Having been addicted to drugs and alcohol for 20 years, in 2001 I was 13 years clean and feeling pretty good about myself. I had a wonderful family and had very recently moved to Durham, NC for a new job.
I went to a new doctor for a physical exam after complaining of constant fatigue. The results showed that I had Hepatitis C. I was told that there was no cure at that time, but there were treatments and was referred to a gastroenterologist who in turn advised me of a study program at Duke Hospital. I started in the program in 2002 and over the next 5 years I participated in 12 studies.
I was treated with 4 different combinations of medicines with the common denominator being interferon and Ribavirin. I participated in several psychological studies to determine if depression had set in. Through this time I continued to work, adopted two kids and tried to keep a positive attitude. I was supported by my wife, four kids and close friends. I spoke to different support groups about my experience, strength and hope, attempting to lift the spirits of those feeling like me. I was still fatigued and hoping for a cure to come along. Most of the time I did not think of my virus. I was enjoying my life and doing what I could to help others.
I discontinued treatments in 2007, and awaited one that would work on me. I was selected to join the National Patient Advisory Committee of the American Liver Foundation in November 2014. That same year in December I was prescribed Harvoni and Ribavirin which I started March of 2015. At the time of this writing, Thanksgiving 2015 the Hepatitis C Virus is not detected in my body. I am cautiously optimistic that in 3 months I will cured of the Virus. I look forward to continuing to help others going through what I went through.
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