Hepatitis C: The Beginning; Transformation into a Giant-Killer by Connie Welch

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Hep C Warrior Connie

Hep C Warrior Connie

Here on Life Beyond Hepatitis C we highlight many Hep C Warrior’s and their battle with Hep C.   This week I will be sharing my story, Hepatitis C: The Beginning; Transformation into a Giant-Killer and highlights from my triple therapy treatment.

I contracted Hepatitis C in a very unusual way, in a violation.  But what was intended for evil, God used for good.  There are many facets to this story, many details to show God is in the restoration business.  He transformed this ordinary shepherd girl into a giant-killer.

 

The following is the condensed snippet that lives on the website under, My Story; Hepatitis C Testimony.  I am celebrating this week and month all that God has done and I could not begin without sharing the beginning. I give God all the glory for life beyond hepatitis C.

 

I was diagnosed in 1994 with Chronic Active Hepatitis C. In 1992 I had surgery at an outpatient surgical center where a drug user, who had hepatitis C, was working as a scrub tech.

 

While the scrub tech was alone with the patient, he had access to the medicine drawn up by the anesthesiologist for the patient. He took the patients syringe of medicine and shot up. He then refilled the same syringe with normal saline from the patients IV bag and placed it back on the anesthesiologist tray.

 

The contaminated syringe was used on the patient for surgery.  After the surgery, I began to have symptoms associated with liver disease.  Later the source of the infection was discovered after the scrub tech was caught, arrested, and confessed.  Since then, as a result of his actions, rules and procedures for surgical centers and hospitals have changed.

 

Through blood tests and a liver biopsy, I found that the disease was not only chronic but active. Liver damage was already evident. In addition I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and vitiligo that are autoimmune disorders.  I was tested for HIV and Autoimmune Hepatitis, which both came back negative.  The Hepatitis C virus strain I have is genotype 1. Having autoimmune disorder and this genotype made fighting the disease more challenging.

 

In January of 1995 I took interferon treatment for hepatitis C and in 2000 I took the combination treatment of peg interferon with ribavirin. Unfortunately neither time was successful, but I knew that the Lord had a plan for me.  I prayed for his direction. He guided me through the healing process of fear and forgiveness. He remained faithful to help me through the long waiting period I had before me.

 

During this time I began to study the functions of the liver and the immune system.  I found out the importance of how a healthy diet and healthy weight help your body fight disease.  I wanted to learn how I could be proactive in helping my body fight Hepatitis C.  I learned so many things that took me from feeling out of control, overpowered, and defeated to living with real hope.

 

This became tangible evidence of the difference being proactive physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually can make in our lives.  My first step was I had to acknowledge my life is in God’s hands.  He alone determines the number of my days, not Hepatitis C. And even though I walk in the midst of trouble, he preserves my life.  Psalm 138:7 NIV

 

This was an amazing journey packed with many twists and turns, ups and downs.  My journey continued in 2012 when I began the new “triple therapy” treatment that was approved by the FDA in 2011.  I felt God leading me to share not only my experience with Hep C but also that our real hope in is Him. No matter what our circumstances, He is there to help us every step of the way.  Being diagnosed with a life threatening condition is very frightening, as patients we want to see others who have come through it. We need hope with skin on folks for encouragement and we need the hope and strength of Christ. The Lord lead me to begin an organization, Life Beyond Hepatitis C in which this website was born.

 

From the website I hope you will pull up a chair, visit and become friends. You may have Hepatitis C yourself, or perhaps your loved one. You may be dealing with some other chronic illness.  You may have questions and feel lost on your journey. Take Heart. There is Hope, not just wishful thinking, but solid as a rock hope. Hope in treatment for Hepatitis C. Hope in what God will do.

 

You have a meaningful life to live right now. Hepatitis C does not define who you are. Hepatitis C lives with you. You don’t live with it. Click To TweetThere is Life Beyond Hepatitis C.

 

We all deal with different ways we contracted Hep C and the aftermath of the shocking news.  The common thread woven through all Hep C Warrior’s is this, we are loved by a Mighty God who makes beauty out of the ashes, all ashes!

What is one thing God has shown you through your journey?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please post in the comment section below.

To view this post or other resources, see our home page at, Life Beyond Hep C.

 

Related posts:

 

Hepatitis C Treatment Journey: Facing the Giants Wholeheartedly.

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning Hepatitis C Treatment; Armor Up.

 

 

 

 

 

Living with Hep C; He Hears My Voice.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Beyond Hep C; What Do You See?

 

 

 

 

 

Hep C Treatment Journey Day 19:  A Warrior’s Target.

 

 

 

 

Will you help us? Like our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/LifeBeyondHepatitisC , share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Linkedin, or email to a friend, pass it on.  Thanks!

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10 Responses to Hepatitis C: The Beginning; Transformation into a Giant-Killer by Connie Welch

  1. J.D. Worley April 8, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Wow
    Connie I am so sorry to hear about how you came to have HCV what a tragedy. But you are right what the devil intended for evil God intends for good.
    Amazing how you worked through forgiven that drug user for infecting you forgiveness is very important in the healing process I have learned how bitterness can hinder the healing process.
    Praise God you are now SVR have your battle and amazing journey you have Won in Jesus Name you have won!
    Thank you for your inspiring story.

  2. Connie M April 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    J.D.
    Thank you for your kind words. Nothing that we experience in this life is for waste. God will use it for his glory if we only let go it. You are right, forgiveness is a very important part of our healing. Without forgiveness we are stuck, chained to bitterness that will eat us up and certainly prevents us from moving forward into all God has prepared for us. I know that is why Satan tries so hard to get us to focus on negativity and hopelessness. But God says, We are more than conquerors through him because he loves us.

