Dealing with hepatitis C can be challenging enough, but how do you handle more than one medical condition at the same time? Hep C Hero Hernando shares his experience.
My hep C journey has been challenging. Since my successful treatment for hep c in 2014, I faced major issues. Later that year I was diagnosed with liver cancer. I knew my liver was damaged by hepatitis C, but I was not prepared to deal with cancer. I was angry and I thought life was very unfair.
For a few weeks, I focused on the problem, not the solution. My wife searched online for a support group and found Life Beyond Hepatitis C. I connected with Connie and others who were going through different stages of their own hep c journey.
It lifted my spirits, gave me hope, changed my attitude and showed me that I was not alone. I gained acceptance of my situation and the door opened to allow God’s grace to enter.
I was also supported by my church family and friends and my spiritual life was anchored in Jesus. From that point on I knew I was being carried through cancer treatments and eventually liver transplant on January 21, 2015.
I’ve had a series of health issues since the transplant because of a compromised immune system. I developed lung infections, shingles, meningitis, and had surgery for stomach cancer in 2018.
This past November I was diagnosed with a lung tumor that lit up on the pet scan. My doctors were sure it was another cancer. I had a lung resection and it turned out the tumor was benign!
They found during surgery that I had TB. Who gets TB anymore?! I’ll be undergoing treatments for 6 months. If they hadn’t gone in to remove the tumor in my lung the TB would never have been discovered until it was too late.
I realize my medical journey is a piece of my life, not the whole. This has been a spiritual journey where my faith has grown stronger. I am a child of God who is loved and cared for. I have wonderful companions on this journey. I’m able to share my experiences with anyone whom I can help.
I do not give up even when the thought comes to mind. I talk about my fears, keep my doctor’s appointments, and take the prescribed medications despite the side effects.
I pray for others and try to live a Christian life. I turn my will and life over to the care of God every day. I thank Him in good times and sick times. I live in the moment. I know the Lord Jesus Christ is guiding me and providing be strength and power to keep going.
For those dealing with hepatitis C, liver disease and additional medical conditions, I encourage you to find a network of like-minded people. Help others by sharing your journey and lending a hand to those in need. Keep a thankful and grateful heart, and above all, have faith and trust in the Lord.
This entry was originally published in Life Beyond Hep C, and is reprinted with permission.