“Bring thyself to account ere thou art summoned to a reckoning…”

Time for an accounting. I’ve been writing nearly everyday on this blog since March—since I was nearing the end of eleven months of taking five highly abusive medical drugs to rid my liver of a deadly virus—jury’s still out on whether it worked . . .

From the New York Times: Uncertainties About the Role of Doubt in Religion “Religious faith was once the air everyone, even the doubter, breathed. Today, religious faith, in its many forms, stands as but one possibility alongside a range of nonreligious outlooks that the honest believer cannot simply dismiss as deluded or depraved.
“Religious thinkers, of course, have long argued that uncertainty and faith are not the polar opposites often supposed; that indifference, and not doubt, for example, is the greater adversary of faith; that absolute certitude about God often reflects a dangerous arrogance.”

I’ve been trying to live up to my Faith for almost twenty years now—struggling against my grasping ego—contending with the oh, so easy rationalizations to just be “human”; imperfections flowering into weeds of uncertainty.

This blog is part of my personal covenant with God—hopeful action to stave off the demons of doubt.

I value the feedback I receive from my visitors, especially the indicators of which posts are the most viewed (see the far right sidebar). I struggle to interpret what’s going on in the world in terms of my Faith and post my thoughts and feelings here. What people choose to read is a “message” to me—a wake-up call—about how my private efforts are connected to other members of our human family . . .

So…

Thought I’d take the current most-viewed-posts and put them together (for my meditation and, hopefully, your edification) in these files:

Word File ——— PDF File
For an undetermined reason the Word file didn’t hold the images.
If you’re able, download the PDF…

~~~~~~~~~

“Examine the wondrous behaviour of the Prophets, and recall the defamations and denials uttered by the children of negation and falsehood, perchance you may cause the bird of the human heart to wing its flight away from the abodes of heedlessness and doubt unto the nest of faith and certainty, and drink deep from the pure waters of ancient wisdom, and partake of the fruit of the tree of divine knowledge. Such is the share of the pure in heart of the bread that hath descended from the realms of eternity and holiness.”
Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 5

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The Battle’s Over !


In a previous post, I pointed to the growing epidemic nature of Hepatitis C.

I’ve posted here many times concerning my responses to the side effects of what I’ve called the “abusive” drugs I took for the treatment… Yes, “took”.

Today is the first day, after eleven months, that I will not take them! I must have tests at six months and a year to see if the virus is really gone but my immediate battle is over !!

Now, to lick my wounds by working to rid my body of the traces of the drugs (2 – 6 months)…

I want to add a remark I left on the Group, alt.support.hepatitis.c, and the response from one of the most compassionate and knowledgable members of that Group:

~~~

Hey, Fellow Dragon-Slayers, On Wednesday the 30th of April I cease the intake (48 weeks–type 1a) of the “abusive” drugs. I’m well aware I have three most important dates after that–results of the blood draw on that day and the 6 month and one year checks. Still, I’ve been doing some blogging about my experience (including the growing epidemic nature of Hep C) and I want to celebrate the 30th in the blog. You can definitely help. Tell the world how you felt when you stopped taking the drugs. God knows what my percentage is for complete SVR or a “cure”; still, I’m overjoyed about cessation of the drugs!!! Will you help me make my blog shimmer and glow that day?!? ~ Alex


~~~


Well, I dunno about “shimmer and glow”, but here’s what I remember…The last shot of Peg, and a week later, the last handful of Ribavirin, left me feeling elated, relieved – and anxious as heck. I had even mentioned here that – after the full 48 weeks and total compliance to the regimen – I was leery of
stopping the meds. I had been clear from the first VL test (at 12 weeks) through to the end, but being a g1b with a lot of strikes against success, even though I was still anemic as hell throughout therapy, it felt “safer” to just keep taking the drugs, to keep on keeping the virus at bay.

Of course, I stopped on schedule. It would have crazy to keep going 😉 And I was very lucky in the SVR Sweepstakes…and still am.

Cheers

/greyhackles


Digg!

Ouch… Aha !


As I approach the end of the drug treatment for Hepatitis C, I feel pretty much like that image—fact is, I think it’s perfect.

The main parts of my body, mind, and feelings are sharp and prickly like that desert plant.

My soul and spiritual capacity are, naturally, the lovely flowers—growing right up out of the pain producers.

The following quote is by a magnificent man who passed away in 1921. He spent 40 years in prison for his spiritual beliefs…

“Freedom is not a matter of place. It is a condition. I was thankful for the prison, and the lack of liberty was very pleasing to me, for those days were passed in the path of service, under the utmost difficulties and trials, bearing fruits and results.

“Unless one accepts dire vicissitudes, he will not attain. To me prison is freedom, troubles rest me, death is life, and to be despised is honour. Therefore, I was happy all that time in prison. When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed release, for that is the greater prison. When this release takes place, then one cannot be outwardly imprisoned. When they put my feet in stocks, I would say to the guard, ‘You cannot imprison me, for here I have light and air and bread and water. There will come a time when my body will be in the ground, and I shall have neither light nor air nor food nor water, but even then I shall not be imprisoned.’ The afflictions which come to humanity sometimes tend to centre the consciousness upon the limitations, and this is a veritable prison. Release comes by making of the will a Door through which the confirmations of the Spirit come….

“The confirmations of the Spirit are all those powers and gifts which some are born with (and which men sometimes call genius), but for which others have to strive with infinite pains. They come to that man or woman who accepts his life with radiant acquiescence.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 120

“Good” and “Bad”

Gotta dance ’cause I sure don’t wanna cry…

I’m so happy I began my new business; I’m happy the medical treatments are almost finished; hell, I’m happy I was able to walk here to the coffee shop.

‘Course, that happiness doesn’t stop the suffering from the treatments.

If you’ve read a number of posts in this blog, you may be tempted to say: “Why so much negative stuff?”

Well…

It’s “bad” that I got Hep C and the side effects from the drugs are “bad” BUT the submission to God’s Will and the resignation to His Power I’ve been learning are “good”. Sometimes, it takes quite a crisis to teach me a lesson.

“Know ye that the embodiment of liberty and its symbol is the animal. That which beseemeth man is submission unto such restraints as will protect him from his own ignorance, and guard him against the harm of the mischief-maker. Liberty causeth man to overstep the bounds of propriety, and to infringe on the dignity of his station.”

[ Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 335 ]

Also, I feel, since I’m going through the treatment and understand the threat of the virus, that not sharing information would be criminal:

“It is suspected that there are, at present, more than 5 million people in the United States that are infected with Hepatitis C, and perhaps as many as 200 million around the world. This makes it one of the greatest public health threats faced in this century, and perhaps one of the greatest threats to be faced in the next century. Without rapid intervention to contain the spread of the disease, the death rate from hepatitis C will surpass that from AIDS by the turn of the century and will only get worse.”

If you’re concerned about Hep C (for yourself or others) a wonderful and supportive space is the alt.support.hepatitis-c group !

I’m gonna dance on outta here…

Reality . . .

sunset-sky-084.jpg

I’ve mentioned my various pains here and I’ll be so happy when I can trade them for different pains. Hepatitis C treatment is No Fun but the induction of submission and resignation can be profound . . .

Spiritual Quote of the Day:

The Sun of Reality is one Sun but it has different dawning-places, just as the phenomenal sun is one although it appears at various points of the horizon. During the time of spring the luminary of the physical world rises far to the north of the equinoctial; in summer it dawns midway and in winter it appears in the most southerly point of its zodiacal journey. These day springs or dawning-points differ widely but the sun is ever the same sun whether it be the phenomenal or spiritual luminary.

Souls who focus their vision upon the Sun of Reality will be the recipients of light no matter from what point it rises, but those who are fettered by adoration of the dawning-point are deprived when it appears in a different station upon the spiritual horizon.

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 255)

Slow Growth Seen in Hepatitis C Market

wireframe_virus.gif

“Jefferies Sees Slower Than Expected Growth in the Hepatitis C Drug Market”

That image is a model of one of the little buggers that infected my liver.

The link below the image is to an article that, basically, looks ahead to new drug mechanisms for treating Hep C.

As too many people used to say way too often: “It’s all good”.

However, being what we, the sufferers, call a “Dragon Killer”, I’m aware of the $100,000 cost for current treatment [ I’m a Vet and “lucky” the government is paying that…].

The company that makes one of the main drugs makes a large enough profit to maintain a 24/7 hot line staffed with nurses.

I don’t wish the treatment I’m going through on future Dragon Killers and truly hope better regimens are found.

But…

With the Weird State of Mind induced by the drugs I take, a “Slow Growth Seen in Hepatitis C Market” could be remedied by CDC: Hepatitis C in Nev. could be ‘tip of iceberg’“:

“The city of Las Vegas shut down the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada last Friday after state health officials determined that six patients had contracted hepatitis C because of unsafe practices, including clinic staff reusing syringes and vials. Nevada health officials are trying to contact about 40,000 patients who received anesthesia by injection at the clinic between March 2004 and Jan. 11 of this year to urge them to get tested for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV.”