Leslie, it sounds as though the inflammation is getting worse. I have grade 3-4. Even when I had liver cancer, though, I did not have right-sided pain...just a couple of twinges in the weeks immediately prior to liver resection. I have had a nagging kind of pain on the left side, just under my ribs. I've had this since around '03, but nobody has ever been able to diagnose it and nothing shows up on scans, including MRIs.
A heating pad has helped some hep C/cirrhosis patients with pain. They have posted here about it.
Leslie, I get my liver and orthopaedic care at Mayo. They literally saved my life. Did you go to the one here in Jacksonville? If so, who did you see?
I get CT or MRI scans done every 3 months, but now they are going to start extending the time in between to 4-6 mos. The MRI is done with gadolinium contrast. That is the contrast that will show cancer, although the CT scans can give a pretty accurate idea, too. With the CTs, I drink 1 1/2 to 2 8-oz. cups of a contrast material and also get an IV contrast. The report says they gave me 100 mL of Visipaque. I'm guessing that's the IV contrast material. They did a "triple phase liver protocol." These are from the scans done on 09/08/08.
As far as blood work, they do alpha fetoprotein as a tumor marker, though it has never really reflected what is going on, in my case. The best indicators have been the liver profile and the CT and MRI scans.
A PET scan is usually used for the head, though it can be used for other areas. It's a 3-dimensional picture that is broken down into small pieces, so each of the pieces can be minutely examined.
If you feel something is not right, you should continue to get checked out. However, it could be something altogether different from liver disease. How is your thyroid? Do you have diabetes?
I must tell you that my liver cancer was discovered during a routine yearly ultrasound. I had no symptoms. However, my Mayo hepatologist and I feel that the tumor was there the previous year and was missed by the radiologist. (The ultrasound was taken and read at Shands.)
I hope this has been of some help to you.