Now Playing: Stage 5 -- The Destination Stage
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Congratulations! You have completed 9 months of treatment for your hepatitis C. You're doing a wonderful job keeping up with your study appointments and medication doses. Hopefully you have adjusted to the medication side effects by now, and have been able to stay on schedule with your treatments.
Looking back on how far you have come will be helpful as you prepare yourself for the next phase of the study. You have completed stages 1,2,3, and 4, and have now reached Stage 5 of your treatment program. This is the final stage of your treatment -- we'll call it the DESTINATION stage. Your body has responded well to the therapy, and you can show your determination to succeed by continuing to take your medications on time for the last 3 months of treatment.
After the next 3 months are over, your healthcare provider will check your blood again to make sure that you have continued to respond to therapy.
If your blood tests show that there is no virus in your blood, you may have stopped the progression of your liver disease completely. If your body responds in this way, you will likely avoid many of the problems hepatitis C can cause.
Although this is good news, it's important to recognize that there is always the risk that a very small amount of the virus is still in your body. The virus may be inactive for now, but may start spreading again at a later time. So, you will need to keep coming back for follow-up appointments after your treatment is finished.
You have become used to the routine of taking your medications every day. It's important to report any unusual side effects or anything that may be different than what you've experienced before. Your healthcare provider needs to know this information and may be able to suggest ways to help you through the side effects. Continue taking your medications exactly as prescribed unless told otherwise by your healthcare provider.
Good luck as you begin this final stage of treatment. With your effort and determination, you can reach your destination and feel good about everything you've accomplished.
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