Every few months I had pain in my left side and then it would disappear. After visiting the doctors several times, I was given a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The next time I had pain, four months after my original visit to the GP, it was so bad my husband took me to hospital. I was admitted and after a scan, they said it was pseudomyxoma peritonei or PMP.
But it wasn’t.
I was referred to The Christie Hospital in Manchester where after cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC, the histology report revealed I have benign multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma. I went home two weeks after surgery and didn’t have any further chemotherapy. Although I’ve recovered from the operation, I suffer a great deal with pain from scar tissue pain, and rib and back pain too. Looking at my scarred body was, for me, the greatest adjustment after surgery.
So little is known about this cancer and I’m sharing my story in the hope that I can find someone else with the same diagnosis.
Other survivors stories you might like to read
For me, it all started with blood in my urine and an increase in the size of my stomach. In retrospect, I could feel the mucin moving when I walked. Now I’m on ‘watch and wait’.
After my ruptured appendix was removed, the surgeon said the operation “took a little longer, it was messy in there.” For the follow-up, he called me in earlier to give me the bad news.
As I came to terms with the news, I understood that it would be important for me to get as fit as I could to face such an invasive operation ominously dubbed the “The Mother of all Surgeries” or MOAS.