Lymphoma survivor: Why I recommend hepatitis C testing

I’ve never taken illegal drugs, and the only time I ever had a needle in my arm was when a doctor was on the other side of it. So my best guess is that I contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion I received after a car accident when I was 19. Back in 1985, donated blood wasn’t tested for hepatitis C, as it hadn’t really been identified yet. Then, it was just known as “non-A/B hepatitis.” And for years, the only real treatment was a combination of interferon and ribavirin, which wasn’t very effective and caused unpleasant side effects. So, when I found out I had hepatitis C in 2009 (from a blood test performed for a life insurance application), I figured I only had about 10 good years left. My son was 2 then, and I realized while changing his diaper one day that I probably wouldn’t live to see him graduate. I thought about getting my affairs in order. Then, one day I overheard a doctor say that most people who have hepatitis C will die with the disease, but not from the disease. It took being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2015 to learn that MD Anderson could cure me of both. A non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis I discovered I had cancer when I went to the doctor about a lump in my throat. I’d let it go for several months, but it grew and shrank several times before I’d finally had enough. My doctor said the lump was probably a “thyroglossal duct cyst,” or a growth on my thyroid, and referred me to an...