Friday, December 10, 2010


I just realized tomorrow, December 11, marks the 5th year anniversary of the day I came down with symptoms of Hepatitis C. I wasn't diagnosed for another month, but I remember the day vividly. Five

Brief updates

Well, here we are in the midst of the holidays. It's a time that is supposed to be "happy and gay" but for many it's a time of sadness, loss and isolation. I'm one of those perpetual snow/Christmas/holiday lovers because I enjoy everything that the holidays represent....however, I realize it's not like that for everyone so it's important to take a moment to support the folks around us who are hurting; buy a gift for a needy child and practice random acts of kindness. We can all certainly improve and make this a season of hope for all.

Hope...ahhhh. The appointment I have scheduled with the hepatologist/transplant specialist has been changed to December 21. I get daily email updates on medicine/nursing practice and recently read abstracts from presentations at the AASLD (American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases) annual convention and updates about Hep C. There are many promising medications on the horizon for folks with genotype 1, which is a good thing because it's the most common type in the U.S and the remission rates are <50%. But.....I did not find anything promising for us with type 3a. I'm sure the physician I'm seeing attended the convention and will know a great deal more than I could glean from reading a few abstracts. I am eager to meet with her, but I am also understandably scared to death. Realistically, I know I won't get any hard answers from her as this is my initial visit. But any sort of treatment will undoubtedly mean more suffering and probably chemo. After 2 rounds, the thought of another is not something I take lightly but I'm going to give it a shot if the statistics are promising. Or, maybe the only hope for me is a transplant. I will go with an open mind and heart.

I sent my book off to the publisher I selected back in November, meeting their requirements for 3 full chapters and a long list of very specific requirements. I followed the advice of a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, where I completed my graduate work and her words of wisdom were very helpful. I take not having heard back yet as a good sign. If they hated it, wouldn't they have sent it back to me a with a nice letter declining my work? I can only hope. I am writing this book for all people suffering the ravages of invisible chronic illness, which has it's own set of challenges that are extremely difficult and isolating. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I hope you are all able to find a glimmer of hope; a sliver of promise; love, and a measure of peace this holiday season. At least...try your best. That's all any of us can do.