End Stage Hcc; Advanced Cirrhosis

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End Stage Hcc; Advanced Cirrhosis

by Paperharri on Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:00 AM

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Husband diagnosed with HCC, several tumors, also advanced Cirrhosis, no spread to other organs at this time. Found not to be eligible for transplant (too many tumors) nor transphere. Oncologists feels chemo would not be succesful and would reduce quality of life. Given non-specific short time-frame for life. Referred to an oncogolist that also practies alternative-herbal medicines and acupuncture as means of improving quality of life as modern medicines has no more options. We are patients at University of Cincinnati (Dr. Steve Rudich). Has anyone experienced any positive results with herbal or alternative methods of treatment? Any feedback or sharing would be appreciated. Harriet

Hcc

by Brenandjon on Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:00 AM

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Hi Harriet, My husband was diagnosed on May 5 2006 with HCC, He is 58 does not have HEP B or C.He has mild to moderate cirrhois the doctors attempted a resection but it was not sucessful and we went for a second opinion when they wanted to do chemoembolization ( his portal vein is occluded and this was a poor treatment choice.) He is not eligible for a transplant(tumor too large). He has undergone one clinical trial of sutent in which the tumor has grown from approx...7cm in may, 8 in sept to 11 in nov. Needles to say the doc took him off the sutent and has offered other chemo treatment. We need to make a decision by thursday. At this time my husband is weighing the chemo and its benefits against how badly it will make him feel. Quality of life is top for him and he wants to keep going strong. He says he does not want to take chemo, feel sick for 6 months and have it not do anything...we are investigating some alternatives. He has been doing Essiac tea daily since July 17th...with great improvement in energy. He does milk thistle and and cod liver oil and vit c and a multi mens vitamens. we would be very interested in what your doctors recommend. My husband's doctor is not very knowledgable when it comes to herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture and other alternative treatments. He would also love to meet other folks that are dealing with HCC. Thank you so much for initiating a conversation. Bren and John

Hcc,cirrhosis

by Paperharri on Sun Nov 26, 2006 12:00 AM

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Hi Bren & John My husband also does Milk Thistle, Silver Centrum and Citracel...will try the Tea for improved energy. Bo has no Hep either and hasn't drank alcohol in over 25 years so they aren't really sure what brought this on...Cirrhosis first, then the Cancer. Our oncologist felt Chemo would not be effective and would certainly reduce any quality of life. Will let you know right a way what the herbal oncologist suggests as alternative treatment. Hang tough! Harriet & Bo

Hcc

by Kimchi on Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:00 AM

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dear Bren, you are not alone , my heart is out to you . my mother , 75 years old , just diagnosed by liver cancer ( 8cm ) the doctor will try to do a resection on her. where did you go to get a second opinion? my mom just wants to go back to Vietnam without surgery , I don't know what will be the best for her . please help . my prayers to you and John, Thank you, Thu

Herbs and Hcc

by Brenandjon on Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:00 AM

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Harriet, I bought John some Medicinal Mushrooms and Tumeric made by a company called New Chapter. These two remedies were recomended by a naturopathic doctor I know. He is not feeling well this evening. He has been running a low grade fever for about 24 hours with flu symptoms. His urine is a bit darker but his BM seem normal color. He has no particular pain complaints...just overall malaise. Highest temp is 100.9 Thu, I would honor your mothers wishes and take her home to Vietnam. I wish you the best and your mom peace. Bren

