Knight on a horse, piercing a medicine bottle with a large jousting lance

Preparing for Hepatitis C Treatment

I was a three-timer. Over twenty years, I had two unsuccessful treatments for hepatitis C prior to my third treatment. Each time my treatment medications and combinations were a bit different. I asked my doctor several important questions that helped me prepare for treatment, including:

  1. What was the cure rate?
  2. How long would treatment last?
  3. What were the side effects?

I had other questions, but these were my top three concerns. No matter if you’ve done treatment for hepatitis C before, preparing for treatment makes a difference. I found learning about treatment side effects ahead of time helped me feel more in control and know what to expect if they did happen. I also knew this was normal and temporary!

Setting mile markers

I learned the value of focusing on treatment mile markers. Whatever day of the week you begin treatment, that’s your mile marker day. Keep your focus on getting through each day, and strive toward your next mile marker. Don’t focus on the long haul of treatment. Focus on one day, one week at a time. Check the day off your calendar. Each day is one day closer to reaching your goal.

Managing the side effects

I often related my treatment to what Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get”. I related, but tweaked it: “Hep C treatment is like a box of chocolates, you never know what each day is going to be like”. Some days, my energy was as low of the sole of my furry house shoes, and other days, I had boundless energy.

When I experienced fatigue and felt bad I knew I had to relax, give myself a break, and keep my focus beyond what I presently felt like. I learned a big life lesson that still applies today: what you’re going through right now is not permanent, it’s temporary.

If I kept something in my stomach, I experienced less stomach upset. Peanut butter crackers and I became one. Water, water, water was another big help. Since I went through the Texas summer months while on treatment, my doctor warned me not to linger outside due to the heat would be an energy zapper. He was right.

Finding support

I learned the importance of letting others help and not deal with it alone. Support is very important in the treatment and healing process.

I kept two journals while doing treatment, a treatment and gratitude journal. Both served as excellent therapeutic tools to reduce stress and anxiety. Keeping an attitude of gratitude goes a long way in uplifting your spirit and fighting depressing thoughts while on treatment. I found prayer and listening to Christian music helped relieve worry and brought me peace.

Practicing self-care

I also learned to take rest stops when my body needed it. There was a fine line on when to push my body and when to take a break. If I paced myself and took rest stops, I found I didn’t suffer from extreme dips in energy. I often related my treatment experience to be the tortoise in the race with the hare: “Slow and steady wins the race”.

When the body is under stress, the immune system can be suppressed. Preparing and making a treatment plan makes treatment go smoother and helps your body fight the good fight. In the end, I won over hepatitis C and was cured.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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