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brick
@brick

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 30, 2018

Liver cancer complicated with cirrhosis

Posted by @brick, Fri, Mar 30 7:29am

SO little caregiving support for this cancer! I'm the wife of a truly lovely baby boomer who has HepC from tainted blood products given in the '70's. Given the new antiviral, he quickly developed a large hepatocellular mass. He lives asymptomatically, no ascites, no loss of appetite nor weight, etc….even referees soccer and lacrosse; will be treated with radioactive beads very soon. We have him on a 80/20 alkaline diet (cancer LOVES an 'acidic' host), water ionizer/alkaline/hydrogen enriched, etc.. My question to an informed person revolves around his coming down last night with a common GI bug that's going around and it presenting an issue I'm unsure about: What does organ failure look like?…I know he should swell, possibly itch, possibly get a rash… just in the case of dealing with a 'common' ailment with someone so (internally, at least) ill, when is it best to seek out ER help? I just can't find much to help that doesn't refer to someone in ICU already. Help?

REPLY

@brick, Hi Brick. I am a volunteer mentor and I want to say welcome to Mayo Connect. I can relate to your question of 'when and if' to seek out ER help. My experience with cirrhosis is not what you're describing. However, when there is stress and damage to the liver, it does affect all sorts of body functions. With his cancer diagnosis and treatment, I would not hesitate to at least make a call to his current doctor to get his advice. He may order some blood tests to check on his liver functions. Or he may say go to the ER. (I have experienced both reactions before and post liver transplant due to my cirrhosis).
My husband (my caregiver) responds more quickly than me, he says better safe that sorry.

I am going to add the link for Cirrhosis to this message for you to review. In it I read that cirrhosis often has no signs or symptoms until liver damage is extensive.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351487

Keep in touch.
Rosemary

Hi Brick, I add my welcome. I'm tagging a couple of other members. Please meet @steindad who has liver cancer and @jodeej, whose husband has cirrhosis and may have some insight on watching symptoms.

I have to agree with Rosemary that better safe than sorry. Did you decide to go to ER?

@rosemarya

@brick, Hi Brick. I am a volunteer mentor and I want to say welcome to Mayo Connect. I can relate to your question of 'when and if' to seek out ER help. My experience with cirrhosis is not what you're describing. However, when there is stress and damage to the liver, it does affect all sorts of body functions. With his cancer diagnosis and treatment, I would not hesitate to at least make a call to his current doctor to get his advice. He may order some blood tests to check on his liver functions. Or he may say go to the ER. (I have experienced both reactions before and post liver transplant due to my cirrhosis).
My husband (my caregiver) responds more quickly than me, he says better safe that sorry.

I am going to add the link for Cirrhosis to this message for you to review. In it I read that cirrhosis often has no signs or symptoms until liver damage is extensive.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351487

Keep in touch.
Rosemary

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Ladies, I do so very much appreciate your replying to my inquiry. In answer to the question, no, there arose no need to go to the ER, his GI bug passed w/o complication and he was referee again this wkend… As any curious person might do, in the month since his diagnosis, I have gained a college education in my husband's 'triple threat' condition, fully understanding HepC, cirrhosis liver cancer–which is a wily beast that chooses to be quite difficult to decipher, as well as, transplant 'staging'. We spoke to a transplant team last week…still waiting to see his tumor reduced in size with the radio beads, so that he can remain on the list.
I am very happy to speak to someone who has had a liver transplant…!
Questions:
Did you ever have an issue with a varices bleed?…my husband has not, but has large ones…
How long were you on the transplant list?
What is your blood type? (if you don't mind my asking)…trans team told us, having AB moves one along the list more quickly
How long has your new liver been with you, Rosemary?
How long was your recovery to normal activity?
Have you been able to wean off immunosuppression drugs at all?
I appreciate any info…
Thank you

@rosemarya

@brick, Hi Brick. I am a volunteer mentor and I want to say welcome to Mayo Connect. I can relate to your question of 'when and if' to seek out ER help. My experience with cirrhosis is not what you're describing. However, when there is stress and damage to the liver, it does affect all sorts of body functions. With his cancer diagnosis and treatment, I would not hesitate to at least make a call to his current doctor to get his advice. He may order some blood tests to check on his liver functions. Or he may say go to the ER. (I have experienced both reactions before and post liver transplant due to my cirrhosis).
My husband (my caregiver) responds more quickly than me, he says better safe that sorry.

