As I write this page, I’ve just learned I’m 100% free of hepatitis C. I’ve had it for a long time–more than 40 years. The day after my second daughter was born, just hours after I arrived home from the hospital, I hemorrhaged. Luckily a friend who was an intern was
visiting. He raced me back to the hospital, careering his car through a Montreal blizzard. As I lay on a gurney in the emergency room, I had lost so much blood the nurses couldn’t find my pulse. I received a massive blood transfusion.
Back then there was no blood screening for hepatitis C.
Between then and now, I moved west and morphed through many careers, starting as a hippie soapstone carver, becoming a graphic artist, moving into journalism, and ending as a university instructor. My daughters grew into successful, caring women. My husband and I bought a former grow-op and transformed it into a lovely waterfront home. Life was good–so it seemed.
Then I learned of the hep. It was attacking my liver and I was terrified. But I knew I needed to confront my fear, so I did what I usually do in a crisis. I read books, articles, websites, and reports about my situation, and I talked to every expert I could find who knows about the topic. This disease could kill me, and at the very least I wanted to learn about it. Then to calm myself, I did what calms me: I wrote. The writing will turn into a book, to be published in fall 2016 by Greystone Books. The title will be Demon in My Blood: My Fight with Hep C–and a Miracle Cure. As I amass more research and dig into my memories of six frightful months during treatment, I will be writing this blog.
I hope this blog helps people with hepatitis C feel less alone with their disease. I also hope it gives them confidence to pursue some of the new treatments that report cure rates upward of 90%. I was cured by one of these treatments. I took just two pills a day (sofosbuvir and simeprevir) that gave me no side effects. I plan to discuss the treatment in this blog, and I hope to connect with other people who have or had hepatitis C.
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you you will follow it and post your comments.
Here’s an excerpt from the book, from Tonic Magazine.