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keeping on, keeping on...and some running news (Hepatitis C treatment weeks #7 and 8)

Friday, September 17, 2010

(Regular readers of my page and spark friends know that I am a nurse. On June 4, 2010 I was stuck with a needle from a hepatitis C+ patient and I contracted Hepatitis C and am now undergoing 6 months of treatment in an attempt to get rid of this nasty virus. (see blog from 8/16/2010)

Hepatitis C treatment log Weeks #7 and 8:

MY HIPS ACHE! MY HIPS ACHE! MY HIPS ACHE! I wake up in the middle of the night with the aching. I take advil 2-3 times a day and it helps, but the pain never really goes away....just a dull ever present ache that is worse at some times than at others. It is really a bummer, but I know it could be so much worse if I were on some sort of chemotherapy or radiation treatment, so I try to remain positive and remind myself of how many people suffer with much worse chronic pain every day.

I finally broke down and took a day off of work this week related to my symptoms. I actually went to work for 3 hours (I work 10 hour shifts at the dialysis unit) and I was SOOOO tired and aching in my hips I went home. I decided to lay down for a nap and I ended up sleeping for 3 hours---YIKES! I guess I needed some rest, huh?

I continue to exercise, but my running speed and my overall endurance is shockingly less than it was only a couple of months ago---it is kind of discouraging, but what can I do? I just try to keep moving because I know it helps with the joint pain and it helps mentally (I LOVE ENDORPHINS!).

I may be slow, BUT...I had two running victories in the last 2 weeks. First last week I ran my fastest 3 miles in MONTHS at 30:47 which is just awesome for me. Since I use run/walk ratios that 30:47 time included 4 minutes of walking which mean I was running some sort of 9 minute something second miles...considering there have been many days lately where I have been running 3 miles in 34 minutes this was a great time! Now, it was a lot more aerobically taxing for me than it was the last time I ran this speed (I was breathing heavier and my level of perceived exertion was much higher) but that is totally expected as my red blood cell level is down quite a bit since I started on this any rate it gives me hope that I can maintain at least some of my previous fitness level as I finish this treatment.

My second victory is that this week I ran 7 miles for the first time since my diagnosis with Hepatitis C on July 16, 2010. Again--just awesome! I never know how I will feel when I attempt a long run (or even a short run) so I have just been keeping my options open when I run and working hard to LISTEN to my body and not my stubborn brain which wants me to be training for a half marathon or more-lol. I had hoped to run 5 miles, but the weather was awesome and I felt great so I mid run I decided to try for 7. While I set no speed records it felt great, and my legs did not even hurt the next day, so perhaps I have kept up some of my running endurance after all!

On to Treatment week #9 out of 24 weeks total! Next week I get basic labs drawn again and see my liver doctor for a check up. I am also attending a local Hepatitis C support group and will hear a nationally known hepatitis researcher/doctor speak, so I am excited to potentially be learning lots of new information about my new "favorite" virus (AKA Hepatitis C)

Thanks for all of your support and prayers---I appreciate each and everyone!

Keep the Faith and kill the virus!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZZZZQ 9/21/2010 12:08PM

    Oh (((((Laura)))) Big Hugs G/F. I read your post from Aug from when you first got Hep C. MY heart goes out to you. I can only imagine what you are going through. Yet I read your other posts from Aug on and can see how strong you are and how you dont let this illness get you done. "Big Gentle Hugs" for any pain you are going through and WTG at sticking to your running.

Much Love & Hugs

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RKBABCOCK 9/20/2010 6:49PM

    Congrats on the good runs! I am so happy for you that you are able to get out there and run!

Sorry your hips have been hurting - that sounds awful! Hope you get past that real quickly!

Take care of yourself - still have you in my prayers!!

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    Way to go getting some runs in even with some discomfort. And you're so right it will help keep your mood up!

Good luck with week #9!

