Thursday, June 12, 2014

Now We Know ~ An Update on My Husband

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


  1. Inger, you, Samson and hubby will make it through this, my friend! He is in the best hands as you said and with a woman like you at his side, talkative or not, he will come out it!!!...:)JP

  2. I'm sorry to hear that Inger. Sounds like he's getting the best medical care available! You guys will be in my thoughts.

  3. now we know what to pray about. I am so happy you have a docotr that is good and that you like so much. from what Samson said the three of you are handling this very well.. my prayer for your husband is for healing and that the chemo will do what it is supposed to do and the Hep c drugs will do what they are supposed to do. thanks for sharing this with us.. hugs from Florida.
    tell samson we are hot tooooo

  4. thank you for the update. i have been thinking of you. i am glad that he is in the best hands possible. keep your strength and your own health as you fret about his.

    and samson, stay cool!

  5. How very difficult for you! Sounds as if your husband is in the very best hands possible. Kram till er!

  6. Inger, I am so sorry to hear of this news, I have been thinking of you and your husband since you told us he was not well, and I won't stop thinking about you and hoping and hoping they can treat it. The good news is that you have a good doctor so hold on to that thought and know that all of your friends here on your blog are here to support and offer an ear to listen if you need to. I know there is little I can say or do, byt I am an email away if you need anything or just to talk. Look after yourself too and stay positive. Sending lots of virtual hugs.

  7. I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. I am praying for you and your husband. Please keep us updated.

  8. Inger, thank you for sharing this news about your husband. I know it can't be easy for either of you. And how fortunate that he have the best doctor in the world!! And what an interesting story of events that lead you both to him! Fate!

    You know what you have to do, right? Take really good care of yourself....pamper yourself if you can with lots of rest. Live in the moment....that is what is more important now than the future.

    Sending you our support and love and a big LICK for Samson from Sophie! Not me!!

  9. Dear Inger (and Samson) - I am so sorry to read your news today. It sounds like your husband has an amazing doctor and is in really good hands. Look after yourself through this stressful time.
    Sending you and your husband blessings and healing thoughts across the water.


  10. The good side is medical treatments have advanced so much just in the last few years. Stay strong. Beautiful photos.

  11. My dear Inger, I am so sorry to read your news today. I have been thinking of you every day and I am concern about both of you too.
    It's very important that your husband's doctor is very competent and qualified and one of the best doctors in that
    speciality in the world.
    Sending you and your husband my healing and positive thoughts across miles away.
    Lots of hugs to you both and to adorable Samson too.

  12. Wishing only the very best for you both INger. And Sampson has it right taking it a day at a time and just enjoying the simple pleasures of life when you can will put things in perspective.
    Hugs ,

  13. Inger, now that they know what is wrong, they can start making it right. I am sending you healing thoughts and best wishes.

  14. I'm so sorry about the sad news but at the same time I'm glad he's in the best of hands. I like what that doctor said about not dealing with stages but with healing his patients. Hang in there. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you. And yes, that means you too Samson.
    Warm hugs,

  15. Only look at the good news. He is in good hands and getting the best care available. That will get you both through it one day at a time.

    Stay positive and keep your strength up as best you can..

  16. I'm so sorry, Inger, but I'm grateful that your husband has an excellent doctor. I wish I could run errands for you and let you rest.

    Janie, who is praying for you and your husband

  17. I'm certainly glad that somebody won that house! The most helpful part of getting well, is having a doctor you know and trust. I'm also sorry that you need him.

    It's too bad that is so hot now. Can Samson be shaved? Or clipped closely? You can run around naked, maybe your husband would get a kick out of that. ;-)

    You know you are in my thoughts.

  18. Your husband looked really good when he stopped over the other day. Blake says the cure rate on the new drug he's taking is 90-98%. We love him dearly & hope he's part of that large percentage!!

  19. The cure rate 90-98%? If your husband was a slot machine in Las Vegas there would be a mile long line to him.

    I know you are worried. But to have a personal connection with the physician means the world.

    Inch by inch, and you and he can do this. Samson is there for you to hug when you need to.

    He senses something is up, but he cannot understand what. Be kind to him.

    UCLA is one of the best places for your husband to be treated for this. He has a lot going for him. Take each step of this journey as it comes, and try not to jump ahead of this trip.

    My heart and prayers are with you and your husband, and of course, Samson.

