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My husband was infected with hepatitis C 15 years ago and even though even then the first warning his GI doctor gave him was to stop drinking, he ultimately got so sick last year that he was diagnosed with end stage liver disease caused by liver cancer and cirrhosis. He barely survived delirium during the alcohol withdrawal and the things don’t look good at all even now. The oncologist is more or less trying to tell me there is nothing else left but to try to ease the symptoms, but even with help it’s becoming harder and harder. He has weekly albumin IVs and draining, and when he’s not at hospital he is drained of all energy. The problem he started to develop yesterday is a new one and it really worries me because we don’t have an appointment yet – he is complaining that his legs hurt, constantly and that it feels as if they are burning. IS this normal?

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Usually a patient with end stage liver disease (ESLD) will develop edema in the legs.  Is he experiencing much edema in his legs?  This is caused by fluid retention and will cause much swelling in the legs which could attribute to the leg pain.  Does the doctor have your husband on any diuretics or fluid pills to help with the edema?  Is he having pain in his hands or arms?  Hopefully the doctor will prescribe a diuretic; you may be able to call the doctor and get a script for it over the phone rather than waiting for an appointment.  I hope this helps!

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