Today I’m 100% free of hepatitis C. I had hep C 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 turned into a book, Demon in My Blood: My Fight with Hep C–and a Miracle Cure, which was published in 2017 by Greystone Books. As I amassed research and dug into my memories of six frightful months during treatment, I began 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 one of the current antiviral treatments. I was cured by an early combination of these miracle drugs. I took two pills a day (sofosbuvir and simeprevir) for 12 weeks, with no side effects. This blog discusses my treatment and current issues surrounding hepatitis C. My aim is 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.