It's good to offload/ I'll pray for the best or your wife.I've not posted here in over a month and I haven't smoked or cooked much of anything, either.
Since about March, my wife has been experiencing some pain in her upper abdomen that at times is really bad. She can't eat much and many times what she does eat, doesn't stay down, and she's lost about 20-25 lbs. She was prescribed Tramadol, but everyday during the week, she takes care of our granddaughters and she doesn't want to be impaired, so she won't take it. In July, she finally got in to see her gastroenterologist and he ordered a CT scan of her abdomen. The scan showed an area of interest on her liver so an MRI with contrast was ordered which was done on Aug. 10.
Friday, Aug. 11, we got the results. She was diagnosed with HCC...hepatocellular carcinoma or primary liver cancer. In an instant, our lives were turned upside down. I lost all interest in fishing and cooking and I felt like I was walking around in circles in mud up to my butt. Neither of us has slept much and my stress level has been through the roof. I was hesitant to post anything about it because we didn't have any other information and no direction on where we were headed.
Now after a few weeks, we've been back to see her GI doctor who referred us to a specialist, a hepatologist, at the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC, in Charleston. We've also seen an oncologist who ordered more lab work and a CT scan of her chest which showed her lungs to be clear, but also areas of interest on her thyroid. Biopsies of both were ordered.
This past Thursday, we went to see the hepatologist at MUSC. He had reviewed her case and also had it reviewed by their endoscopy board and their tumor board. Their consensus is that the data they have is inconclusive and they need the biopsies. The doctor also ordered more lab work specifically to look at bile duct markers and for hepatitis B & C. One interesting thing that he did tell us is that the pain she's having is unrelated to the liver issues. It is just a coincidence, but without that, we wouldn't know about her liver issues. Can't help but think it is God's way of looking out for her.
Friday we went to the hospital for the biopsies on both her liver and thyroid. It will take up to 5 days to get the results of the pathology so now we wait some more. Hopefully this coming week we'll know for sure what we're dealing with and what our options are.
Part of the back story is when she was 20 or 21, before I knew her, she was diagnosed with a fatty liver and was told that when she reached her 60s, it could turn into cirrhosis and cancer. Well here we are, she does have cirrhosis. She also has Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver disease, or NAFL, and that is probably the cause of the cirrhosis, but we're hoping and praying that there isn't any cancer. The cirrhosis will have to be treated, but we think it's in the early stage, or "compensated", and is easily treated. She doesn't have any of the symptoms of the second stage, or "decompensated", so that's a positive. Also still have to address the pain she's having which is what got us to this point. In the past few weeks, we've learned more about liver disease and cancer than I could ever imagine.
We've been married for over 40 years and while I know that I had a life before her, I don't remember much of it. She just seems to have always been here. She has already lost 2 siblings to cancer so one can imagine how hard it was to tell her mother what we're dealing with. She is truly a Proverbs 31 woman, the matriarch of our zoo, the one everybody seeks out for advice...
It helps to finally get some of this off my chest and I apologize for the long post...