When I was 14, I used to lie in bed with this constant nagging pain where my appendix was. Every night, I was convinced that this would be the night it would explode, but it never did. Roll on 25 years and innumerable investigations and potions for IBS, haemorrhoids etc, etc. Nothing ever changed this pain. So I ignored it and got on with life, which largely revolved around being a highly stressed staff nurse and lots of body-damaging fitness (ultra-marathons etc).
On March 1st 2016, I was admitted to hospital with abdominal pain and operated on the next day. The surgeon found a tumour in my appendix and mucin throughout my abdomen. My story is about what happened next, my surgery, coping with the stress and the positives that came out of it.
Four years ago, I had to give up my ticket to watch the London Olympics to go to a hospital appointment and be told I had PMP and had only ‘a few months’ if Basingstoke could not offer me CRS and HIPEC. Now I’m in Rio!
James and I know that our lives will never be what we once planned. Not being able to have children is still very hard for us to come to terms with but we know that it was necessary to improve my chance of long-term survival. We take each day as it comes and are thankful for the life that we are given the chance to live, not taking anything for granted.
On February 2nd, 2011, my appendix burst and I had an operation in Burton-on-Trent. I was 36. On March 7th, I received a letter from the hospital saying I’d missed a follow-up appointment for a suspected case of PMP. I hadn’t received the original letter and just what was PMP? I looked it up on the internet.
After an elderly relative was admitted to hospital with gallstones and, after researching her symptoms online, I was convinced I had the same problem. I pestered my GP to refer me for an ultrasound which eventually showed I had no gallstones, but “a fair amount” of fluid around my liver.