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Old 05-31-2007, 05:56 PM   #1
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Hep C nearly 17 years - what does the future hold?

Hi gang,

I'm new to this board, although not to HealthBoards. I'm 34 years old and was diagnosed with HCV nearly 12 years ago. At that time, they suspected I probably had the disease for approx. 4 years (possible infectious ink from tattoos in 80s). Anyway, at 25 I found out from my school doctor that my liver enzymes were elevated, went to a specialist, and had a viral load of over a million. I was put on combo treatment in 2000 for 6 months (couldn't bear it any longer), and have had no elevated liver functions tests since. However, I have only had blood drawn from primary care physicians and have not been to see any other specialists or HCV doctors since.

I recently married and my husband and I plan to have a child. I feel relatively healthy; however, I am a little worried since I've had this for so long what I can expect from the rest of my life. I know I should probably see a doctor, but I'm inbetween insurance companies, and if I were to go to the doctor now and something was wrong, I would be in big trouble financially and probably uninsurable. Since I am going on 17 years with HCV (chronic), I guess I want to know if I should be worried. I am still young and have only just started my life really. It makes me more afraid of losing it now that I have everything to live for. I haven't talked to many people about this, but thought I would ask some of you what I might expect.

Thanks!

 
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:10 PM   #2
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Re: Hep C nearly 17 years - what does the future hold?

Hi Gav,
well, I am truly sorry you have HCV, but this is a good place to come for info.
As for wanting to have a child, well, you are going to HAVE to get to a doctor, sooner rather than later. You need to know what is going on in your body now. Not knowing is much worse than knowing. IN the meantime, take good care of yourself, eat healthy and above all, avoid alcohol. Alcohol will burn through a HCV infected liver faster than anything.
My hubby has HCV, had if for 25 years before dx, and went 10 years with no symptoms. It is a blood to blood transmission, so I honestly have never heard of it being transmitted through heterosexual sex. (This info was given to us by our doc). However, he did warn us about sharing razors & toothbrushes--(oops, 25 years too late, but still I dodn't get it). As for transmisson to a fetus, I think you'd need to talk to your doc--obviously there is blood transmission there but I do not know if it transmits through the cord or not--I never thought to ask since that was not a concern of ours.
You said you have had treatment? Was it Interferon? Again, you do need to see a doctor and be thoroughly checked out before you even consider a pregnancy and also just for peace of mind.
We were told that my hubby would die "with the HCV not of it" and that has been kind of true--he developed Primary Liver cancer, dx'ed in 12/05 and had a liver transplant in 9/06, & so far, so good, but the HCV is still there, and we are currently, (well today, to be honest) awaiting the blood test & biposy results that will tell us if he has to begin Interferon treatments. He is unusual in this regard. The foremost thought with doctors is that among NON DRINKERS is that you will die WITH HCV and not from it. But you have to educate yourself and you have to see good doctor.
Once the inital dx was over and the fear passed, we just went about our normal lives. That is what most HCV patients do. JUST DON'T DRINK. EVER.
I remeber my hubby's first liver doc telling us that, over & over. It was almost funny because we don't drink, ever, and never have. It is probably what saved his life all the years he had HCV and didn't know it.

I know right now you're scared and all but just get to the dr and get educated. Fear of the unknown is 100x's worse than the knowing and education and knowledge will make you feel much better.

Best of luck--let me know how it works out.
Liz

 
Old 06-05-2007, 09:41 PM   #3
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CindyLL HB User
Re: Hep C nearly 17 years - what does the future hold?

My husband was diagnosed in 1990 w/ aggressive Hep C. Told at that time after biopsy, etc. he had 5 years left. We moved and prepared for me to be alone with revised business in a small town. Best decision ever! Forced us to depend on each other as we left behind bad influences, and he is healthier now than then. He has his liver function tests every 6-12 months and they are still lower now than in 1990. Said he would never try interferon again so I guess we're really lucky. His diet has changed also with alot of fruits (melons) I think this has flushed his liver continuously. Now however I have developed cancer so he's the healthy one! Whodda thunk?

