First I want to apologize for not posting sooner. Things here have been up in the air. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, my liver had been causing me problems. After we got back from Disney my stomach started to swell. I looked like I was 6 months pregnant. My doctor gave me a diuretic but that did little to help. I then was sent to a Gastroenterologist. He suggested that I get a 3D scan of my liver to make sure there wasn’t any blockage that was causing my liver not to work correctly. It showed that there wasn’t any problems in that area. We then decided to go ahead and do a liver biopsy. My oncologist felt that there was cancer in my liver that my previous scans didn’t pick up. During this time my skin and eyes turned very yellow. My stomach continued to grow larger filling with fluid.
The liver biopsy I did was called a Trans-jugular liver biopsy. The procedure involves threading a catheter down your jugular vein in your neck all the way down to your liver and then inserting a needle down it to cut some samples of your liver. OUCH. Oh and you are awake the whole time. I was very nervous about the procedure because it sounded very painful. Well luckily they gave me a lot of sedative and some pain medication as well. It wasn’t as bad as I had worked it up to be in my mind.
While we waited for the results my stomach started to fill up with fluid. It got so big that I looked like I was 9 months pregnant. I was so uncomfortable that it began to get very painful. Saturday night, after calling my oncologist’s on call line, we were told to go to the emergency room to see if they could drain the fluid. Let me just say the ER is not someplace you want to be! Finally on Sunday at around 3 pm I was able to get some of the fluid drained off my stomach. They ended up draining off 2 1/2 liters. I felt much better.
Now for the news that is very hard for me to share. Apparently this cancer has spread to my liver. The reason it was so difficult to diagnose is because it isn’t a tumor. I have very small spots throughout my liver which is causing my liver to go into liver failure. This means my liver is starting to shut down. The cancer is acting like alcohol and causing cirrhosis of the liver. So what is my outlook? The doctor has told me that I probably only have 3-6 months if it continues. My dad has taken a FMLA from work to spend 3 months with me and my mom is taking care of me as well.
I know everyone wants to know now how I am doing. I am now getting my stomach drained at least once a week to try and make me comfortable. Am I giving up? Absolutely not!!! My oncologist says that chemo would probably be to hard on my liver so right now I am taking an oral chemo which is said to be easier on your liver. I have read many women who say this chemo cleared their liver cancer up and they remain on it still. The hope is that it can kill some of the cancer and my liver can start to heal itself. I went to see my oncologist this week and she is encouraged that I am handling the oral chemo as well as I am. She also said I could always try a hormone blocker again. I am eating very healthy and have started drinking my beet and carrot juice again. My mom has done lots of research on things that can help clean and heal your liver so I am trying to include those. The good news is that I still have an appetite and am still able to get around. I also don’t have any pain in my liver which is a good sign as well. I am very tired and sometimes take two naps a day. Right now I am taking it one day at a time and am working on healing my liver. I am also spending as much time with my kids as I possibly can. If I only have 3-6 months then I want each moment with the kids to count.