It’s tough being only 20 years old and a 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!
James and I know that our lives will never be what we once planned. Not being able to have children is still very hard for us to come to terms with but we know that it was necessary to improve my chance of long-term survival. We take each day as it comes and are thankful for the life that we are given the chance to live, not taking anything for granted.
It’s going to be a tough call as we have had so many amazing events and fundraisers this year so we need your help.
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.
A few weeks ago, I was privileged to be able to attend the James Bond 007 Ball organised in support of Pseudomyxoma Survivor. I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to the organisation committee for inviting me and for arranging the ball. The room looked fantastic — the theme even extended to bullet holes in the toilet doors!
When Nicki’s friend was diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP), Nicki decided she would show her support by raising awareness and some funds for the charity at the same time. She came up with a plan that is visible and also supported another charity as well as Pseudomyxoma Survivor.
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.
Hopefully, going to the GP with some of the symptoms for PMP could result in earlier tests and lead to an earlier diagnosis for patients.
I knew that I didn’t have textbook appendicitis but does anyone really have “textbook appendicitis”?
I cried as I was driving home from my doctor’s appointment. Then I picked myself up when I got home and googled “low grade mucinous appendiceal neoplasm” because I needed to know everything about this new enemy. That’s when I found the term pseudomyxoma peritonei.