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Writing Your HCV Story

Not all of us feel comfortable sharing our hepatitis c story with the world. There are a number of reasons why people do not disclose their status beyond those close to them, and for good reasons because of the misconceptions and stigma that still exists.

I am not suggesting that anyone write their story and publish it in their local newspaper or even share it on social media like facebook or twitter. If you choose to share openly I support that too, but only after careful consideration about any consequences you may experience because of the beliefs around hepatitis c.

Keeping track of your story

The act of writing our story can be a helpful tool for some of us, regardless of whether we share it with anyone else-ever. Some enjoy writing a journal or what some call a diary. Whatever name we use it can be a positive exercise, but I won’t deny that it can be difficult. Spelling, grammar, and style are not important when you are not publishing or sharing with the world. No need to fret about whether it meets anyone’s standards of writing excellence.

I kept a journal starting just after being diagnosed until I was declared virus free-SVR, or as we say now, cured. It took about two years after I was cured to look at the notes I had made, but I think the benefit was in the writing more than the recounting of events and experiences. I did share some of my entries here and there in private hep c groups in social media. Something that struck me was just how positive most of it was despite some challenges along the road. Like some of you I treated with interferon and ribavirin for 48 weeks and it was grueling at times. Some days were just awful and I didn’t make an entry for each and every day, but never felt any duty to make an entry because I was writing it for me not anyone else. No guilt or compelling need to chronicle every minute, but that’s not to say how anyone should or shouldn’t do it. I am convinced it was worthwhile and useful for me.

Structuring your story

How structured you make it is up to you entirely. I kept all of my lab reports and referenced them in my journal when they seemed important, but even when they were normal I celebrated from time to time. Normal can be great news too. The big results like diminishing viral load were always joyous in tone-after all that was the ultimate goal in treatment. When I received the news of being cured I went crazy with exclamation marks!!!!!!! It was perhaps the most exciting news in a long time.

You don’t always have to write in it

Keeping an account may not be for you and I understand it isn’t everyone’s choice, but it may be helpful. Remembering that you can stop at any time or write as little or as much as you want in point form or any other way you choose. Keep it private or share with others-your choice. You may discover a talent for writing and you could end up writing the next great novel, or somewhere like this down the road. Even if you never win any prizes for great writing you may have done something that helped in some measure, whether small or large.

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