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Dealing with my boyfriend's Hepatitis C.....

Tagged as: Health, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (16 March 2010) 4 Answers - (Newest, 30 April 2010)
A female Canada age 36-40, anonymous writes:

My b/f of 5 years was recently diagnosed with Hepatitis C and will begin treatment shortly for the virus. Then today when we obtained copies of his medical file I realized he was diagnosed in May 2005 which was 2 months before we had sex for the first time and became involved. I am so upset that he didn't tell me; I'm upset that he didn't take sooner action to get on the medicine and get some help. I'm upset because I love him, we have a great life together and I don't want to see him get sick or die. But when I think about all the times we've partied and drank like crazy it makes me want to puke. I had no idea his health could've been in jeopardy. Yet I can't be angry with him because I think he was in denial when the diagnosis was first made. Because the doctors couldn't tell him HOW he contracted it, so he didn't believe them. Also he had no symptoms,which is typical for the disease. I am just beside myself with fear and sadness. Has anyone ever gone through this? How did you cope? What was the outcome of this disease? I am so scared.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 April 2010):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks EJS! I would love to know more; what to expect with the medication side-effects. How it has impacted your life and how you are both coping. Thanks so much for your response, I am anxious to understand how other people are facing this disease and what to expect. xoxox

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A female reader, EJS United States +, writes (20 April 2010):

My fiance has Hep C. We recently just got engaged over Easter weekend. I knew about his Hep C over a year ago. Fortunately he told me about it before we commited to each other, then again we have been the best of friends for 9 years or so. He just started the treatments in a clinical trial. He has only had it a max of 6 years. We have accepted it together very well ad have not let it interupt our dailey lives. Now that he is 2 weeks into treatment, things are changing a bit. The side affects of the medicine are new to us both. The best way to deal with all of this is COMMUNICATE regularly. I would write more but I am at work. I may reply more later.

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A female reader, kayla20 United Kingdom +, writes (16 March 2010):

kayla20 agony auntyou just need to be there for him no matter what it will be hard but hel fight the disease alot harder if he knows people are supporting him however there is nothing you can really do apart from be positive and stand by him

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A reader, anonymous, writes (16 March 2010):

This is a very tricky situation, and my sympathies go out to you and your boyfriend. It's not an easy diagnosis to get, and the two or you will likely be dealing with the fallout for some time. However, he's a lucky guy to have someone as caring and concerned as you to worry about him - you sound like you are a couple strongly bonded by love, and I believe that you can get through this together and become all the stronger for it.

The first thing I would say is that you need to look forward, not backwards. Your boyfriend has been a bit of an idiot in not seeking treatment at an earlier stage, but what's done is done. There's no point in harping on the past. Also, the liver is very good at clearing out toxins - so I imagine that, provided he stops drinking now, the toxins he's put in himself will be cleared away quite quickly. The important thing is that he's agreed to undergo treatment now, and that there are very positive steps in terms of diet and lifestyle (e.g. no more alcohol!) that the two of you can take.

I know personally the fear that you are going through because I have a heart condition. It's stable at the moment, but it could begin to deteriorate at some future point, and the odds of survival for patients in that state are not good. For the first couple of years after diagnosis, I felt like I was walking around with a ticking timebomb in my chest. I was prepared to die any second, and walked around like I had one foot already in the tomb! However, then I realized that I was so afraid of becoming sick that I was actually not living the life I did have to the full! At the end of the day, the sad fact is that we do all die, of something, eventually. Your boyfriend might still die of grand old age at 112, but he could also be knocked over by a bus tomorrow. Life is full of tragedy. The important thing is to use the time that we are given to the full. While I would much rather be healthy, I sometimes think that my illness is a gift, in that little things that would have stressed me hugely before now seem too insignificant to be fussed about.

The first suggestion I have for you is that you and your boyfriend do some things to come to terms with the diagnosis. Firstly, you should deny the illness's power over you! Take a break together - even if it's just a weekend - and just enjoy spending time in each other's company. Remind yourselves how special the relationship is, hep C or no hep C. Then, you should do something to acknowledge the illness, but on your own terms. For instance you can plan and execute a fundraiser for Hep C research. Make sure it's something you can do together, whether that's a bakesale or a sponsored cycle ride! Raising money can be a great way of acknowledging the problem and being proactive about it.

Also please remember that there is much, much hope. If Hep C does progress, it conventionally does so at a slow rate. And medical science, at the moment, is progressing at a fast rate. Who knows where we'll be in 20-30 years' time? We might even have a cure!

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