Mike has Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). This is an aggressive tumor that usually occurs in the setting of chronic liver disease – cirrhosis due to chronic liver inflammation. In Mike’s case, it was “Metabolic: Type 2 diabetes (aided by obesity)”. A contributor to this is circulating insulin concentration, as with diabetics with poor insulin control. HCC remains associated with a high mortality rate, in part related to initial diagnosis commonly at an advanced stage of disease/late in the course of the chronic liver disease. Without a liver transplant, the doctors have given Mike about a year or more. His timeline has possibly increased due to the recent procedures he’s received. ‘Fatty liver’ type cancers are on a steep rise in America.
Mike and I (Laurel) would like to express, first and foremost, that we are very lucky people. We are blessed with the best of sons, friends and family so we have a tremendous amount of support. Thank you everyone; there are no words to express how much you mean to us.
Mike and I are chugging along. There's not much more we can do except to keep up on all the procedures and testing UCSF recommends and wait. Time will tell. In the meantime, we are trying to pack in a lot. Mike has a wonderful sense of humor, and he laughs a lot. He also loves to try new things, so when he’s not feeling so sick or too tired, we go out and see the sights! This is the toughest thing we’ve ever been through together, but also the closest we’ve ever been. We've been together more than 35 years, so I can’t imagine life without him. All we can do is hope. We have been getting better with managing the 'new normal'. It’s been a steep learning curve, but we’re learning how to cope better and better. Mike is amazing. He goes in and out of feeling better and worse, always in pain, but he never complains. I’m in awe of him.
You can donate blood in Mike's name at any Vitalant location (formerly known as BloodSource)