Hello and thank you for visiting.
I no longer actively post to this blog but have kept the page available in the hope you will explore the archives and find some bit of information, support or encouragement. I do periodically check comments so do feel free to comment on anything you read here.
Nowadays, I can be found blogging at nanakoosasplace.blogspot.com
and at

Peace, Health and Blessings!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Six Month Milestone

Here I am, unbelievably, at the 6 month post treatment milestone. For those you who have been through treatment either yourself or with someone you know, you probably know the swirling mass of emotions that accompany the wait for the blood work results.
In my world, everyone I know who did not maintain SVR post treatment found out at the 6 month follow up, hence the term "Milestone"
Naturally I am a bit anxious. Really I just want to know. In times of uncertainty people often declare that even bad news is better than no news.
Having had the kind of childhood that was frequently wrought with elements of unpredictability and a fair amount of instability, I developed the coping skills of magical thinking and a personal type of superstition as an attempt to predict and control my environment. Hoping for the best while preparing for the worst can be a reasonable adaptive technique, and yet is subject to the individuals state of mind and sense of self at the time. If I were feeling unworthy, down on myself and resigned to a life of struggle, I would spend far more time preparing for the worst. On a particularly optimistic, self confident day I may dare to hope for a positive outcome-because I may actually believe I deserve it.
In the real world however, even though a positive attitude can boost the body's healing processes the bottom line is either the treatment works or it doesn't. By now my body has made that decision and the only way it can tell me is via the results of my blood test. I have an appointment on Wednesday Aug 3 to have a discussion with my Nurse Practitioner, my blood and me. Until then I have no control or influence over the outcome.
I know that ultimately I will be okay no matter what the results tell me. My blood work has been returning to normal and I assume that means my body is functioning as it should be. My physical and emotional health continue to improve and my memory and cognitive functions are reasonably acceptable for someone with my history. My health is good enough that if I am faced with the decision of another attempt at treatment I can probably wait a few years. I have a wonderful supportive partner, a beautiful and funny family, a few good friends and 2 dogs and 2 cats who grace me with their company. I have hobbies and activities that I enjoy and I feel that now and then I am able to contribute something useful and meaningful to society. All in all life is pretty good and I am grateful for the people animals and opportunities that I have. Regardless of the test results I am a pretty lucky woman.

Image courtesy of i RainbowCupcake via photobucket

2010-2011 Jennifer Hazard

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More ups and Downs of Post Treatment

When deciding to post this morning I was surprised to see how long it had been since I last added to this blog. Time flies when you're having fun, as they say, and although I am still experiencing the effects of 48 weeks of treatment, I am slowly feeling better.
I also no longer spend 90% of my time in bed with only my laptop and pets for company. When I look back at that time, I realize there was something to be gained from the isolation. It was a kind of spiritual retreat, a Vision Quest in a sense. I came to terms with my own mortality, a giant developmental step for anyone in Mid-life. I learned how to be alone with my thoughts which nurtured my creativity as I searched for ways to express the turmoil that was raging inside a body that was too sick and tired to let anything out in a way that required physical effort or social interaction.
I'm also realizing now that the long road back to Me, is really a blank canvas which is both an end and a beginning, another chapter in the ongoing story of living with Hep C. I feel as if the old me is molting like a bird, and I am left to pluck off the feathers that no longer serve a purpose and carefully groom the ones I need to help me fly. I can't fly too far yet, but day by day I practice. Sometimes I return to my nest exhausted, in need of more rest and recuperation. Rebuilding one's self is no easy task, and my mind, body and spirit have taken a beating. Sometimes I want to fall into the Victim role (it's so easy and familiar!) but I choose not to take on the role. I am not a Hero either, but more of an Adventurer or Seeker as I traverse the path to recovery.
I am looking for a road map to help me on my journey, I read so much about Hep C and treatment while immersed in the experience, for a while I was saturated with Hep C information and needed to separate myself. Now as I realize the trip doesn't end with that last shot of Interferon I'll be looking for guides to help me along the way as I recover. If anyone knows of any books, blogs, websites etc. that are dedicated to the story of post treatment please do share and I will use the information well. And of course I will pass it on to others who are on the same path.
Thanks all!
Peace and Good Health,
Image courtesy of the Graphics Fairy
© 2011 Jennifer Hazard

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Wheels in my Brain go Round and Round...

