What do you do when treatment fails?

You do another one.

This was my experience with my first treatment of Peg-Interferon and Ribavirin failure.

To deal with the psychological repercussions of failure I focused on tasks which revolved around something I enjoy. I love gardening, so each day I went out into my family’s backyard and would move hundreds of pounds of dirt by the shovel load across the yard. I wasn’t able to carry much in the shovel at first, but over time I could lift the larger rocks I’d taken for granted. The treatment can leave you weaker than when you began which was frequently the case for the older interferon based treatments. It was hard work but eventually it eased me into being able to utilize a gym.

My strategy was to build something outside over the course of a month. How it combats the aftermath of treatment: physical exercise to regain lost muscle, sunlight for vitamin D to help keep up spirits, the sense of accomplishment in its completion helps deal with the failure.

Every few days I could see the difference I was making. It’s important to have tangible results. Being able to see the progress helped me gauge my efforts, and it helps build that big success. It also was a great period for introspection but truth be told, I was pretty bad at that until my third treatment. The catalyst (the ending of my engagement) for me to have any introspection at all was simply coincidental.

My strategy was post-introspection fitness changes. Focusing both on new-found strength and diet changes creates a simple daily structure. A change of pace to keep the momentum going and leave the comfort zone.

A simple daily work out and some diet changes eventually gave me the energy I had been so void of. I began to push the boundaries of my comfort zone in many ways. I abandoned a terrible diet, in hindsight, my newly adopted diet was only marginally better. I stopped buying sugary drinks that weren’t caffeinated and most processed foods, and started taking a variety of herbal supplements (Alpha Lipoic Acid, Ginkgo, Milk Thistle with Dandelion, multivitamins and vitamin D. It wasn’t a huge diet change, I was luke-warm in my commitment to personal change. Uncomfortable conversations, new foods, new people and odd places helped me branch out. The new things brought about a subconscious change in my approach. In forcing myself to hop out of my comfort zone, even if only for a moment, new and changing environments encouraged new behavior. Those small subtle changes allowed me to look back at how each new thing was adapted to my life. It was in understanding how I change that allowed me to truly move on.

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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