"So long ago, I had concluded that I would be carrying this disease for life, hoping I would die (of old age) before the virus could kill me. Never did I consider I would be cured... "
Today's the day! Well, truth be told...I found out the lab results last Friday, August 9th, on my mom's birthday. What an awesome present for her and me! By faith, I expected the results to be what they are, but I still got all choked up when the nurse told me the news by phone.
Guess what else! This day, August 15th, just so happens to be my spouse's birthday! Yeah! We both received gifts on his birthday! Too funny. Well, in a way, being free of Hep C is a sort of "rebirth." So...Happy Birthday to us! Ha, ha! I wondered how he felt with me "hijacking" his birthday, and all. He said he doesn't feel that way at all. This is a gift for him too. (Aw....)
Here's how THE DAY went...
I sit here in the waiting room emotional - reflecting on the monthly visits during treatment. During the 48-week treatment, I would come in, check in, and sit and wait. I remember feeling dazed and moving slowly, tired yet determined. Today, as I approached my seat in the waiting room, I shed a few tears, my compassionate spouse by my side. I notices walked in with pep in my step. I made it to the check in counter in what seemed like record time. And I can't help but see all the other patients around, moving slowly, looking tired, some with bandages wrapped where they just got their blood drawn and are waiting for the results.
I remember sitting and waiting for my name to be called to go over the weekly and monthly test results. It wasn't always somber; I was happy most of the time - as happy as anyone could be in this situation. I was hopeful too. During those visits, the physician's assistant and I talked about the lab results and addressed the treatment effects. I was examined, given dosing instructions, encouraged to stay consistent with the treatment, and kindly yet promptly dismissed until next time.
I remember. That used to be me.
USED to be. Is it really over? I still ask.
Not that the treatment is over. I celebrated that 6 months ago. But seriously, truly, this virus that has been slowly killing me for over 25 years - has been - defeated!!??!! ...Really?... I'm still trying to comprehend it all. Gone for good? Like, never coming back? Really? Can it be?
Amy, my absolutely wonderful physician's assistant said, "After 6-months of a sustained viral response, it is extremely improbable and virtually impossible for the virus to return." I paraphrase, but this is very close to her actual words. She said even better than I can remember. ;-)
So long ago, I had concluded that I would be carrying this disease for life, hoping I would die (of old age) before the virus could kill me. Never did I consider I would be cured in 26 years. And yet today I sit hit here - declared cured of Hepatitis C.
Wow. It feels weird typing this all. The concept of being "cured" is still new to me. I had come accustomed to this virus. I was its powerless host for a quarter of a century. Well...no more! I am free!
At last, I am free!!