My father - I have some questions

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

lillith
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 6/27/2007 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
My father is 60, has been diagnosed with active Hepatitis C for nearly 10 years and is an active alcoholic.  He was hospitalized last December and they told him at the time that he was in end-stage liver disease, but could be eligible for a transplant IF he stopped drinking for 6 months, had weekly urine tests, and saw a counselor weekly.  He chose not to do any of these things.  He told me yesterday that they found lesions on his liver, I am not sure how these were diagnosed or if they have been biopsied yet for cancer.  He has had numerous tests over the last 10 years and often has a hard time telling one from the other.  He also doesn't always like to give me the full story, because I might question the truthfulness of it (for instance when he was on Interferon, he told me that his doctor told him it was fine to keep drinking while he was on it.)
 
His current health condition is that he is very jaundice, is in constant pain, and is very bloated with ascites in his gut (probably 20-30 pounds in fluid.)  He drinks more than a 6 pack a day most days and the only days he has been sober in the last year was when he was in the hospital for a week.
 
Here is my question to the group, if it is liver cancer, would he even be eligible for a transplant at this point given his history of non-compliance in his treatment plan?  I am not sure I want a new liver given to my father given his inability to stop drinking, but I have two younger (in their twenties) extremely immature brothers who may think that this is an answer.  I don't want them getting their hopes up. 
Dx w/ UC 10/06, Dx changed to CD 2/07
Entocort
Zyrtec and rhinocort for allergies
Xanax as needed for anxiety
Soma as need for muscle spasms
Allergic to sulfa and avelox


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/27/2007 3:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Lillith. First of all, I'm sure you know that NO doctor would tell someone with liver disease that it is fine to continue drinking. Quite the opposite!

A sonogram will show lesions on the liver from hep C. It is not necessarily cancer. He could, however, have cirrhosis.


To be eligible for a transplant, your dad would have to stop drinking for 6 months and go to AA meetings. Aside from that, his liver function would have to be extremely poor for him to be placed on a transplant list. The bottom line is that he has to stop drinking. If he is unable to stop on his own, he may need to go to a detox facility for help. If he is unwilling to do that, he may as well plan his funeral.

Sorry to be so blunt, but there's no point in sugar-coating the facts.

lillith
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 6/28/2007 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you for your response hep93.  I guess my original post wasn't very clear in that I know my dad is full of crap.  I spent 6 years as an HIV/AIDS educator and as a result learned a heck of a lot about hep b & c from working with drug users and commercial sex workers.

My dad has gone to rehab several times, only to check himself out after three days.  The last time I sat in the outtake interview with the psychiatrist and after the hour long interview told me this: his ending up in rehab that time was likely a suicide attempt, he probably would never stop drinking, he is self-medicating for bi-polar disorder and has narcissistic personality disorder, and I should prepare for his funeral.  Last year I finally got to the point where I just stopped fighting him on his health and accepted that this was the way it was going to be.  One brother has also recognized this, but the other is his enabler (and an alcoholic himself) and keeps pretending everything is okay.

I already know he has cirrhosis, the docs told me that last december and also said that if he kept up at his current pace, he would be dead within a year.  I think I know in my gut this is liver cancer or maybe I am just preparing for the worst case scenario.  I know that certain family members are going to think that this will entitle him to a transplant and I just wanted confirmation that the cancer does not change his eligibility.


Dx w/ UC 10/06, Dx changed to CD 2/07
Entocort
Zyrtec and rhinocort for allergies
Xanax as needed for anxiety
Soma as need for muscle spasms
Allergic to sulfa and avelox


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/28/2007 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   
You are right about the cancer, Lillith. I had liver cancer myself. However, my liver function was never bad enough to warrant a transplant. They treated the cancer, killed the tumor and most of the right lobe of my liver, and then did surgery last month to remove the entire mess. The left lobe of my liver has grown and is taking on all the work, but it does show borderline/early cirrhosis. If it fails, I will need a transplant. I stopped drinking 21 years ago, thanks to AA. The cirrhosis is from hep C, which I have from IV drug use in the 60s for 18 mos.

I'm glad you are realistic about your dad's situation. Please come back and post anytime.

