So said Cindy when we discussed the treatment. I don’t look forward to the side-effects, but I look forward not only to the main effect (being cured of HepC), but of making tremendous personal growth throughout this coming six months. I’m very grateful.
Here’s my post I wrote earlier this evening. I’m starting to experience various discomforts so won’t be editing it or it might not get posted!
DAY 1—I BEGIN THE TREATMENT
7:30 p.m. I was calm when I got up at 6 and began to go about my chores to get out of town. After a full day, including my initial treatment, I’m beginning just now to feel a wave of warmness and jaggedness in my head – around the eyes and the face.
I did get the car packed and the house completely ready for Robert. It felt really good to drive away at 9:45 a.m. as planned, with so much accomplished. I mailed my packages at the post office, stopped by the office briefly to shut down the MacMini, made my deposit, dropped off a bag at Goodwill, and got to Bee’s just 3 minutes late.
I had sent her an email about my needs and she was well prepared. She had done some research about fat and protein contents of foods and had good suggestions for my treatment diet:
Olive oil on salads, olives, chocolate, salmon, nuts, cheeses, butter, cream (on my morning oatmeal).
For my 80 ounces of water, don’t forget there is a lot of water in melons, oranges, other fruits. I can figure 10 calories per gram of fat, so the 60 grams I need will be approximately 600 calories. I have to read the labels of course but I still have 900 other calories to consume to stay within my 1500 calories/day.
She suggested I combine my 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. pill-taking with my breakfast and lunch – good idea. Then at 11 p.m., when I need another 20 grams of fat, have some nuts and a little cheese, maybe chocolate.
Breakfast can be my oatmeal with heavy cream, a boiled egg, a few chopped nuts on top. www.caloriecountercharts.com.
We talked about the hypnotic suggestions she would be recording , to reject the negative suggestions and concentrate on my goal of my body returning to good health. I am the exception; I have healthy skin; I have energy; I enjoy exercise.
As she gave me the suggestions, I went much deeper into relaxation that the first time I had seen her. I could feel the difference.
I left there at 12:45 and drove to Garland Park and did 20 minutes of brisk walking, stopping to pet two Doberman pinschers, three terriers, and talk with their guardians. It was great to be in nature and I enjoyed walking very briskly and feeling the warm sun on my body.
I arrived at the doctor’s at my 2:15 appt and Cindy was surprised to see I had brought the drugs and was ready to begin. Because I had delayed the treatment in September to clear my client calendar, then again in November to avoid two insurance deductibles, she was prepared for me to request another delay. I told her I was well prepared and let’s go!
Eating the Klondike bars with her (I brought her one) and a small piece of chocolate – to get my 20 grams of fat before I took the Incivek, then taking the Ribivarin (the workhorse of the treatment she said), was very simple. All the time the needle kit was waiting! She was very patient and showed me how to hold the syringe, unsheathe and put the needle on it (I was surprised to see how much smaller it was in reality than in my imagination! – less than ½ inch). Anyway, that was over in a flash too. We talked more about everything in detail and before I knew it I was heading out for Hwy 68 to take me here, to 5005 Garnet Street in Capitola. I somehow thought it was all over – when I realized it was just beginning.
I took a couple of Advil as she suggested and made a pretty smooth trip here. I called my niece Kathy to chat for a while as I wanted to calm down. She stayed on the line until my turnoff and we spoke about her crochet and my treatment and other things.
I felt some rockiness when I arrived and Donna had left four cookies for me, which I devoured—and felt better.
Cindy told me that tonight will be the worst part of the treatment and I may experience fever, chills, vomiting, nausea, and/or diarrhea. It would start about 6 or 6:30 and last perhaps 48 hours. Each Tuesday when I give myself a shot, these flu-like symptoms will return, but to a lesser degree, and abate after four weeks.
After I unloaded the car, I sat down to do my afternoon Transcendental Meditation. I could feel some waves of discomfort moving through me. As I sat in meditation, I put my Reiki hands on my belly where some nausea was beginning. I felt great after the mediation – although very hungry so ate the tuna salad Donna offered (she was not here, but on her way to Alamos, Mexico). Drank about 30 oz of water and arranged for use all the groceries, clothes, and toiletries I had brought. Last week when I came to Donna’s Memoir Writing Class I had brought two boxes of my own book research but that can wait until tomorrow.
If I’m going to experience discomfort, I’ll get the vital business taken care of first. I put my new silk sleep sack on her bed, took a shower and used the Gold Bond Medicated Lotion for the first time – it has menthol in it I think and it made my skin feel tingly and good. Then I got my pills ready for 10:30 p.m. Will read the labels of the cheese packages to see which one I want to combine with how many nuts.
Both Bee and Cindy said I should add more red meat to my diet, to give me the fat and the protein – plus the all-important iron I’ll need. They also both agreed that visualization helps.
As I was doing the mediation, I became aware that I needed to release the fear of the treatment. I had been so cerebral about it, getting prepared, that I wasn’t aware that I was afraid of it. I released the fear with thoughts that I welcome this time to be healed of something that has kept me in straits since I was diagnosed 11 or 12 years ago. I know that I make personal growth during trials, so I welcome this, which Cindy says will be the hardest thing I’ve done in my life.
I feel that my mind is now above the bodily discomforts – I’m not believing they are real; as they surely will pass in time. The powerful drugs that I put into my body today are not there to harm me – they are doing powerful work on my behalf. I have deep gratitude.
Right now, at 8 p.m., I am experiencing some rockiness – none of the symptoms she told me. I’m happy to be focused on this blog entry. I have a box of powerful tools to help me: TM, Bee’s hypnosis tape, Reiki, attitude, focus on the healing and the future and visualizing myself completing the treatment and being better than ever. I’m not kidding myself that it will be easy – right now my stomach is a little nauseous, but I will take it one day at a time.
Thoughts of my friends’ and family’s support sustain me immensely. I’m writing this blog for my own help, it focuses me more, plus I can let them all know at once what’s happening.
Two and a half more hours before I take my meds, a couple of Advil, and climb into bed. I’m going to stay low and read a magazine or one of the novels I brought with me, stopping to relax more and use my Reiki when I need too.