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Tink's journey with Hepatitis C

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Feeling Great!

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The end of a journey

It has taken me about an hour to logon this evening - yes, I still have the remnants of fog-brain and could not remember my id or password. I persevered though as I wanted to write an 'ending' to my Blog. I have completed one hell of an interesting journey and how could I close the book on this part of my life without sharing my good news. I cried my socks off when both my GP and the Prof phoned to say that I am clear of HepC. I was told at the beginning that I only had about 55% chance of getting rid of it and this just made me more determined to be so so focused on just working through it. I was a total bore to myself and everyone around me for 48 long weeks but I stuck to the regimen - I took the poison on time - never missed a dose -I tried to eat properly - I drank water. Mainly I slept.

Here I am, 5 months since finishing the treatment and I feel great! I had my post tx tests at 3 months and 4 months (I don't think I could believe it the first time so had it done again just in case.....)and I will have it done again in September to get the final clearance.

It wasn't easy on me and it was no holiday for my husband, my father or even my friends. We all took a beating. The great thing is that they stuck by me (big hug and kisses to you all) and here I am thinking how bloody lucky I am to be alive.

The massive dose of chemicals has left me with Candida so sugar and yeast in any form have gone out of the window for the time being - small price to pay! All the other chemo-related symptoms have gone. I have energy, I don't feel sick, I can walk and breathe, I have a sense of humour and miracle upon miracle, no rage!!! ..... I feel 'normal' and it feels wonderful to be 'me' again.

Thank you everyone for all your support - I hope there's a rainbow at the end of your journey too.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Meeting with the Professor

I flew to London last Sunday and spent 3 days shopping and catching up with old friends. The real purpose for the visit was to see Professor Foster. My red blood cell count is way down at 8.9 (the lowest it's ever been). He said that if it went lower than 8 I would have to stop tx! We did discuss this option but I am so determined to battle on - it seems such a crime to stop now when I am so close to the finishing post. The conclusion was to lower my Ribs dosage to 800 mg and hope that my red blood count comes back up in time for me to fly off to some sunshine in January. He also mentioned lots of other medication to help me through the worst of the side effects but I declined. I am not being a martyr, I just hate the thought of yet more drugs swilling around my system. My digestive system is beginning to show signs of strain and so, no, I can't take any more than I absolutely have to.

At the end of 3 days in London I was in a very sorry state - I guess I am just not used to all that socialising or shopping! I got off the plane at this end and could not even drive the car. What a sorry state of affairs.....

My next appointment with Professor Foster is not until next May when I will have completed tx for 3 months and will have the PCR test to confirm whether or not I am still clear. I am so close to to the finish post now I can taste it!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Only 12 more to go...

I've now had 3 lots of 3 hour massages and I am definitely feeling the benefit. I should have organised them a while ago but never got around to it - silly me.

So my main complaint is the depression. My 'feeling low' has gradually become far less manageable and there's no hiding the fact that it is actually real depression that I'm feeling.

I used to wake up feeling so joyful and full of life and now I'm even screaming at the cat if it as much as purrs in my ear. I usually have my blackest thoughts in the middle of the night when I have to get up to go to the loo. I go back to sleep but have depressing dreams and always wake up feeling the weight of the world on me. Professor Foster encouraged me right from the beginning to take anti-depressants if they were required. I have not taken them because I hate the thought of putting yet more chemicals inside me and also, on a normal day I am quite a compulsive/addictive person and the last thing I want is to get addicted to anti-depressants.

To be honest, it's only been this past month that I felt the full impact of the depression and some of that could have been something to do with the pain and nausea I've been experiencing. This time of year hardly helps too.....

On a more positive note, I have managed to play bridge at least twice a week and in fact, I am off to play now. I can't think of a better way of spending a wet and windy afternoon and you never know, I might even get a decent score and that would certainly cheer me up!
Must run... bye

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

35 down.....

...and yes, I am counting! I think I'll get really excited when I can start the countdown at 10 weeks to go - I might even be 'demob' happy at Xmas time.

