Category Archives: Hepatits C

>the fog just got a little thicker

>In my last post I talked about the difficulty in seeing the light at he end of the tunnel, the longed for EOT (end of treatment) date. I thought that date, for me, was in early February. Throughout my treatment I have avoided keeping close track of the timing. I know myself well enough to know that would lead me into familiar old patterns of obsession, frustration and the lovely bind of self indulgence;  picking at the wounds and wallowing in self pity for the scar that was created. So knowing this about myself, my penchant for teenage like angst, I decided to take the high road and simply get through this without minding the calendar.
Until recently that is… I’m really ready to be done with this. The physical and emotional toll is like being under a pile of rocks which each day has one more rock added to the pile. So at my last visit for my procrit shot I asked the my nurse for the actual EOT date. We had both thought it was sometime in February, but the news that it’s actually one full month later was, well like having a couple of wheelbarrows of rocks heaped on the pile all at once.
To get through this, I bargain with myself, and I’ve been telling myself, Self, it’s only a little over a month, we can do this. That day in the nurses office that part of myself I coddle and and bribe and cajole along pretty much collapsed into a pile of tears like a little kid. You know how they do it, as if their bones suddenly dissolved and their tear ducts have an automatic “drama alarm” which sets off an instant prolific flow. Meanwhile, Grown Up me ignores the kid having a fit in the corner, puts on her Mommy “everything is going to be ok face” and drags the snot faced boneless Little Jenny home.
Fast forward a couple of days and as is the course of nature the inevitable push and pull between Little Jenny and Mom Jenny gives rise to Angsty Adolescent Jenny! Ta Da!
My Therapist once described me as The Eternal Teenager. I was not offended at all, and not because of our youth oriented, plastic surgery obsessed culture. I admire teenagers, I’ve spent most of my life working with them. I love them for their defiance, their mistakes, their question authority attitude and their fierce quest to find themselves. Individuation, they call it, and it drives parents crazy.
One of the things that gets teenagers into trouble is they have a limited capacity to see the future, they live in the  moment, be it good or crappy. Sound familiar? Remember that fog that has been obscuring the “after treatment” possibilities? Well on that day in the nurses office the fog just rolled in a little thicker as Angsty Teenage Jenny took  over.
That’s where I’ve been the past couple of days. Pissed off at the world. I watch the news and not only am I pissed at what I see, but I’m pissed at the way it’s reported. I try to watch some videos of some of my favorite music and I realize two thirds of the musicians are dead…overdoses, car accidents you know the life.
I think I need to let go of the angst and just let that little kid cry and cry, but I’m afraid it won’t stop.
I know this will pass, it always does, but for today I’m going to indulge my misery for a bit…I haven’t decided how, but I don’t have it in me to watch pretty little Marc Bolan and remember how his life was cut short by a car smashing into a tree. He didn’t even drive.
xo
Jenny
© 2010 Jennifer Hazard

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>New Year, No Pressure

>

 Happy New Year!!

I’ve been “writing” my New Years blogs in my mind (yeah that’s how I roll) all week. This time of year I like to take stock of the past year, do a little self inventory as they say in recovery, and then think about what I’d like to see happen in the upcoming year. You might notice I don’t use words like, “goals”, “life plan” or “resolutions”. I never really learned about the concept of “goals” until later in life and for some reason (unfamiliarity? Corporate overuse?) the word still makes me bristle a bit.
In keeping with the recurring theme of irony that is my life, it was about the time that I began to internalize the concept and actually create some goals that life yanked the tablecloth out from under my neatly arranged plans like a second rate magician trying unsuccessfully to pull the tablecloth from under the china. My finely laid table was a shambles of chipped china, scattered silver and spilled glasses. Like most survivors I know how to pick up the pieces that are still useful, repair what I can and discard the rest.
Resetting my table is pretty much the forte, and maybe that’s why I have always avoided planning ahead. I’m certain that there are many people out there who will insist that recurring chaos is the result of poor planning rather than an excuse for it and they are probably right, and yet so am I.  If I’ve learned one thing in this life it is that seemingly paradoxical truths can exist and be valid at the same time. On a good day life is a theater of the absurd in my eyes, on a bad day well; let’s just say I lose my sense of humor at times.
As far as resolutions or goals, I’m functioning on a pretty primal level right now. Goal 1) Eat more than once a day. Goal 2) Get out of bed every day. Yeah, ambition is not high on the list right now. On the other hand I have accomplished several things I probably would not have if I’d been working full time. I have two regular blogs that I do a fair job of keeping up with. I have been designing my own website which is actually finally presentable (see link at bottom of page). I’ve done a lot of crafting and artwork I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve gotten to know many people online in various communities who share many of the same interests and concerns that I am passionate about. And I’ve spent a lot of quality time with my family both human and four legged.
The Big question mark hovers over the statement “after treatment…” It’s difficult to even visualize that place, the place that exists beyond treatment like some kind of magical isle that disappears into the mist. As synchronicity would have it I recently stumbled across a post by one of my fellow Hep C bloggers that pretty well sums up the mists that obfuscate the future and allow us to cherish each day as it is. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did http://ianquill.blogspot.com/



