Pseudomyxoma Survivor Lauren shares her story

Lauren and Alfie

I was diagnosed with PMP in October 2010 following my 20-week prenatal ultrasound. I had cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC (hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy) in February 2011 by Professor Moran and Mr Cecil at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

It started with pelvic pain in 2007 and had an ultrasound scan which showed free fluid in my pelvis but at this time nothing more was said or done and queried irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or endometriosis. Then in 2009, I fell pregnant. At my 12-week scan, a cystic area was noted but not affecting my pregnancy so no action taken and it was put down to endometriosis again.

My pregnancy was very textbook and I had my son Alfie in March 2010. I then had an appointment in June to see a gynecologist as a follow-up as my scan had shown this cystic mass and a laparoscopy was performed which left all the surgeons baffled.

They noticed my appendix looked abnormal so took it out and sent it for pathology tests. In the meantime, a colposcopy¹ was done with no concerns. I then had an appointment to see a colorectal surgeon in October who proceeded to tell me my appendix had a tumour and I’d need to be referred to the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital as they dealt with pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP). I also had an MRI scan. On December 23rd 2010, I went meet Mr Cecil who told me the extent of the disease and that I’d need complete cytoreduction with HIPEC. I had this in February 2011, just before Alfie’s first birthday. I spent two weeks in hospital and I have had no evidence of disease since.

I’m on HRT² which has helped loads and have started a new job in a hospital caring for patients after surgery. My recovery went very well, spurred on by my young son, and I continue to do well following my treatment and enjoy quality time with my little boy and family.

– Lauren

 

Lauren’s story was updated in 2015.

¹colposcopy – a procedure to find out whether there are abnormal cells on or in a woman’s cervix or vagina.

²HRT – hormone replacement therapy.

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