Well my story begins on November 3rd, 2017, at a physical Stacey thought I needed because I had not had one in five years since retiring from the fire department. I told Stacey and the doctor I feel fine other than the normal aches and pains you have as you get older. After all, I am 55 years old! Dr. McGinnis did some blood work checked me out and sent me on my way. I went on my annual pheasant trip to Mitchell South Dakota where the hunting was good but birds were few for me. Returned home to find out that my liver enzymes where elevated and my platelets were below normal, blood sugar was high and my triglycerides and bilirubin were elevated. I was told absolutely no alcohol and Tylenol and repeat my blood work in two weeks.
On December 11, 2017, Dr. McGinnis ordered an Ultrasound of my abdomen specifically of my liver. I had this procedure done at Olathehealth MCMC and a nice tech named Erin visualized a mass in my liver. She called Dr. McGinnis who then ordered a CT scan for better recognition and size of mass. I'm thinking my mom had a mass on her liver years back and they surgically removed it and she recovered and did just fine. No problem. After the CT scan Dr. McGinnis called me and said that he had consulted a colleague from KU Medical but had not heard back from him so he consulted a Dr. Attularri at Olathehealth GI Specialist and both feel an EGD and EGDUltrasound were warranted to determine if liver mass was a primary mass or a secondary source.
On Wednesday December 13th, Stacey and I were up bright and early for the EGD. We were happy to find out the esophagus and stomach up to small intestine were remarkable. However, the liver mass was visualized by ultra sound and appears to be larger than first reported. IT appears to be a primary mass. Dr. Attalarri said , "David you have liver cancer". I knew we were dealing with cANCER but sure as hell no doctor had come out and said it. It had always been the "mass". DAMN!! Stacey and I have had our up and down moments since this procedure. We have talked about what the future holds. I decided not to tell anyone until I had my appointment with the specialist which just so happens to be Dr. McGinnis' colleague. I feel very blessed to have so many prestine doctors working in my favor to provide expertise care for the present and the future.
Hope began on December 21, 2017, when we met Dr. Ryan Taylor. He assures me that we caught this early since I don't feel sick, have no pain and I am not jaundice. The good part of the liver is compensating for the bad part so far. Now, all we have to do is kill the 4-4.5cm tumor, stop beer, stop tobacco, get my platelets up to 100,000 and bilirubin down and I will be ready for transplant. Yes. I will need a new liver because reoccurrence is to great. Once all of this has been accomplished, I can be put on the transplant list. Praying all of this will happen without too much difficulty and July 1, 2017 will be the target date. I have already switched to NA and January 1' 2018 will stop it all.
So my New Year's Wish is for you to embrace the ones you love dearly, tell them you love them because you never know what tomorrow is going to bring. Try to perform random acts of kindness everyday. Please pray for Stacey, Samuel, Jacob, my family, and in-laws as we embark on this unknown journey of life. Dave