DeeDee, I had the rt. lobe of my liver removed, after they had shrunk and killed the tumor. I have been cancer free for a little over 2 years. I don't have varices or portal hypertension--"just" hep C and cirrhosis, which are stable. That is why I have never been put on a transplant list. At the time I had cancer, I didn't qualify because the tumor had metastasized to the inferior vena cava. The treatments I received shrunk that part of the tumor back into the original tumor. They then decided on cancer treatment and surgery rather than transplant, as they had to act very quickly during that "window of opportunity." They followed me closely with blood work, scans, and a hep consult every 3 mos. for 18 mos. Now they have extended it to every 6 mos. As you probably know, I was treated at Mayo Jacksonville and am followed by them. Since they saved my life and also did such a great job with my hip revisions, I trust them implicitly.
My liver enzymes were the highest when I had cancer, but never more than a little over triple. Now they are less than double the highest normal range and sometimes some even fall within normal range.
The person you know with liver cancer who was transplanted probably had a small tumor that hadn't metastasized.