Welcome to the forum, Gwen. I'm glad you introduced yourself. Cirrhosis has many causes and the cause can affect the prognosis. For example, if cirrhosis is caused by alcohol abuse and the patient continues to drink...the outcome is not good and will hasten that patient's demise. However, if one has cirrhosis from a fatty liver or AIH, it is possible to have a good quality of life with proper medication, diet, etc.
I am one of the posters you mentioned who has survived the odds. Although diagnosed with hep C in '93, I didn't get a diagnosis of cirrhosis until '07 when I had liver cancer. Nevertheless, I am doing quite well in comparison to some others, with the only symptom being extreme fatigue.
Gwen, I feel that I was fortunate to have 6 yrs. of sobriety when I was diagnosed with hep C. I went through the gamut of emotions that one experiences with a loss (in this case loss of health.) Thanks to AA, I was able to deal with all the stages of grief very quickly, mostly by sharing what I was feeling. I know that had I continued to drink or if I had started back again, I would not be here today. I have been given more than one "second chance." I feel that God still has a purpose for me here on earth, and part of that is being able to share my experience and knowledge and offer hope to others with liver disease, particularly alcoholics.
“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."