The Amazing Liver-A Very Personal Story

I mentioned that I may start a new health blog so I could discuss my illness, and I probably will do that later this month. One of the main reasons why I haven’t started it yet is because >THIS< blog keeps me busy enough as it is (behind the scenes, I'm replying to a lot of readers' questions) – so busy that I can't even work on my Caribbean food blog…in between blogging, working on my business, and healing, a girl has to try and squeeze a social life in there somewhere! The other reason is that I would like to be able to talk about all of the physicians I went to for opinions – as a reference to people who are reading who may need some guidance/referrals, and I can't figure out a way to do that anonymously. But, I'm trying.

In the meantime, here's a synopsis of what happened to me:
They discovered a tumor in my liver – actually, several of them, and one was something called a "giant tumor" – yes, that is the exact medical term for it. They initially thought I had cancer with metastases, and I was completely devastated; my family, closest friends – and, yes, even me…all believed that I really might die because the mortality rate for liver cancer is less than 10(%) percent. To make a very long, upcoming blog post short, I had 30(%) of my liver removed, which is called a liver resection or a hepatic segmendectomy; I had liver segments (there are 9 liver segments) 2 and 3 removed, along with the giant tumor. By the way….that entire section underneath the heart that you see in the picture ^above^?? That entire section is what my surgeon removed and although the liver is an amazing organ that can and does regenerate itself, mine will not regenerate – I will live the rest of my life with 70(%) percent of my liver, so a very healthy lifestyle of nutrition and exercise is an absolute must for me. I'd like to add that I never abused my liver – I even used to do liver cleanses from time to time- something a doctor told me to do when I was only 19 years old, and this horrible thing still happened to me. On the bright side, because I took care of my liver and didn't abuse it, it was and is healthy enough to function on only 70(%) percent of it left, which is why it won't regenerate – in the words of my surgeon, "Your liver was healthy enough to start functioning without your left hepatic lobe which was taken over by the giant tumor – you were already living with only 70(%) percent of it functioning so it doesn't need to regenerate and it won't." Thank God. But….can you imagine what an abused liver looks like? How about the way it might function?

Please do some Google research and see how important the liver is to the body – it has so many functions. It stores iron and glucose, produces albumin, it metabolizes every single thing you eat and drink as well as medication you take. I could go on and on – and I will when I put the blog up. Stop all of that excessive and unnecessary drinking, popping pills the minute you have a headache…stop putting so much stress on your liver. Take Milk Thistle to support your liver every day – one of the first things a friend who has her doctorate in nursing (she's an oncology director) said to me was, "Start taking Milk Thistle NOW." And, I am telling YOU: please get the Hep B shot….if you're a woman who is under 26, get the HPV shot (any readers who may be parents, consider this for your daughters who are over 12 years of age – *I* personally think age 16 and up is best)…if you're sexually active, USE CONDOMS to prevent acquiring Hepatitis C…please!

Take a look at the picture above – it gives a lay person an idea of what the liver does and how to take care of it. I welcome any direct questions about this as health education is something very important to me. See you all later in the “Cheating Series”- I remain working on shortening that ever-long epistle!


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