Patient Stories

Our organization exists to help you. With new initiatives in the works, we are working hard to offer hope to appendix cancer / pseudomyxoma peritonei patients and their families.

You can help others by sharing your story! By sharing your story of survival on our website, you too can offer hope for those newly diagnosed as they navigate our website for information.

If you'd like to share your story here, please contact Lauren Smith at

Bob Franek

Written by Bob Franek - October, 2019

I began to have health issues the summer of 2016.  I went to the doctor and he decided to do a colonoscopy. I knew something was wrong, but the doctor said he couldn’t find anything.  On my way I went thinking this was all in my head.

Over the next six months I would visit the emergency room three times with severe abdominal pain only to be told that there was nothing showing on the scans (it is not uncommon for doctors to believe Appendix Cancer is Crohn’s Disease).  After the last visit to the emergency room, the doctor referred me to University of Colorado Health in Denver.  


JoAnn Hertshten

Written by JoAnn Hertshten - March, 2017

It started exactly 2 years ago when I was 64 years old. At some point I had decided that I wanted the be a healthy old person so I have been careful about my diet and have exercised regularly; I had been feeling absolutely fine. One day I started feeling an excruciating pain in my lower right abdomen. I wasn’t particularly alarmed as I decided it must be appendicitis which I had thought was easily treatable.

David Mason

Written by David Mason - December, 2011

My name is David and I am a Pseudomyxoma Peritonei survivor living in the UK. I was first diagnosed with PMP after my appendix burst in May 2009.

I was out shopping with my wife and two daughters when I was taken ill and was rushed to the local hospital. Initially the burst appendix was not diagnosed and I was sent home! Two days later and still in a lot of pain and very unwell I was sent back to the hospital where they correctly diagnosed me with peritonitis.

Laurie Todd

Written by Laurie Todd - October, 2010


I had been feeling exhausted for a year. In November 2004, I went for a complete physical exam. The doctor pronounced me the healthiest person of my age group on the planet.

Four months later, I was diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer, rushed into surgery, and given months to live. A complete hysterectomy was performed, a soccer-ball-sized tumor removed, much of the omentum removed, part of the colon resected, a few gallons of fluid drained.