Embracing a Liver Transplant After Having Hep C
Eventually, I found the courage to embrace a liver transplant after hep C. 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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