Diagnosed in 1996 at age 17
Hi Everybody! I’m here because of my Amazing Husband Mark. He is by far the most wonderful person I have ever met in my life and I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for him! God I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!! Sorry, just had to gush a little over my honey bear. His story is an extremely long one, so here goes. He was diagnosed with FHC in ’96 at the age of 17. His tumor was growing at such an extreme rate it was tearing his liver, needless to say he was in excruciating pain and could barely breath or move, so he was lucky in that sense that they found it quickly. Unfortunately he was misdiagnosed at first and when they removed the tumor they didn’t test for cancer till after the fact. When they realized what they were dealing with they sent him to UCSF cancer center in San Francisco CA. where he had a liver resection 3 months after his first surgery. They removed a lot more of the lobe of liver where the tumor had been to make sure they got it all. His surgeon was and still is Dr. Robert Warren at UCSF cancer center. Mark & I both believe if it weren’t for him Mark wouldn’t still be alive today.
He didn’t have another recurrence until the fall of 2005, 9 years later. We’d been married 6 years, our son Kaden was 5 and our daughter Kiley was 1 at the time. Mark started getting really ill during the summer and couldn’t keep any food down and was losing extreme amounts of weight. I knew his history with this cancer from his past and told him he needed to see his oncologist. He told me he was fine, but I knew in my heart something was wrong, so I called his doctor myself set up an appointment and made him go (forced). All of his blood work came back perfect (it always does) but I insisted on a new scan. The scans revealed two huge tumors one in each lobe of his liver. His oncologist here in Reno, NV sent us to see his surgeon at UCSF Dr. Warren. They decided to do another liver resection, since Mark’s liver had fully regenerated from his last liver resection. They had us meet with the liver transplant doctor there in San Francisco for a just in case option to have all our bases covered, but I can’t even begin to tell you how much Mark is against it. Dec.2005 they removed one entire lobe of his liver and barely had enough of a margin around the other tumor, because it was so close to his artery, but luckily the resection was a success! Woohoo! Yippee! Cancer Free for 3 years!
In Sept. 2008 our worst nightmare came true! Mark’s cancer had returned and it had metastasized into 3 of his lymph nodes near his liver. The largest tumor out of the 3 was attached to his pancreas, but didn’t appear to be invading it yet. Dec. 2008 they removed a small part of his pancreas with the tumor just to be sure and removed the other 2 tumors. Woohoo Success Cancer Free for 2 Years!
It rained on our parade again! Nov. 2010 a new tumor was found in his liver next to a surgical clip from a previous surgery. He’s 5th surgery was on Jan.13th 2011.They couldn’t do a liver resection like they wanted to, because Mark has so much scar tissue inside from all his previous surgeries, the surgeons call it “cement”. His stomach was adhered to his liver and his liver was adhered to his interior wall, so they had to use radio ablation, which means they microwaved the tumor while it’s inside his liver and they leave it in there for his body to absorb. Needless to say this freaks us both out and we’re scared! I hope this will be the last surgery and this cancer stays away FOREVER!!!!! Mark’s had his first scans since his surgery at end of April 2011 they said the scans looked good. He will continue to get new scans every 4-6 months for the next 2 years.
Our dream is to move to the Island of Roatan off the coast of Honduras. If it weren’t for this cancer we would have packed up and moved already!
This cancer has taught me to cherish the little things in life and live life to the fullest. Oh ya, and never let your guard down for a second with this cancer!