Hello Everyone,
Well, here I am at about 2 and a half months after treatment. Just as while I was on treatment I'm avoiding calendar watching which invariably leads to obsession and distress. The obsession at this point in the journey becomes thay magical 6 month blood test, the generally agreed upon determination of whether this beast has been slain.
I've got to give myself credit for not devoting excessive time to wondering and worrying about it. This is becoming easier as I gradually start to feel better, less toxic, less like I've been awake for days in a row. Bits and pieces of Me are returning, in their own time and at their own pace. Today I ran up the stairs without becoming breathless; on treatment it was a struggle to even walk up the stairs. I still sleep a lot and experience brief episodes of sudden , unexplained malaise and apathy, but they seem to pass quickly.
My most dreaded fear was that my memory and thought processes would remain at the grinding halt they have been stalled in for the past year. I constantly surprise myself in conversation when I can actually remember the name of the movie I'm discussing or the author of a novel or a million other details that seemed to be lost in the fog forever. I still forget where I left my keys or the dogs leash or to do some little task I had wanted to complete, but that's fairly typical for me anyway. I've always relied on to do lists to get things done   as long as I don't lose the to do list!
I felt like an absolute genius when helping my son with a crossword puzzle the other day, the answers were just there. I remember hearing that games like crosswords are very good at keeping one's mind sharp as we grow older. I suspect the same might apply to getting one's mind back in working order after treatment. Just as we can strengthen our bodies by exercise, or running up the stairs, we can reawaken our brains by putting them to work. Does anyone else have hobbies or activities that get the wheels moving in your brain?

© 2011 Jennifer Hazard

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hep C and Addiction; Parallel Universes?

Hi everyone,
I do hope my friends are well whether, pre-treatment, in treatment, post treatment, opting our of treatment or anywhere else along the Hep continuum. And what a continuum it is!
The one thing we share in common, the disease, can be as unique and complex as anyone it plants it's prolific little cells into. I've recently been realizing that living with and attempting to recovery from Hep C [I still haven't hit the magic 6 month milestone] has a lot in common with recovery from addiction.

  • It does not discriminate, anyone can fall prey to addiction or Hep C.
  • A result of the first point is that people who would otherwise not have even known each other often develop a special bond than is born of struggle and isolation.
  • There are Universal emotions, physical manifestations and social consequences [stigma] and yet the way we perceive and cope with these Universalities as unique as our individual capacities.
  • Accepting the reality of our condition usually takes a considerable amount of time.
  • The decision we must make regarding how we will deal with our problem is fraught with confusion, anxiety and fear; which is often only complicated by the well meaning but often ill informed and conflicting advice from others.
  • Treatment sucks.
  • We learn a lot about ourselves during treatment, but because it sucks we often don't realize it until much later.
  • Other people neglect to tell us that it's going to take quite some time to feel better.
  • The relapse rates are generally higher than the success rates.
We're all in this together!
So why on Earth do we go this?
Hope, and because know we are not alone.
We may stumble, we may fall...but we will not surrender.

