Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Today, My Life Changed Forever

It's pretty astonishing to think about it, and I'm still attempting to process the real scope of things surrounding the past year of my life.

On January 21st, 2014 I began a journey that would ultimately change my life forever, I treated my Hepatitis C with a new breakthrough drug called Sovaldi. Rapidly within 4 weeks of therapy, my virus went undetected, indicating that treatment was working and I was on my way to 20 more weeks of medication, lab work, doctor visits and a plethora of side effects. By the end of treatment on July 7th, 2014, I was still undetected and on my way to hopes of a possible cure.

My infectious disease doctor told me treating with Sovaldi and Ribavirin, I stood an astounding 94% chance of being cured even co-infected with HIV.

Having previously treated with much more toxic and brutal drugs in 2006, this new therapy was a breath of fresh air, but also had it's own mess of side effects. But in the end, the side effects weren't severe, and I powered through treatment like a iron arrow going through the heart of a dragon. Not just any dragon, the king of all dragons, Hepatitis.

The results are in today January 12th, 2015, 6 months post treatment, and officially I can say I am cured of Hepatitis C once and for all. My dragon has been slain, and my life is forever changed. I'm still sitting here processing the events of the past 24 hours of my life after getting this spectacular news. Sovaldi truly works, and the words cure and HepC can now be uttered in the same breath with confidence. Click on the graphic to see the lab work for yourself.

As I pause in this time of reflecting, evaluation and focusing on God more, I am truly humbled by the events of the past year of my life. Never again will I lie sleepless in my bed pondering my own fate. No more weeping in the pillow of my own mortality, and the fate of my beloved wife. To never fathom again the thought of liver transplant, end stage liver disease, cirrhosis or liver cancer is for the lack of better terms, new.

But, I can't forget to give credit where credit is rightfully due. If it wasn't for my persistent faith in Jesus Christ, my surrounding band of brothers and church family, my amazing wife and the endless sacrifices of my parents, none of this would be possible today. Thanks to my caregiver Dr. Katherine Smith for treating me, and lastly to Michael J. Sofia who developed this new miracle drug called Sovaldi.

My blogs will continue, as this is just the beginning of a new era for myself and I Strive 2 Thrive. I am working on a new video documentary as we speak, and I hope to share it with you hopefully by Spring of this year. Forever grateful, eternally humbled and delightfully changed, thanks to everyone who has been a part of this amazing journey with me the past year.

In His Holy and Blessed Name,
Joe Burke (I Strive 2 Thrive)

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