In 2014 I was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cirrhosis. I had no symptoms, felt pretty good for a 71 year old guy and I was optimistic about the future. I didn't drink, I'd never had hepatitis C. I was one of the growing number of Americans with NASH, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. The reasons for it are not fully understood, but there is no cure, short of a liver transplant.
My dad, who died a decade ago, had liver disease, so I knew that this is one nasty way to go. For the first time in my life, I fell into the ugly beast of depression.
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A few months after my diagnosis, when my spirits had reached rock bottom, my 91-year-old mother asked me and my sister to go with her to see an oncologist. She had been coughing a little and a scan showed a suspicious mass in her lung which had been biopsied.
The doctor was calm and supportive as he explained stage 4 non-small cell carcinoma. Sadly no, not operable. How long would she have? Hard to say. Probably not too long. Chemo is really hard on older people, he told us. Think about the quality of life.Read more
Depressed? Take one skydiving granny and call me in the morning.
My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her response "I want to go skydiving" a personal story about dealing with chronic and terminal illness.
The Philadelphia Enquirer picked up the story and did a nice article in their health section.