© 2011 Jennifer Hazard

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Post Treatment Realities part II

still lazing around in bed....
Well, I seem to be at a loss for words, not only because the brain fog hasn't entirely lifted but because I do want to be delicate in how I state what it is I want to say. I will enclose a link to my friend Eva Day's blog because I believe she has summed up so precisely what I seem to be experiencing in my first weeks after EOT. I will include the big disclaimer that everyone's experience is unique, but as with treatment itself,  there are also seems to be a startling number of similarities and shared experiences in the post treatment months.
One of the more inevitable is the anxiety that accompanies the wait for lab results. Of course if we've been clear of the virus throughout most of treatment, chances are we'll be that way a week after ending, after all the nasty meds are still running thick in our blood. It is in the later blood tests that we must anxiously wait to see if we have achieved the goal of SVR. I had requested a one month follow up because I know myself and my tendency to obsess over things like this. My doctor was kind enough to indulge me and I skipped off to the lab last week in hopes of finding some peace of mind; even bad news, as they say, is better than no news. Perhaps ironically the lab tech did every test except the viral level, so yesterday I took myself off to the lab and got another poke in the arm. My nurse Practitioner must have really railed on the tech because when she saw me she was quick to avoid my eyes and left the room. I felt kind of bad for her, a dedicated patient advocate can be very passionate, shall we say, about their work.
Now it's a few days of waiting, again. Thankfully my doctors clinic is affiliated with a large hospital and the blood work can be done on site.
There's a part of me deep down inside that has a feeling that I have not cleared the virus. I don't know if it's a result of a lifelong pattern of coping with the uncertain by always preparing for the worst, or something else. It may be the fact that I still don't feel "better", at least not as "better" as I'd like to be.
Whatever it is, I have learned through treatment and other challenging life experiences, that worrying changes nothing but one's own contentment and the best we can do is, as they used to say back in the day, is to "keep on truckin"
Wishing You all a happy, restful weekend!

Here's Eva's link  http://evaday.blogspot.com/2011/03/hcv-and-next-taboo-shadows-beyond.html?showComment=1300984661807#c2683809668847465530

© 2011 Jennifer Hazard

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Journey Ahead, keep pushing!

"When you find yourself in Hell, just keep going" Winston Churchill

What better advice for anyone of treatment! I initially thought of childbirth when I first saw this quote. For anyone who has had a baby you know there comes a point where it's pretty unbearable, but you realize the only way out is through. So you push through the pain to get that baby out! In that situation there's no option to stay put in your misery (as with depression, addiction or other slower painful experiences) Treatment is similar in a sense. Of course there is always the option to give up, to say forget it I can't take this anymore I'm quitting", but ultimately most people decide that since they've already endured some misery they might as well keep going hoping for a positive end result. Just as we get through childbirth one contraction at a time, one push at a time, we get through treatment one day at a time, one week at a time, sometimes one hour at a time...but as long as we keep pushing on we find ourselves out the other end reborn and with a whole new stage of life ahead of us.
I'm saying this in hopes of providing some encouragement, some "labor coaching" for all of you who are in that dark place where you question your ability to continue. Breathe deep, find a focal point and remember at the end there is a new life.

© 2011 Jennifer Hazard

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Hello Fellow Hep C-ers.
 As I mentioned in my last post I was a little dismayed by the grindingly slow return to some kind of normalcy, or at least functionality not being one to be known for "normalcy"
As of today a month has passed since my last interferon shot and I can say I am starting to feel some bits and pieces of Jenny waking up from their 11 month slumber, slowly squinting their eyes against the light, stretching our limbs and thinking about what lies ahead.
For the past week I have been out of the house at least once daily, I have done some house work at least once daily and have gotten caught up on some paperwork and correspondences that I'd been putting off for quite some time. I have gone out for coffee and on other small journeys with friends and family and I spent an entire day protesting in Madison Wisconsin.
That may not sound like a lot to most people, or to people who haven't experienced health problems, but as many of you know this is a virtual flurry of social activity compared to the past year. As I write this I feel ready to doze off. I just completed a post for my other blog and had spent the morning at my daughters house, after walking quite a distance to the bus and them came home to a delicious meal. As I mentioned in my last post this is a matter of balancing renewed activity with proper self care and rest. I can see how it would be easy to suddenly jump into action only to end up worn out or sick. as it is I've already had an ear infection and now have an abscessed tooth and am on antibiotics. But some of that is to be expected, even under "normal" conditions...and so we move forward, one day at a time, re-emerging into a new phase of life

