Friday, December 17, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole ...


"Down the Rabbit Hole" is what I wanted to call this blog, but since Blogger says it's unavailable, I decided "The Year of Creative Healing" would be the most appropriate title.

It's halfway through December, 2010, and in the next month or two, I'm going to start treatment for Hepatitus C.  The treatment should last about 6-9 months.  The doctors tell me that it's going to feel like I have the flu and one doctor likened it to being on chemo ... for 9 months.  There is a new medication that is being released by the FDA to use in conjunction with Ribavarin and Pegylated Interferon, and it should raise my chances of being "cured" of the Hep C.  What throws a wrench into the works is that I'm also HIV+.  It could all be for naught.

I've actually been on two of these medications about 10 years ago in the clinical study held at USC for Pegylated Interferon.  It was difficult, and I found myself weak in both body, mind and emotional life.  I eventually had to leave the study because it was so hard, and I couldn't do everything I had going on in my life while on it.  This time, I know what to expect, and I am planning my life accordingly.  The possibility of permanently getting rid of one half of a serious physical problem is a real temptation, and it's kinda now or never.

I've had Hep C for at least 15 years, if not longer, and my liver enzymes have been elevated for a very long time.  So much so that every time my doctor sees my blood test results, she runs around the room in a panic, and I have to get yet another ultra-sound.  It's time to get this condition under control so I don't die from liver failure like my friend, Rae, and to make sure my poor doctor doesn't have an epileptic fit.

I've basically taken a year off of everything in my life, except my day job.  I'm a legal secretary by day, and an actor and stage director for the rest of the time, so I am used to doing many things in addition to my job.  Just working a day job is sort of like doing nothing to me.

It occurred to me that just because I can't commit to projects that involve other people during the next year, it doesn't mean I can't still be creative and put the year to good use.  Things like writing, quilting, gentle hiking, exercising, photography, museums, poetry, and the loss of the 40 extra pounds I've been carrying around are all things that I could use to keep the creative juices flowing.  I'm also interested in getting a fresh perspective about life and the world.  I have this sense that there is Divinity in the simple, the fragile, and the ephemeral and I'd like to spend some time in the search for those things.

Hence this blog.  This is a way for me to keep track of the journey.  Not only the boring medical facts and things that happen to me daily, but a way for me to keep track of the creative side of things as well.  A place to post some poetry, photos, essays and any revelations that might occur to me along the way.

My hope is to come out on the other end of this journey with more strength, serenity, courage and compassion than when I started.

As an actor at the RSC said when they were getting close to opening a production of Richard III, "it's time to be brave."


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