Confession: My Battle With Hep C (2013)

Date Written: 12 Dec 2013

CONFESSION: My Battle With Hep C
Recommended Reading Age: 16+

By Gary “Uncle G” Brown
GaryBrown@garyunclegbrownarchives.com

Confession? Not really per-say. Let me spit this out; back in 2008, I was told I had Hepatitis C. In ’09 I treated. Halfway through 2010, I was told I had been treated successfully. Cool ever since. My wife knew and God bless her heart, treatment was HELL. Two tight friends knew as well; Kevin L. and Wil H. They were cool checking up on me throughout. I told everyone else including my job basically a lie, to cover up what I was going through. What I had, they could not catch..well…I would have to bleed inside them. My lovely wife, Sandra, tested negative (thank heavens).

The drugs I was on for about a full year, had side effects…BIG TIME fucking side effects. I coughed ALL the time; dry mouth. The list goes on and on. Yet I have tried maintaining a normal life. I worked a 40 hour week. Thinking back now, a lot of it is a blur. Good for me I pretty much wrote ALL about it. I’ll elaborate…

Ribavirin Tablets and Peginterferon Alfa-2a InjectionThe photograph was taken by Gary “Uncle G” Brown

One day while on a discussion website that was devoted to those with Hep C, I was approached about writing something for a book the guy and a co-writer (lady) were working on. As I do, I sat down, and sometime later…magick fingers happened. That’s what one of my nieces calls it. What starts with a blank screen, a short time later has hundreds or even thousands of words. One has to feel inspired, but yeah I have done that. More than once.

Back to the story. I read what I typed, and then pressed the send button. In my mind, this is a rough draft. An outline/idea. I wanted feedback to see if I’m on the right page, so I emailed it to one of the authors. The dude replies back something like “perfect” (I’m paraphrasing…something to that effect) and that’s it. Nothing more to do. I’m done. Time goes by and in the mail comes a book. Inside the book; my story. I’M PUBLISHED !!!!! Under a fake name; aka MagickBalls aka Anonymous 48-Year-Old Male from Houston Texas USA (I’m paraphrasing again). Yeah…I understand…keep laughing.

The book accompanies a website. The idea for its authors and contributors like myself to check in from time to time. A website devoted to the detection of Hep C, and then hopefully successful treatment afterward. A discussion website where those having any connection to Hep C, can come to and hopefully find what they were looking for. A place where you were not a punch line to a late-night joke; Hep C. The traffic we ended up getting on the website, varied. On a side note, the two authors ended up doing treatment TWICE. I was so LUCKY!!

Over time the website kind of faded out. So much so that literally any day now, it will be taken off-line. Just a memory. The website obtained Non-Profit status. The killer was simply no traffic. Great at providing the information needed if one just found out they had Hepatitis C. Not that good apparently at letting the masses know about it. Poor marketing? Also, advancements have been made whereas the treatment I had to go through, might not be necessary. Maybe 24 weeks as compared to the 48 WEEKS? Other newer drugs are being created. Our time maybe have passed just due to the rapid advancements made, just recently? It’s the way they use to do it? Sad to see the website go. Don’t get me wrong. It’s awesome that treatments are getting better. I bonded with many of the individuals who stumbled onto us and participated. Not everyone’s story ended as well as mine. I’m forever grateful for what began as a truly horrible fucking thing (imagine being told you had Hep C), to turn a 180 and actually help others. Thank you for messages from the other side of the globe. A story of how someone stumbled (there’s that word again) onto the book in a library in Australia. Simply amazes me. Magickballs gets around.

On the website I carried two threads:

01). Magickballs Chronicles; My Journey With Hepatitis C – Before, During & After TX (treatment)

02.) Houston Guy (SVR & Beyond)

BOTH found under “Post Treatment Recovery” that one can find on the Forum Page. Imagine how surprised I was when it dawned on me how many times people from all over the globe, clicked on my threads.

Topic: Magickballs Chronicles; My Journey With Hepatitis C – Before, During & After TX (Read 3,961 times)

Wow !! If my misery helped one person — COOL !! But get this. The MOST popular thread on the whole website was mine.
Topic: Houston Guy (SVR & Beyond) (Read 26,012 times)

And that I’m TOTALLY cool with. Both the book and the website; lemonade. When life gives lemons (as it frequently has/does) make LEMONADE. Sell it. Live on it. Just whatever you do, DON’T throw the sour fruit/opportunity away. I really LUCKED out. Thanks to those who knew, and to those who pretended NOT to. Finally, I am straight-up and confess. My name is…MagickBalls, and I had Hep C.

The Book: The website will have faded away, but the book which came out in the year 2010, will linger…at least for a while. Today, it’s STILL available (right now) on Amazon. Maybe I’ll buy myself another copy? New and used copies. Under ten bucks I think. My contribution, within a Chapter entitled; “Weeks 25-48” — MagickBalls’ Story (starting at page 91 and running through and including page 96).

Conquering Hepatitis C And Surviving Treatment – written and put together by Tim Duncan – Cate Olivolo (MSN, FNP – C) – Published in 2010

Amazon Link:

Old But May Still Offer Some Good Advice

Website (visit while you can)

http://hcvshare.org

Regarding the name MagickBalls: Another story for yet another day.

Bonus: And finally, last but not least, is another confession; Hep C treatment was so difficult that to get through it, about nine months into it, I started smoking cannabis. I could not mention it in my contribution to the book, or to anyone. I give credit to my wife Sandra for ending what was 17 years in between joints. Imagine, coffee and cigarettes all that time. Looking back, I’m still amazed.

End of Story

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