© 2011 Jennifer Hazard

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Post Treatment Realities

EOT, Post Treatment, "when I'm done with treatment.." While we are in the midst of treatment these phrases dangle before us like a piece of candy on a string, just out of reach but promising sweetness. I really didn't know what to expect for myself after treatment. I have read other peoples' experiences. I have read the materials provided by the pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals, which I have come to realize are Pollyannishly optimistic. My general experience throughout this process is that we all experience treatment a little differently although there are many many similarities.  In the support groups I follow often one person will ask about a befuddling symptom, certain that they are manifesting bizarre and unusual reaction, only to have a half a dozen others respond with similar stories.
To be honest I hadn't looked into the post treatment stories very thoroughly. I figured I'd cross that bridge when I got to it since life on treatment was basically best lived one day at a time. I knew I wouldn't immediately "bounce back", that it would take time to rid my body of the poison I'd been ingesting and injecting  for the past 48 weeks. I knew it would take time  to renew my body from the strain that it had endured, the anemia, the weight loss and  the compromised  immune system but beyond that I didn't have much of an idea of what to expect.
Here I am 10 days after my last shot, still not knowing what to expect from one day to the next. My energy level is improving slowly, I tend to overdo it and wipe myself out by capitalizing on the newfound ambition. My appetite is back and making up for lost time and although my mouth is still a little sensitive to certain foods, I'm finding my taste for variety is coming back. My mood has improved greatly...well until yesterday, that is.
 I had been developing pain and goo in my ear for a few days. I put off going to the doctor because I knew I'd be over there on Friday for blood work, and also because that's what I do, I procrastinate. I put off those visits to the doctor until I'm really miserable. By Friday my ear was visibly swollen and incredible painful, my neck jaw and head all hurt as well.
This occurrence  took some of the air out of my sails and seriously dampened my mood. "Haven't I suffered enough in the last 11 months?" and "Can't I just start feeling better?" "waah wahhh"
 I realized that treatment doesn't really end when you stop taking the meds. There's going to be a transitional period while I detoxify and regain my strength and hopefully my sanity. Like most things in life we hope treatment will be linear, predictable and finite; and like most things in life it is none of those.
And like all other things in life, we take it one day at a time, we do our best and we do it better with the support of others.

© 2011 Jennifer Hazard

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Guest post by Anna

Hi All,
Here I am done with treatment, although still feelings the effects of Thursdays shot, looking forward to see what the future brings. I'm feeling optimistic, knowing I can't feel worse than I have for the past 48 weeks, ha ha!
 I wanted to share the link to this post by Annmarou at Heppy Countdown.  First of all she has a delightfully wry sense of humor that is valuable for anyone on treatment or puzzling with this disease. Most importantly, however, is Anna's Strength and Courage when questioning and confronting her doctor. Anna's story is a shining example of assertive self advocacy. It's so important that we remember that this is our health were dealing with and we are required to make choices that can be life altering. If our medical providers fail to provide us with adequate information, choices and emotional support, it is our right to ask for what we need.
One more note, I know it's not always easy to be assertive, to speak up for ourselves, I wasn't very good at it until I hit a certain age; in that case it may be an option to have a trusted friend, family member or professional advocate (if your community has them) accompany you to your appointments to ensure you are receiving the care that is your right.

