Friday, June 06, 2008

Almost-1-Year Update

Hi everyone,
I thought I'd better pop in and give an update on my condition, since it's been almost a year since I was "cured".
I have wonderful news - I'm pregnant! Our baby boy is due in August.
I am of course really pleased with the way everything has turned out. Latest tests have shown no sign of the Hep-C virus and I feel wonderful and healthy.
Best of luck to all of you who are currently living with Hep-C or going through the treatment process.
Remember, there IS light at the end of the tunnel!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Six Month Update

Wow - has it been six months already? I've lost track. Probably because I hardly even think about Hepatitis C any more! Now that I don't have the virus any more, I just feel like a normal person! I hardly have any relation to all those months of stress and tiredness and injections and yukkyness. I just feel awesome. Absolutely awesome.
My message to anyone who's going through the treament now, or who has been recently diagnosed, is don't worry about a thing! Everything's going to be OK in the end!
Yes, there really is an end. I'm so happy.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I'm Cured

It's been a long, exhausting ordeal and I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me and wished me well.
I went for my 6-month post-treatment check, and there's no sign of the virus.
I'm completely releived and my husband is completely releived. We celebrated quietly with coffe and cake at a little cafe close to the hospital and then went home to start our new life.
Rather than feel excited and jump up and down, I just feel like sitting quietly and being grateful for what I have.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pregnancy After Treatment

When I began treatment, my doctor made it very clear that I should not become pregnant during treatment, and for at least six months following completion of treatment. Apparently the treatment is known to cause defects in unborn children.
He was so adamant about it that at every check-up I was asked what kind of contraception I was using. I was instructed to use two different types of contraception at once.
The ironic thing was that most of the time my husband and I were using the most reliable form of contraception - abstinence! I was very rarely "in the mood" throughout my treatment.
My doctor knew that my husband and I were trying to conceive before my diagnosis. I think that scared him. He made it quite clear that we should immediately stop trying! I suggested to him that I could have the baby first and then go on the treatment, but he reckoned it would be difficult to raise a small baby on treatment. How right he was.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Back Into Life.

It's been a little over three months since I finished my treatment. I went for my first post-treatment blood test the other day - the one where you find out if the virus has made a comeback. I'm not worried about it at all. They say that there's only a very small chance of the virus returning after a successful treatment.
Now my focus is on getting back into life. I've been a bit of a hermit since my treatment began, which has been nice. I needed the peace and quiet, not only during treatment but afterwards as well.
I still feel the effects. It was a bit over the top to expect that after a three month recovery period I'd be fine. I'm certainly feeling a lot better, but even the experts say it takes six months to get the toxins out of your body (I've had strict instructions to wait at least six months before attempting to get pregnant).
I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel after six months. What I'm really looking forward to is how I feel after about a year.
At the moment I'm still losing a bit of hair and I have bouts of feeling really tired. I've been getting a few urinary and throat infections and my moods are still a bit wonky.
But I've been taking regular exercise, eating well, getting plenty of sleep and drinking enough water. And recently I've been trying to get out more into society. Hubby and I have started taking dancing lessons at our local hall. That's a bit of quiet fun! And we're going to try to get out visiting more, too.
I like the fact that spring is just around the corner. It seems that the seasons are working in conjunction with my recovery. Nothing like a bit of sunshine to lighten the mood.
Everything is going to be just fine.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Post-Treatment Experience

I feel great and it’s only been about one-and-a-half months since I finished treatment! I know it’s supposed to take three to six months for the medication to get out of my body and I can tell it’s still in there because my hair’s still falling out, but overall I feel really good.

I’ve started jogging again. For the last few months I couldn’t muster up the energy or enthusiasm to do any exercise at all. I spent a lot of time sleeping and a lot of time in front of the TV. It was what I needed at the time, but I became really unfit and put on too much weight.

I actually lost some weight during treatment, because I lost my appetite. But my appetite came back before my energy did, so for the last part of treatment, and afterwards, I was eating all the wrong stuff and not doing any exercise.

About three weeks after finishing treatment, I felt noticeably more energetic, optimistic and enthusiastic and I started going for short, slow jogs. I was careful not to overdo it. I’ve heard stories of people throwing themselves into it too soon after treatment and knocking their recovery back.

Each one of those slow jogs around the block helped. The weight I put on is coming off and I’m feeling stronger all the time. The jogging’s speeding up and soon I’m going to have to increase the distance.

And you know what else? I’ve made myself a goal: Next summer (it’s winter here now) I’m going to enter a triathlon! Not a “real” triathlon, but an easy one – swim 500m, cycle 10km and run 3km. It’s something nice and easy that I can achieve, which gives me something to aim and train for.

I’m really pleased with how quickly I started feeling better, and I expect to only continue.

Onwards and upwards!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Finished Treatment & Feeling so Happy/Sad/Happy/Sad...

Three days ago I took my last little pill, and felt absolutely euphoric. Such a relief to not have to take those pills any more, and especially not have to have those injections any more!! Yay - I did it!
Three days later I'm still happy about it, of course, but now there's this disturbing feeling of doubt that's starting to creep in. Like... what if the virus comes back? And... why isn't the fatigue going away? And especially... what does my future hold? I bet these are all common issues upon finishing, because you fool yourself into thinking the end of treatment means life's going to change instantly, just like magic.
It has changed in one way - I don't have to remember to take those pills twice a day, and I don't have to dread injection day any more. But the fatigue hasn't suddenly stopped. Neither has the moodiness.
Actually, I thought it had. I thought I was suddenly a happier person about two seconds after taking my last pill. But no, that was just a momentary mind-celebration.
What I'm going to do to counteract the feelings of self-doubt is make myself a plan for the future. Something new and challenging that I haven't done before, to celebrate the new me. Of course, I'll need to balance that with not pushing myself too hard while I'm still weak. My body and mind have been through a lot, and there's going to be a certain recovery period needed.
But having something to look forward to should help keep the doubts at bay. Perhaps first of all I'll just make a plan on paper from the comfort of my couch. Then, as I feel stronger, I can begin to act on my plan.
There's no doubt that having hope for the future is great therapy.