Survivors' Stories

Meet our inspiring PMP survivors

Courage in the face of cancer and of treatment is a common thread running through all our stories, even though they’re all very different. Read how appendix cancer and pseudomyxoma survivors have fought through stormy times and misdiagnoses, and yet somehow found an inner strength.

I was convinced I had gallstones

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.

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My PMP journey and why I’m doing my bit to raise awareness

I was diagnosed with PMP aged 32, after many months of stomach pains, bloating, constipation and irregular periods. After numerous trips to my GP, which led to an ultrasound and eventually a CT scan, I was told I had a nine centimetre tumour on my appendix which had burst and leaked cancerous mucin into my abdominal cavity.

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Emily shared her PMP story with the BBC

A Hampshire woman who contracted a rare form of cancer has undergone surgery which involved the removal of a number of her organs, before she was blasted with chemotherapy. Emily Ervine had a rare form of cancer – the same condition that killed, Hollywood star, Audrey Hepburn.

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I didn’t have endometriosis, I had PMP

My story began a few months after I got married. My first symptom was the sudden onset of intense pain while I was at work one day. After a few hours, the pain subsided but I decided to make an appointment with my family doctor a few days later.

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I was told it looked like ovarian cancer… but it wasn’t

My doctor said I have a 72% chance of being alive in 10 years; those are great odds for a cancer patient. One of my doctors guessed that I might have had six months without treatment. I’m happy that I was a candidate for surgery and HIPEC. Without it, I’d probably be dead right now.

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Receiving a diagnosis

My original symptom was an ‘irritated‘ bladder — it is difficult to describe but the closest I can come up with it that it felt like it was vibrating all the time. In March 2010, after several months of bladder discomfort and many trips to my GP, I was referred to the gynae-urinary clinic at my local University hospital with suspected bladder prolapse.

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My baby and obstetrician saved my life!

My name is Stacey, I’m 31 years old and a mother of five from the Gold Coast in Australia. I can literally say my baby and obstetrician saved my life! I had caesarean section on July 12th. This took 35 min and I was delivered of a beautiful, healthy, big baby... read more

My PMP was picked up on an ultrasound scan

CT scans showing the cyst getting bigger with each scan and a final scan showing fluid in my pelvis, the doctors thought I had a burst cyst. An MRI scan showed the fluid still there after 2 months where it should have been absorbed by then should it have been a cyst.

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I thought I had a kidney infection

I feel great. I was worried about catching colds and things without my spleen but I’m as healthy as I was before. My son and husband have caught colds but I have not which is normal for us. I have caught a sickness bug from my son since surgery but I recovered quickly with no problems and again compared to what I’ve been through, it felt like nothing.

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Marilyn’s Story

When my doctor told me what he had discovered during surgery for a suspected ovarian tumour, I could barely pronounce the words let alone understand what it might mean for me.

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Megan’s 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... read more

My stomach looked really distended

When we got home from a family holiday and I looked at the photos, my stomach looked really distended. After noticing this, it just seemed to get worse and felt quite hard. I went to see the Doctor and he said I probably had wind or had just put on weight.

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The Waiting is Almost Over!

It’s just two days until my operation but how did I get to this point? The call came out of the blue. When my gynae consultant’s secretary called, I thought she wanted to say the appointment I had changed was inconvenient. But no, she wanted to ask me to... read more

Surviving with PMP

PMP isn’t always the immediate death sentence some expect — with top quality surgery it can be overcome, with a decent life expectancy afterwards.

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My waist kept expanding over a period of seven months

I was working as a daybaker and would come home and fall asleep on the sofa soon after I got home. I was exhausted and, despite exercising regularly and when my mother asked me if I was pregnant I began to feel unsettled. I also experienced some back pain that felt like my muscles were torn apart (like Velcro).

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I was first diagnosed with PMP after about 15 months of misdiagnosis

After doing my own research on the internet, I found that there are treatment options available on the NHS. As pseudomyxoma peritonei is very rare, there are just two named specialist treatment centres in the UK, being the Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust and the Christie Hospital in Manchester.

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The radiologist was rather puzzled by ‘a fluid in my stomach’

In the summer of 2008, after having pains in my side, which turned out to be gallstones, and not feeling at all well I went to see my doctor who sent me to Bristol General Hospital to have an ultrasound scan. During the examination, the radiologist was rather puzzled by, as she said ‘a fluid in my stomach’.

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We'd love to read your story

Many people find it helps to talk about their experiences. This can be helpful for others who are going through the same. We always respect your privacy — there is no expectation for you to provide a story to fully participate in our support groups or buddy scheme nor to publicly share personal details such as your name or a photograph. We are happy to support however much, or how little, you want to share with others.

If you would like to share your story with us and with other survivors, we’d love you to get in touch with us!

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