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How Long Have I Got?

clock imagesLet us tackle this thorny subject first as it seems to be the one question that many people are asking (and quite rightly!).

Cirrhosis, however it comes about usually takes a long time to develop. I say usually because in the current culture of binge drinking in the UK, death from acute liver failure is unfortunately on the rise. Alcohol can take out a liver in one nights boozing!

Generally though, the disease takes a long time to get to a stage where it can be considered as being life-threatening. When I was initially diagnosed with cirrhosis I was given no firm prognosis and indeed, because of the sheer number of variables associated with the disease and the complexity of it, it would take a brave (or foolish) doctor to put a time-line on the disease. Cirrhosis is not like cancer.

The good news if there is any, is that in the last three years I have only known one person who died from cirrhosis within the first few weeks after diagnosis. The majority of people I have got to know are still alive, some have had a transplant, but most are still living, still managing and still coping with the disease.

Clearly early diagnosis is crucial but even when the disease is advanced stabilization and a degree of recovery is still absolutely possible. Cirrhosis can be managed. Progression of the disease can be halted for many.

Even when the progression of the disease cannot be halted it should not be considered as an automatic, speedy death sentence. There are many things that can come into play and as we progress through this blog, I hope that I can bring hope to the many people who suffer with this.

So, don’t despair!!! This disease can be survived and many of us will never ever have to go anywhere near a transplant table let alone a grave yard for a considerable time!


  1. colacolleen on August 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement!
    I felt like I was about to take on shark feeding job with a blindfold on. To say, I knew nothing about cirrhosis until I started searching through sites to obtain as much information as I believed I could comprehend.
    I don’t know what to think, to feel and least of all, what to say to my children.
    Reading through some of the materials I found, although I am obese now, with diabetes, that mine probably started with blood transfusions from the late 1970’s. Some of the other cause has probably just compounded it. I showed a few symptoms in the later 80’s, early 90’s, but never associated them with anything. They were mild and not ongoing. One day here, one day there a symptom would occur. Reading them now is like that light bulb that goes off in your head and you say, “oh yeah, I remember that.” I have so much to learn about this. Why were we not taught better as kids about health. Out of sight, out of mind. I think all kids should be taught about diseases that don’t show up for years but what they choose as they grow is what will determine.
    Fifth graders about the best health habits. Eighth graders; drug use, alcohol abuse and begin the sexual side. Then in high school; each grade about all of it including safe sex. I say every year because that when they know everything but most teens seem to have a poor memory when it comes to certain issues when they are faced with situation more often than they are hearing about the outcome.
    I know… I am rambling on through this. My mind just cannot seem to calm itself down.
    I need to find out how to start my own blog on here.
    Good luck to all who try to follow anything I may right.

  2. colacolleen on August 21, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I promise also to try to make sure I slow down a bit so I am not typing before I finish thinking as to not make as many mistakes like there are in the previous comment.

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