 200. I’m still a long way from remission and there’s no way that is possible any more.
My doctor said I should stop treatment and I agreed to it right away. I think that really surprised him, since I really pushed to go on this treatment regiment. It didn’t work for me, caused more health problems than any previous treatments and once again was a non-responder. I just need a long break from treatment to get feeling better and put some weight back on after all the meds did to me.
There’s nothing new or real promising to treat this coming soon, so I guess I just wait and hope my liver holds out until then. The doctor told me he looked at all of my biopsies taken over the years since 1998 and my liver has not gotten to full cirrhosis yet. That progression appears to be minimal, but it also could be due to being on treatments almost continuous over those years. I really do think treatments slow the liver progression to cirrhosis. Now I’ll be on nothing for a long time.
Although my viral load was 13 million at the beginning of treatment last September and got almost down to 3000, I never made it to remission. This means the longer I’m off everything the higher my viral load will go back up. The last treatment when I stopped it, within six months it climbed as high as 19 million from a low of 55,000. The higher the viral load the more the damage the disease is doing to the liver.
I hope this finds you well and having a good week. Take care and write again soon.
Your friend always,
©Copyright April 7, 2005 by Dennis E. Haines