I had another 2 1/2 hrs of massage last Thurs and I think it's helping as I've just had 2 days without painkillers. The good thing about the pain is that it's hard to remember it when you are feeling ok. The bad days come and go and so I just have to make the most of good ones. It's strange that the unwell feeling comes about so quickly and without warning. I was up and about on Saturday morning and suddenly, I felt so sick that I had to go to bed and I stayed there for the remainder of the day - even sleeping for most of it.

But today I am in good form and even my friends commented on how 'bouncy' I seemed this morning. I had lunch out and here I am still feeling ok. The temptation now, of course, is to go into overdrive and try and catch up with some of the stuff that I've pushed aside but hey ho, I shall just relax and enjoy this delicious bit of respite.

For me anyway, it's been important to put aside any sort of 'issue'. I have a couple of them lurking in the background somewhere but I have totally refused to let them get a hold. If I even get a whiff of a problem, my trap door comes down and rescues me. This is totally opposite to my normal way of dealing with anything - I have always been face-on. Strange change of character but comforting and most welcome!

The sun is setting and there's not a single cloud over the island which means we are in for a cold night. Time and (miraculously) energy to bring in a few logs and light that fire.....

Monday, November 21, 2005

Another bad week

It is 3 o'clock in the afternoon and I am lying in bed with my hot water bottle feeling very sorry for myself. The sun is shining and I am lying here looking out at a very calm sea. I feel quite 'down' and I don't know why.

I met friends for coffee this morning and had a good long chat - I even made a new friend (funny how you just suddenly meet someone and instantly get along.....?) I should be feeling quite positive as I've only 13 more jabs to go after today. Thirteen sounds so close to being finished with this stuff - it can't go fast enough. I think I am feeling so down because I am so fed up with not feeling right. I am having to take pain killers daily and now my stomach feels quite nauseaus and my head feels groggy - how on earth I managed to get through the first 7 seven months without any of this is amazing.

I did find myself a sports masseuse who came along to my house last Tuesday. He spent 3 hours massaging - he said I had the Himalayas on my back! A 3 hr massage - it sounds idyllic but I can tell you it was 3 hours of pure hell and agony. The good news was that I felt like a rag doll afterwards and didn't have to take pain killers for 2 days. He's coming again on Thursday and I can hardly wait - masochistic or what?

I read some of the comments on my Blog today and I want to thank you all for taking the time to write - your encouragement does help. I stay in touch with the little band of other heppers here on the Island - it's just great having people around who understand exactly what you are going through, although there are times when I tire of hearing myself rabbiting on and on about my plight. I don't feel sorry for myself, I am just fed up with feeling unwell.

My Riba rage continues... I am the most intolerant person I know. I take on strangers, department stores, government, whatever... I know I am doing it but can't stop myself. I can hear my dad apologising quietly so I know I've overstepped the mark. And then I 'stalk' off - well, more of a quiet hobble really - my 86 year old father walks faster than me and carries the groceries!

The sun is just beginning to set over the sea so I will sign off and enjoy the tranquility and the remainder of my hot water bottle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bad Week

I guess I've got off pretty lightly over the last 6 months, all things considering. Well, this week has more than made up for it. I have taken more paracetemol during the last 10 days than I have in the last year. I am in constant pain - sort of sciatic nerve pain but all over the body - and it has slowly got me down. I'm also now beginning to hate to take the wretched drugs because I know they are the cause of my pain. The virus has gone, my liver is normal and here I am feeling worse than ever. I can't tell you how tempting it is to jack it all in. But, I won't, I am far too stubborn!

I've slept most of the time during my tx but now I can't sleep. This isn't helping matters, I know. I am loathe to take anything - I couldn't face yet another type of drug in my system. I shall be so bloody glad when this is over.

I need something to cheer myself up - havn't the energy for the retail therapy so perhaps a banana sarni - I've become addicted to carbs which is probably my brain telling my sytem that I need more energy. I've also become addicted to Sudoku but that takes a bit longer and I need an instant fix.

At least my brain is still managing to stay alive - I even got a 'top' at bridge this week - perhaps the drugs are doing some good?

The banana sandwich calls.... bye