name is Diane, but everyone knows me as Kessie.
54, live in Massachusetts with my Hubby Jim aka Kessy1 and
our daughter Amy, and two old cats, Murphy and Kacy.
diagnosed in September '97 with Hep C, and went thru lots
of blood tests, I was pretty "green" about all this shocking
news, and didn't know anything about Genotypes or Liver
Biopsies, or Hepatitis C or Alts and ASTs and had to rely
on my Doctors for advice. They took a lot of blood tests
and sent me to some specialists. They told me my ALT was
999 or something ridiculous like that, and they monitored
it and a year later when it only dropped to the 400's, they
decided I should try the Rebetron aka Combo.
in January l999, I began injecting myself with "the poison".
The most frightening part of it all began with my first
shot, learning to inject myself. I didn't even like getting
a shot from the Doctor. After 3 months, I responded to the
treatment. So I continued on. I was feeling miserable, cut
my work week back to 4 days, and generally lost most of
my energy and what little patience I had.
with all of the typical sides, but wasn't totally disabled.
My Husband and Daughter were always there to keep me on
track and it was with their tender loving care and patience
that I was able to get thru 39 weeks of combo.
finally took me off the treatment in September 99, because
I'd become very anemic. I felt and looked pretty lousy.
"But you look good"…"Have you turned yellow yet?" One of
the hardest things about dealing with this disease is that
you generally don't look nearly as sick as you are, and
most people expect you to act and feel normal.
months, I was still non-detectible and after a few more
months my energy and self-esteem returned. I felt better
than I had before treatment and realized then how sick I'd
been off treatment for over a year now and feel wonderful,
I notice some lingering side effects, still lose my balance
and can never find anything, especially my glasses; the
Brain Fog drives me crazy. I have put myself on a healthful
lifestyle by controlling the fat that I eat and avoiding
stress when I can. It appears Combo worked for me, I hope
so. I still worry about what the future holds for me. I
wish with all my heart that it worked for everyone, but
there are new treatments on the horizon, so keep the faith!
I first learned that I had this Hepatitis thing, I was scared
to death and started planning the "rest of my life" which
at that point didn't think was a very long time. I scoured
the internet for information, and found the old SHN site,
signed my name on the dotted line, and found myself a whole
lot of other people in the same boat as me who helped me
get thru this mess. Then…I somehow hit the lottery and found
Sam and Lyrics place, they made a little Heppo for me in
my favorite colors, and the rest is history. Heppolandia
is a magical wondrous place where there is much love, support
and kindness. I decided I needed an adventure, and much
to the dismay of my "normal friends, I journeyed
from my little home in Massachusetts to my first Hepfest
in Port Orchard Washington. (Those people on the Internet
are a bunch of ax murderers) Let me tell you, it was one
of the most wonderful experiences of my life, meeting these
friends with funny little names and no faces that I'd cried,
and laughed with in the Chat Room! Then a few months later
I dragged my Husband along to another one in Pennsylvania
- and met more of these wonderful folks. Jim has learned
a lot about this disease and the wonderful folks he used
to call "My Imaginary Friends" are now his friends too.
learned to question my doctors advice, and the first place
to come is right here to the bulletin boards, there aren't
real doctors here, but everyone here has either had the
same problem as you are experiencing or can offer you some
good advice. You are not alone here ever! And if you are
just feeling down, you are sure to find a happy face to
cheer you. So, know that getting HepC isn't the worst thing
in the world that can happen to you, especially since you've
found this place, you too will find the "Silver Lining"
so many of us have.
to you would be to learn everything about Hepatitis C that
you can, everything. Ask your doctor for a copy of your
lab results and keep track of them and find yourself a great
support group such as this one but above all, keep your
sense of humor, it's important when dealing with a life
threatening illness such as this, you need to have a strong
positive attitude that you are going to whip that Dragon.
Good luck to you and welcome to our club.
and Hugs… Kessie
I'd love to hear hear from you if I can help in any way.
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