Hi, Nikki! Welcome to the forum! You have been through a lot with this disease, but I'm glad to see that you are a fighter and also that you educate yourself. Very important!
I, too, contracted hep C from IV drug use back in the 60s. Who would have thought that in '93, after being clean for 24 years, this problem would surface! Just goes to show, you don't really get away with anything in this life. Fortunately, I had already stopped drinking alcohol, in '86...otherwise, I probably would not be alive today. I also had problems with treatment...but am thinking of trying again with the new drugs. However, I did develop liver cancer as a direct result of hep C. I knew it was a possibility, so I wasn't shocked. Mayo Clinic saved my life, literally. They did a liver lobectomy of the rt. lobe, and a biopsy of the left showed mild cirrhosis. I also developed an incisional hernia, which was repaired in Dec. '07, but came back even larger a couple of months later. I am now 3 weeks post-op from the last repair, and having problems with ascites and drains. I'm on a large dose of diuretics now, but they may place another drain this coming week. From the time I was first diagnosed with C in '93 until about 2 years ago, I felt fine except for extreme fatigue. I did have bilateral hip replacements due to osteonecrosis (supposedly from previous years of heavy drinking), starting in 2002, with the left one redone twice. I also stopped smoking 5 1/2 years ago. Since the cancer diagnosis, I am eating mainly fruits and vegetables, with eggs, beans, and cheese as primary protein. I have meat about twice a week, but rarely beef (hard for a sick liver to process.) I started drinking green tea two years ago, instead of coffee, and I drink a lot of spring water now. Despite my problems with fluid retention, I was told to stay hydrated.
I've had cramps in my toes when I'm lying in bed at night, but they go away when I get up and walk a little. I mentioned it to my surgeon, but he really didn't comment on it. I suspect the diuretics, although I'm on a much larger dose now and so far (knock wood!) no cramps. The Aldactone supposedly counteracts the potassium loss from the Lasix. I had a terrible time swallowing those huge potassium tablets.
I hope you will continue to come here and share your experiences with us, or just vent if that is what you need to do. We are all here for you and for each other.