Rick Yeager story

Im 2011 my liver enzymes and iron levels were three times higher than normal. I was seen by a gastroenterologist in Southaven, MS for two years. Every six months he kept say he was going to do a liver biopsy. After two years nothing was accomplished. I had no energy an no one could find an answer. I stopped going to the gastric doctor after two and a half years. I kept feeling horrible no energy and begin having dizzy spells. I had to go to the emergency room and the doctor said my platelets were low but it’s ok. About a month later I decided to go online and chart my labs. I noticed my platelets has been up and down and dropping lower over the last few years. I printed the charts out and made an appointment with my pcp to ask about my labs and why my platelets are low as well as other labs high and low. She looked over my chart and spoke with another doctor. She came in and said both didn’t like my labs results. She decided to call the West Cancer Clinic and made me an appointment and told me she is going to be surprised at what they find.

A week or so later I went to my appointment at the West Cancer Clinic. The hematologist took labs and ran test and came back into the room later stating he doesn’t think I have luekemia but beloved it is my liver. He called and made an appointment at a gastroenterologist the next day. I went for my visit and he made arrangements for an EGD and colonoscopy the next morning. The test showed esophageal varacies and had to remove three benign polyps from my colon. He stated he was making me an appointment to have a liver biopsy because people with esophageal varacies usually have Cirrohsis of liver. The doctor called me later the same day and stated he had a biopsy scheduled for the following morning.


  • I arrived at the hospital for admission at 7am and was prepped for the biopsy and signed all paperwork. After and hour or so waiting, the nurse took me back for the liver biopsy. Once I arrived for my biopsy in radiology the radiologist explain in detail what he was going to do and showed me all the instruments he would be using to take the biopsy and popped the biopsy instrument and said when I hear this sound, he would be finished. I went inside the CT scan and he marked where the incision will be made and numbed the area and took the biopsy. He stated I definitely have cirrhosis and could see it with the naked eye. He showed me the sample which was dark and nodule looking. He advised if I had any pain or bleeding go to ER immediately. Two days later which was a Sunday evening I had severe pain and was taken to the ER and the doctor came in after CT and labs and said there is nothing that can be done. My son asked why not. He said that I had cirrhosis and nothing was going to be done and I need a transplant. I had no idea I needed a transplant. My daughter in law and son called my doctor at midnight because the doctor was rude and now worried because none of us knew I had to have a liver transplant. The doctor called the hospital and told them to run more test and if ok for me at be in his office at 7:30 am.

    Hearing you need a transplant is one of the scariest feelings I had in my life. My life started flashing before my eyes. I was so afraid I began crying wondering how much time I have left. I called my family and broke down on the way home.
    In June 2015 I was Diagnosed with Hepatic Encephalopathy which is one of the serious complications with cirrhosis. Hepatic Encephalopathy has changed my personality, caused me to have memory loss , forgetfulness, confusion and brain fog. Before knowing what was happening I became a demon with myself due to hepatic encephalopathy and almost lost my family and lost some of my friends. I have had episodes where I have been verbally abusive to my family , my employee, and individuals. I have had the feeling of bugs all over me and clawed myself until I bled all over.and when I was rushed to the emergency room the triage nurse wanted to know if I tried to kill myself. I cursed her and said with my finger nails. I haves locked myself in a bathroom stall in a store and could not figure how to unlock the door. I panic and tried climbing under and over the wall as well as trying to unscrew the door with my car keys. After 39. To 40 mins I found my phone in my pocket and start to call 9111 and I opened the door.

    I had an attack in the doctors officer and began cursing the doctor for no reason, walked out crying and went into the bathroom and cried. About 15 mins later according to my daughter in law sh I came back I into the room and apologized. He stated it was my HE. When we left my daughter in law was so angers and said she will never go back to the doctor with me. I was so embarrassed.

    I continued trying to work and on September 6, 2016 I had a stroke. Unfortunately I didn’t know it was a stroke and thought it was my HE and went to work but came home the next day. I tried going back on Friday and got to work and My whole body was shaking and uncontrollable. My son picked me up and sat in the ER waiting room for 13 hours waiting to see a doctor because the 1st CT didn’t show anything. By 3 am another CT was done because I could not walk and showed I had a bleed in the front lobe or a tumor. the doctor order an MRI and showed the same. He stated they were admitting and couldn’t do an MRI contrast until Sunday or Monday because of my kidneys and contrast. I learned there was a bleed in the right lobe. I stayed in the hospital for 14 days and was sent to rehab center for physical therapy. October 5, I was going to be release to complete outpatient therapy and had signed my discharge papers. I asked the nurse if my lab results came back and she was loooking at them in the computer and stated. I will be right back. The doctor came back in and said they were keeping me because my sodium level was critical and would be transporting me back to the emergency room. I was immediately admitted. My sodium level was 114 and I was freezing and blood pressure was very low. 70/30. It stayed very low for 7 days and finally moved me to the transplant floor. The doctor stated I was lucky because I was already and mostly when itwas as low as mine people are in a coma. He was shocked I wasn’t. During my stay I remain positive during the two months away from home. It felt. Like I would never see home again. After 14 days I was transported back to the rehab as inpatient for for over two weeks and I found a walker and tried walking to build my strength. I had to go home in a wheel chair because I could not walk. I looked in the mirror and said I can’t live like this and I began walking on a walker for about two months and started practicing on a cane a few minutes. I was so homesick I asked the doctors to let me go home for a few hours. They first told me it would be ok on Sunday. Friday the director came to me in the rehab and stated they stopped people getting passed. My whole family planned a big dinner for me at my house and couldn’t go. My physical therapists all met with the director and told them how positive I am and how I work so hard to get better and for them to tell me know wants fair. The whole team fought for me and I was granted a 2 hour pass. On Sunday when I left they told me to spend 6 hours and be back before shift change. They were super people. I was informed by transplant probably will not happen due to me being high risk. I told the doctors I will show them. It can happen.

