Stories

Meet our inspiring survivors

Courage in the face of cancer and of treatment is a common thread running through all our stories, even though they’re all very different. Read how appendix cancer and pseudomyxoma survivors have fought through stormy times and misdiagnoses, and yet somehow found an inner strength.
When you’re faced with life and death, you choose life

When you’re faced with life and death, you choose life

I was 35 and had only just embarked on what should have been the most exciting chapter of my life so far. I was living in Australia with my girlfriend Laura, and whilst working on making the most of the hospitality and weather.

But the care-free life we were just starting to enjoy wasn’t to last, and in a devastating turn of fortunes we were faced with a choice that no one should have to consider; life or death.

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Feeling proud

Feeling proud

My 10-year-old son has recently been to pioneer week where he goes to his new secondary school for a week to experience life there. He was asked to write about someone who inspires them.

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I had flu-like symptoms and was diagnosed with PMP

I had flu-like symptoms and was diagnosed with PMP

Initially, I had flu-like symptoms with pain in all the joints in my body followed by bad abdominal pain that did not go away. I was admitted to Gosford Hospital on February 11th, 2014 as they couldn’t diagnose what was causing the severe discomfort I was having. After being in hospital for eight days, it was discovered that I had pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP).

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Lisa takes part in a photoshoot

Lisa takes part in a photoshoot

Following the Loose Women Body Stories campaign, Lisa took part in a photo shoot organised by The Sun newspaper. We caught up with her and talked to her about the shoot and raising awareness of pseudomyxoma peritonei.

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I had cytoreduction and HIPEC and now I’ve climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!

I had cytoreduction and HIPEC and now I’ve climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!

My local hospital happens to be the centre in Israel for treating this disease and two of the surgeons working there have extensive experience in performing cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC. To those of you have undergone this procedure, I don’t need to say more. If you are still recovering or about to undergo it, I wish you excellent care, strength, patience, and a complete recovery.

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I had shortness of breath and my sides ached

I had shortness of breath and my sides ached

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.

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My Olympic Victory

My Olympic Victory

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!

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Being sick

Being sick

The last year and a half has been a profound and unmooring experience, and one I turn over in my mind with gratitude, disbelief, and amazement.

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Too young for cancer

Too young for cancer

It’s tough being only 20 years old and an appendix cancer patient at that. Mainly because no one expects or even wants to believe you could even end up developing cancer, and the worst culprits are medical professionals. True, the odds are so low it’s a waste of time to even bother, but that ‘waste of time’ could have cost me my life!

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Don’t give up hope!

Don’t give up hope!

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.

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I was convinced I had gallstones but it wasn’t gallstones

I was convinced I had gallstones but it wasn’t gallstones

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.

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My PMP journey and why I’m doing my bit to raise awareness

My PMP journey and why I’m doing my bit to raise awareness

I was diagnosed with PMP aged 32, after many months of stomach pains, bloating, constipation and irregular periods. After numerous trips to my GP, which led to an ultrasound and eventually a CT scan, I was told I had a nine centimetre tumour on my appendix which had burst and leaked cancerous mucin into my abdominal cavity.

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Both the appendix cancer survivors’ stories and the pseudomyxoma peritonei survivors’ stories contained in these pages contain the views and opinions of the individuals who have written them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pseudomyxoma Survivor. The stories represent the experiences of the individual and should in no way be used as a guideline for your own experiences and treatment options. We are all individuals, everyone is different. We recommend that you take advice from your doctors for specific information.

Are you an appendix cancer or pseudomyxoma peritonei survivor?

We'd love to read your story

Many people find it helps to talk about their experiences. This can be helpful for others who are going through the same. We always respect your privacy — there is no expectation for you to provide a story to fully participate in our support groups or buddy scheme nor to publicly share personal details such as your name or a photograph. We are happy to support however much, or how little, you want to share with others.

If you would like to share your story with us and with other survivors, we’d love you to get in touch with us!