With my plan for the New Year in my sights, my grown-up Christmas wish this year is for courage and determination.
You see, I am embarking on a tough journey in 2012: treating my chronic Hepatitis C infection. To do this, I am going to need all the physical, mental and spiritual fortitude I can muster. I'll need lots of support too.
Treatment will be 24 weeks of weekly interferon injections and multiple daily doses of anti-viral pills--ribaviran twice a day and a direct acting antiviral (DAA) three times a day. There are lots of potential side effects, from flu-like symptoms, fevers and chills, to nausea, fatigue, rash, irritability and even depression. I already know that some of these side effects will make the symptoms of some of my pre-existing chronic illness worse and that worries me. Plus treatment might be extended beyond 24 weeks depending the results of blood work taken at week twelve.
Then, once I am done, I'll need six months to recover, time I'll also spend waiting to see if the treatment was successful.
I tried doing treatment back in 2007, and three weeks in, I experienced so many side effects that I stopped. Looking back on that horrible experience, I realized that I failed because I didn't have the support of a medical team that was actively addressing my side effects. Since then, I've gone to great lengths to put together a team that I thank can help me get through Hep C treatment successfully.
Thankfully I also discovered a new book written by Lucinda Porter, RN called Free From Hepatitis C: Your Complete Guide to Healing Hepatitis C. I read it over the weekend and plan to review it for you in-depth tomorrow. Let me say that her book put my choice to treat my Hep C into a perspective that helps me let go of my fears and anxieties about treatment.
As someone who is managing multiple chronic illnesses, I feel compelled to try and treat the one health condition that could possibly be cured: my chronic Hep C infection. It's not going to be an easy fight, but I think it is my best shot to prevent some pretty scary complications down the road. Plus I really hope that decreasing my chronic illness burden will have positive benefits in the long run.
I really need to do this. The longer I wait, the harder it will be to get the outcome that I desire. So really, I have nothing to lose trying treatment again...and everything to gain if I am successful.
So what about you? What are you wishing for this holiday season? Do you have a grown-up Christmas wish you'd like to share with me?
If you are a fellow ChronicBabe blogger, let me suggest that you write your own post about your holiday wish this week and submit it for the next edition of the ChronicBabe blog carnival by Friday, December 9.
You can also leave me a comment here (please shoot me an email if Blogger is giving you any commenting problems) or head over to my favorite place, the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page, to share your wish there.
Here is my favorite version of My Grown-Up Christmas Wish by Amy Grant:
You can find Free From Hepatitis C: Your Complete Guide to Healing Hepatitis C at Amazon.com: