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Help with Charlie's Fight!!
$890 raised
18% of $5k goal
8 contributors
4 Years running
Charlie was diagnosed with liver cancer on Sept. 11, 2012. Found out he had Hepatitis C around 1992. The doctors watched it and felt that it was not active. Ultra sounds were done and his liver looked fine. His numbers were low and seemed he was fine. ...
Charlie was diagnosed with liver cancer on Sept. 11, 2012. Found out he had Hepatitis C around 1992. The doctors watched it and felt that it was not active. Ultra sounds were done and his liver looked fine. His numbers were low and seemed he was fine. After some years, our doctor wanted to do a biopsy, but we have not consistently had insurance and so we would just not do it. Really didn't think it was an issue. He always went for annual checkups and would talk to the doctor about his disease and they would agree to just keep an eye on things. However, September of 2012, we decided that maybe we should do a little further testing. Charlie was having some other problems that the doctor thought might be related to the Hep C. So, a cat scan was done and the hammer fell!! He called us on the 11th and told us it was cancer. Hep C, we have found out causes cirrhosis, which in turn causes cancer.

We had our first appointment with MD Anderson in Houston on Oct. 1, 2012. We felt this was remarkable to have gotten in to this great cancer hospital so quickly! They began running all kinds of tests to verify the cat scan results and did. The oncologist then told us that the only treatment would be a transplant. Although the liver does regenerate itself, you have to have enough healthy tissue to start with, and with the cirrhosis and the cancer, it doesn't. Remarkably, however, he really had no symptoms. But, they told us as they treat the cancer, it leaves dead spots in the liver and combined with the cirrhosis, it does not leave enough to support life.

So, we now introduce Methodist Hospital, and the transplant team. They run him through every test you can imagine. Funny, but you must be in excellent health to get a transplant!! Ironic!! All was found to be good except his heart. He had no idea he had any heart problems, but after receiving 3 stents, he felt so much better it wasn't even funny!!

Now we go back to the hurry up and wait process! We find out that the first transplant Dr. at Methodist threw Charlie under the bus before she left that hospital and moved on. She submitted erroneous information about him to UNOS (The United Network of Organ Sharing). Therefore, they denied Charlie twice. Finally in February of 2013, we get an appointment with the doctor that took her place (we had not met him yet) and he proceeds to tell us that Charlie would not be getting a transplant, he would stay at the bottom of the list until the cancer killed him essentially! We were shocked to say the least!! We asked why and when he told us the information that had been sent in, we argued with him! Finally, he agreed to check into it. As a result, things were straightened out, UNOS accepted him and he is looking at transplant around October of this year. HURRAY!!

Next step - to try and rid his body of the Hep C virus so that it does not reinfect the new liver. So he has started the hep c treatment and man it has been a wild ride so far...one month down and 10 to go!! He actually has responded well to the treatment as far as killing the virus, after only two weeks his viral load went from 1 million to undetectable!! Fabulous!! However, it has wreaked havoc on his body! Because of the meds he is on, they have horrible side effects, he had to have a blood transfusion last week and had to get fluids this last Wednesday. We have to go to Houston from Portland (about a 3 hour tour LOL one way) once a week for 12 weeks, we are 1/3 the way down. Most the time we try very hard to make it a one day trip!! We are old and this is getting old!! LOL!! No, really, we are grateful to have such wonderful Doctors at MDA!! The trips back and forth to Houston once and twice a week are becoming harder and harder on his body, and the stress of the added expenses are not helping either one of us.

I know that many of you have been praying, and believe me, the prayers have been answered!! With all the negative things, I must say, God has blessed us time and time again!! So many things could have gone so wrong and didn't!

Thank you all for your prayers!! We are most grateful and love you much!

Suzanne
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