Patient Stories

You can help others by sharing your story! You can offer hope, insight and/or words of wisdom for those newly diagnosed as they navigate our website for information.

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.

If you'd like to share your story here, please email us at

Marissa Iamello

Marissa Iamello - February, 2022

My husband and I got married in September of 2015. I always dreamed of having children, but by the summer of 2016 we still had no luck. It was strange because I swear, I felt pregnant: I was constantly feeling the urge to pee, my stomach looked big and felt bloated, and every other month I wouldn’t even ovulate. I...

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Rachel - February, 2022

I never could have predicted that my three and a half year struggle with infertility would end with a cancer diagnosis. My husband and I sought help for our infertility issues intermittently for a couple of years from 2018 through 2020. I had a minor procedure in 2018 to remove some endometrial polyps, but other than that, every test we...

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Deshanna Armwood

Deshanna - September, 2021

My name is Deshanna and I am 44 years old. I was diagnosed with Stage IV appendix cancer on August 10, 2020. I had been going to the women’s health center about issues of a reoccurring water cyst on my right ovary. I would be in tremendous pain during my cycle, but I started to pass clots and I had...

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Carla Keepes

Carla Keepes - September, 2021

My name is Carla and my journey with this rare cancer began March 2019. I am a registered nurse and worked in the emergency room and had recently noticed urine incontinence within myself. I went to a urologist and they did a cystoscope which revealed a mass. Seven months later and after several test and six rounds of chemotherapy, they...

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Paige Martin

Paige Martin - August, 2021

My name is Paige Martin and I am 28 years old. My story started when I awoke in the middle of the night around 3:00am on Thanksgiving in 2020. I had horrible pain. I tried to call my dad and some other close by friends to see if they could take me to the ER because I was vomiting and...

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Renee Hill

Renee Hill - August, 2021

May 2021 I’m Renee Hill and am an active, healthy 36-year-old. I was diagnosed with Stage IV mucinous adenocarcinoma (with signet cells) of the appendix on August 10, 2016. I was a healthy, active 31-year-old in the midst of training for my 25th half marathon. I have so many little memories from the summer of 2016 leading up to my diagnosis...

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Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs - August, 2021

I am 39 years old and was diagnosed with appendix cancer at the age of 38. I was a healthy female with no underlying health issues and not taking any medications. In the beginning of March of 2020, I begin to feel bloating in my stomach, stomach pains, and a hernia. I went to see my primary care physician (PCP)...

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Katherine Bell

Katherine Bell - July, 2021

My name is Katherine Bell and I’m 28 years old. When I was diagnosed with stage 2 appendix cancer, I was a healthy 27-year-old with no underlying risk conditions. One evening I started feeling cramping in my abdomen. I thought nothing of it until the intensity increased and I could barely sit upright or walk. I called my PCP and...

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Sean Beattie

Kayla-Jane Mooney - April, 2021

Our story began in July 2018. We had just returned from the trip of a lifetime in South Africa, where we celebrated Seans 30th birthday. We brought home with us quite the souvenir for our families, finding out we were in fact 3 months pregnant with our first child. Little did we know at the time, this was not the...

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Julie Wright

Written by Mike Wright - December, 2020

“Is she surrounded by love? Yes? Then she’s ok.” – A wise friend This is the story of Julie Wright’s 18-month journey with appendiceal cancer which sadly ended in March 2020. As Julie’s spouse and life partner, I bear witness to this story of hope, courage, and integrity. I share Julie’s (and our) story with the wish that others in...

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Meghan Blomquist

Written by Meghan Blomquist - May, 2020

My name is Meghan Blomquist.  I have many roles and titles; I’m a mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, granddaughter, cousin, niece, in-law, friend.  I am a second-grade teacher.  I’m a baseball mom and an avid reader.  A new role, that of cancer patient, came to me very much uninvited and unwanted in 2014.  I’ve tried to accept this role and...

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Kelly Lund

Written by Kelly Lund - February, 2020

My story began in 2014 when I began training for a half marathon. I was training with two personal trainers and some friends and I noticed I was gaining weight. I thought it was weird since I was trying to eat healthy and I was training harder than ever. I began gaining more and more weight. I decided I needed...

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Trisha Spata

Written by Trisha Spata - October, 2019

My story all began when my husband and I went through different types of fertility treatments for over 2 years to try and conceive a baby. We ended with IVF and we were very lucky enough to have two healthy embryos. The first one unfortunately didn’t stick, we were devastated, so we took a break on the entire baby thing...

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Lauren Smith

Written by Lauren Smith - October, 2019

My name is Lauren Smith, I’m 23 years old and I live in Boston, MA. Two years ago, before my senior year at college, I was given the news that nobody ever wants to hear, I was told that I had a rare form of appendix cancer. Cancers and tumors of the appendix are extremely rare, it was once thought...

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Bob Franek

Written by Bob Franek - September, 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...

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Jenny Malec

Written by Jenny Malec - June, 2019

In 2014, I was diagnosed with Appendix Cancer and Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (ACPMP), a disease characterized by appendiceal tumors that spread and cause a buildup of mucin in the abdominal cavity. I underwent numerous surgeries, medical procedures, immunotherapies and chemotherapy, only to be told in 2017 that I was no longer a candidate for HIPEC surgery. Since that is currently the...

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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...

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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...

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Laurie Todd

Written by Laurie Todd - October, 2010

Diagnosis 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,...

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