Hello, Dog Lover. I also wanted to welcome you to the forum. I also have hep C and cirrhosis and was diagnosed with liver cancer in '05. However, Mayo did chemoembolization and then a study drug, TheraSphere, which shrunk and killed the tumor, as well as my rt. lobe, which was surgically removed several months later, in May of '07. Aside from fatigue, I have been okay. Last month, at a regular CT scan, I was shown to have a suspicious spot on my left lobe. So I'm having an MRI to determine if the cancer has returned. If so, it's very small and can hopefully be treated successfully.
Prior to receiving any treatment, I was told that without treatment, I had 6 mos. to live. If nothing else, I've gotten 2 1/2 more years added to my life. It's really impossible to say how long someone has to live, once diagnosed, as every situation is different. It's common for a liver patient to go into a coma before dying. If the doctors feel that your dad has 6 mos. or less to live, you might ask them for a referral to Hospice. Hospice will provide comfort measures for your dad and be a great help to the family.
Post Edited (Pink Grandma) : 12/22/2009 8:09:35 AM (GMT-7)
Hi, Clear-sky. I think the majority of liver patients have or had alcohol and/or drug abuse problems, myself included (now clean and sober 23 yrs., but with hep C and cirrhosis.) There is another class that has AIH (Autoimmune Hepatitis.) There are also a few who contracted hep C from a transfusion.
I have to say that I never had liver pain after drinking, but did have awful hangovers.
Having just been through this process with my father the journey ahead may be a rough one. My father was told he had 12 months to 3 years. He passed away after 14 months.
My father also had numerous encephalopathy turns and significant mood changes.
In a similar fashion to Pink Grandma my father slipped into a coma and passed away in less than 48 hours.
I did a lot of reading on end stage liver disease and found this forum to be fantastic support. Even from the perspective of knowing there are others out there in the same position as you.
In terms of what to expect – that is a tricky one. If your fathers situation is not good then it is very difficult to know what to expect. Part of my battle was to understand what the liver actually did and what happens when it does not work properly.
I found the information below in explaining some of the issues of increased ammonia in the body:
Hepatic encephalopathy is a major neuropsychiatric complication of chronic liver disease that occurs when large amounts of ammonia accumulate within brain tissues. Ammonia is normally produced by the breakdown of protein in the bowel, and in healthy individuals it is metabolized by the liver to form urea. In patients with significant portal hypertension, blood cannot pass into the liver and the ammonia enters the systemic circulation where it enters brain tissues. Hepatic encephalopathy and its final stage, hepatic coma, occur in 4 stages.
Correcting pH and electrolyte disturbances, restricting dietary protein, preventing constipation, and preventing gastrointestinal bleeding are methods used to treat hepatic encephalopathy in its early stages. When bleeding occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, bacterial action creates increased ammonia. Sterilizing the bowel by giving neomycin, a drug that is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, may prevent ammonia formation by decreasing bacterial counts. Lactulose may also be given to help contain ammonia in the gastrointestinal tract where it can be excreted in the feces.
I hope this information helps - Come back to the forum and ask as many questions as you like.
Hi, fonics, and welcome to the forum. You picked up on an old thread, so if you want the support of other forum members it is best to start your own thread (Hit New Topic instead of Reply.) I'm still cancer free, 3 1/2 yrs. after surgery. I'm considering the new hep C treatment that will become available next year.
Post Edited (hep93) : 11/23/2010 9:01:47 PM (GMT-7)