Saturday, September 28, 2013

If Shakespeare Had Hepatitis C, Part 2

Jaundiced Shakespearean Humor
If Shakespeare Had Hepatitis C
In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Here at the Hepatitis Comics, I believe in beating a dead joke. So this week, I continue with another installment of “If Shakespeare Had Hepatitis C.” Here are quotes the Bard might have written if his humor was jaundiced…

Out, damned hepatitis C out, I say!
("Out, damned spot! out, I say!" - Macbeth)

To treat, or not to treat: that is the question.
("To be, or not to be: that is the question." - Hamlet)

Neither a borrower nor a lender be; but donate your liver and other organs upon death.
("Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry." - Hamlet)

The liver doth protest too much, methinks.
(“The lady doth protest too much, methinks” - Hamlet)

This above all: to thine’s own liver be true.
(“This above all: to thine own self be true.” - Hamlet)

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your livers.
("Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him". – Julius Caesar)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

If Shakespeare Had Hepatitis C

If Shakespeare had hepatitis C, he might have written plays with the following titles:
Shakespeare Meets Hepatitis C
If Shakespeare Had Hepatitis C
  • Romeo and Jaundice
  • As You Liver It 
  • The Comedy of Livers 
  • Love's Livers Lost 
  • The Hepatologist of Venice 
  • A Midsummer Night's Biopsy
  • Much Ado About Hepatitis 
  • Taming of the Gall Bladder
  • Two Gastroenterologists of Verona 
  • Ascites and Cirrhosis
  • King Liver
  • All's Well That Ends with a Sustained Virolgic Response 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tasteless Hepatitis C Humor

From time to time, hepatitis C is the subject of tasteless jokes. Many comedians have joked about it, and inevitably it makes the news. Those who live with this disease are often offended by careless quips about hepatitis C. There is an entire facebook page devoted to stopping jokes about hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C jokes are usually tasteless and disturbing, because often they foster misinformation and continue to stigmatize. Even worse, the jokes aren’t funny. Granted, a joke made by someone who lives with hepatitis C is more likely to be appropriate. 

Hepatitis C: A Touchy Subject
Hepatitis C: A Touchy Subject
All this is to explain a cartoon by Rich Tennant (The 5th Wave). The caption reads, “Once again Ronald felt people were avoiding him because he had hepatitis C.” Ronald is pictured at a cocktail party, wearing a tutu. He is holding a leash that is attached to a turkey. Because of copyright laws, I can’t publish it, but I provided a link to this hepatitis C comic.
Tasteless? Perhaps. Funny? Yes. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hepatitis C's Day in Court

This year I participated in a twelve-week clinical trial for hepatitis C. My stats when I began: I had hepatitis C for 25 years; genotype 1a, viral load greater than 8 million, and stage 2 fibrosis.

This was my third hepatitis C treatment. The first was interferon monotherapy in 1997. I did not respond and stopped after three months. The second was 48 weeks of peginterferon and ribavirin in 2003. I relapsed in the post-treatment stage. This time I underwent 12 weeks of triple therapy with Gilead’s sofosbuvir (formerly GS-7977), ledipasvir (formerly GS-5885), and ribavirin.

Hepatitis C is close to cure
Hepatitis C's Day in Court
Although this was much easier than the two prior hepatitis C treatments, it was not without challenges. The rash and headache were easy to deal with. Sleep was impossible without the aid of modern chemistry. I was fatigued, my head was cloudy. Apparently, I was a neurotic mess during treatment.  I thought I was moderately together, but my husband would testify in court that I was “difficult to be around.”  Fortunately, I didn’t do anything illegal that would force him to testify in court.

The recovery period was swift and nearly immediately noticeable. Unlike peginterferon’s tedious aftermath of two-steps forward, one-step back, I felt better every day. At my 12-week follow-up visit, I remained free of hepatitis C. I have a 98% chance of remaining this way until the official 24-week post-treatment date in November.

Perhaps I am being overconfident, but 98% sounds like darn good odds to me. The real question is, if I am cured of hepatitis C, will I have material for The Hepatitis Comics? I am sure I will continue to do and say ridiculous things, but without hepatitis C to take the blame, will I be reduced to dumb blonde jokes? The Blonditis Comics just doesn’t have much of a ring to it…