Connie

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 7/4/2007 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Lillith, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. My husband passed away from liver cancer that was caused by hep C and alcoholic cirrohsis. The lesion that they found may very well be cancer. And because he is in end stage liver disease most doctors won't do a liver biopsy because of the chance of the patient bleeding to death. And yes it is possible to make the transplant list with cancer but it can not be over 5 cm large or have more than 3 tumors that equal greater than the 5 cm. At least that is what my husband's cancer doctor told us. But if your dad does indeed have liver cancer they need to start some sort of treatment on it to keep it in check now. My husband made the transplant list only to be taken off of it 2 weeks later as his cancer had grown and mutiplied too much for a transplant. You are wise beyond your years. At some point you have to just accept your father's decision on his health priorities. Or lack there of. It's a very hard place for you and your brothers to be in. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. Pink Grandma

lillith
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 7/5/2007 10:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Pink Grandma and Hep 93 for your kind responses.  I  went to his appointment with him on Monday and it is indeed liver cancer.  There are two small lesions.  They will be doing radiofrequency ambulation (I think I spelled this all correctly) this week to burn the lesions.  More troubling is there are several polyps on his kidneys that appear to be growing.  They may be a seperate case of kidney cancer, they are bringing in a urologist to consult.  The varicies (sp?) in his throat are out of control.  He has not been scoped in several months for these.  The last time was extremely problematic for my dad, so he has been reluctant to go back.
 
They again talked about transplant and my father has decided this is not an option for him.  Because he is in the VA system, he would have to go to Oregon for the transplant (we are in Utah).  He does not want to be stuck in Oregon if something goes wrong and I guess I can't blame him for that.
 
I again talked to him about living with me.  My family is only 20 minutes from the VA hospital, but where he lives is an hour drive.  He is getting more confused as his ammonia levels continue to climb and I worry about him driving back and forth.  If he was living with me, I could make sure he got to and from his doctor appointments safely.  Neither of my brothers (who live with him) has a valid driver's license, both have had their driving privledges revoked by the courts.  One is eligible to get his license back in August, if his fines are paid in full.  I am hoping this brother gets his license back so he can help drive our dad.
 
The worst part of the appointment was the visible disdain of the Resident for my father.  His main doctor was wonderful, but the Resident made it quite clear that he did not approve of my father or his decisions.  I wanted to take him and outside and shake him.  Most be wonderful to feel so high and mighty about other's addictions. (total sarcasm)
Dx w/ UC 10/06, Dx changed to CD 2/07
Entocort
Zyrtec and rhinocort for allergies
Xanax as needed for anxiety
Soma as need for muscle spasms
Allergic to sulfa and avelox


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/7/2007 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Lillith, sorry that the lesions turned out to be cancer, as you had thought. It's very possible that he had a primary cancer in the liver that has migrated to kidneys. By the way, it is radiofrequency ablation (ambulation means walking.) That treatment can be very positive for him.

I am sorry you are having to deal with this, especially with your dad's resistence.

Prayers go out for you.

Connie

lillith
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 12/11/2007 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Just wanted to update all of the folks that were so kind to answer my questions. My father died November 23, 2007 of liver and kidney failure. Two weeks before his death he was hospitalized for several days and then we were told there was nothing more the doctors could do. We brought him home to die with the assistance of hospice. His passing was thankfully quick and painless. Thank you for your responses.
Dx w/ UC 10/06, Dx changed to CD 2/07
Entocort
Zyrtec and rhinocort for allergies
Xanax as needed for anxiety
Soma as need for muscle spasms
Allergic to sulfa and avelox


Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 12/11/2007 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Lillith, I am so sorry to hear that your father passed away. Just know that he will never have to deal with pain or addiction again. He is now safe in God's hands. My prayers will be with you. Take Care.
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 12/11/2007 6:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Lillith, you and your family have my deepest condolences. Please take care of yourself and check in with us whenever you can. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:13 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,735,036 posts in 301,268 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151368 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Martinese.
377 Guest(s), 15 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Lymepilot, THE HAPPY TURTLE, mikeb2308, Sarebear89, Girlie, mpost, yancync, LG13, Huddie, gfields, ChickenArise, Blu's Mama, HeyNoodles, Mister Mike, iPoop


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer