a woman has conflicted feelings, turning her head towards both the negative and the positive

Embracing a Liver Transplant After Having Hep C

After getting cured of hep C, I thought the battle was over. Sadly, my liver was damaged from years of living with the virus.

I ended up needing a liver transplant after beating hep C. At first, I was so angry, and then the anger turned into a deep sadness.

Eventually, I found the courage to embrace a liver transplant. I am living a life I never dreamed of.

Life after hep C treatment

Getting through treatment was rough for me. I took the older medications that required a year of injections.

It was much more damaging than the newer hep C treatment that only takes several weeks. I was cured, though. The virus was gone, and I could move on with my life, or so it seemed.

The truth was that after living with hep C for too long, my liver was a hot mess. I still needed a lot of medications to treat ascites and help with brain fog.

I met with my doctor every six months for surveillance. Those appointments were for blood labs and an ultrasound to take a peek at my liver.

During one of those routine checks, a tumor was discovered. At first, I was all shaken up.

My medical team assured me that they would help me shrink the tumor. In the meantime, I was listed for a liver transplant.

Requiring addtional care

Having to beat hep C, I felt strong. In many ways, my courage had grown during my hep C treatment.

Staying in contact with other liver disease patients in a caring community meant I had online support. Learning how to rest and eat well with hep C and during treatment helped me to make better life choices.

I worked out regularly, went on walks, and generally stayed in good health as much as possible. Could I continue to do it while getting chemotherapy?

After meeting with the specialists, my faith in medicine grew even more. They had a plan in place to shrink the tumor using a variety of treatments.

I had the Tace procedure, where chemo was directed onto the tumor. Later, I had Alcohol Ablation, where they zapped my ever-growing HCC tumors again.

The hematologists and oncologists worked together with a one-two punch to keep me going. Within a year, I got that phone call that a liver was available.

Being the recipient of a donated liver

Time goes quickly when you’re on medication to cure your disease. In my case, every day was a gift. Getting that call after almost a year of cancer treatment was a day I will never forget.

A young man had a traumatic brain injury, and his family wanted to donate the gift of life. Because of their generosity, I was able to receive his liver.

I honor their decision every day.

There were moments when my stages of grief could have swept me away. I went through cycles of shock, anger, sadness, and denial.

However, since I got the call, I’ve embraced my liver transplant after hep C with joy and gratitude. Every day is truly a gift.

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