Friday, February 17, 2012

Me & Hep C:
Sorting Through My Feelings as Treatment Is About to Begin

I picked up my Hepatitis C medications from the pharmacy Wednesday night.  When I got home, I inspected them, read the drug monographs enclosed with them and found a place to store them for the next seven days while I wait to begin treatment.

As I put them away, it felt weird to finally have my medications "in hand" and not be starting treatment right away.  All that struggle to get them and for now two sit in my hall closet and one in my refrigerator.

It just doesn't seem quite right...

It was then I realized that this was a watershed moment.  I was in the space between talking about doing Hepatitis C treatment and actually doing it.  It was then that the emotions flooded in:

Feelings Thoughts
anger I already had cancer...did I really need Hepatitis C too?!?
annoyance I have my medications but I have to wait a week to start taking them?  Aargh!  I just want get going before I change my mind and chicken out!
anxiety What have I gotten myself into?  Am I in over my head?  
concern I know this will be hard for me, but how hard will this be for my husband who has a front row seat to this craziness?
courage &
I can do hard things!  I can beat Hepatitis C!  I am going to Fight Like a Girl and win!
fear Will this work?  How bad will it be? Do I have what it takes to endure this?
gratitude Thank goodness I have insurance that covers this treatment and a supportive husband and friends who will help me get through it.
hope If I can do this and if the treatment works, this might improve my overall health status for the better.  And that would be all kinds of AWESOME!
resolve I am doing this.  I am going to stick it out no matter what.  I will succeed.
overwhelm Two pills every 8 hours and three pills every 12 hours that must be taken on-time or the treatment might not work.  Can I be this perfect?
worry Side effects--which ones will I get? can my medical team handle them? will they derail my treatment? how will my level of functioning be impacted?

There is a lot going on inside my head and my heart right now.

So my plan is to feel these feelings and trust in the knowledge that, if I don't resist, they will sort themselves out during this final week of waiting. Plus if I feel overwhelmed, I can distract myself.  There are still plenty of things I want to do before I begin treatment.

Ultimately, the act of starting treatment will silence the doubtful emotions and allow me to take the leap of faith required to plunge myself into this treatment. 

In the meantime, on Thursday I purchased a mega pill organizer able to accommodate the blister pacts of Incivek and filled it with the first week of my medications.  Then I broke out the label maker and labeled the box with my daily medication schedule: 6 am, 2 PM, 10PM and midnight.  I also marked Friday as my Pegasys injection day.

While I worked, I observed that my pills are pretty shades pink (ribavirin) and purple (Incivek.)  Then a funny thing happened.  I began to feel grateful for these new "girl power" pills that are going to help my body do quite an extraordinary thing--beat Hep C!

I can't wait to get started...

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Pam said...

Hi Selena, Take lots of deep breaths, don't look to far ahead, and move forward, one step at a time. Only deal with the problems that arise as they arise, don't borrow any from tomorrow. Before you know it, you'll be through this and you will feel so much better when that virus is gone. My doc said it wasn't possible but I know I felt it leave. I knew before the blood test. I'd only lived with it for over thirty years, I knew it well and I'm sure glad not to have it in my life anymore. I hoping the same for you.


Iesadora said...

Never forget that it's the little things that make us smile (or at least smirk) that releases those feel good endorphins just like your Girl Power pills. Cause you know ... GIRLS RULE!!! LOL I found little cheap thrills in finding out what color my pills were with each medication change while I was in high school. It freaked my Mom out when i got excited over pretty colors lol but her and my Dad had never been on long term medications (until recently some 10 years later) so they couldn't ever understand like we can.

Well enough of my rambling. You are going to start your treatment in a week, your going to put your big girl pants on stick your tongue out and give your pills raspberries right before you take them. You have prepared, explored, researched, and prepared some more. Your ready for this and everything your feeling and everything your going to feel in the next week is NORMAL and expected! Your going to KICK ASS with your Girl Power pills and we are all going to be behind you the whole way through kicking Hep C's ass!!!!!!