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Avatar universal

starting treatment

I am starting treatment Dec 7, 2012.  I am nervous as I am a 64 yr old female and still working full time.  My question is will I be able to work while doing treatment and I would like to hear more on the anemia side effects and if anyone on this forum has experienced that particular one?  I would appreciate any feedback.

Thanx,
Rosie64
16 Responses
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1280753 tn?1367757932
no one can tell you how you will react to treatment, as we are all different. the thing to do is try to get yourself in the best shape to start treatment; physical and mental. this is my second attempt at treatment and i am just finishing with the Incivek this week. this time it was harder for me than the first attempt. i haven't worked since i started. but the first time i worked every week. i took monday off as i do my Interferon on friday.

the anemia is a problem for some. i had to receive 3 pints of blood when my  hemoglobin hit 7. this time my hemoglobin dropped to 10 from 15 in 12 days on Incivek. they reduced my Riba to 600 and i have been doing great since. My HGB is staying at 12. I am hoping to go back to work in a couple of weeks as i will be finished with the Incivek.

I hope that helped a bit. but if you keep a positive attitude and don't worry about the side effects you have a great chance at beating it.
Helpful - 0
163305 tn?1333668571
Some of our members have been able to work full time, others have not.
It depends on how you respond to treatment and what kind of job you do.

Personally, I even stopped driving, not that I couldn't drive but I knew my mind was simply not alert enough to deal with anything unexpected.

I had problems with my relationships as the treatment can make you very irritable and depressed. You may want to talk to your doctor about the possibility of going on antidepressants prior to beginning treatment.
I didn't but I also didn't work.
If I felt nasty, I could go to my room and be alone.

Good luck~
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for responding I am new to this forum.  I will be starting with interferon and ribavirin duel treatment.  My first injection is this coming Friday and quite honestly I am nervous about treatment.  I am trying to stay positive and I know everyone experiences different side effects and I am hoping mine are not toooo awful.  I have trouble sleeping without treatment and I go to work very early in the morning but I will ask my doctor for something for sleep.  Thanks again for your input...
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for responding to me as I told the other person who responded I am new to this forum and appreciate all the input I can get.  I work for an accountant and as you know tax season is right around the corner and we do get busy that is certainly a concern for me.  My boss is a great guy and supportive so I will try and stay positive and see how I do.  Thanks again...Anything else you want to inform me about please feel free to do so.
Helpful - 0
163305 tn?1333668571
You might want to consider postponing treatment until after the rush.
There is a common side effect called brain-fog. These meds are strong and can indeed affect your thinking.

On the other hand our member frijole is a CPA ( I think) and she managed to work the whole time.

Much of it has to do with you. If you know your job inside and out, can do much on autopilot, then you'll probably do fine.
Helpful - 0
1280753 tn?1367757932
Is there a reason why your doctor is not considering the new meds (Incivek or Victrelis) that have been so successful? i'm a bit confused as to why you would not do triple treatment. the cure rate has doubled since the new meds have been relased.
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Avatar universal
He never even mentioned these meds that you are talking about mmm that has me wondering also.  I am Geno type 2 does that matter at all what Geno type your with these new meds?  This forum is awesome I am so glad I can discuss this with people that have been through this already or are going thru it.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Unfortunately I had to put treatment off once already due to a car accident last year so I am just going forward with it this time.  Like I said I have a supportive boss and if need be I can do some work at home (on the computer). OMG I have brain fog without meds this will really be something; well at least now I have an excuse for it huh...thanks so much.  
Helpful - 0
1280753 tn?1367757932
sorry, I should have asked what geno type you were. currently i think the new meds are for geno type 1.....i could be wrong....i hope some or our more informed members will post.
Helpful - 0
766573 tn?1365166466
If you are Genotype 2 you will be on dual therapy, Interferon alpha (Peg) and Ribavirin (Riba) which is the SOC for your genotype and not an additional HCV drug.  I took Peg & Riba for only 19 weeks  in 2007 and I was able to travel abroad and work full-time. I work in Accountancy as well and in looking back I realise I was able to retain information, think fast on my feet, focus and meet deadlines. Perhaps most important is I that I knew when to delegate when I suspected any of the aforementioned would be compromised.  Not many people knew I was treating at the time and the few that did were very supportive for the days I ran late, altered my schedule or opted to work at home.

Much of how well you handle treatment depends upon whether you have associated or underlying Hepatitis C conditions (called "extrahepatic manifestations"), other medical conditions in general, your overall physical health and how will your side effects are managed. For example, be sure to take Tylenol with each shot and do not wait until you feel discomfort.  

