Friday, September 6

Liver Biopsy results

I just got off the phone with my doctor.
"Well, good news and bad news."
My biopsy results showed No rejection that they could see, and no new issues such as autoimmune hepatitis. Good news!
She said there is always a chance it is a chronic rejection that is not detected in biopsy, but not highly likely.
As far as a reason for the elevated liver enzymes, there is no clear answer. I will repeat blood tests in a couple weeks and hopefully numbers will look good!
In the meantime, no medication changes or additions, and thankfully I'm almost tapered off Prednisone and don't have to go back on!

There was some more information from the biopsy, though.
The Bad news, "You do have PSC [primary sclerosing cholangitis]."
That is the disease that completely ruined the liver I was born with, and caused me to need a transplant at age 16. My doctors have been talking about the PSC being "back" since a biopsy I had four years ago. But it was never confirmed, and I always take the comments with a grain of salt. Not because I'm in denial, but because I know my God is bigger. There is the lens of science, and the lens of faith - the latter is much more real to me than the former!

Only in the past two years, and really last couple months has PSC come up in discussion more, when I did my MRCP test and this last biopsy.
The MRCP showed no blockages in my bile ducts, great news. PSC is an autoimmune-caused inflammation of the bile ducts, and what happens over time is the liver becomes scarred, from bile not being able to get through and backing up in the liver. (For photos of what a healthy liver looks like vs a liver that's been ruined from PSC, see my post http://shechoosesjoy.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-liver-transplant-in-photos.html?m=0)

So the biopsy showed PSC. This isn't anything urgent, but something to learn about, so I can do all I can in the physical to take care of my body, and get all the info I can to pray more specifically!
I was so young and sick when I had PSC before transplant, I don't remember the day to day Ins and outs of living with the disease.
Example, I've been having pain in my upper right side and some yellowing in my eyes from time to time. I forced myself to be brave and ask my doctor about it (it really is worse not asking, and making up 'what if' scenarios in your head!). I learned that with PSC you can have transient obstruction of bile ducts, which clears up on its own, versus bad strictures which need a sedated procedure to put in a stint to open up. The discomfort of what I'm experiencing is really high some days (like today!) From inflammation in my liver. But I'm grateful it's not the alternative kind of stricture or something requiring me to go to the hospital!

All that to say, first, thank God I'm not having acute rejection and I have no hepatitis! Second, I have some learning to do about PSC as an adult. Third, to my Champions Centre family, you'll probably see me up front often when we have prayer during service, because I'm not going to stop believing God can heal me, or asking Him to do so!

Thanks for your continued support and encouragement. Over the years I have gotten pretty good at "encouraging myself in the Lord," as the Word says we need to learn to do. I wouldn't have survived up to this point without  learning that skill! It's funny, when someone exhibits a strong faith and a positive attitude, and stays busy encouraging others, as people we may start to think, "well they're good, they don't need anything from me." Incorrect!
Never underestimate the power of letting someone know you're praying, or sharing just a few encouraging words, "you're doing good!" "Keep it up!" "God's got this!"
A few months back I got a Tweet from a friend, right after I got home from the hospital, in response to a post I made about Psalm 27:13 ("I will remain confident in this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.") I was putting it out there, declaring it in faith about my life. And my friend responded, "You WILL see the goodness of the Lord." Wow, how those words gave my faith a lift and even today after I got this news, I heard those words in my head.

My best advice for thriving through a challenging season (or in my case, lifetime, haha!):
Be vigilant about what you're letting get in your mind and heart (consider your relationships, social media connections, music and TV influences...). Feed your faith, starve your fears (example: concerned about your health? stay the heck off WebMD! Lol!). Surrround yourself with life-giving people who bring out the best in you and believe and speak good over your life. And Trust God!

"I will not die but LIVE, and will proclaim what the Lord has done."
Psalm 118:17