I believe letters can be deceiving.

Anna - West St. Paul, Minnesota
Entered on October 9, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, illness

I believe opening letters can be deceiving. It was a sunny afternoon, when I looked out the window and saw the mail man. Little did I know, the letter he was bringing me, would change my life. I remember opening this envelope, with the Red Cross logo on it, and feeling inside it, how thick this envelope was. I was expecting a donor card, and I thought, wow, why is this envelope so thick? I opened the letter, and started reading the cover letter. “Dear Anna, Thank you for donating with the red cross, unfortunately we are unable to accept your blood donation as we have found in your blood the anti-bodies to liver disease” I kept reading, and felt my stomach drop, like when your on top of the wild thing, and you just got over that big hill. Almost like the wind got knocked out of me. It sort of reminded me of when someone would open up their report card and find an “F”, that feeling you get, as if you let someone down, except this was worse, this was almost 100 times worse. After I was done reading, I just sat down at my blue kitchen table,. I picked up the phone and called my mom, I got her voice-mail. I left her a message to call me back, saying they found something in my blood. She eventually called me back, and I told her what the letter said. All her response was “Don’t worry hunny, the most they will do is give you some lifestyle choices.” I knew this was bigger, and more than just a life style change. A couple minutes after talking to her I got another phone call from my pediatric doctor, telling me the same thing that dreadful letter told me. He referred me to a doctor up in St. Paul, at the Gastroenterology Pediatric Clinic. I was set up with a confirmatory blood test and genotype test to be performed there. That day finally came, and I had an interview with the doctor, and she suspects I am in the 2nd out of 3 stages of liver disease. Which is fibrosis, she told me this can be very dangerous and harmful because my body is scaring my liver. I got my blood drawn, and was told I would get my results back in about 1-2 weeks. 3 weeks later, after checking the mail everyday hoping something would show up, I finally got another letter. Little did I know again, this letter would also effect my life. I opened it up, and found out the confirmatory tests were positive, and my genotype was the second to worst kind. Again, I felt my heart speed up, I felt sort of dizzy. I knew what was going to happen next. I did my research, so I am no foreigner to my disease now; I ate, sleep, and dreamed about my liver for those 3 weeks. I called my mom and asked her what are the plans. She told me I have a liver biopsy scheduled for October 16th and my pre-op is on the 10th of October. Since I am still underage, I get to be fully sedated for this procedure. I have told a couple of people and they all seem to just stare at me, that or they get the expression as if they don’t even care, but what I think is happening, is that they don’t know what to say, maybe they are scared to hurt my feelings. All I really want, is for someone to tell me the truth, that saying “Hey this year will be really hard” or saying “Treatment is going to suck”. Even my own mom doesn’t know what to say. When she told me all they would do is “give me some life style choices,” she was very wrong. I will be on injections 1-3 times a week, and pills 2 times a day for the next year. I would hardly call that a lifestyle choice. I am still struggling with this, but I will not give up. I believe everyone has opened a letter, and has been upset by what it says. Maybe it doesn’t change their life forever but it still affects them in some shape or form.