At the risk of sounding like a broken record - a David Bowie one at that - I have one week left till I head to Sydney to have my 12 week post end of treatment blood test. I can’t believe I’m so close to the final marker for treatment.
It’s been a long year. I’m not the person I was when I started treatment. Here’s what’s changed.
1. I’ve shared my diagnosis and treatment publicly. It’s no longer a secret and I don’t care who knows.
2. I think I’m healthier than I was when I started. At least I will be if my liver function tests are in the ballpark of my end of treatment results.
3. I feel better physically. The HCV-related effects that I was beginning to notice are either diminishing or have gone. My colour is better. My skin is better. My eyes look healthier. I don’t have that almost-on-the-verge-of-indigestion feeling I had a lot. The oedema I had appears to be reducing to the point where I’ve cut my medication for it in half.
4. I have more energy. I can accomplish more, certainly more than when I was on treatment.
5. I feel fortunate. I’ve been very lucky to have this opportunity. And very sick, but mostly lucky. I know it and I am determined not to squander it.
6. I feel great gratitude. My treatment guys at St Vincents have been amazing and I remain in awe of the work they do, all day every day.
7. I have a renewed fondness for Sydney. Just as well, it’s been almost a second home for me this year.
8. I am determined to keep plugging away to do whatever I can to support universal access to these new drugs.
9. I feel like I have some breathing room.
10. I feel like I have another shot at this whole living thing.
“There is nothing permanent except change.”