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JOHNBABJR 9/18/2010 5:12PM

    Congrats on the victories this week, Laura. The speed and endurance will come back. Just keep going and good things will happen.

Sorry about your hips; your description matches my achilles pain exactly.

Have a great weekend!

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WANNABFIT34 9/17/2010 7:08PM

    Very inspiring, it makes me know that I can and should go on. If you can go through this much then I can run a damn Marathon, I am dedicating Chicago to you!!! Keep staying positive!!!

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JUSTTRIING 9/17/2010 5:32PM

    You are amazing!

Sorry you are having so much pain. It doesn't sound like you are letting it keep you down.

Keep positive!

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FINDINGMEIN2012 9/17/2010 5:26PM

    Definitely some victories!! Great job on the running! You are so positive and such an inspiration! I will continue to keep you in my prayers and will pray for lessening of that hip pain.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/17/2010 4:34PM

    If you are running, even slowly, then you will definitely keep a lot of the adaptations for endurance in the joints and muscles! In fact, the endurance adaptions don't require speed at all.

I'm sorry to hear about your pain!

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ERIN1128 9/17/2010 4:23PM

    you're doing great! I also wanted to say, that as a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer I deal with a lot of hip pain...walking or yoga really does help, even when it's the last thing I feel like doing! At the very least, stretching helps a ton.

Hang in there!

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GAMEFACEGIRL24 9/17/2010 2:59PM

    Wow, thank you for this inspiring post--your positive attitude is wonderful, and provided much needed motivation for me. I was just thinking today how I didn't quite feel 'up to' running, because I'm tired from work, but now I'm going run and appreciate this beautiful day! Congratulations on your running victories, too, that's fantastic. I will be praying for your hips to feel better and for your Hep C recovery! emoticon

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SEEHOLZ 9/17/2010 2:31PM

    You are doing amazing Laura! I love that pic btw and thanks for the update--- keep on keeping on!

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MBSHAZZER 9/17/2010 2:17PM

    Hey Laura - you're doing so well! I am impressed with your fortitude... keeping up with everything and having such a positive attitude!

Have a fabulous weekend!

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WARRIOR11209 9/17/2010 2:15PM

    Your attitude is terrific!! Great job on the 3 and 7 mile runs. emoticon

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RUNNER_TIFF_07 9/17/2010 2:15PM

    You are amazing!! I'm so sorry to hear about your aching hips :(. You don't deserve any of this! I'm glad you took a day off from work though, you obviously needed it! You are a star in my book. It really sounds like your body is doing well considering all the side effects of the treatments. Congrats on the post-diagnosis running milestones!

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SUZIB123 9/17/2010 2:10PM


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    Please know I think about you and this challenge you have before you. I am so sorry this treatment isn't making you feel 100% on to a happier note - awesome job on the 3 mile speed record and the 7 mile distance....I have that next weekend.

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    so sorry I have bee mia lately. I am struggling with family issues then my dog died. I will stop complaining when I read someone like you. Hugs, prayer and hello emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 9/17/2010 1:54PM

    Good for you with your running!!! Sorry about those achy hips but you have such a great outlook and remain so positive!! You continue to be in my prayers.

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CATHERINEL66 9/17/2010 1:50PM

    I'm so glad you wrote an update!

I am loudly cheering you on for the approach to the 1/2 way point of this treatment.

I think that 24 weeks of this IS your marathon (for right now), and celebrate your victories along the way ... fantastic that you're seeing some wins in running. 7 miles is more than I can do, even with my current perceived level of athletic ability (a different world than I was in back in the spring).

Congrats to you on your progress and capable self-helping (loved the mention of the support group and speaker). You are going to be a super expert on this virus from every angle!!

