One of the first things I longed for after being diagnosed with Hep C was hope. I desperately wanted to find people who were hope with skin on. I wanted to talk to folks who had come through Hep C. Sadly in those very early years there was only one treatment with very little hope of remission and no cure.
Every direction I looked was dark and hopeless, except one place, and that was God. God showed me He is the light of hope even through the darkness and He was my salvation and refuge. Because of Christ I was able to begin life beyond Hepatitis C in the mental, emotional and spiritual part of my life as I journeyed through the next 20 years with Hep C living with me before I received the cure. New treatments have come along and with it a high cure rate. My last Hep C treatment helped bring me the cure. As of this date I’ve been living free of Hep C for 4 years.
I wanted to highlight some others who are hope with skin on and now living free from Hep C.
Hep C Warrior Mary:
What hope did I find with Hep C? When I was first diagnosed with Hep C over two years ago, I didn’t know much about the seriousness of the virus. I had hope that somehow, some way, God would walk me through it. Last week I received my 6 month post treatment SVR (sustained virologic response) and have been cured. The hope I started out with grew in depth and strength beyond any hope I imagined I would need. This is God and His grace. He is hope. –Mary.
Hep C Warrior Richard:
My hope was and is in our Lord Jesus Christ. I contracted Hep C through a blood transfusion when I was 16 years old. It took Interferon and Ribavirin to bring me to my Savior. The medicine was horrible because the regular interferon caused major side effects. Even though I was not of the faith, my cousin would always witness to me. I was so sick I could not handle it. I started reading the Bible and realized that Jesus Christ was and is the one and only God. He gave me hope because He was always there to comfort me. All glory and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. –Richard.
Hep C Warrior Suzanne:
I was in shock of being diagnosed with Hep C. I was completely stunned. I moved forward and things were happening so quickly. I didn’t have time or make time for the only one who could give me hope and that was God. My first appointment with a gastroenterologist was baffling especially when I was called back in for being placed on a transplant list.
I went on medical leave at work, and began to process everything that was going on. I read Psalm 32, “You are my hiding place and my shield. Psalm 119:81, “I hope in your word.” These were perfect scriptures of hope for me. I felt like hiding but I turned to hope. I knew the Lord would be by my side. Romans 5:3-5 says, “More than that we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope doesn’t put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
These are powerful scriptures I held onto throughout my journey. No one has to face this virus alone and once conquered you have hope to pass on to others in God’s name. I am now cured of the virus and continue my journey and have hope in His word. –Suzanne.
Hep C Warrior Hernando:
My journey with Hep C began 15 years ago when I was diagnosed and did my first treatment with Peg Interferon and Ribavirin. My relationship with God was not as strong as it has become. I thought of my treatment has something I had to do to take care of myself. It was like, thanks God but I’ve got this. That treatment was not a success and I began a long wait for new treatments that were in the pipeline.
That long wait gave my disease time to do irreversible damage to my liver. By the time the new meds came out I had cirrhosis and liver cancer. This time my relationship with the Lord was much stronger. I realized without the Lord’s help I would not make it. I prayed constantly though out my procedures for acceptance of God’s will for me. Amazing things began to happen and I realized I was in the care of my Lord and somewhere along the way my medical journey had become a spiritual journey.
My wife found the website, Life Beyond Hep C. I met Connie and my fellow warriors and they became a constant source of strength and hope for me. I received encouragement from all the prayers being offered up for me by my fellow warriors, my church, family and friends.
I was full of hope that God had a plan for me that was much better than what I would have chosen for myself. I drew closer and closer to my Lord and I was given the grace to go through a difficult two years with a faith that had once been lacking.
Today by God’s grace I am free of Hep C. I have a new liver that is now 14 months old. Everything I’ve gone through has led me to a closer walk with my savior Jesus Christ. I see my journey as a gift.
Where ever you are in your journey give yourself to God and trust that you are in His care. He will be your hope and saving grace. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6 -Hernando
This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, and is reprinted with permission.