“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans….Before you go to sleep say a little prayer; every day in every way it’s getting better and better.”– John Lennon lyrics from Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
Some of you know that I am at the tail end of a 36-week anti-viral drug regimen intended to rid my body of Hepatitis C. To say that it has been difficult to endure is supreme understatement. It has been awful. Others quit, but I have persevered, tenacious, unwilling to give up on myself and the cure that I seek.
A few days ago, at week 33, 271 days into treatment, I got the news that the virus is not gone; it is replicating again and treatment was ended. I was told that there was nothing I could have done differently; I was, in fact, a perfect candidate and model patient.
This news is devastating. I am still in shock. Though I knew my chances of cure were 75-85%, meaning there was as great as 25% chance that I would NOT be cured, I figured my chances were worth the risk. Because I have not been “sick” in any way, no liver damage thus far, I thought I would be one of the winners.
On August 5th I began this treatment journey strong, aerobically fit, and determined. I persevered though anemia, low white cell count (suppressing my immune system), hair loss, drug rashes, unbearable itching, extreme fatigue, sleeplessness, agitation, fevers, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, hearing loss, brain fog, visual auras, bad taste, nausea, stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, seborrhea and more. Seven drugs were added to my three drug regimen to help with the side effects, not including the antibiotics for food poisoning and bronchitis. I practiced surrender on a daily basis. I prayed to God for help me, “If I am meant to complete this treatment, please guide me, help me, I need help.”
I was a good little girl; I did all the right things. I was perfectly compliant with the drug regimen. I was a great advocate for my health care. I started out prepared, physically and mentally strong, with a positive attitude, sure I would wipe out this virus with the help of this new drug regimen. How could this happen to me?
I don’t understand and yet I do. I know that my purpose on earth is bigger than I can see from my tiny little perspective. I know that my unique gifts include helping others preserver through difficult times and, like me, transition from a history of self-loathing to a lifetime of self-respect and self-love.
Now I have been given extra lessons and gifts that I am only beginning to discover. I know in my heart that I didn’t fail, the treatment failed. If it is true that God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle, than God really does have a lot of confidence in me. Who am I to NOT have confidence in me?
My opportunity now is to let go of any attachment that this “should” be different; an opportunity to accept, once again, what is.
My opportunity now is to continue to live a loving life and affirm that I am worthy, I am important, I am loved and I am whole.
Truly “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” – C.G. Jung
*Special thanks to Eve Rosenberg Blaustein for sharing that you have “never given up” on yourself. I had forgotten. Yes, this is my special gift too.