I think the most common question I see from caregivers or family members is:
"How long can they live like this? Or, "How long will they live?"
I wish there was something I could say to make this better for you and your step-Dad, tish. ESLD is so very difficult. We, the loved one's, just want to fix it...make them better, and we can not. We want to know how long will they live, how much will they suffer, what can we expect. But really, the best guess or estimate is often not even close. No one knows how long, really.
We have seen people given 3-6 months to live who go on for a year or five....or, longer. Others crash and decline quickly and die without a transplant. Some are too sick for a transplant, but continue on for a long time.
Are you his sole caregiver, tish? What is your step-Dad able to do for himself? At some point, he will need full time care, most likely. You may be there now.
I have been my husband's caregiver and wife for several years now. Sometimes he is rather good and we have somewhat of a reasonable day. He can do most everything for himself during those times. Other days he does not know how to work a remote, to take medication, eat, and at times he needs to be hospitalized for hepatic encephalopathy. A lot can go very wrong, very fast.
My husband was told to seek a transplant if he wanted to live....and that was 2 years ago. There is no cure for cirrhosis, except a transplant. Themister has been scary sick. We still are waiting still, for a transplant and hope he will remain healthy enough for surgery, but sick enough to be transplanted.
Themister's liver was damaged from decades of a silent virus he had no idea lived in him. Hep C. And when we found out he had the virus...he already had cirrhosis. Regardless of the cause of cirrhosis and ESLD, here you and I are. Loved one's who are very ill.
There have been days I did not think themister would survive a week, but he keeps hanging in there. We are here for you. Big Hugs
Wife of themister, a fine man living with ESLD. Transplant list-2013
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” Kahlil Gibran