It’s been a long road to where I am now, about 20 years. Moving slowly thru each and every stage in perfect text book style.
In 1991 I was diagnosed with HCV (Hepatitis C) Little was known about the virus then, perhaps the only certainty was that it was incurable and would most likely progress to cirrhosis and eventually hepatoma. About 15 years later a medicated treatment made its way to Australia and the government of the day made a brilliant financial move to put the medication on the free list. The interferon and Ribavirin cocktail self-administered by injection. The physical side effects were almost intolerable not to mention the emotional and mental impact.
I resigned from my job and my boss hunted me down to find out why I had left a high paying job and successful career. If he behaved the same these days he would probably be arrested. Anyway, the point being that the overall effect was my wife and family almost didn't recognise me from what they had known me as prior to medication. Unfortunately, the overall outcome was 'No sustained response' and irreparable impact on my family.
Fast forward another 6 - 7 years and I suffered 2 serious events which are unpleasant enough not to mention here. A very skilled surgeon arguably saved my life performing 18 gastroscopes repeatedly tying off oesophageal varices caused by cirrhosis and portal hypertension, narrowing of the portal vein restricting blood flow thru my liver.
Somewhere along that time line tumours began to appear. If there was a positive to be found it was the perfect location on the outside of the bottom lobe. A resection fixed that and recovery was bearable. Clearly this was a high point until the little lumpy bumpies started to appear inside. At this stage I'm midway along the roller-coaster. Medication trial and error, wife and kids have long gone and needless to say the central point of the 'roller-coaster function'.
Now 2022 I reckon I should be granted an honorary degree in CT and MRI radiology. 1 x chemical ablation and 3 x TACE procedures with nasty cytotoxic chemo.
So, the purpose of writing this timeline has been to step out of the shadow. Up until the most recent results of an MRI even now as I write I'm feeling like I've beaten the buggar. Reasonably high energy levels, even without the short afternoon nap. Extending myself with exercise without any serious weakening effect, good sleep. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised when my specialist requested an appointment. It was a dead giveaway when I'd had an appointment 3 weeks earlier. After almost 5 years of consultations, I know her personality, she doesn’t like relating bad news.
What an awesome doctor, all of them are so incredible. From the admissions staff to the recovery room and the ward nurses. I'm incredibly lucky. Funny thing is they always seem to place me in a ward where there are people that carrying a much heavier load than me.
I'll be very surprised if anyone made it all the way thru this rambling waffle, if so, I do hope that you're as lucky as I have been.
Thanks for reading.
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