    November 3rd which was four days after being home my family went out to eat and we arrived home I pulled off my jacket and blood was all over my shirt. My son had me raise my shirt and I had blood pouring from my nipple. He took me to the emergency room and the doctor ran test and. Told me it may be cancer. After the results came in the doctor and his nurse came in my room and grabbed my hand and had tears falling as well as his nurse. He stated After all you have been through it kills me to tell you that you have breast cancer and an ambulance is on the way to transport y oh to another hospital for treatment and surgery. I was admitted and was on the two strongest antibiotic made as well as Duluadid every 4 hours for pain. I had 5 biopsies and was the worst pain I have ever felt. Everyone said I can’t believe how

    Positive you are. I was told this at the hospital, rehab and by the team for cancer. I had to have surgery on my left breast to remove the mass. The doctor stated it was caused my by spirolactone. I was dismisssed on the 7th day. Four days later I was admitted for c-diff because of all the antibiotics I was given in the hospital and was quarantined. After 5 days I was sent home. One week later right breast did the same and I told the doctor no biopsy just cut it out. He did as an outpatient and went home.

    I have continuously been in and out of the hospital and was admitted October 2017 with acute renal failure and all low blood counts. I had five different teams of doctors on my team. I was released after6 days because my immune system was so weakened they thought it would be less germs at home and made me an appointment at the West Cancer Clinic to have a bone marrow biopsy. My daughter. In law drove me because I have not been able to drive for two years. The bone marrow biopsy was being painful and she got up from chair and had me squeeze her hand and I had tears rolling down my face. She started crying knowing the pain I was in. Luckily the biopsy was good.

    December 27, 2017 I was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma ( liver cancer). I heard the word cancer and began crying. Everyone o may mom’ side of the family died with cancer as well as my mother. I. Am determined to beat this and not be a statistic and break the cancer barrier.

    December 19th I was listed in Jackson,MS and January 4, 2018 I received my first call for transplant as back up in Jackson, Ms. I am currently mutual listed in Memphis, TN and Jackson, MS. The first recipient received the liver which I was happy for him/her. I remain #1 on list for 28 days and no call. I have been #2 on the list since the 28th and no call.

    February 4, 2018 I was admitted to the hospital again with acute renal failure and congestive heart failure. I stayed in the hospital 5 more days and also diagnosed with the flue and was placed in isolation the whole time. Everyone including my family and hospital workers had to wear gloves, masks and gowns before entering the room. Everything was placed in red hazardous waste bags. I was also advised during the admitting I had sepsis.

    On March 27th I had another MRI and found two more lesions which are cancerous in my liver. They are waiting for them to grow to get exception points to get me closer to the top to get my transplant. I’m afraid it may grown or get into my blood stream. I pray it doesn’t or I will be off thee transplant list.

    In April 2018 I posted on Facebook I had cirrhosis and liver cancer and needed a living donor. I had 567 shares including Australia and South Africa. Eighteen people have called my transplant center wanted to be tested as my donor. I have never met any of the potential donors but have spoken to a few on the phone. My coordinator asked me to take it down because his phone is flooded with calls. Once there is a match I hope I can thank if of the ones who stepped forward being an unselfish person. And attempting to donate to a complete stranger. There are a lot of great and caring people in the world. I pray some will be willing to donate to others who are waiting for transplants with my blood type. On Monday , April 9th I was very weak and was advised to come to the transplant center and have labs. I am having issues with kidneys as well and have labs again on April 12. I have called NYU us having kidney issues due to my liver. I started my first out patient IV Albumin infusion on May11, 2018. I am currently number one on the waiting list in Jackson, MS and number 10 in Memphis TN.

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  • Rick Yeager
    commented 2018-05-13 07:19:09 -0600
    As you can see there are many typo in my story. Many were corrected weeks down the road but with Hepatic Encephalopathy you can’t remember well or function very well.

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