I battled the Hep C giant for over 20 years, 3 Hep C treatments and finally received the blessed gift of the cure. Freedom. I no longer look over my shoulder to see if the Hep C giant is raging. It’s been 4 years since my battle was complete and I received the cure.

I have one more check up to go with my hepatologist in April of 2017 before he officially releases me without needing to do further check up’s. April 2017 will be my 5 year post Hep C treatment anniversary. It’s hard to believe gone are the days when my ALT (a liver enzyme) and RNA (viral load count) became so important in my life. Life can be, well—a new normal.

Normal is a relative term. In many cases our normal reflects our everyday routine based on how we feel physically and tied up with our circumstances. But mostly “normal” is what we perceive with our expectations. Many of us perceive normal is feeling physically good, mental sharpness, spiritually filled and emotionally up, and may I add, experiencing all of these at the same time. Sometimes life doesn’t work that way.

Normal can also be what we perceive to be what others are experiencing and we only long for. It’s looking over the fence and seeing greener pasture for someone else. We wonder, will we ever be normal again? If we hold on too close to our perception of “normal” we are sure to be disappointed. Life is ever changing, this is for certain.

I learned 7 valuable lessons through my long battle with Hep C:

  1. Focus more on what I have in the present than wasting energy on what I don’t have. This applies for every area of my life.
  2. Look for everyday blessings and gifts to be thankful for.
  3. Appreciate life looking through a new lens.
  4. Live in each day and stop analogizing over someday.
  5. Each day God gives us one more day, more opportunities. Each day is filled with blessings if we only will look to see them. Blessings are there, even through the dark, hard and difficult days. It’s hard to see them sometimes, but they are there. Recognizing them shines some light even in those dark, hard days.
  6. Whatever I’m feeling or experiencing right now doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Relax, take a deep breath and never give up hope.
  7. Pray, Nest in God’s Word daily for nourishment, Trust in Jesus and Seek Him each day. He will help you do what you could never do on your own. With Him all things are possible. When dark clouds are hovering over you, cry out to Jesus, His shoulder is big enough to lean on.

In doing these 7 steps, a new normal is created every day. Hep C can leave battle scars, but even then, I have learned these scars can sharpen my appreciation for what I have in my life.

This new normal on the other side of Hep C was worth the wait. Yet this I know, life is ever changing, I can’t control the future but I can rest, truly rest in my spirit in the One who does.

Normal is what we make it. It begins with a mindset that Hep C nor any circumstance can’t touch.

Have you learned some valuable life lessons from Hep C?

This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, and is reprinted with permission.