Keep on sparkin! emoticon

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Book #36 out of 50 Books Read in 2010: Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Plot synopsis from
"Delia Hopkins, the main character who's in her early 30's, learns that the beloved father who has raised her actually kidnapped her as a young girl. She was taken away from her mother in Arizona, given a new identity, told that her mother was dead, and then grew up with no memories of any of her life before they moved to New Hampshire. The secret comes out, and Delia now must come to terms with what her father has done and with the still-living mother she never knew. Delia is a mother herself, now, and she spends much of the novel reconciling her own hurt and anger over being taken away with her perspective as a mother who'd do anything to protect her child. Toss in Delia's fiancÚ (a lawyer) and her male best friend (a reporter) who both have strong interests in the legal case, and you have the main love triangle that drives the story."

My Take:
Now that I have forgiven this author for her blatant emotional manipulation of her readers in "Handle with Care" (don't EVEN get me started on that again--lol) I was excited to finally read Vanishing Acts. But, although it was a good read, I didn't enjoy it as much as My Sister's Keeper, The Pact, or Plain Truth. I found the jailhouse scenes to be distracting and irrelevant, the alcoholism angle not fully developed, and the main character of Delia to be shallow. In all, I wanted more: more plot, more character development. As usual, Jodi throws in her signature twist on the last page, which this time, instead of adding to the story, detracts from it.

Jodi Picoult is a wonderful writer---her good books are VERY good and even her bad books are a compelling reads. However, sometimes she seems so caught up in her ability to storytell and sell novels that she forgets about the characters, their motivations, and the true story that really needed to be told. This was an engaging but superficial story.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FINDINGMEIN2012 9/12/2010 2:26PM

    Good blog - your take on Jodi Picoult is spot on! I find that I can enjoy her books a lot more if I space them out to one every few months. While her books are good, I think they are best in moderation! emoticon

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ERIN1128 9/12/2010 11:49AM

    I love Jodi Picoult! But I agree, this one wasn't her best. I think My Sister's Keeper was the best, though maybe that's just because I read it first. ;-)

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Book #35 out of 50 Books Read in 2010: The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood

Friday, September 10, 2010

Plot synopsis from

" Charlie St. Cloud has a near death experience after getting involved in a car collision that kills his younger brother Sam. After this experience, he can see the deceased while their earthbound spirits have yet to pass into the next plane of the afterlife. The years pass, and Charlie meets with Sam's spirit every evening at sundown, honoring a promise to stick by his brother forever. They spend their time together playing ball and hanging out in the cemetery where Charlie works. Then Tess enters Charlie's life after she narrowly escapes a watery end at sea when her sailing ship founders during a storm. Charlie is now torn between loyalty to Sam and his love for Tess"

My Take:
I read this book because my 17 year old daughter had read it and loved it.
I would classify this is a mystical love story--actually it is two love stories--one between a man and a woman and the other between two brothers. The story and the author's style reminded me very much of Nicholas Sparks work. This is a touching novel. It might be overly sentimental at parts and quite unbelievable at others, but--much like Charlie St. Cloud--the reader here must be willing to let go and go along for the ride.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLILA 9/10/2010 7:34PM

    Wow, checked out your blog and it could have been me writing, until I got to the part where you had successfully lost so much weight... Wow, good on you!

Love your idea to post all the books you have read, the latest one seems very interesting, am going to tell my sister about it too... and if it's like Nicolas Sparks, I know I will love it too.

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PRINCESSNURSE 9/10/2010 3:49PM

    They DID just make a movie based on that book. I have not seen the movie but I think that the story would translate well to the screen.

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SLEEPYDEAN 9/10/2010 11:45AM

    I started reading this a few weeks back, but left it as my work (lunchtime) book and ended up starting two other books. I'll have to get back to this one next week.

15 books to go. WooHoo!

Comment edited on: 9/10/2010 11:46:01 AM

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/10/2010 11:36AM

    Didn't they just make a movie based on this book?

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RUNTRILAUGH 9/10/2010 8:49AM

    I'll have to put that on the list.

