Megan and her husband Brian, from our support group, share her story:
On November 30, 2009 Megan went to Northside Hospital, Cherokee, with severe abdominal pain. After hours of testing and exams, she was admitted to do further testing. Megan's abdomen was swollen to the point that the doctors, had they already not tested for pregnancy, said that she looked to be approximately five to six months pregnant.
Megan was diagnosed as having Stage 3c Ovarian Cancer. The tumors were large mucinous tumors. Megan was referred to Dr. Joseph Boveri, a gynaecological oncologist in Atlanta, to follow-up and to get this tumor removed.
On December 11, 2009 at 2:33pm, Megan underwent a six and a half hour debulking surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital which included removal of the tumors, appendix, omentum, complete hysterectomy and exploratory surgery on her bowels and other organs to confirm if the cancer had spread to those as well. Her incision was from her right hip to left hip. It took 57 staples to close the incision. Dr. Boveri came out after the surgery and explained to the family that it was cancer, however, depending on what the pathology reports revealed, that he thought the primary cancer started out as appendix cancer...
On January 10, 2009, Megan went back to St. Josephs to have a port implanted for ease of use during chemo.
The pathology reports finally came back and concluded that indeed it was not Ovarian Cancer, but Stage 4b Appendix Cancer with Psuedomyxoma Peritonei (PMP). This type of cancer is a gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, but does not usually response to systemic (IV) chemo as it does not have good blood supply.
On February 10, 2010, Megan endured yet another debulking surgery at DeKalb Medical Center under the care of Dr. Michael Quinones. Assisted by Dr. Boveri, Dr. Q went into Megan's body through an incision from her sternum down to her waist and removed three more tumors that had grown to date. Then heated chemo (HIPEC) was poured directly into Megan's abdomen. This is supposed to take care of the cancer in the abdomen as well as reduce side effects. The dose is 4 to 400 times higher than that of a regular chemo treatment because not much of the chemo is adsorbed into the bloodstream. This surgery lasted about four hours and Megan recovered in the hospital for a week before being sent home.
- Megan and Brian
To read more stories like Megan's, please visit our Survivors' Stories page.