One of my doctors urged me to publish this blog to chronicle the twenty-four week journey of my Incivek Hep C treatment. “For others to get a different perspective,” she said.
Twelve years ago I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, genome type 1, a virus the doctor at Stanford says mostly likely was contracted either from blood transfusions received after a farm accident at age four—or from a tattoo I got on the Long Beach Pike at age 25.
He also advised me not to take the cure then available, as the cure rate was low and the recidivism rate was high. “Wait a few years,” he said. “With the millions of people infected, numerous drug companies are working on a cure which has to be better than what is available.”
I’ve spent twelve years doing every kind of alternative treatment available: acupuncture, Chinese herbs, milk thistle, green drinks (ugh), and assorted other supplements. I’ve had my blood tested numerous times to monitor the disease progression, yearly liver scans, and a painful liver biopsy at Stanford. Living with a chronic disease has been unsettling.
When I saw an article about Incivek last year in the Monterey Herald, I called and here I am today, doing it.
Currently my liver enzyme readings are 44 and 61, normal is 35 and 40, so not very high. I feel good, but, according to Internet research, chronic liver disease may have caused me to lose my gall bladder, have Thyroid Cancer and thyroid removal, and now to develop spinal osteoporosis. I have to take the cure!
January 16, 2012
The end of the world, as we know it, happens December 21, 2012, according to some reports. I believe this may be true, but not in the sense it is usually mentioned.
Tomorrow I begin my twenty-four week Hepatitis C treatment. I’ll be on the new Incivek treatment which consists of Incivek, Ribavirin, and Pegasys.
I will see a medical hypnotherapist, Bee Epstein-Shepherd, in the morning and receive a post-hypnotic suggestion to lessen the side effects: painful rash, fatigue, depression, anemia, flu-like symptoms, among others. I’ve been consulting with her for weight control and have been very successful. I’ve completely lost my craving to eat and eagerly take my daily thirty-minute brisk walk. In 12 days I’ve lost the 5 pounds I gained over the holidays. I don’t want to put them back on with the 60grams of fat I have to take each day with one of my meds. I’ll ask Bee tomorrow what to do, to conform to the treatment dietary requirements, and lose the last ten pounds I want to by the time my treatment ends mid-July.
Tomorrow Cindy Russell-McClain, at Ryan Ranch Gastroenterology, instructs me on the use of the medications and will teach me how to give myself a weekly injection in my stomach. Lovely.
Anticipating the rash, I’ve bought about $60 worth of lotions and oils, and been slathering myself for days–to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Cindy says I have to coat myself three times every day. I have to ask her how to reach the middle of my back.
I bought lots of high-fat foods: cheeses, ice cream, nuts of all kinds from the farmers market (from that farm in Hughson where my mother grew up). I bought high-fiber crackers and breads to put the cheese on.
I’ve stocked up because I may be tired soon. Cindy says many on the treatment hold down full time jobs – but at the end of the day, they’re done – no shopping, no housework. We’ll see. I have set my intention otherwise:
“God blesses me and enlarges my consciousness of limitless good, delivers me from the power of any negative condition, and always grants me that good for which I have set my intention.”
People that I mention the imminent treatment period to have all offered support: to clean my house, to cook for me, to help in any way that they can. I am blessed with good friends.
Even Blackie Boy’s guardian, Jeff, gave me his card and offered to help, when I stopped to pet Blackie Boy on my way into work this morning.
7 a.m. -9:45 a.m.: shower, wash hair, oil up, meditate, breakfast, read the Monterey Herald, gather up and load car with remaining clothes and toiletries, food from fridge and freezer, put the meds that require refrigeration in a small thermal case and other meds in the car, tidy up the house for Robert who will be staying in my house while I’m gone. Must remember to put the keys out for him.
9:45 a.m. Leave the house: go to post office to mail comics to Zack and knitting bag to Kathy in Arkansas; stop at office to turn off computer from the YouSendIt overtime job, deposit the Chamber of Commerce check at the bank, drive to my 10:45–12:45 appt with Bee in Carmel Valley.
12:45 p.m. leave Bee’s and have lunch somewhere. Probably graze out of my food bags in the car!
2:15 p.m. Appointment with Physician’s Assistant Cindy at Mary Garren, Gastroenterology Center in Ryan Ranch. I’ll wear my new Kipling backpack in, loaded with the other two meds, and tote my cooler bag. We’ll go over the protocol, I’ll ask more about the side-effects and cautions to take, diet, follow-up appointment.
3:30 p.m., I drive directly to Donna Love’s house in Capitola, where I’ll stay until March 1 while she is in Alamos, Mexico. I will come back to P.G. occasionally when I need to see clients, pick up mail, or water plants. I will also be working on my life story while in Capitola – reviewing my roots (My astrologer, Joyce de Meuse, says that is also in my chart this year– she tells me everything about what’s happening in my inner and outer lives – pretty cool).
Joyce also says in June the configuration of my planets means I will reach the goal I set for myself in this life – the reason I came here! That’s pretty darn exciting to me. I’ve been on the journey for so long it seems. In the last two years amazing things have happened internally. She says I’ll be thinking completely differently by June. My treatment coming at this time is no accident.
By December 21, 2012, my old world will have ended and I will begin the life I came here to live. The months of this treatment will be a ‘burning off’ of my old way of thinking, and a welcoming of my completely new way of thinking. As Ernest Holmes said: “Change your thinking, change your life.”
That is my thought about the 2012 end of the world—a complete change in consciousness. Old with the old! In with the new! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!