Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog, January 5, 2016
Crossing the line into January is a really big deal around here. I’ve had a variety of kooky rituals over the years. Most of them have been about marking the passage of time. Buh bye to the old. Hello to the new. This year though - oh boy, oh boy, oh boy - this was a spin around the sun that was full of miracles.
I looked back on the slices of life. January had my Alpha Feta Protein, AFP tumor marker going back up. Then an MRI showed that the darn thing was growing again. Bone scans were proof that the cancer wasn’t spreading. I alternately lay on the couch or twisted into a yoga pose while taking deep breaths. Then I would find my neck all bunched up and realize that I was holding my breath again.
By March, I had taken care of business by cleaning out my past. Any leftover heartache, unforgiveness, shame, and self pity had been held up to the microscope of my heart. I did make room for some fears and anxiety in the corners of my mind. They have their own little spot and I can boss them around when I’m up to it.
Then came the day that changed everything. I’ve thought long and hard for 3 days in an attempt to write a sentence that describes it. I want to use words like star or meteor because it’s such a vast thing - being cancer free. Released or emancipated comes to mind, because liver disease had restricted me for so many years. Startled or shocked certainly fit. I’m more alive than I’ve felt in decades.
To read the rest of Karen’s blog, “A Spin around the Sun,” click here. Be sure to read Karen’s beautiful list at the end.