I was experiencing shortness of breath and my sides ached when walking around, nothing specific. I had an ultrasound which showed a large tumor which was confirmed by MRI. I had surgery at my local hospital to remove a tumor the size of a football and my diagnosis of pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) was confirmed.
Around 18 months later, after tumors had started to reappear, I went to Froedtert and Dr Samuel Pappas carried out a full cytoreduction and HIPEC¹. When Dr Pappas left Froedtert for another position, my case was turned over to Dr Turaga. Both wonderful doctors. There isn’t a history of cancer in my family and I certainly hadn’t heard of PMP or appendix cancer before. I was lucky that I had my friends and family as my primary support. I had a ‘go, get it‘ attitude. This whole thing was hardest on my children. They were worried about their primary support person (emotionally and financially) possibly not surviving.
I’m over six years out now and it is possible to survive and live a full life after. My recovery was rough but came with little of the known complications. If you are diagnosed, seek a specialist right away. In my case, it would have prevented multiple surgeries. Above all, stay positive! I’ve found this website gives a great summary of information on what individuals need to know.
¹HIPEC – Heated IntraPEritoneal Chemotherapy: heated chemotherapy, delivered directly into the abdomen, after complete cytoreduction.