Hello Bev et al, I don't have any deep thoughts on autoimmune diseases. The immune system is incredibly complicated, and I suspect that like cancer there are a plethora of potential genetic and epigenetic causes even for well-classified diseases such as Type 1 diabetes. In my case, I'm sure all my autoimmune problems are related to a major dysfunction in either antigen-presenting molecules like the major histocompatibility complex or something fundamental to antigen recognition in the white blood cells. Evironmental triggers activate the problems.
I'm also convinced that the inflammation caused by my autoimmune problems led to my cancer.
Although I've been very fortunate to avoid a recurrence, I don't think having a "hyperactive" immune system helped much. I think I was probably lucky that the surgeon was able to remove almost all the cancer and either my own immune system, the remaining cancer cells were not able to take root, or the chemo took care of things. I suspect the hyperactive nature of autoimmune response is pretty specific and not helpful to eliminating pathogens.
How is your liver doing, if you feel like saying? I hope you're very well.
Thanks for asking Bev. Fortunately my PSC hasn't caused any signficant changes to my liver over the last couple of years. I am hoping a fall into one of the subcategories of PSC in which liver enzymes normalize from time to time and fibrosis is delayed. Incredibly, I am about to reach the 5 year post-chemo mark. I still visit with my oncologist, but he may release me very soon. My health challenges are more related to side-effects of the sub-total colectomy I had done more than 2 years ago.
I've been following your saga and am pleased you and now your husband are doing well. Maybe it is the Vermont air?
Colon cancer dx Feb. 24, 2009, T3/N2/M0
Right Hemicolectomy Feb. 26, 2009
Stage 3C: 4/19 positive nodes
High grade adenocarcinoma with tumor budding
FOLFOX6 April 15 - Oct. 1, 2009
Elective sub-total colectomy July 3, 2012 due to 2 DALMs