Never Give Up*

“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.

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8 Responses to Never Give Up*

  1. Fran says:

    I am at a loss for words. Right now, I just feel sad for my friend, who I know battled so valiantly with a faith and determination that most people can only dream of. This is truly one of those circumstances that require us to summon the will to see from a beyond-mind perspective, because as someone who loves you, my mind is angry. But my heart understands and pours love toward you.

  2. Flo Allen says:

    Oh, Cate, all I can think is “I can’t believe it”, I am pissed and sad for you, but yet feel that this is just a bump, and that your road is very long. Strange analogy, and believe me when I say I am so so very sorry.. Now you’ve given me a gift, though. How dare I wallow in bed every f..n day and cry and eat, over family and other shit that I allow to break my heart.
    I have a choice to not be ill, and you do not. Somehow I have to find the “cure” for me, I am ready for it. I just have to learn how..And you, brave, smart, compassionate beautiful woman, will be just fine, you know now that u can endure ANYTHING, so I can hope to be as strong as you.. I am not sure what this means to you, that the disease is replicating, all I can do is say that I will pray and send so much Reiki, and have the hope that you will embrace all that you are and the gifts that you have and give.. I love you, and again, I am so sorry, but don’t worry.. Isn’t that odd?! Love you, Catie..
    Me

  3. Cate, I can’t imagine what you’ve endured, and yet you articulate it so vividly. You are so brave to withstand all you face and through all of this, I feel your strength and your courage. Miracles are always possible and there have been many stories that medical science cannot explain. Keep your faith and your trust and I have no doubt your path will brighten. You are an inspiration to all of us and a gift to the world. I am so blessed to know you.

  4. Jan says:

    Dear Cate,

    I was very shaken to read about your experience with your treatment. I guess we really do have to give up the idea of “fair” when we deal with real life. It’s hard though. In your case, I wanted to scream (as I am sure you did) about fairness. I felt every one of your drug side effects as you listed them. It takes so much courage to submit your body to drug complications in the hopes of a cure. I admire how much strength you have in the practice of submission. The obvious response I have is heart break for you but I also feel lifted by your words of strength about the future. I do believe your strength is leading you on another path and I am hoping and praying for you in the meantime. Love always.

  5. Debbie says:

    Perhaps it is now time for your journey to go down a new path………….to “never give up” may mean it is time to try something new. I would like to recommend for you to give a wonderful women a call and discuss your situation with her to see if she can help you.
    Her name is Dr Jennifer Constable….her practice is in Hamden, NY just outside of Delhi. She is a wonderful chiropractor as well as an experienced NRT (Nutrition Response Testing) Practioner. Perhaps a method of healing you are not yet familiar with. If you call her office, she will gladly call you back to discuss your condition with you. I feel it would be well worth a conversation……and perhaps you soon will be on your way with a new Healing Journey…………607-746-8225
    35928 State Hwy 10
    Hamden, NY

    Best of luck to you

    • Thank you Debbie, for taking the time and offering this wonderful resource. I am sure Dr. C is amazing. I rule NOTHING out and use the best of traditional and non-traditional modalities. Before training as a coach I was a massage therapist, Reiki Master and craniosacral therapist for 25 years. My brother is an acupuncturist in Woodstock. I know it all works and that each of us has a unique healing journey. I live just a few miles from Saratoga Springs where there is a wealth of alternative and complementary practitioners that I certainly do use, as well as receiving regular distant healing treatments. I WILL keep Dr. C’s contact info and use her as a referral for my many friends and contacts in Central NY and Catskills!

      • Debbie says:

        Then perhaps you are aware of The Natural Health Improvement Center of Glenns Falls. 518-745-7473 15 West Notre Dame St. That is the original office started by the creator of NRT, Freddie Ulan. He is the one who trained Dr Constable from Hamden. I have referred my son to that office, he lives in Saratoga Springs.
        I wish you well on your journey……………..

  6. Deb Moran says:

    Cate,

    I am sorry to hear the news but so happy that the treatment will stop and that you will not have to endure those terrible side effects.you are a great advocate for Hep C & assisting others in understanding this silent often misunderstood disease. you showed up took action and will not have to second guess yourself if you decided not to do the treatment. Thanks for bringing YOUR beautiful face, heart and honesty in sharing your experience.
    With Love and respect.
    Deb Moran

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