Hi everyone (Please share with WOH, Church staff and Red Oak FD emails)
Well it's been quite awhile since my last update and this update has come a few weeks later than I wanted BUT better late than never. Ray ended his clinical trial with Duke the middle of July. This means he took 12 weeks of the medication that Gilead was testing and then was monitored by Duke 12 weeks after. His last visit they did their last blood work and called about a week ago.
"NO SIGNS OF HEPATITIS C", the virus was undetectable after week 4 of the medication and has not been detected since. They know claim him cured from hepatitis C. This is such an unbelievable blessing. Almost too crazy to process. When we told the kids and explained it to them, of course they were excited, cheered, etc...but I told them "do you know how lucky you are that at the age of 7 and 10 YOU have witnessed a miracle...you have seen God perform a miracle in your daddy by healing him".
The maker of this drug was Gilead and it is named Sovaldi (for some of you who have asked and wanted to read about it!) For the first 3-4 weeks Ray took it in conjunction with Ribavirun but then had to stop that drug due to dropping his blood cells too low, however they are feeling like this 2nd drug may not even be needed, just the sovaldi. The great thing about this drug is it is a SHORT window of treatment, high success rates and very few side effects. The downfall is STILL they are arguing over price for patients and if insurance will cover, etc....it is my hope and prayer that they WILL...in the long run you would have healthier people to cover and potentially much lower cost than a transplant.
So how do we say thank you to all of you all for all the prayers, love, support, encouragement all along the way...we don't even know how to say thank you but a BIG THANK YOU! Without you all we couldn't have made it through this crazy ride. We are hopeful and confident that this CHAPTER is closed.....I am happy to lock it away and throw that key away! However we are always reminded that through ALL of this we have learned and grown in our faith, marriage, knowledge of hepatitis C and organ donation...I have grown in more ways than I can even acknowledge.
So thank you all!
I have begun (for many of you, you will smile because you have said this to me!) to write a book. I am about 10,000 words into it now and up to the first transplant! There's a lot to cover! It is my hope to connect to others who have had this disease, doubting their faith, grown in their faith, a young couple who struggles with a health issue, organ donation, etc...there is so much I want to hit on in this book. I just ask that you pray for me during this next journey...I guess I should say when that is done then I can close that chapter. I just feel like I really want to get this story out there. If you think of any "Ray liver memories!!"...send it to me if I need to remember to put it in the book! :)
THANKS all and most importantly PRAISE JESUS....your grace finds us! God is good ALL THE TIME, his word is true...never will I leave you never will I forsake you.
Ray and Janet