Last week I talked about the importance of building a TEAM around you, one that you feel comfortable having there to support you.  Today I want to focus on the second main part of building your TEAM of support.     ~  YOU  ~

After you gain the confidence and assurance of opening up to a friend, relative, spouse, child or whoever you chose for your main key person to support you... you then turn the focus to yourself.
Getting a life threatening diagnosis can bring havoc to any person’s life.  So much emotion, uncertainty, questions, confusion, fear is dropped on to your plate without warning.  Getting your TEAM in place is a process I learned the hard way... wandering aimlessly without direction.  I spent way too much time in trying to “cope” with what was thrown at me and with no set direction or plan, my life spun out of control.  
Looking back, I would have wanted someone to take my hand and lead me to the next step. Maybe I would have been spared many sleepless nights and tear-soaked pillows.
Now let’s turn the focus to YOU... You have chosen that close confidant to be your go to person, now it is time to get YOU ready for what is about to transpire.
(There is no set time frame for any of my “steps” but the sooner you get a handle on these few basics, the easier this transition will be for you.)
You will need a notebook of some sort, and a favorite writing pen. Open this up and put these few important things on the first page:
  1. Your name
  2. Date diagnosed with hep C
  3. Name of doctor who diagnosed you
  4. Genoyype (this is the strain of hepatitis C you contracted; this key information helps your doctor determine the best treatment for you)
There are other important things we will add to this list but your homework is to find out this important information.
On the next page, write down how you were told about your hep C. Was it face to face with the doctor or nurse, or by phone call?  Were you given any information about hepatitis C at that time. Basically I want you to recall how that day went down. How you found out and the deep down emotions you felt. Don’t limit your page writing; just start and see where it goes. Write down your emotions, your anger, or if you were numb. Spend time writing down all you can remember about this day.
The reason I suggest this part of the journey is, we tend to cover up emotion for our families and friends.  We put on a FAKE face, trying to be brave but by not allowing this time to get in touch with our real feelings..... Trust me it will come back to BITE you in a few months or years if you have not taken the time to express out these feelings.
Once you take the time to research that first day, if it has been a while since the diagnosis, I want you to start a new page and update your log with all that has happened in your life, your health since that day. The key for me writing this and sharing this is hoping to catch the newly diagnosed early enough so that YEARS don’t fly by and issues arise with deep set emotions.
Be as descriptive as you possibly can and if you have to just write words and can’t do long dialog, put words to describe how you feel.  Make sure to date this.
This will now become your "Journey to a CURE Journal."  Use this book for every process along the way.  Write your story... share how you feel.  
Now turn to the very last page.... IT’S blank for a reason -  THIS will be YOUR VICTORY sign off page. Or as we call it in the hep C community, it is your SVR. (sustained viral response or your “CURE” for short)  Everything else in this book will lead up to your cure. Your journey may be a long one or you may be lucky to skip twenty pages to the end but keep this as your voice in fighting hep C.  Write in it, scream in it, cry in it what ever you need to do but log it.
I did not have this suggested to me. I fought silently and internalized every emotion sending me spiraling downward in to dark place of depression and anxiety. Costing me valuable time in saving my life and liver.  
Keep this book with you at all times. I will explain more how we will use it when going to your liver doctor.  
Your homework is set... get your book started. Next I will share the next step to creating your TEAM.
Stay focused, Stay Positive and Happy writing
“Not without a FIGHT!~HCV~(c)”