 
Old 06-06-2007, 07:15 AM   #4
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Re: Hep C nearly 17 years - what does the future hold?

transmission to a child is like a five to seven percent chance and they think high viral loads could play a factor. I had a baby with hep c and he does not have it. I know someone else who had four kids and only one of them has it and he was a twin....his twin did not have it. Good luck. Go get checked out. Hopefully it just stayed gone.

 
Old 06-06-2007, 02:32 PM   #5
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Re: Hep C nearly 17 years - what does the future hold?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CindyLL View Post
My husband was diagnosed in 1990 w/ aggressive Hep C. Told at that time after biopsy, etc. he had 5 years left. We moved and prepared for me to be alone with revised business in a small town. Best decision ever! Forced us to depend on each other as we left behind bad influences, and he is healthier now than then. He has his liver function tests every 6-12 months and they are still lower now than in 1990. Said he would never try interferon again so I guess we're really lucky. His diet has changed also with alot of fruits (melons) I think this has flushed his liver continuously. Now however I have developed cancer so he's the healthy one! Whodda thunk?
Hi Cindy, your story just goes to show errors can be made in giving out time spans on living. Moving probably helped your husband to survive the five years and more. Diet change and a small town clean air helps too. I'm on tx (will take my 3rd shot) this Friday. Feeling good thus far no real side affects to speak about. I'm working on changing my eating habits and exercising more. Glad things worked out. The doctors say that we Heppers would probably die from something other then our Hep C. I hope you get tx for your cancer and things work out for you. We just never know what life holds for us. Good Luck to you both. Joyce.

 
Old 06-13-2007, 08:37 PM   #6
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Re: Hep C nearly 17 years - what does the future hold?

Hi all,

I had hep c for (as far as I can figure) forty years before choosing to treat. for some of us, bad luck or alcohol accelerates its progress, but for many, many of us it is a very slow moving disease.

as to transmission to babes, yes it occurs in less than 10 percent of births. you should also know that spontaneous remission--'cure' by the body's own immune reactions, without treatment--is much more common among people infected as children than among adults. and, it seems from the research i've read, the younger the child, the more likely he or she will fight the virus off unaided. interesting. and, of course, encouraging.

as to seeing a doc, liz is of course right. the baby decision requires this, absolutely. either that, or put off conceiving (if you can) until your insurance picture changes and you've had your liver consult....then think about babies.
Even if the statistical odds favor a birth with no problems, still, you cannot withold important health info from your doc or yourself in this matter. my opinion, anyway.

great good luck to you!

sean

 
Old 07-26-2007, 09:48 AM   #7
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gav_73 HB User
Re: Hep C nearly 17 years - what does the future hold?

Hi everyone,

I know it's been a very long time since I posted this message, and I'm sorry that I am only now responding. So many things going on that my head is spinning. But I wanted to thank everyone for their support and advice. And Cindi, I hope you are well and seeing progress toward remission. Cancer is rampant in my family so I know first hand all the pain and suffering that comes along with it, at least from a relative's perspective.

I currently have an appointment with an OBGYN who specializes in high-risk pregnancies and an appt. with a primary care physician to get the ball rolling toward getting an appt. with a specialist in HCV, to see where I am at the present time and what options are available for me. The most recent liver functions test was taken approx. 1.5 years ago and it was fine, although I still tested positive for Hep. C. However, that my liver functions tests were normal was good news in and of itself. I am healthier than I've ever been I feel - no more smoking or drinking, although I have done a lot of drinking in the past as an undiagnosed bipolar - and am working hard to be as healthy as I can for a new baby when we finally conceive. The issue I am facing now before that happens is what will happen when I am taken off my bipolar meds during my pregnancy while going for an additional master's degree at the same time. However, I will not be working, which will help a lot.

Anyway, thank you all again. I will be in touch and let you all know what I find out and how it's going to contribute to the education of others.

gav_73

Last edited by gav_73; 07-26-2007 at 09:51 AM.

 
Old 07-26-2007, 10:21 AM   #8
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liz49 HB Userliz49 HB Userliz49 HB Userliz49 HB Userliz49 HB User
Re: Hep C nearly 17 years - what does the future hold?

Best of luck to you, Gav--you have a lot going on!!
Liz

 
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