Thursday, December 20, 2012

Selena's 2012 Holiday Message

Video Transcript

Hi! It's Selena from the blog Oh My Aches and Pains and I'm recording this video today to show you how I'm doing four months post Hepatitis C treatment.

Now I've got to be honest with you, Hepatitis C treatment really kicked my butt. But I'm a lucky girl because Hepatitis C treatment also seems to have really kicked my Hepatitis C's butt.

I haven't been this sick since, well, when I had my cancer treatment twenty-four years ago. But that's because Hepatitis C treatment in its current form really is just another version of chemotherapy. And let me tell you I've had the side effects and I've had the treatment related problems to prove it!

That said I still really believe that choosing to do Hepatitis C treatment was the right decision for me.

And I'm happy to say that I am starting to feel better. Now I'm not quite back to my pre-treatment level of functioning, but trust me I'm doing much better then I was about four months ago.

I shared with you back on Thanksgiving that my viral load continues to be undetectable. But I'm not pulling out my party hat just yet. I'm waiting get that six month post-treatment viral load result which will determine something called SVR, which is sustained virological response, which is basically a fancy way of saying the treatment worked...and some people are even calling it a cure.

Hey, I wouldn't mind a cure for Hepatitis C. I've lived with it for 24 years and I am definitely interested to find out what life would be like without it.

So I'm looking forward to 2013. I'm looking forward to February and getting those test results.  I'm looking forward to feeling better, to getting back to my pre-treatment level of functioning and finding out what my life looks like, feels like, functions like without Hepatitis C.

I'm happy to say that one of the benefits I'm already seeing from treatment is that my type 2 diabetes is much easier to manage now. In fact, I've had blood sugar numbers that, well, it's been years and maybe even decades since my blood sugar was under such great control. And if my diabetes is better managed because of Hep C treatment then that obviously made it a really good decision from me. 

And that's the thing about Hepatitis C. I know most people say that people living with Hepatitis C will probably die from something other than Hepatitis C. But for me, and I think for a lot of other people, living with hepatitis C is about a quality of life issue. That it does more than just cause fibrosis, cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. It really affects your quality-of-life and causes a lot of other problems, not necessarily life-threatening problems, but things that make life less enjoyable and make you not able to participate as fully in life as you would like.

I've met some really amazing people living with Hepatitis C throughout my treatment experience. And even though I may now be moving forward without Hepatitis C, that doesn't mean I'm leaving those folks behind. I'm a member of the Hepatitis C community and I am committed to advocating on behalf of people living with Hepatitis C until there is a cure for everyone and we can get rid of Hepatitis C for good.

I've been very fortunate that I have responded to treatment. Not all of the people that I've met have responded to treatment. That's why I am committed to continuing to advocate. Because there are great drugs in the pipeline, but there needs to be some collaboration, some cooperation, some working together between the drug companies to come up with an antiviral cocktail that will cure Hepatitis C without all of the side effects from interferon and ribavirin.

So moving forward, that's my goal: to stay connected with the Hep C community and to really be an advocate now that Hep C isn't part of my life and I have more energy to pursue these kinds of things.

Of course, I want to take a the moment to thank everyone who has shown me support throughout this journey. I couldn't have done this without you guys. I couldn't have done this without my husband and my family as well. It's been a rough year and 2013 is definitely going to be better.

I'm glad that I made it through this and I can't wait for a new year and an opportunity to live life Hepatitis C free.

So happy holidays everybody, no matter what holiday you celebrate.

I'm looking forward to planning a party sometime at the end of February/ beginning of March if I get that good news that I'm hoping for in February. And since many of you who have been supported me I've never met in person, we got to figure out an interesting way to have this party online. I'm thinking Skype. What do you guys think? Skype, maybe some Facebook stuff too. I don't know, some chat?

We'll do it; it'll be fun!

Thanks so much and please let me know when I can return the favor.

And be safe, have a great holiday and take some time for yourself. I can't wait for the new year, 2013.

This has been Selena from the blog Oh My Aches and Pains! Happy Holidays!

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