© 2010 Jennifer Hazard

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Eeeeee OOOhhhhh Teeeeeee

This title violates all the blogging rules of making your tile "searchable" and "drawing in the readers interest", unless of course you have experience with treatment and you know that it means...END OF TREATMENT!
Can you tell I'm just a little bit happy?
I was thinking back to when I first started out on this long bumpy fog covered road, with only bits and pieces of a road map, like something a pirate would bury, hiding its elusive treasure.  I found support systems online, The Hep C Nomads, Hepatitis Advocacy, The Liver Foundation, Facebook groups and more. I read posts from people who were where I am now, finally, blessedly at the end of the road and slowly coming out of the fog. I felt happy for them, and proud for them that they had made it through 48 weeks of basically being a stranger in your own body. But I found it nearly impossible to picture myself at that point, emerging from the place I was in, a place that felt out of time, out of sync with the rest of the world; a strange kind of limbo where nothing feels real. I could not see the end from "in there"
I read the words of encouragement from others who had made it through to the other side and even though it seemed so far away I was glad for the voices from the other side, the hope and strength they offered. I will always be grateful for everyone who has been with me on this journey. People in other countries who I have never met in "real life" who have given so much of themselves when they were so sick it was hard to even sit at the computer long enough to post. This is an amazing community and I intend to stick around to give back what I've been given, not out of obligation but of gratitude and great respect for everyone who travels this journey together holding hands through the fog.
I think I'm going to go shed a few tears now :)
Thank You all so much, words cannot describe what your support has meant to me.
Peace and Love to you all!

© 2010 Jennifer Hazard

Friday, February 4, 2011

My walk to the store as a metaphor

Wind chill minus 9, snow piled 3 to 4 feet high in some areas and I’m out of food and cigarettes. This means a walk to the store is inevitable. Here in the final weeks of treatment and have so little left to give, physically. I become exhausted and achy after the most routine activity, doing dishes, cleaning up around the house, taking the dog out. Needless to say I’m not thrilled about the thought of this walk. I postpone for an hour then realize the sun is heading west. It will only be colder after dark, and the patches of ice will be undetectable. So I “buck up”, eat some Cheerios with ensure and bundle up warmly. My son and his dog accompany my as we set out on our arctic journey. The dog, Mitzy, is half husky and tolerates the cold, my little dog; a Shih-tsu/terrier mix stays home. When I first step out into the frigid air my muscles tighten, I brace myself. A block from the house, I’m short of breath and want to sit down. Since I know that’s not an option, I take a deep belly breath and pace my steps. My muscles start to relax. I can feel my blood flowing I start to adjust to the cold (as much as anyone can at that temperature). The corner store is only 4 blocks away but on some treatment days it feels like miles. By the time we’re halfway there I’ve got a decent pace going, my son and I are talking and laughing, Mitzy is happily trotting along picking up scents to see who’s been around.
I hang in there quite well and although the sun is sailing toward the horizon it is bright and feels warming. The corner store is a fairly typical urban corner store. Narrow aisles are lined with cluttered shelves containing products arranged in no particular order. If you can find it, you can fulfill most of your basic needs whatever they may be. Along with milk, bread and basic family needs like diaper, toilet paper, 7 day candles and mouse traps you can find herbal “all night long” potion, rolling papers, whatever clever novelty gift is being used to make crack pipes and pretty much any kind of liquor you can imagine. It’s always an adventure in cultural irony.
By the time we get home I’m tired, but it’s a good tired. The kind of tired you feel when you’ve accomplished something, not the kind of tired you feel when you’ve been lying around the house with no motivation or interest. I know that kind of tired all too well lately. I realize I enjoy the other kind of tired. I appreciate it.
I know a four block round trip walk isn’t exactly Olympian, hell I used to walk miles a day no matter what the weather; but everything is relative. Today overcoming my resistance “bucking up”, doing what I had to do and enjoying it felt like a Gold Medal achievement.

© 2010 Jennifer Hazard

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Isn't life Ironic?

