I went into hospital for a hernia operation. Afterwards, I was told that it wasn’t a hernia but a ‘small, bloody mass’. The pathology came back as pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP).
I was in hospital for 11 days for my cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC with a positive outlook throughout. Well, as I said I have a positive outlook and I couldn’t change what I had, and it was no good worrying about it. Before the operation, I gave my kids what they would get if I had died. It may sound morbid but it put me at ease and it was good to see them enjoy what they were given.
The surgeon couldn’t understand that I had no questions for him. On the day of the operation, he asked me again so I asked him if he knew what he’s doing?
He replied “YES”.
I said “Good, I don’t need to worry then!”
Anyway, all went well after nine hours of surgery. During the following eight days, I was crook ill and then got a parasite in my bowel, which gave me the runs. It took about a month to get rid of the parasite completely and I also had to give myself blood thinner injections for 28 days.
What most surprised me about the whole experience is how you have to change the way you live, the things you have to take easy and the things can’t do straight away.
The three things I’d share with anyone diagnosed with PMP are:
- Be positive
- Keep your mind active
- Find someone to talk to if you feel down
The one thing I’d say to take to hospital with you is a positive attitude (I warned you I was positive!). What surprised me most during my recovery are the changes I had to make to how I live, the things that I had to take easy and the things I couldn’t do. I’m very independent and found it hard to take things slowly. During my recovery, I kept myself busy with the renovation plans for my house and anything else that would keep me busy. I’ve since had a postoperative tear of 20 cm which I am due to have repaired and I’m still positive.
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Putting on your happy face every day to those you love, trying not to worry them, has been exhausting
It is not in my nature to reveal all of the everyday trials and tribulations to every person I meet. I do believe that this has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and to try and remain calm, cool and collected in the face of such an obstacle, has been exhausting, to say the least.
Following a major operation in September to remove my left ovary, a cyst, my appendix and litres of mucinous jelly from my abdomen, in November I received the horrible news that I definitely had cancer. We didn’t know which cancer, whether it was mucinous ovarian cancer or pseudomyxoma peritonei (or PMP). I was told we could wait several months for a final diagnosis.