Lower Lake, California
Diagnosed with Hep C in 2001
I don’t know how I got hep C. It could have been when I was bartending; I had to stop fights and sometimes they were bloody. Or it could have been when I was young and dumb. I found out that I had hep C when I had an operation on my neck. It was Christmas 2001. My genotype is 1b.
I had a biopsy, which felt like a big bird tearing a piece of my liver. I was told that my liver was all pink and fine. I was treated with peginterferon and ribavirin about 11 years ago. I only lasted seven and a half months because I had a seizure and had to stop treatment.
More recently, I had a scan rather than a biopsy. The results showed that I have the beginning of cirrhosis. Harvoni was prescribed, which I just started a couple of weeks ago. Compared to peginterferon, so far this is nothing. I hope this will do the trick. If asked, I would tell someone facing treatment to relax. I know someone else might have a bad experience, but so far, this is a piece of cake for me. We are finally out of the dark ages.
What three adjectives best describe you?
Hopeful, fun, gardener
What is your greatest achievement?
My children, great watermelon, and growing tomatoes
What is your greatest regret?
What keeps you up at night?
My husband when he snores
If you could change one thing about living with viral hepatitis, what would it be?
That it did not exist
What is the best advice you ever received?
Be positive—you are only 62.
What person in the viral hepatitis community do you most admire?
The scientists who made Harvoni
What drives you to do what you do?
What is your motto?
If you can’t say anything positive, keep it to yourself.
If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
My insurance papers
If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
A dog. They get to play and have no responsibility.