I looked out the window this afternoon and saw a colony of vultures circling the field near my house. I knew they were waiting for their prey to die, and for a clear moment to begin their descent. This is what having hepatitis C felt like—vultures, circling my body, scavenging my liver, and looking for an opportunity to finish me off.
However, life prevailed, and hepatitis C lost. I have been free of hepatitis C for more than a year. Every January I marked the anniversary I acquired hepatitis C, for a quarter of a century adding a digit every year until there were twenty-five. Now I have a new tally: One. One year being free of hepatitis C. The years will add up, if I take care of myself and stay alive. Twenty-five will be here in no time.
I wish this for everyone who has hepatitis C. However, a different colony of vultures hovers over us now: greed, high medical costs, and overpriced drugs. Do not stand still and let these prey on your future. Look for a clinical trial. Apply for patient assistance from the pharmaceutical company who manufactures the drugs that your physician prescribes. Take action and support the Viral Hepatitis Testing Act. Fortify your liver with good food, sleep, exercise, and humor. Don’t drink. If you can’t stop, get help. Get support. Stay close by and if you feel the vultures are getting too close, reach out to those of us who will hold you up while chasing away the birds. Don’t ever stop dreaming about freedom.