Hello Everyone!
Last post I addressed the sense of Victimization that some of experience when faced with challenges. For some of us, yes me, the Victim role is like an old comfy piece of clothing. It's comfortable, but out of style and threadbare; it's no longer flattering or particularly useful. And yet, you can't bring yourself to throw it away.
When I got the news yesterday that my end of treatment date is Feb 11th naturally I was relieved. Finally an end to this crazy sick fever dream I've been living in for most of the past year. And yet I found myself feeling, well, a little afraid. I realized that when treatment ends that means I have to venture into my proverbial closet and find a new outfit and it can't be the comfy cloak of Victimhood that I have, quite honestly, donned too often throughout the past year.
After freaking out about that for a while I realized for the 100,00th time that panic has never made any situation more manageable. I don't have to have all the answers yet. I still need time to recover, to (hopefully) get my thought processes a little more clear and if I keep following my heart I will know what's right for me.
I also realized that I've been feeling a little pressured by others, some well meaning, others critical and judgmental, that there is this expectation that I will return to work and life will be normal. Frankly I don't see myself working full time, but I may have some opportunities for flexible work. Disability allows recipients a certain number of hour’s employment, and if I could supplement my fixed income a bit, feel useful and still have time for my writing and self care. I think I'd be living a pretty sweet life. It's an empty page, not empty but filled with notes, scribbles and ideas. I like to think of myself as an explorer, an adventurer seeking to discover my own passage, my own path to the next chapter. When I look at it that way, as opposed to the confused, frightened Victim I realize I can take that little girl by the hand and say "hey kid, it's gonna be ok, I'm gonna show you the world and you'll never have to be afraid again.

© 2010 Jennifer Hazard
Image Courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Sense of Purpose, Casting off the Cloak of Victimization

In my previous post, "When Your Mind has a Mind of it's Own", I was swimming in some rather dark emotional waters. Much like my physical state, this status can change frequently and without warning. At times these moods appear out of nowhere like a dark cloud looming over a previously sunny day, but if I sit with those clouds long enough I discover that there is usually a weather front somewhere that formed the clouds in the first place. After spending a week moping around and doing my usual reading and research I've come to realize that this whole "after treatment" mystery is probably a little more pressure I had realized; and not just for the reasons you'd think. I mean there are the obvious concerns: "what if go through all this and don't clear the virus?" and "what if I never really get back to the way I was before treatment?". Then there are the vocational issues as addressed so candidly by my peer blogger Ian Quill in his recent blog post (see link below). Many of us Hep C survivors (and survivors in general) are exploring and creating our own solutions to the question of vocation. Many of us have been able to appreciate the gift of time and self reflection this disease has provided, enabling us to redefine our values and goals and that is a wonderful gift.
I've never been this kind of person in the first place, I chose a career that is extremely underpaid and undervalued because it is what I love to do and because I believe that service to others is one of the greatest gifts we have to offer. No matter what our work history the way we make a living, the fact that we dedicate ourselves to work, to being accountable and receiving a paycheck is a significant part of our sense of self. As with so many other areas of our lives, the bits and pieces that make us "who we are" are often disrupted by this disease. It is one more area where the rug is pulled from underneath our established footing  leaving us wondering how and if we will walk again.
For myself, I am able carry on in a similar role as in the past, only perhaps with less direct service. Writing and organizing is a way for me to continue my role as an Advocate and I can hope that someday, in some way it, will help bring in some money. I have no desire to be rich and famous, or even upper middle class. I prefer a simple life...but I'd like to be able to get through the month without running out of money halfway through. I'd like to know that if my dog eats a garbage bag I can take him to the vet and get it extracted.  Although loss of income may be an inconvenient side effect, it is the need for a sense of purpose is far more essential to one's well being.
I encourage anyone whose vocation has been limited or lost entirely due to this disease to take the opportunity to find something to dedicate your energy to; a cause, a hobby or maybe a spiritual focus. Think of all the things you wanted to do if you had more time and pick one or two that you are able to work on. We all need to feel productive and useful. One way to accomplish this is by using our experience with Hepatitis to add to the efforts to tame this dragon. It has been my observation that many individuals who are disabled or limited by an illness, injury or other condition find great satisfaction in mentoring others, educating the general public or taking political action. We often feel that our disease has taken control of our lives, robbing us of our power, we feel victimized. However, if we can make the choice to be active in education, support and prevention efforts we find ourselves stepping out from under the cloak of "Victimization" and into  the light of purpose and empowerment.
Not sure where to start?  Here's a link for suggestions!
© 2010 Jennifer Hazard
Ian's blog-http://ianquill.blogspot.com/2010/12/get-job-get-life-hepatitis-c-liver.html#links

