I just got home last night (Tuesday Feb.19th) after being in the hospital since Sunday night. I friend brought me to my transplant center's Emergency Room because of extreme abdominal pain. It turned out I had a completely obstructed bowel due to my small intestines being strangled in my umbilical hernia which I have developed due to ascites.
Surgery is almost always needed when the intestine is completely blocked or when the blood supply is cut off as it causes tissue death of the intestine. The dead part of the intestine is removed during the surgery, and the remaining part of the intestine is sewn to an opening in the skin. Stools then pass out of the body through the opening and collects in a disposable colostomy bag. Not a good option for someone expecting a liver transplant sometime soon! As if by a miracle a transplant surgeon was able to pull my small intestines out of the hernia using only his fingers while manipulating them from inside my belly button which prevented the need for surgery and a poor or fatal outcome due the my advanced liver disease. I was hospitalized for a few days to treat me in hopes of my intestines being able to start working again. Meanwhile I had multiple IVs for fluid resuscitation and a NG tube through my nose into my stomach suctioning GI contents out to prevent me from vomiting my stomach contains into my lungs. I recovered on the liver transplant floor (where I hope to receive my liver someday soon) were I had the greatest docs and nurses caring for me. The good news is the my digestive system has started working again thanks to the doctor's life-saving intervention.
After returning home from the hospital Tuesday night and then finally getting some sleep Wednesday I received a call from my hepatologist saying that the MRI that I had on Tuesday in the hospital, showed a previously unseen liver tumor of about 2 cm (0.8") in size. I wasn't surprised that I had developed a new tumor as my AFP (blood tumor marker) has been indicating the presence of cancer for a number of months now.
AFP results - 115 - 291 - and now 543!
So I am looking forward to treating it before it becomes more life-threatening.
I will be going to my transplant hospital on Tuesday March 12 for Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). This is the same treatment I have had before twice. The Interventional Radiology team will use catheters through my arteries to feed the chemo directly into the tumor inside of my liver. Using this method the doctors are able to use a very high dosage of chemo that kills the tumor over a two week period of time. A month after the procedure I will have another MRI to see how effective the treatment was. My two previous treatments were 100% successful and I am hoping for the same this time.
I will be entering the hospital on Tuesday the 12th at 7 am and will stay overnight and be released on Wednesday at about 10-11 am. I am hoping to see some of the nurses that cared for during my recent stay.
Hopefully after this treatment I will be able to get a liver transplant before I need to deal with any more HCC tumors.
So good to hear your intestinal blockage was corrected and you don't need additional surgery. That is wonderful news and you don't need to be dealing with this now. Kudos to your surgical team. I went through something similar, so I know how you feel.
Best of luck with the chemo trt of the new tumor. Hope is it as successful as the last twoe. You need a break and wish you the very best on this procedure and getting that liver transplant very soon. Sending you positive vibes H. Best wishes.
Hang in there buddy!!! You have been down this road with a100% success!! You can do this again, and then can get the liver you been waiting for!!!!
Good luck, thoughts and prayers always. You are one tough Hombre Hector!!!!
What an incredible journey you have had, and still continue! How fortunate for you that you have such brilliant doctors! That is an amazing story of how he fixed the intestine complication.
I think of you of you often, I keep checking the site to see if the "good news" of a liver has finally arrived.
I know it is pointless to say "hang in there" as you always have and will no doubt continue to do so, so all I will say is I'm sending good thoughts your way and praying that you tackle this new tumor and get word soon on a transplant!
Thanks for keeping us posted.
BTW, just had my post 6 mo blood work last Thursday, waiting for the results. I have been undetected so far and everyone seems very confident that this has been eradicated, but I don't take anything for granted. :)
I have been extremely lucky when it has come to critical turning points during my illness. I had almost nothing to do with the outcome of the bowel obstruction and hospitalization. I was so lucky that abdominal surgeon, Dr. Bedi was there that night to pull me back from the brink. I really thought it was all over for me. And my friends took me to ER and stayed with me during my recovery. I was totally helpless but everyone came through for me. I am forever grateful. to each and everyone of them. I thanked them all either in person our by sending them Thank You cards once I returned home as a small token of my appreciation.
I have had the most amazing support throughout this whole journey and I am humbled by it all.
I hope everyone is doing will with their own health issues and wish you all the best.
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