It’s the result we all hope for: SVR12, a sustained virological response. That means the virus has not been detected for 12 weeks after treatment has finished. It’s a cure.
I’ve lived with hepatitis C for 28 years. That’s half my life. I’ve never been able to imagine life without it. It’s been my constant companion for many years. I thought it would kill me. Now I have to re-imagine my life without it. I’m not sure what that life will look like. It’ll probably be the same on the outside, but on the inside I can’t help but wonder what will change.
One thing that has changed is the nature of my sharing these results. For 27 years my fight with hep C was a poorly kept secret. For the past six months it’s been an open book. So when I posted my results openly it was gratifying to see over 140 likes and 60 comments.
In many ways it was far more gratifying to share the news openly. When it was a secret, the success of clearing would have been a secret too. It would not have been shared with so many people. It would not have been able to bring encouragement to others in my position. Now that it’s not a secret, I can freely share the success with many other people. I hope my story has helped others. I hope it has been useful for the HCV community at large. I hope it has made a difference.
So. SVR12. It’s official. I’m cured.
Thanks to my medical team at St Vincents Sydney who have facilitated my treatment, have pushed for access to treatment on compassionate grounds and who have kept me well throughout the year. Thanks to Greg Dore who answered my email asking about treatment with a compassionate response, encouraging me to come to Sydney and starting the ball rolling. Thanks to Dianne who as Clinical Nurse Consultant has been an absolute rock of calm, considerate support and medical expertise. Thanks to Robert who filled in for Dianne on many occasions, answering questions and helping me with treatment issues. Thanks to the whole IBAC team who have helped in so many ways.
Thanks to my family who have walked with me every step of the way. I know there have been times when they have been truly scared of what might happen to me. I hope this provides them with some space to breathe and relax.
Thanks to my work place and my actual bricks and mortar community who have provided me with non-judgemental support, given me time to be sick and time to get better and stood behind me so I have been able to manage everything.
And thanks to the community here who have been a sounding board, the voice of sanity and a support network par excellence.
That’s it. I’m done.