Siobhan

In February 2008 when I was 35 I noticed a lump in my stomach. After numerous blood tests a CT scan, ultrasound and an MRI I was diagnosed with FNH a benign liver tumor. The only symptoms I had were constant heartburn and a pain in my right shoulder. As I was told the lump was benign I decided to put the surgery off till after the summer.

September 2008 I had the surgery to remove the lump. It had grown considerably over the summer and was 22cm by the time it was removed. I had the whole left side of my liver removed along with a small portion of the right and my gallbladder. It took almost a month to get the pathology back on it.It wasn’t benign after all; it was a rare form of cancer called Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

I was lucky that the cancer hadn’t spread and the Surgeon managed to remove it all during the surgery. I was told that I would have scans every 3 months as this type of cancer has a high reoccurrence rate.

April 2009 I decided to change hospitals and found one that had some experience with this type of cancer. They decided that as the cancer had all been removed during the surgery then I would only have to have ultrasounds of my liver every 6 months. The scans were always clear so I thought all was well.

November 2010 I started having pains in my stomach so my Dr ordered a CT scan. My liver was clear but there was a large lymph node growing near my pancreas.

January 2011 I had surgery to remove the lymph node. They reopened the scar I had from my first operation. It was major surgery again but once again I was told they had removed all the cancer. As they had only been scanning my liver it had been missed on the scans and had been growing for a while.

I was then put back on 3 monthly scans (MRIs) About 9 months later after having a couple of clear scans 3 small lesions were seen in my liver. As they were so small the Drs recommended just scanning me every 3 months and keeping an eye on them.

 

The lesions stayed the same size until October 2013 when one of them started growing. I had another liver resection where the surgeon removed one of the lesions. He was unable to find the other two so I was still scanned every 3-4 months.

In June 2015 the lesions had started to grow slightly so the Drs recommended Radio Frequency Ablation on 2 of the lesions. The 3rd was too close to an artery so they couldn’t ablate that one. The RFA worked on only one of the lesions so I was still left with 2 lesions.

My scan in December showed there was a new lesion in my liver. Due to the size and location of the lesions they are currently inoperable. As of February 2016 there are still 3 small lesions in my liver. They don’t affect me and I feel very well.