I am going to add the link for Cirrhosis to this message for you to review. In it I read that cirrhosis often has no signs or symptoms until liver damage is extensive.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351487

Keep in touch.
Rosemary

Jump to this post

@brick, I am going to get to your questions after lunch. In the meantime, I want to introduce you to @jerrydrennan, who is also involved in cancer, and staging. I don't know how much you two will have in common and I'll let you two sort it out.
Rosemary

@rosemarya

@brick, Hi Brick. I am a volunteer mentor and I want to say welcome to Mayo Connect. I can relate to your question of 'when and if' to seek out ER help. My experience with cirrhosis is not what you're describing. However, when there is stress and damage to the liver, it does affect all sorts of body functions. With his cancer diagnosis and treatment, I would not hesitate to at least make a call to his current doctor to get his advice. He may order some blood tests to check on his liver functions. Or he may say go to the ER. (I have experienced both reactions before and post liver transplant due to my cirrhosis).
My husband (my caregiver) responds more quickly than me, he says better safe that sorry.

I am going to add the link for Cirrhosis to this message for you to review. In it I read that cirrhosis often has no signs or symptoms until liver damage is extensive.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351487

Keep in touch.
Rosemary

Jump to this post

@brick, Have you had a chance to read some of the discussions in the Transplant Group? I think that if you join any of the discussion groups and ask any question, that you will find others who share similar concerns along this complicated path.

Here are a couple to get you started:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/staging-for-liver-transplant/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/are-there-any-other-pre-liver-transplant-caregivers-out-there/

Rosemary

@rosemarya

@brick, Hi Brick. I am a volunteer mentor and I want to say welcome to Mayo Connect. I can relate to your question of 'when and if' to seek out ER help. My experience with cirrhosis is not what you're describing. However, when there is stress and damage to the liver, it does affect all sorts of body functions. With his cancer diagnosis and treatment, I would not hesitate to at least make a call to his current doctor to get his advice. He may order some blood tests to check on his liver functions. Or he may say go to the ER. (I have experienced both reactions before and post liver transplant due to my cirrhosis).
My husband (my caregiver) responds more quickly than me, he says better safe that sorry.

I am going to add the link for Cirrhosis to this message for you to review. In it I read that cirrhosis often has no signs or symptoms until liver damage is extensive.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351487

Keep in touch.
Rosemary

Jump to this post

I am very happy to speak to you. I am a liver/kidney recipient. My kidneys failed while I was waiti g for my liver transplant. I was told early in my treatment that we all respond differently to liver conditions and medications. And we all come into the transplant scene with varying health backgrounds. I am a volunteer, and I have no medical background except for what I have experienced. Like you, I joined Mayo Connect because I wanted to talk to someone with a liver transplant.

I had 1 episode of varices in my esophagus.and was admitted to the hospital. They turned out to be oozing rather than bleeding. I think there were 7 that were banded during a endoscopy. That was around 2 weeks before my transplant.

I was listed in November 2008, and removed in Jan 2009 I was flown to Mayo Rochester to get a diagnosis for cancer in bile ducts. I did not have cancer; my kidneys failed; I was evaluated at Mayo and listed in early March 2009. I transplanted in April 2009 with a MELD of 35.

I do not even know my blood type. But for sure I was in desperate need when I got my call..

In 2 weeks, I will celebrate my 9th year.

I was able to go hiking in November, 7 months after my surgery.

Transplant will require lifelong immunosuppressant drugs to prevent rejection. Routine labs will be required to monitor the level of those meds.

Rosemary

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