Carol’s Story: Hepatitis C and Liver Cancer

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This article was submitted by Scott Van Dyke, Carol’s husband and caregiver

Carol Van Dyke entered Mayo Clinic in June 2002 to discuss treatments for her Hepatitis C which had caused stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver. She had a blood transfusion in 1964 to stop bleeding from a hysterectomy due to a miscarriage.

Carol & Scott Van Dyke and youngest grandson, Colton

Carol & Scott Van Dyke and youngest grandson, Colton

During her three-day checkup, she was told that X-rays had found a cancerous tumor on her liver. So, instead of talking about her Hepatitis C treatments, she was operated on at Rochester Methodist Hospital for the removal of about 10% of her liver. During surgery, another tumor near the first one was also removed. With the “clean cut,” no further treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.) were required.

After four months recovery, Carol returned to get extensive instruction for the treatment of her Hepatitis C. She was instructed to return home (Tulsa, OK), start taking Interferon shots weekly (given by her) and Ribavirin pills twice daily. This treatment had all the side effects of chemo and radiation (loss of hair, fatigue, nausea, anorexia, blurred vision, insomnia, etc.). In addition, she was to get a blood test every Monday and have the results faxed to her Mayo Clinic doctor, Dr. Conor Loftus. She had to literally crawl up the stairs to get to the second floor of her house.

After six months treatment and several visits back to Mayo Clinic, she stopped the treatment. Tests showed that the Hepatitis C was gone!!!

Carol has returned to Mayo Clinic every six months for a checkup (23 trips to Mayo Clinic since June 2002) for the Hepatitis C and her liver. Each trip has shown a clean bill of health. She now works out and plays golf two to three times a week. She recently played in a club tourney for three days in 100 degree temperature. She is a walking miracle!!!

I have shared this story with numerous people, including Hepatitis C people. This is being sent to you after reading the “Sharing Mayo Clinic” articles.

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6 Responses to “Carol’s Story: Hepatitis C and Liver Cancer”

  1. felicity Says:

    Wow, what a success. The interferon will be tough. Hang in there.

  2. Judy Says:

    Does anyone know of a local support group(Broken Arrow, OK) for HEP C patients going thru the treatments?

  3. angela Says:

    your story is heartfelt.my father is currently on hospice with all three diagnoses adn theyare ony giving him days.i wish the same miracle would happen for us,

  4. Debbie Says:

    This is a wonderful success story! I too have hep c and have had two rounds of interferon since 1994. The last one being 3 yrs ago which included Ribavirin. My treatments did not work for me and I still have chronic active Hep C. I am hopeful and believe that the treatments have slowed down any further progression or deterioration. I am doing well, active and take care of myself. I eat healthy and have regular doctor visits with blood work and annual Ultrasounds of the Liver. I know that the treatment does work for some and very thankful and happy for their success. I am very thankful that I have lived 57 yrs and 28 of those yrs, I have had hep C. I received 3 blood transfusions when I was pregnant with my wonderful son 28 yrs ago. He did not contract the disease and I pray to God for thanks!!!! It is in the hands of the Lord and I have turned this over to him. I am thankful for every day. I have 6 wonderful kids and 4 grandchildren. I am not going to spend the rest of my life worrying and ruining the time left on earth.

  5. autumndays1985 Says:

    Wow, God Bless you! What courage, my husband will start treatment for Hep C in two days…and I am so concerned for his health and our life together!

    Do you know of any support groups that share the experience?

    Thank you!

  6. Pat Caris Says:

    I love success stories!! Miracles DO happen!

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