Living with HEP C

I contracted HEP C Through a blood transfusion in 1976. I had symptons of HEP C starting in early 1980's but was not diagnosed until 2009 when I complained to my doctor about leg cramps and itching. I did know my platelets were low but not why. I also did not know that my liver enzymes had been elevated since 2004. I was concerned about allergies that were getting worse and did research on the internet. I talked to an owner of a health food store about allergies and he informed me that allergies can be due to a liver that is compromised. I went home and looked that up and there were my low platelets. After convincing my family doctor that my itch was not dry skin she sent me for blood work and that is how the HEP C was found. I had a CT scan, and Ultrasound done, but that was normal. It took six months to get in to see a specialist, but by that time reading everything I could about HEP C, I knew I had cirrhosis of the liver. The MRI which I had 3 months later was normal so 3 months after that I had a biopsy which told me what I already knew. I have stage 5/6 cirrhosis of the liver. I had been taking natural products for awhile which already had Milk thistle in it but then I started taking it in earnest. I was scheduled to start treatment but I was leery of all the side effects with Interferon and ribavirin. I did start in April of this year, and was quite surprised that I had none of the flu symptons. However into the 4-5 week I noticed that my vsion was blurred and I had a hard time reading. I went to the optometrist told him what I was on and the problems I was having. He found damage had already occurred so he sent a letter to my liver doc and at the end of 7 weeks I was taken off the treatment. He gave me three choice to consider- to try a new drug next year, do nothing and wait until cancer set in or transplant. I have until the end of Nov to make my decision. Since nothing is going to happen, I am back doing my natural product regime. I do not know what is helping but my enzymes are down from 445 to 135. My platelets are down to 53 but I know it has to do with the SOC. I feel well, have no pain and have energy. I am living as healthy as I can diet wise and I exercise. My family has been supportive and we take one day at a time. I am turning 64 next month!!! I talk about HEP C to anyone who is willing to listen because I feel education is so important and people need to be aware of how this can change your life if you have the HCV.
Linda, Winkler Manitoba