Best of luck ♫
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Avatar universal
thank you so much for the information.  I too will alter my work schedule if I have to as I suspect I will have good/bad days.  Thanks for that tidbit about taking the tylenol with my shot.  Reading your comment  was an inspiration.  I am relatively in good health I do suffer with anxiety and I am on a low dose of medication for that.  Another concern for me is I just started blood pressure meds (low dose also) I have never had blood pressure issues in my life and I am 64 yrs old.  I will discuss this further with my Gastronologist this week when I see him.  Thanks again and I hope you are doing well health wise, sounds like you are.
Helpful - 0
766573 tn?1365166466
Like I said I only made it to week 19 and I did OK. There are others who treated longer on Peg & Riba who might chime in.

Either way when going through long-term treatment such as this it helps to have some type of Plan B whether it is having financial cushion, someone to fill in when you can't, help with children (for those who have them) and/or help around the house to name a few. Just because I did OK at work does not mean other areas of my life fared as well. I did not socialise and was behind in housework, I never had anything to wear, I forgot special occasions and my workout routine suffered (I actually gained weight the first time I treated!)

There is a thread around here somewhere about what to mention on your first appointments. Things like a contact number for who to call when you have side effects, does the doctor use Procrit (which is important since on dual therapy you do not necessarily want to reduce your Riba), a contact person or way to get copies of *every single one* of your labs, reports and medical records, getting vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B and so on. I will see if I can find it.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I too am Geno 2 and just recently started dual therapy.  The first 2 weeks were fine but now my stomach is always upset, I have days I don't feel like doing anything and I've noticed I am getting a little "snappy" with my husband.  I just today went on leave of absence from work because my job is very stressful and I don't need to deal with that while I go through treatment.  I would suggest you just go full force ahead and see how you weather the drugs. I hope you have disability coverage at your work or if not, at least have some money saved so in case you need to stop working.  This is a great resource.  Keep us posted.  Keep your spirits up. Good luck to you.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
As Idyllic said, Interferon and Ribavirin are the standard drugs for Genotype 2.  The third drug (in triple tx) is only for Genotype 1s.  So you will be on the right course of treatment.  My husband treated with these two drugs in 2007, since that was what was available for Genotype 1s at the time.  He only made it to 12 weeks, but side effect wise, he worked full time, and was generally OK.  He was fatigued, he had a few days where he felt nauseous, and on the day after his interferon injections he had cold/flu like symptoms, but generally it was manageable.
I think you'll probably do just fine.  Your hemoglobin might drop a little bit, but you might not get anemic, per se.  You might have some nausea or upset stomach here and there.  Be sure to take your Ribavirin with food and if you have any nausea, ask your doctor right away to prescribe Zofran so you can catch it in the beginning before it gets too bad.  Drink lots of water.  Also, ginger tea, raw ginger, or candied ginger (available in Asian markets) can help with nausea.  But the trick is treating it right away before it gets too bad.
As Orphaned Hawk said, if you are already feeling anxious or depressed at all, talk to your doctor about that as well.  Hep C is a tough virus, and the treatments are tough.  Both Interferon and Ribavirin can increase anxiety or depression, so many people do take an antidepressant or have a prescription for an antianxiety med.  Again, it's better to be ahead of those symptoms.  Once you start having an increase in anxiety or depression, it's hard to recognize the symptoms in yourself so that you can get help from your doctor.  My husband has taken an antidepressant, mainly to help with worrying and anxiety, since he was diagnosed with Hep C in 2007.  His treating doctor felt that since he was already somewhat overwhelmed and anxious about the news of having Hep C, it would be best to put him on an antidepressant before starting the Hep C treatments.  I know that not all docs feel that way, but it seems to have been a good plan for my husband.  He's been through 3 treatments since 2007 and has stayed on an antidepressant since that time.  It has helped him with the side effects of the treatment drugs (the psychological side effects) during treatments, and it has helped him with the fears and anxiety that failed treatments have caused in between treatments.  As I said, tough virus, tough meds, and sometimes people can only be just so tough in hanging in there with the battle, so in my husband's case, a little extra help from an antidepressant has been a good thing.
Oh, also, not to worry about the blood pressure meds and treating for Hep C.  My husband also has high blood pressure and takes 2 meds for that.  The particular ones he's been on have been fine with all 3 of his Hep C treatment meds, but your doc will want to double check to make sure there are no negative contraindications.  If there are, it will be easy for him/her to switch you to a different blood pressure med, there are lots to choose from.  My husband takes Metropolol and Triamterene for his high blood pressure, and there were no problems through any of his Hep C treatments with those two.  Also his blood pressure has been stabilized and under control even during Hep C treatments.
Advocate1955
Advocate1955
Advocate1955
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Avatar universal
Hi been on the triple therapy for 6 weeks , some days are not good but mostly I feel fine , you may have very little side effects , stay busy and dont wait  to feel bad , good luck
Helpful - 0
1652596 tn?1342011626
i treated for 48 weeks and worked the whole time.  i had some anemia so i just slowed down a bit but kept going.  i also worked out at the gym 3x/weekly.  i did my normal routine, just at a slower pace.  remember to drink LOTS of water.  it helps with sx.  good luck.  belle
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