Friday, December 19, 2008

The Results

I saw my doctor this afternoon regarding the week 12 results. The news was not good. The patient has to have a 2 point reduction in what they call the Log Value. Mine was only 1.24. In addition my viral load was much the same as at week 6 - it really should be down to zero by now. This means continued treatment will probably be unsuccessful. The doctor said said he would confirm the situation after talking with the liver specialist, "as he's the expert"
Thankfully L was with me when I received this news. I put a brave face on it but as we left the hospital I felt devastated. Something in me had been convinced the time was right for treatment and that it would work.

When I got home I soon received the call. They doctors have decided to do another blood test on the 29th of December to try and discover a more definitive result. This course of action came as a surprise and I do not know if I feel happy or sad about it. Just before the call I was thinking, okay no more horrible drugs lets have a good Christmas maybe even a glass of wine.

Now I fear getting through this stage. I am what is called a slow responder. This may mean remaining on treatment for up to 72 weeks and with a reduced prospects of success. Is it worth it I ask myself.

Inside I had created this future where I would be Hep C free, renewed with energy and ready to get Mr. Reed published and work hard at being an author. Now I am faced with a very different future.

And where does this leave Prometheus? Failier was not in the script. The story can't finish after 12 weeks. He needs to be free of his suffering. As my byline says above this novel idea was meant to be a positive outcome whether treatment succeeded or not. I just never unexpected it being truncated so soon. It just does not feel right. Perhaps the gods are playing with me and there will be a happy outcome after all.

The only good thing

Monday, December 15, 2008


The family experienced a tragedy on Saturday. Our cat, Suki, died.

L and I were woken up on Friday morning by Bessie yelling. Suki, who sleeps in her room, had just sneezed blood all over her. It was clear the cat was having some difficulty breathing, otherwise she appeared okay. L and B went to work/school. Despite feeling a rough that day I managed to take Suki to the vets.

The vet thought it might be a fighting injury on her nose that was inflamed etc. I came home with a bunch of antibiotics hoping for the best.

That evening I retreated to the backroom for some peace and quiet, ending up falling asleep there. B went to a sleep over. L found Suki in the night a little distressed and took her to bed with her. Saturday morning I was woken up by L yelling. Suki was in great distress; unable to breath or use her limbs properly, so was L.

There followed a chaotic scene as we wondered what to do as our vet would not be open for another hour and a half. In the end we rushed to the nearest emergency vet. Within minutes we were told, by a very sleepy vet, that she had suffered a brain aneurysm. Her eyes no longer responded to light and she had loss the use of her limbs. We were advised to put her down.

The speed of it all was quite a shock. When B came back from her sleep over she let out a primal scream I'll never forget. The rest of the day was spent in almost permanent tears. 'It's not fair, its not fair, she was so young,' B kept saying.
I tried to explain fairness did not come into it.

A documentary I had watched the day before came to mind, about a catastrophe which took place 2,500 million years ago. The earth's crust exploded in the Russian Stepps causing such global warming that 95 percent of all life was wiped out. Ninety-five-percent. Where was the justice in that?

As ever, I am finding, everything comes back to Prometheus. In 'Prometheus Bound' by Aischylos, the only work devoted entirely to Prometheus to have come down to us from antiquity, the old god is portrayed as someone who is suffering unjustly.

'Oh holy Mother Earth, O air and sun, behold me. I am wronged,' he cries from his rock.

Professor Kerenyi explains, 'But though man suffers like the beasts, his special mode of existence requires him to suffer with a sense of injustice.'

Where this sense of fairness/injustice comes from is an interesting question. Is it a human construct or something that actually exists in the realm of the Gods and the universe?

Perhaps it was not fair for Suki to die so soon. I will miss her. She kept me company in the many hours I spend in bed. She may have been a bit simple but she was very loving. Life seems such a fragile thing.

Being a good little god myself, it is clear to me that in the book Heather will have to own a cat called Suki. It will be good to remember her that way. It will also bring in some of the themes discussed above.

God bless you Suki - wherever you are.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Twelfth Jab Of Christmas

So here I am, a quarter of the way through, I can't believe it.

Saw my nurse yesterday, she was happy with my last blood tests. Everything has stabilised and there have even been some improvements. She also took blood for my all important week 12 test. I am hoping the results will be ready next Friday (19th)when I am due to see the Doc. If my viral load is down to zero then treatment continues, if not, it is likely I will have to stop.

Though I have no scientific basis to say this, I feel its all going to be okay. It is very difficult to isolate my Hep. C symptoms from my treatment symptoms, but there are times when my brain seems to be working better than it has done for years. So I am positive. Only the lack of energy remains disabling. My appetite is far better than at the beginning - I am rarely nauseous these days.

This week has been pretty good. Though I am still sensitive to too much noise etc I am able to cope with more. Watching Heroes exhausts me though. I gather Gordon Brown watches Heroes too. Only he thinks he can save the world without saving the cheerleader.

Talking of TV. Did anyone understand the ending of Little Dorrit last night? I've never read the book and was totally confused as to what the BIG secret was.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Archetype of Human Existence

Be warned, I'm going to start pontificating now. I have started some background reading on Prometheus; thoughts and ideas are hitting me fast. I see no reason not confuse you too.

I am halfway through 'Prometheus - Archetype Image of Human Existence' by Carl Kerenyi. The Professor clearly knows his Greek and it has been very helpful. The initial points I have taken so far are.

1. "Prometheus, founder of the sacrifice, was a cheat and a thief; these traits are at the bottom of all the stories about him."

This statement came as a bit of a surprise. Prometheus now-a-days is considered a clever and brave hero. This attitude is certainly seen in the Romantics handling of him. Why the change? Does it resonate with having less respect for God?

2. The Titans, of which Prometheus was one, were a group of Gods that came before the Olympians. Zeus usurped them. This may explain why followers of him would suggest Prometheus was a thief. New religions tend to bash the old ones.

3. The Titans seem to represent darkness, "exuberant virility", boundless pride and violence. Prometheus in particular had associations with the moon. Where as the Olympians were light.

4. The liver, a large dark organ, represented darkness, Zeus's eagle represented the sun. The eating of the darkness by the sun and then the regeneration of the darkness throughout the day makes Prometheus's ordeal on the rock profound indeed.

5. Prometheus was not that clever. Zeus was well aware the suffering that would follow all his trickery and theft. Like the humans he created he believed his ingenuity and guile would enable him to fool the Gods. But his actions always had profound negative affects. He appears not have the 'forethought' attributed to him for he was unable to see the full results of his actions. Perhaps his name has a touch of irony about it.

Clearly he is a complicated character. I am thinking that in my incarnation of him he may have learnt some humility after his trials. Even remorse for what he has done to mankind. Unfortunately, in his desire to make amends, he resorts once more to his innate trickery. How human. Not content to serve.

Five days of Flu

It had to happen, I guess. Last week I mentioned my nasal passages were playing up. Well, from Thursday on I have really been laid up. All the usual flu symptoms though the worst thing was having a head on fire and being totally unable to breathe. As I am pretty anaemic already struggling for air is deeply unpleasant. Particularly when eating and trying to sleep. A sense of anxiety is always beneath the surface. The broken nights really got to me. Thankfully, last night I had a good sleep. Though my nasal passages are still dodgy I am at least able to breathe now. As I have said in the past you can never take for granted what you will be hit with next.

I know this is not very interesting but I record these things for the book's sake.