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

When Your Mind Has a Mind of it's Own

Looking back at my last post stirs the kettle of emotion for me right now. Part of me feels almost embarrassed at the dark self indulgence and misery. And  yet, I know that is part of the process. I know myself well enough to know that Hep C or no Hep C, if I find an emotion is becoming an annoying presence, like a pimple forming, that I need to indulge that feeling, to give it it's due attention.
There have been  so may times in life that I have held back my feelings, pushed them aside and pulled myself up by the bootstraps to carry on as the Brave Little Soldier. Some of us learn to do that at a very young age. There were things going on in my family, growing up that as the oldest I felt it was my duty to "pull it together" and carry on in order to protect my siblings. And besides, focusing on them was easier than experiencing my own fear and confusion. That response may serve it's purpose in the short term, but it comes with a high price tag in the long run. Fortunately I've learned a few things along the way and one of them is that those buried feelings have to come out and be acknowledged somehow.  Ironically, being on treatment, sitting at home most days, I am immersed in the "opportunity" to experience my emotions, whether I like it or not.
To quote my fellow Hep C blogger Eva, 

"Yet the mostly painful and disturbing thoughts or distorted fixations continued regardless of whether I wished to turn attention to more healing or cheerful possibilities" http://evaday.blogspot.com/

This is so accurate, our minds have a mind of their own, so to speak. There are thoughts and emotions we really have little, if any, control over. It frightens me to remember that some people become delusional and /or suicidal on this treatment. It's one more reason that we really need each other, and our friends and families, our medical providers, anyone close to us to try to understand that we need support, we need understanding and feedback.

I am so incredibly grateful for the people I've met along this crazy timeless path through the mist.  I'm grateful for the others who write and blog and share their stories with courage and honesty. We've got a pretty good community going here. I guess we could say "it takes a village to raise a Hep survivor" I hope that new readers will find welcome and comfort in our little "village".
© 2011 Jennifer Hazard
Image courtesy of the Graphics Fairy

