Today starts my 6th week! My next doctor appt. is Friday 9/30, but I called and was told the pills did indeed reduce the viral load and to continue with the regimen. Will know more details later. IF the blood test showed no difference, would have been advised to stop. The nurses said that Invicik–Ribavirin–Pegasys is taken for 12 weeks, then just Ribavirin–Pegasys another 12 weeks. Is that what you now understand?
Anyway, I’ve accepted that this is basically chemo. Need to sleep and rest as much as possible — for me, most of the day — so the drugs can do their thing. Fortunately I have friends/family who help with my work. If I push myself physically — not hard to do — there’s hell to pay by feeling wiped out and generally miserable, and the bad itching returns. The pill’s fact sheet says to take ABOUT 20g of fat per dose. But I’m starting to take 15-18g of fat with Incivik — most of the time just can’t get down 20g. And it’s getting harder to find things I like to eat.
For me itching/scratching is the worst. Maybe because I’ve always had a high-acid system. Trial-and-error found that either GoldBond anti-itch w/menthol, or Eucerin anti-itch works best. Also a baking soda bath or epsom salt bath at night helps. If really bad I take a sleep-inducing antihistamine (25g) to help me sleep without itching.
My appetite is gradually decreasing, so I try to squeeze in good nutrition. Try to add fruit or vegetables w/ each does, but not always unfortunately. Ensure PLUS, is a good and nutritious way to get 11g of fat, and makes me feel better. I often take that in the morning with a Vroomans-brand shortbread cookie, which is 6g fat and low sugar. Every day is different, foodwise. Also apples w/ peanut butter or almond butter works for me. I also like organic higher-fat yogurt w/chocolate chips & nuts & maybe fruit. Or, choc truffle-like pieces add to the fat gram count. I’ve tried, but don’t care for things like ice cream (especially 1 cup at night!), chips & dip, bagel & cream cheese. Ha, being from Wisconsin, it’s easy for me to eat things with cheese, like a small piece of quiche (18-20g), a slice of cheddar (7g) added to1/2 sandwich or tuna melt, cup of chili w/cheese, etc. I try to eat organic (haven’t always) so the liver doesn’t have to process pesticides, additives, etc. High-sugar foods make me feel ‘icky.’ Can’t believe I don’t like coffee in the morning anymore. And water taste bad and sits in my stomach like a rock, but know it’s important to force down. Hard to plan ahead, but try to keep the next day’s worth of 60g total in mind.
Don’t have depression (just a few crying jags), no diarrhea/constipation/hemroids, but am starting to feel a bit nauseated. Maybe because I’m eating less, and not as well. Lately I take a Tums every day or so for acid stomach. I complain and feel sorry for myself sometimes, but then I think how others, like actual cancer patients, have it so much worse. And my dear sainted father died a miserable painful cancer death and never once complained. That keeps me going. Thinking of the next 18 weeks seems overwhelming, so I focus on increments of 1 day or 1 week. So eager to feel normal again and to be Hep C free!
Best of luck, and keep me posted when you’re up to it.
Your friend, Lisa @lozie1291