    Pace yourself and do not overdo!

  20. The cure rate for Hepatitis C is that great now, unfortunately not true for liver cancer. I believe a successful liver transplant is needed for long term survival. So now we are joking that since I'm six years older than he, let's hope he can live a few years more so we can conk out at the same time.

    They don't recommend shaving Samoyeds, but I cut back his undercoat in the summers, and just brushing it helps too. Since he's not allowed outside in the strong sun anyway because of his illness, he enjoys the cool of the desert mornings, evenings and nights outside.

  21. Thanks for the update on your husband. I've heard about the new miracle hepatitis C drugs -- super effective and super expensive. I'm glad he is able to get them. I will keep both of you in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there.

  22. Dear Inger - Hep C is a nasty little addition to life - and I'm so sorry for the way it was picked up.

    Now as you say is the time to be strong and things seem to be working out for you as best possible, by the sound of it .. and what an amazing little story about the house.

    I sincerely send you all the very best in the next few weeks and with the thought that things can be held at bay for the time being.

    My thoughts and lots of hugs .. and as Samson says look after you too ... thank you for updating us ... all the very best - Hilary

  23. I'm so sorry …please know that we are all sending much love and support across the miles to help carry you through this ...

  24. Inger: I'm so sorry to hear this news. Lots of hugs and prayers coming from the Lays in Oklahoma. Thank God your husband was led to a good doctor all those years ago! Take care! ~Jeff

  25. Sweet friend, so very sorry about this news. Will be lifting your dear husband way up in my prayers, and you too of course. I love you, and sweet Samson.

  26. Dear Inger, thank you for this update on your husband. It must have been hard to write so coherently because you, yourself, must be so tired. I do hope you are taking good care of yourself and that you and Samson continue to enjoy your walks.

    "One day at a time" is a life-giving mantra I believe. My friend Judy always encourages me to "go with the flow." And when we are on a journey of discovery--whether it be hard or easy--going with the flow can help us become more at peace with our life. I wish you peace now.

  27. Hi, I hopped to you from Sophie and Jim. I know how much I have valued and treasured support, love and care from my blog friends, after Hugh had 2 heart attacks, and now has serious spinal issues. Yesterday the specialist as good as said that he would not get surgery.(age, problems, too risky??), I will keep you close in all my thoughts, care and love from way down under. And I know how hard it is to be a wife of one who is ill. Jean. NZ.p.s. Samson is a true beauty.

  28. So pleased that you've let us know so we can support you when you need it, Inger. You and Samson are the strong ones now, and if you need a little support every now and then, you know you have friends to rely on. Some are close, some are far away, but we are here.

    You were so lucky to find that house. I call that seredipity. At the right place at the right time. Like Roland getting the surgeon he knew from his bookstore. Fated, I'm sure. I'm crossing fingers and toes for your hubs and wishing for the best. Take care of yourself, too.

  29. Inger, my heart goes out to you. I am praying for your husband. I am so happy he will be getting top-notch medical care. I know what path you will be walking and it won't be easy. But I am here anytime you need a shoulder....

  30. Oh, Inger...keeping you and your husband in my heart.

  31. Prayers for your husband, and for you, Inger. Stay positive and know that many of us, way out here, are sending our best your way.

  32. I'm sure sorry to hear this. But there's always hope.

    My wife had a brain tumor and things looked grim. Like you though, we had a good doctor, and in the end she was able to beat it.

    You're a good wife, he's a lucky man.

  33. Hej inger,
    Tråkigt att höra om din make, men bra att han tål den nya medicinen. Tänker på er. Kram

  34. Oh Inger, I'm so sorry to read about this awful time that you and your husband are having. Yes, I do know what it feels like. I know that we all send our love and prayers and offers of support but that can't remove the sickening knot in the pit of your stomach. All I can say is that modern medicine has moved on so rapidly in this area of treatment. Had my husband been diagnosed ten years earlier he would not be here now and that is a fact. Yes, the chemo was horrible and yes, it was an exhausting time to go through but he is now in remission and I pray that very soon you will be saying the same about your husband. Love Ros x

  35. I'm so very sorry to read this, Inger. I will be thinking of you and your husband and hoping for the very best. So glad he has such a wonderful doctor and will be getting the best care possible.

  36. GOD IS WATCHING OVER BOTH OF YOU - don't know why you have to go on this journey but HE will be with you.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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