Have you read "Little Bee"??? Its been one of my favorites this year. Look it up on Amazon....

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Book #34 out of 50 Books Read in 2010: I'd Know you Anywhere by Laura Lippman

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Plot synopsis from

"Of course, you are older, a woman now.... Still, I'd know you anywhere." A cryptic letter from death row shatters Eliza Benedict's peaceful summer with her family, and forces her to face her long-buried past. Walter Bowman, the man who kidnapped Eliza the summer she was fifteen and kept her hostage for weeks, spots her picture in a local magazine and reaches out to her to make amends before his execution. The narrative shifts between the present and that long ago summer, when Eliza involuntarily became a part of Walter's endless road trip, including the fateful night when he picked up another teenage girl, Holly Tackett. Soon after Walter killed Holly, Eliza was rescued and taken home. Eliza must now balance a need for closure with a desire to protect herself emotionally

My take on it:
It's a page-burner that's a little dark, a little noir, a little mentally exhaustive. Don't miss it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IPA-RAY 9/24/2010 1:44PM

    I keep seeing this book at my library. Might give it a try when I finish the ones I have out now.

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7PASTORMIKE7 9/9/2010 11:27PM

    Very interesting !
Pastor Mike

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/9/2010 5:53PM

    Sounds intriguing!

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PONYFARMER 9/9/2010 5:22PM

    I must say that I much prefer your summary of the books to Amazon's. Way more interesting and clear from you.

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BMAN419 9/9/2010 4:51PM


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Book #33 out of 50 Books Read in 2010: So Long. See you Tomorrow. By William Maxwell

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Plot synopsis from review:

"On an early winter morning just before daybreak, three men hear a loud noise similar to a car backfiring. At first they dismiss it as just that, but it turns out to be a fatal shot that kills a farmer named Lloyd Wilson. The protagonist in the story was friends with the deceased man's son, Cletus. Using newspaper clippings, memories, and imagination, he tries to reconstruct the dramatic events that led to the shooting. Through the use of imagery, William Maxwell creates a story that is vivid in its depictions of rural life and the excruciating emotions people endure as a result of choices they make."

The story explores the meaning of friendship and love and consequences of passion. The narrator is a man who traces even into old age, the true meaning of relationships he formed during his childhood. The end of the book is truly haunting and will stay with you. It speaks volumes about how the words that are unspoken in life are sometimes much more important than those that are spoken. How as we grow old, we remember all the things that we could have, should have said....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Sounds like a super interesting book and what a great goal to read all of those books in 2010. I think you've inspired me to make that one of my goals in 2011!

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KATJAMN 9/7/2010 10:32AM

    I, unfortunatly haven't kept track of the number of books I have read this year, but had also made it something I wanted to concentrate on the year. I haven't disappointed myself, I have read a ton of books, but just didn't keep track of the number.
Maybe that will be something I will do in 2011.
This book sounds good. I will have to remember it when I start looking for more.. I have a lot that I haven't read.. by best friend brings me them from flea markets.
I love reading and it sure beats staring mindlessly infront of the tv.

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-FEMALE- 9/7/2010 9:23AM

    It sounds like a really good book. I've just put it on my Facebook Visual Bookshelf in my want to read list. I have 115 now, lol. The last 4 days I've been reading non-stop. I'm completely addicted to 'The Hunger Games' series. I just bought the 3rd book on Sept 1st, so I've decided to re-read the other 2 before I read it. I should start the book tonight.
emoticon emoticon

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IPA-RAY 9/7/2010 6:16AM

    I'm not likely to read it at least partly because I have no relationships from my childhood that have lasted. But I'm sure I've got plenty of things I could have should have said.

Thanks for posting your reviews. I'm trying to decide on what books to take with me for a trip to a cabin in the Adirondacks where I'll be doing a lot of reading, especially if the really is no internet or cell service where I'm staying.

Comment edited on: 9/7/2010 6:23:40 AM

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