The good news is that, for the second time in 25 years my body is now free of Hepatitus C - my last blood test showed a zero viral load! The fact that it only took 12 weeks with this course of treatment rather than 6 months in 2008 is a testament to the the new drug, Boceprevir. The bad news is that I now have 36 weeks to finish the course to make sure I don't relapse again!.

The side effects are getting more pronounced. My lack of appetite and the vile taste I have all day, conspire with the sponge-like taste and texture of most food to reduce my kilojoule intake so that my body is burning my remaining muscle bulk. This in turn is making me more feeble and less able to turn my food into muscle rather than fat - a viscous circle!

I was determined at the start of this course that I would not give up on my gym classes as early as I did in 2008 - I caved in to pressure from the clinic nurse at the time who convinced me I had an unrealistic expectation of myself by continuing. It took me nearly two years to recover anything like my normal fitness. Up 'til this week I've been still getting to the gym twice a week - aerobic weights on Tuesday and aerobic combat class on Thursday - but I don't know how much longer i can keep that up.

I would be a fool if I didn't admit there were safety concerns - after thirty eight years in the rail industry I live and breath safety! The problem is that my lowered Hemoglobin levels are causing stress on my cardiovascular system. My resting pulse rate is abnormally high because it is having to pump more blood around my body just to stay alive! When I exercise it puts that system under even more stress.

Yesterday, for example, we went to see "Dark Knight Rises" at the cinema and when it finished I had only got through the doors before I recognised that I was hyperventilating: light-headed, losing balance, pulse racing... Sharyn was with me so I leaned on her until I could get to a chair and started slowing my breathing down. Later that night I had a hot bath which had pretty much the same effect so they're out until next year as well!

I'll keep pushing with the gym classes for as long as i can but I need to think of the next step because i can see that I'll not be able to keep them up until the end of the treatment. To paraphrase Yoda, "There is another" I just need to find something that will excercise my system without stressing it!


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