Sunday, January 9, 2011

the fog just got a little thicker

In my last post I talked about the difficulty in seeing the light at he end of the tunnel, the longed for EOT (end of treatment) date. I thought that date, for me, was in early February. Throughout my treatment I have avoided keeping close track of the timing. I know myself well enough to know that would lead me into familiar old patterns of obsession, frustration and the lovely bind of self indulgence;  picking at the wounds and wallowing in self pity for the scar that was created. So knowing this about myself, my penchant for teenage like angst, I decided to take the high road and simply get through this without minding the calendar.
Until recently that is... I'm really ready to be done with this. The physical and emotional toll is like being under a pile of rocks which each day has one more rock added to the pile. So at my last visit for my procrit shot I asked the my nurse for the actual EOT date. We had both thought it was sometime in February, but the news that it's actually one full month later was, well like having a couple of wheelbarrows of rocks heaped on the pile all at once.
To get through this, I bargain with myself, and I've been telling myself, Self, it's only a little over a month, we can do this. That day in the nurses office that part of myself I coddle and and bribe and cajole along pretty much collapsed into a pile of tears like a little kid. You know how they do it, as if their bones suddenly dissolved and their tear ducts have an automatic "drama alarm" which sets off an instant prolific flow. Meanwhile, Grown Up me ignores the kid having a fit in the corner, puts on her Mommy "everything is going to be ok face" and drags the snot faced boneless Little Jenny home.
Fast forward a couple of days and as is the course of nature the inevitable push and pull between Little Jenny and Mom Jenny gives rise to Angsty Adolescent Jenny! Ta Da!
My Therapist once described me as The Eternal Teenager. I was not offended at all, and not because of our youth oriented, plastic surgery obsessed culture. I admire teenagers, I've spent most of my life working with them. I love them for their defiance, their mistakes, their question authority attitude and their fierce quest to find themselves. Individuation, they call it, and it drives parents crazy.
One of the things that gets teenagers into trouble is they have a limited capacity to see the future, they live in the  moment, be it good or crappy. Sound familiar? Remember that fog that has been obscuring the "after treatment" possibilities? Well on that day in the nurses office the fog just rolled in a little thicker as Angsty Teenage Jenny took  over.
That's where I've been the past couple of days. Pissed off at the world. I watch the news and not only am I pissed at what I see, but I'm pissed at the way it's reported. I try to watch some videos of some of my favorite music and I realize two thirds of the musicians are dead...overdoses, car accidents you know the life.
I think I need to let go of the angst and just let that little kid cry and cry, but I'm afraid it won't stop.
I know this will pass, it always does, but for today I'm going to indulge my misery for a bit...I haven't decided how, but I don't have it in me to watch pretty little Marc Bolan and remember how his life was cut short by a car smashing into a tree. He didn't even drive.
© 2010 Jennifer Hazard

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, No Pressure

 Happy New Year!!

I've been "writing" my New Years blogs in my mind (yeah that's how I roll) all week. This time of year I like to take stock of the past year, do a little self inventory as they say in recovery, and then think about what I'd like to see happen in the upcoming year. You might notice I don't use words like, “goals", "life plan" or "resolutions". I never really learned about the concept of "goals" until later in life and for some reason (unfamiliarity? Corporate overuse?) the word still makes me bristle a bit.
In keeping with the recurring theme of irony that is my life, it was about the time that I began to internalize the concept and actually create some goals that life yanked the tablecloth out from under my neatly arranged plans like a second rate magician trying unsuccessfully to pull the tablecloth from under the china. My finely laid table was a shambles of chipped china, scattered silver and spilled glasses. Like most survivors I know how to pick up the pieces that are still useful, repair what I can and discard the rest.
Resetting my table is pretty much the forte, and maybe that's why I have always avoided planning ahead. I'm certain that there are many people out there who will insist that recurring chaos is the result of poor planning rather than an excuse for it and they are probably right, and yet so am I.  If I've learned one thing in this life it is that seemingly paradoxical truths can exist and be valid at the same time. On a good day life is a theater of the absurd in my eyes, on a bad day well; let's just say I lose my sense of humor at times.
As far as resolutions or goals, I'm functioning on a pretty primal level right now. Goal 1) Eat more than once a day. Goal 2) Get out of bed every day. Yeah, ambition is not high on the list right now. On the other hand I have accomplished several things I probably would not have if I'd been working full time. I have two regular blogs that I do a fair job of keeping up with. I have been designing my own website which is actually finally presentable (see link at bottom of page). I've done a lot of crafting and artwork I've always wanted to do. I've gotten to know many people online in various communities who share many of the same interests and concerns that I am passionate about. And I've spent a lot of quality time with my family both human and four legged.
The Big question mark hovers over the statement "after treatment..." It's difficult to even visualize that place, the place that exists beyond treatment like some kind of magical isle that disappears into the mist. As synchronicity would have it I recently stumbled across a post by one of my fellow Hep C bloggers that pretty well sums up the mists that obfuscate the future and allow us to cherish each day as it is. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did http://ianquill.blogspot.com/

© 2010 Jennifer Hazard

My Website-
www.nanakoosasplace.com  www.whitewaveconsulting.org  
check "em out, I'd love some feedback.

Thank You and have a blessed and healthy 2011!!!