© 2010 Jennifer Hazard



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Thank You and have a blessed and healthy 2011!!!

>For What it’s Worth

>Week 40 (roughly) and I do mean roughly. I no longer recognize myself when I look in the mirror. I have lost
 35 lbs, I already have a thin face which now seems skeletal at certain angles. I’ve cut my hair the shortest it’s been since the Punk era. I don’t bother to put on make up anymore so the circles under my eyes are making their own fashion statement. You don’t even want to know what’s going on under my clothes, let’s just say I’ve aged quite a bit this past year.
When I run into people that I haven’t seen for a while, I can see the skepticism in their eyes when they ask “are you sure it’s worth it? for a coin toss?”
 Is it worth it?
Who really knows? If I achieve SVR of course it will be worth it. If I slow down the progression of the disease, yeah probably worth it. If I don’t clear the virus? Who knows? Who knows what progression the virus would’ve taken if I hadn’t treated? This is a quirky disease, it doesn’t play by the rules, you never know when it’s going to sneak up on you…or not.
But isn’t that the way life is, really? Are there any certainties? Decisions have to be made on a daily basis, some bigger than others.When you are faced with a chronic medical condition, some choices have more at stake.
After lots of research, conversations with  others who’ve been through this, meeting with my doctors and completing all the testing (I’ll never forget 15 vials of blood at the lab) I ultimately went with my intuition when deciding to treat. I’ve learned to trust my gut, most of this education was bestowed upon me as a result of the consequences of not trusting my gut! Once I have made a decision, I typically don’t look back. I may end up changing my course somewhere down the road but once my mind is set the wheels are in motion and there’s nowhere to go but forward. Granted I’ve made some, shall we say, unwise decisions in my days, but I’ve made some damn good ones too. Everything that has manifested is, I believe, part of the lesson I’m here on this earth to learn.
So is it worth it?

Of course

© 2010 Jennifer Hazard


>Hepatitis C Virus Damages Brain Cells

>Hi All,
I just wanted to share this article and the link to the blog on which it was originally posted. I haven’t done a thorough reading yet but from what I’ve seen it appears to be well written, organized and full of information and resources.

 © 2010 Jennifer Hazard
Originally posted on http://ianquill.blogspot.com/  


>I am not Immortal…..

>

…at least not in the flesh. I won’t preach on the afterlife, we all have our own views on that. Fortunately I’m pretty comfortable with mine.
The more time I spend with doctors, taking meds, experiencing side effects from meds and learning about this disease the more my inner teenager is forced to relinquish her firm belief in immortality. Funny because in many ways I was always a rather neurotic kid. I was terrified of illness and death and yet I lived a life style that tempted harm on a pretty regular basis.There came a point in my life when this paradox suddenly made sense. I perceived my actions as some kind of protective ritual for me, a way of knocking wood. You see if I challenged Death and won, it meant two things: a) My existence was validated, I obviously deserved to be here, and 2)I didn’t have to feel so vulnerable to every potential disease, accident or fatal mishap that I had spend my childhood obsessing over.

One thing the young and daring fail to realize is that although they may survive one incident and lived to see the sunrise the next day, “validating your existence” and all that; there is a good possibility that something could come back to bite you in the ass 30 years later. For some of my friends it was HIV, then AIDS, most of them are no longer with us. For others it was overdoses, car accidents, liver failure and other alcohol/drug/brain damaged induced mishaps. You can only tease Death for so long before He gets weary and drops the old sickle on your head.
Others of us do the best we can, struggling along, eating healthy, taking vitamins, exercising a little, trying to maintain some level of sobriety and, like me, doing battle with the sneaky little virus that that set up shop in my liver some 30 years ago.

So, no, we are not immortal, but some of us are the “lucky ones” and we have the opportunity to appreciate life and to cherish the time and the people we have been blessed with.

© 2010 Jennifer Hazard