Topic: Successful Transplant
My husband received a living donor liver transplant at the Mayo Clinic. Last May he celebrated the fourth anniversary, and he is cancer free. He had PSC for 19 years, knowing that he would someday need a liver transplant. When his liver function took a turn for the worse, we assumed it was the PSC. The PSC was causing problems, but the main culprit was cholangiocarcinoma.
He went through the Mayo Protocol under the guidance of Dr. Gregory Gores, which included chemo, external radiation and internal radiation.
The hunt was on for a living donor, since the PSC wasn't far enough along to garner a deceased liver. He was on the UNOS list, but the cancer would return before he got a liver. The docs figured he had about 150 days maximum from the cancer treatment to the transplant. A good match was found on day 180. We were worried it had taken too long and the cancer had spread. The day before the transplant was scheduled, my husband went through a staging surgery in which the surgeon opened him up to make sure the cancer hadn't spread outside the bile ducts. If it had, the transplant would be off. Waiting for the results of that surgery was the longest day of my life.
My prayers were answered when the surgeon returned to the waiting room to let me know the cancer had stayed put. The transplant was a go. The next day, my husband received a partial liver that regrew in about four weeks. He was back to his normal activities, including running a ski area, surfing, cycling and golfing within a few months.
Since then, he is doing great. The PSC has returned, but the docs assure us the chances of another transplant are small. The docs keep a close eye on him, and the cancer has not returned.
When my husband was diagnosed, I found this forum and read every line, searching for hope amidst the stories. Unfortunately, these stories are all too rare. But I did find tremendous hope and love here, knowing that even in our darkest moments, the best in human nature endures. I also wrote a book about our experience, called The Next 15 Minutes: http://www.amazon.com/The-Next-15-Minut … 1933016116.
I hope that our story can provide a glimmer of hope to others, knowing that doctors and surgeons are working to find a cure.