It was with some sadness that I learned this week about the death of my Uncle.  After a long and happy life he was stuck down with sudden onset of dementia.  He and my aunt had barely spent a night apart in more than 50 years, but in recent months he had been by himself in a nursing home, as he needed 24 hour professional care.  My aunt visited him every day but when I asked him how he was, all he could say was “I’m lonely”.  I think death was a merciful release. 

When I was young, I thought I’d probably be dead by the time I was 40, and being over 40 seemed pretty much the same as being dead anyway. But as that milestone, and others, passed I began to value my life more and more.  Unfortunately by then I was already positive for HIV and hep C and I had already come to the conclusion, that I probably wouldn’t make 50. 

Well here I am at the midway point in my hep C treatment, now undetectable for both HIV and hepatitis C, with the likely prospect that I will have a similar life expectancy to anyone of my age.  But unlike some of my peers, I’ve already faced the prospect of death.  I’ve already decided I don’t want to be lonely or poor or incapacitated in my old age. And when it’s time for me to check out, I will flick the switch myself if necessary.  But in the meantime, I will be keeping myself fit and healthy because it is all about quality of life.   And that’s why it is so important for all of us with hep C to get cured, so we can continue to enjoy quality of life.

The view expressed here are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.