I am blogging for three (3) reasons, highlighted below. But first,
I'd like to THANK YOU for visiting my blogsite!
I hope you find this site encouraging, educational, and entertaining!
(1) The first reason I'm blogging is to raise awareness of Hepatitis C, especially for the new treatment options now proven effective in African Americans suffering from this "silent liver killer."
Until May 2011, African Americans with Hepatitis C were only given a 2-25% chance of being cured of the virus under then current treatment option. That treatment consisted of two pharmaceuticals: interferon and ribavirin. Today, studies show 62-88% of African Americans have a chance of being cured, with the introduction of a new drug called telaprevir. This treatment plan is called triple therapy, because all three drugs are required for the virus to be defeated (interferon, ribavirin, and telaprevir).
- Did you know? "Hepatitis C is more prevalent among African Americans than among persons of any other racial group in the United States. However, comparatively little data are available on the natural history and treatment of hepatitis C in this population. Compared with white persons, African American persons have a lower rate of viral clearance and, consequently, a higher rate of chronic hepatitis C." [source: Oxford Journal of Medicine, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 82-91]
- Did you also know? The one drug (telaprevir) shown to cure the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the racial group that has the greatest prevalence of the virus (Black Americans) costs more than the other two drugs combined (interferon and ribavirin)? The cost of telaprevir alone is over $49,000. [source: http://hepatitiscnewdrugresearch.com/cost-of-treating-with-telaprevir.html]
It's the new drug, telaprevir, that increases the likelihood that I will be cured. That's why my husband and I decided to go ahead with the treatment. Another reason why is because we can actually afford it. We thank God and my husband's successful career that provided the excellent medical insurance to cover the cost 100%! However, we realize many qualified patients cannot afford this treatment.
Perhaps by raising awareness, medical costs may be decreased, allowing more to afford treatment. Perhaps, YOU, by visiting and sharing this blog, can help. It's a small step, and maybe even a long shot. But, the power of the web (like "going viral," excuse the pun) is evident.
Like I said, it's a small step, but an easy one too! Please share my blog (or subscribe, follow, visit...)!
THANK YOU SO MUCH! http://defeatinghepc.blogspot.com
(2) The second reason I'm blogging is to encourage and educate patients who qualify, or are considering treatment, or are currently in treatment for Hepatitis C. What side effects did I experience? How did I manage a home and family? How are my body and mind responding? Are there any effects, responses, experiences that are seemingly unique to African Americans? To women? Maybe my anecdotal story can shed light on some of these questions or concerns. Maybe I can help someone else not feel so alone or scared. Maybe others can know they are not alone. There is support. There is a source of strength and hope.
(3) The third reason I'm blogging is to update my support system who cares about my progress.
HCV treatment is cumulative, meaning, the longer the drugs are in my system, the more I will weaken. Realizing this, I have asked for help. Friends and family from around the country are praying and supporting my family in various ways. We are so humbled and grateful for it.
The side effects can be harsh in most patients. Many suffer depression because of it. Simply knowing I have caring people thinking about and praying for me helps my family through tougher days.
Thank you for visiting and revisiting my blog. That, alone, encourages me, inexplicably.