    I love the quote from Christian author Barbara Johnson, “Pain is inevitable but Misery is a choice.” It’s so true.

    Blessings fellow Warrior~

  3. Malc Campbell-Scott April 12, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    During my times of weakness. A weakness so bad I could hardly move; God took the opportunity to speak to me through His Word and the writings of many historically great exponents of the Bible. My wife and I live in London UK. She is a nurse, and a great comfort. We have been married for 16 wonderful years. She loves and trusts the Lord Jesus with her whole being. She had a son from her first marriage who died of cancer at the age of two. This played a big part in her coming to faith in the Lord Jesus. We just love each other so much; a love that seems still to grow stronger daily. I have a daughter from my first marriage, and she is the love of our lives. My wife is “her” mum. She never talks about her biological mother. (Sad story).

    Going back to what the Lord has done in my times of weakness, is quite amazing. He has drawn me into the lifestyle His disciples/apostles chose to walk. Which is one of humility, poverty, love for the brethren and a heart for lost souls. Before I started treatment, the Lord called us from our comfortable lifestyle in Devon SW England, where we usually lived in the middle of the wilds in log cabins and farm-houses. When we arrived in London, I started giving out the Gospel on the streets. Some parts of London are very beautiful, as it is where we live. But the Lord has chosen me to go into the “rough” areas of this great city. Sometimes I really do lay my life on the line. I always go out alone, because, believe it or not this is the safest way! Guns, knives and other weapons are always a threat; But Jesus is always by my side. The Holy Spirit has taught me to be “As wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove.”

    I have just finished writing a book, which starts from the day I was born, until now. Ultimately, the book is for the glory Of God, and His saving Grace.

    Much love in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

    • Connie M April 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Malc,
      Thank you so much for sharing. Wow, sounds like you have a tremendous testimony in many areas. I’d love to hear more.

      It’s a great blessing to have family and friends for love and support. Everyone needs ‘Jesus with skin on people’ in their lives.

      I know what you mean, in our weakess times in our lives we have attentive hearing. Through many dark times in my life, the Lord has shown me treasures in the darkness. He is always shining through those dark times to give me the light I need to carry on.

      Praise Him for your wonderful spirit and heart for Him.
      I can tell you are a Mighty Warrior and awesome encourager! So glad your here to join us.

      Praying for you~

  4. Richard s. April 17, 2017 at 8:01 am #

    Connie, I never knew someone on purpose gave you hepatitis c. I thought my story because of a blood transfusion was bad, however yours is worse.I got out of the hospital on Wednesday. I developed a fever on Thursday and a cough. I can’t seem to get rid of eiither. I am taking Tylenol. The person I shared the room with was a drunk and dope user. He was up all night for days. What a horrible experience. I tried to witness to him, but only the Lord knows. I have an appointment at UCLA FOR my retina. We shall see what happens. I love you and all the warriors. In Christ, Richard .

    • Connie M April 17, 2017 at 10:44 am #

      Hi Richard,
      Thank you for sharing today. I don’t really consider my story worse than others, it’s just the way it happened but even through the horror of it all, God had a plan and purpose. I forgave the man who did this a long time ago. God taught me a lot about the power of forgiveness during that time. It was really my first step toward healing. There is much more to the story that I hope to share with everyone but these are some of the facts. But the greatest gift of all is that God is in the restoration business and loves us so much. When we give our all to Him, He takes the ashes of our lives and makes something more wonderful than we could ever imagine.

      I’m so sorry you have had to go through all that you have. I have been so concerned for you. I hope and pray that you get over your fever and cough quickly. So many here are going through either a bug with fever and such or dealing with allergy problems. You planted a lot of seeds and from what you shared with me, the Lord had a special purpose for you to talk to the specific people he placed in front of you.

      I’m praying for your appt. with your retina specialist. Keep us posted on how it goes and how you’re feeling.

      Love & Blessings to you my friend,
      Connie

  5. Richard s. April 17, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

    Thanks Connie, the Stein eye clinic at UCLA has superior doctors. It is hard for me sometimes to give forgiveness. God bless you my friend, Richard .

    • Connie M April 19, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

      Hi Richard,
      I’m so glad you are going to top doctors. Keep us posted on what’s going on there.

      I know forgiveness is not easy to give but when I wrestle with it, the Lord always reminds me of His forgiveness toward us and how He is the one who can help us forgive others when we ask him. First and foremost, it’s never based on if we fee like it, because if that was the case we’d never do it. But we forgive with an act of our will and continual prayer asking the Lord to help us forgive beyond our emotions. We have to remember, holding onto unforgiveness doesn’t hurt the other person, it hurts us in more ways than one. It’s like a cancer that spreads except in this case, we have the choice to hang onto it or put the hurt and that person in God’s hands. Forgiveness can sometimes be quick and sometimes it takes continual prayer and work in the process, but it happens. It’s freeing and beyond that honors and reflects Christ.

      Love & Blessings to you my friend,
      Connie

  6. Margaret Polino Nicholas April 18, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

    Dear Connie,
    Hope this finds you well. I too have learned so much from my experience with chronic hep C. I have so much more patience.
    Hugs,
    Margee

    • Connie M April 19, 2017 at 11:46 am #

      Hi there Margee,
      Thank you so much for sharing today. I’m right there with ya my friend. I too have learned a lot from my experience with Hep C. Life is indeed precious and a gift, we have to live it well and love others greatly.

      You are always a bright light of love my friend.
      Blessings to you,
      Connie

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