After two long weeks of waiting, I finally got my answer: that a biopsy will be needed to determine a discrepancy between the high viral load in my body and the low liver enzymes.

My new gastro is a very nice man – a much more coherent one, at the very least – who explained to me the number of things that may be going on with my HBV, one of which is that since I’ve been carrying it around for so long, that it’s gone chronic or mutated, and that there should be e-antibodies (instead of e-antigens) in my blood, which was something the illustrious Dr Chuang did not test for. And so, I gave more blood today for more tests (four vials again!) and have scheduled a biopsy next month.

Oddly, the thing that really scares the bejeezuz out of me was not the procedure but the fact that there is “a very good chance” that I will be on drugs for what Dr Tzung said will be years.

“I won’t say you’ll be on lifelong treatment, but because you’ve had it for 30 over years, getting rid of most of it will take a few years,” was what he said. And the fact that the drugs are very expensive is another concern, hence the biopsy to make sure they give me the right kind of drug (for the right kind of HBV strain).

Driving home today, Lokes and I talked about what would happen if he lost his job – and hence our medical insurance (we’re morbid like that). The solution? I would just have to stop the treatment, plain and simple. We would have to go back home to Malaysia and hope for the best. Apparently, according to Dr Tzung, only 30% of HBV carriers will develop cirhosis or liver cancer, and the rest present no symptoms at all or fall ill, and it looks like I belong to the majority (if the biopsy comes back clean).

My problem here is, what if I take the drugs and develop a resistance against the virus? My body, it seems, has been coexisting with the virus so far. I don’t want to, like, ANGER it, you know? I know it sounds stupid. And yet, so very scarily real.

What’s important is we have a plan, right?

 

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