My husband was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 1991, probably infected via a blood transfusion in 1986, before they were able to screen for this virus. For many years he saw a liver specialist in Pasadena, one of the best doctors for this disease anywhere. My husband tried the treatments available at the time, but was unable to tolerate them. His HepC has been monitored yearly by his primary care physician with no significant changes noted.
My husband has been very tired this past year and when the new drugs for HepC, drugs that can cure the disease in some patients, came out, he went back to see his Pasadena liver specialist in May. After ultra sounds and CT scans were performed, a spot was discovered on his liver. He had a biopsy on May 28 and we learned, this past Tuesday, that he has liver cancer.
My husband's liver specialist is affiliated with UCLA, which works well for us since it is closer than Pasadena. Both he and his UCLA colleague told us that this is cancer prior to the biopsy, apparently they can tell a lot from the other tests. So we were prepared. Now it has been confirmed. In the meantime, my husband started on the drugs for the HepC and he is tolerating them well. He will need a liver transplant. In the future ~ I can't even think that far ahead right now. In order to be eligible for that, the HepC must be completely gone. I believe the course of treatment is 12 weeks or something like that.
On June 17, my husband will get his first chemo treatment at UCLA. The chemo drugs will be surgically inserted into his tumor. They will guide it via ultrasound from his groin area to the liver, I believe. Those of you who have had sick husbands may know how hard it is to get something out of them. I'm a bit exhausted from all this, but believe me, I will find out all there is to learn about this entire process later.
Now, that was the bad news. The good new is that my husband's doctor is one of the best doctors in this field in the world. When my husband asked the stage of his cancer, his doctor replied that he does not deal in stages, he deals in healing his patients. My husband has, over the years, become a friend of this doctor. And since this began, we have felt as if someone from above, somewhere, has been moving mountains of hospital bureaucracy for us. Everything has run so smoothly, it's really incredible. And so valuable when you are under a lot of stress.
Let me end this with a little story of life's twists and turns to let you know how we ended up with this doctor, a doctor we need so very much now and in the days to come.
In 1986, a friend of my husband's dad went to Las Vegas, where he gambled and won himself a cute little house in Pasadena. Seriously! I fell in love with the little house after we went to check it out. It had a huge old oak tree outside the bedroom window, a front porch, and a backyard with a glorious view of the San Gabriel mountains. I bought it, we were married in it, and then proceeded to establish ourselves in the community. This included finding a doctor and later, after my husband was diagnosed with HepC, a liver specialist. So, if that old man had not won that cute little house, gambling in Vegas, who knows who would be in charge of my husband's care today...........................
Samson Says: I guess you all may want to know how we are handling all this stuff. Well, daddy's on the phone with all kinds of friends and relatives, half of New Orleans (where ever that is) is calling him, carrying on, laughing when mommy wants to take a nap. Loud as always, he is. Mommy, she's tired, very tired, cause she's the one who has to go to town to pick up food and medicines and all that we need. And it's hot, very hot, and mommy and me, we don't like that one bit! But she is hanging in there and we're all just taking this a day at a time. It's about all you can do.........
Have a nice day, everyone ~ Your Samson