End Stage Hcc

by Mjane on Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:00 AM

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I haven't posted for awhile. It's been difficult to write that my husband died at the end of October from complications of HCC. He had cirrhosis and Hep C. He was diagnosed with HCC in April 2005 but the liver masses had been visible at his first ultrasound in Sept 2004. My husband felt well and had a good quality of life until early Sept 2006. Then ascites developed and we also found out that the tumors had spread to the lungs and lymph nodes. The ascites did not respond to diuretics, and my husband had to have the fluid in the abdomen drained (paracentesis). The draining became more frequent, about every 4-5 days. He also began to have signs of kidney failure in addition to the liver failure. There were trips to the ER to correct very low sodium and high potassium (the BUN and creatinine were also high). My husband made the choice to not do hospice but instead to go to the ER for "tune ups" as he called it. In the last weeks there were good times, too - he visited with relatives, enjoyed our garden, went to the Farmer's Market in his wheelchair (he had become weak from rapid weight loss, and the recurring ascites). Two days before he died, my husband helped prepare a brunch for friends; we ate in the garden (although my husband ate very little). That night he began feeling nauseated, then had tremors in his hands and began slurring his speech. In the ER he stopped talking but was still responsive (for example, drank medication -lactulose - when I held the cup to his mouth and told him he needed to drink it). Encephalopathy (brain fog) set in because not enough blood was able to flow through his liver (cirrhosis and too many tumors) and the toxins in the blood were just going straight to the brain. He was admitted to the hospital. In the morning we found that he was bleeding internally (blood in loose BM), and soon learned that esophageal varices had burst. He was taken to intensive care and medication was injected into the varices to stop the bleeding but there were too many bleeding varices. By then, the encephalopathy and internal bleeding had also made him completely unresponsive. We decided to not continue to prolong his life (stopped meds to raise his falling blood pressure, etc). Our family and close friends were with him throughout that night in the ICU. He died the next day in the early am. Throughout the HCC my husband did not take propranolol, a med for portalhypertension which had resulted from the liver tumors. The portalhypertension had caused the varices. Would taking propranolol have lessened the chance of the variceal bleed and given him a few more days or weeks? Or were too many body systems already failing? We'll never know. But he had told us just 3 days earlier that he was ready to "go" and that God was calling him. We do know he was at peace. For those of you facing the end stage, our thoughts are with you. Ask your MD about propranolol or other meds that may lessen the chance of complications and still maintain quality of life. In the last stages, my husband's alternative meds included betaglucans, and coriolus (a mushroom extract), a low dose multi vit, zinc 30 mg, spirulina and some whey protein powder. I miss my husband so much. Prayers for all of you and your loved ones. mjane

Hcc

by Brenandjon on Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:00 AM

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Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story mjane. I understand how difficult it is to do so. My own husband is trying to decide whether to do any further chemo treatment. It is a difficult decision. peace to you and yours. Bren

RE: End Stage Hcc; Advanced Cirrhosis

by Brenandjon on Sat Dec 09, 2006 12:00 AM

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Hi Harriet,

I just wanted to check in and see how things were going for you folks.  John has been very ill.  The remaining bile duct that had a stent in it clogged and caused infection and bilirubin and other labs to skyrocket.  John felt awful, but they replaced the stent and then had to clean it out this week also.  He seems to be feeling better and the jaundice seems to be lightening up.  We will do labs here thurs and then go down and see the docs on the 21 to talk chemo again.  He cant make up his mind.  Its all very difficult as you well know.  I wish you peace.  bren

On 11/24/2006 Paperharri wrote:

Husband diagnosed with HCC, several tumors, also advanced Cirrhosis, no spread to other organs at this time. Found not to be eligible for transplant (too many tumors) nor transphere. Oncologists feels chemo would not be succesful and would reduce quality of life. Given non-specific short time-frame for life. Referred to an oncogolist that also practies alternative-herbal medicines and acupuncture as means of improving quality of life as modern medicines has no more options. We are patients at University of Cincinnati (Dr. Steve Rudich). Has anyone experienced any positive results with herbal or alternative methods of treatment? Any feedback or sharing would be appreciated. Harriet

 

RE: End Stage Hcc; Advanced Cirrhosis

by Paperharri on Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:00 AM

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Hi Bren & John and others:

 

Bo is still hanging in...still lots of fatigue.  He has been taken herb power plus herb pills perscribed by the Chinese oncologist last week,  These were primary to keep bowels regular and help appetite.  Bo doesn't seem to notice a great deal of difference yet.  The doc called yesterday and he said keeping taking for another week and then we will reevaluate and more to additional herbs.  I noticed this morning that Bo's stomach has turned sort of reddish in color...just the abdomen area, no where else.  Am not sure if that's herbs, acites, portalhypertension...????  We have an appointment on the 15th with his original liver doctor to talk about another tap to relieve some of the acites.  Some days he is perky and can even work a few hours...other times he is completely exhausted.  We just do day-by-day.  Am considering talking to Hospice for advice.

Take care of yourself Bren ... I have to remind myself to do that.

Prayers and Blessings to you both.

Harriet 

 

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