Today, at 10 PM EST, I take my very last dose of Ribavirin and finish my treatment for Hepatitis C. They say time flies when you are having fun. I can now state, from experience, that the opposite is also true; time crawls when you are not having the least bit of fun.
This has been the longest almost year of my life. I have gained weight, lost weight and gained it back again. I have broken out in several rashes and had the worst acne of my life. I have woken up in the middle of the night soaking wet from sweating and freezing. I have been beyond tired; I have felt hung-over despite my total lack of drinking. I have been in pain. My hair has fallen out. I have had several attacks of all encompassing rage, and I have lost most of my motivation to do anything even remotely fun. In short, this year has just been a bucket of fun.
But I survived. It is over. My weight will stabilize, my skin will calm down, the fevers will stop, my energy will return, the aches and pains will lessen, my happy, fun personality will make a comeback, I will care again and my hair will grow back. In short, I will be the person I have always been. A person I recognize.
The diagnosis of this disease was a tough thing to swallow. I spent about three months crying; feeling tainted and convinced that I was going to die. I have my husband to thank for getting me through it, and for not letting me feel too bad for myself. He has a way of making me laugh even when I don't want to, which is annoying when I am mad at him, but pretty awesome when I am a crying mess.
People have told me this entire time how strong I have been; but the truth is, I never would have made it through this without the family and friends who took me to doctor's appointments, gave me my shots, cleaned my house, hugged me, took care of me, made me laugh, loved me long-distance, supported and encouraged me.
The key to surviving treatment for Hepatitis C is not in the vitamins you take, or how much water you drink, or even how much rest you get. The key is to surround yourself with good people who will be there for you through every hard day and then celebrate with you when it ends.
Also, you'll need Super Grover. Everything is easier with a cuddly blue monster on your side.