A couple of days after we returned from Hawaii my mom went to the emergency room because she had a severe stomach ache and a swollen midsection. The emergency room doctor did a chest x-ray and a CT scan and found that my mom had what appeared to be stomach cancer. My mom has spent the last week going to see cancer specialists, oncologists, to determine the type of cancer and the stage. After a week of consultation, the doctors believe that my mom has primary peritoneal cancer (peritoneal mesothelioma).

Primary peritoneal cancer. Simply defined, it is cancer of the peritoneum. Peritoneum is the serous (fluid) membrane that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity. Because you can’t remove the wall of your abdomen, the cancer cannot be removed surgically, though surgery for tumors it has created may be performed. The reason it’s also referred to as extrovarian cancer (meaning ovarian cancer outside the ovary) is because it’s basically of the same fluid that coats the ovaries and though it’s not the exact same cancer, it is treated just as ovarian cancer. In fact, the pamphlets the doctors usually give out are ovarian cancer literature.

Like ovarian cancer, peritoneal cancer usually creates a tumor on the ovary or elswhere in the pelvic region. This tumor will create little pieces of what looks like chicken fat and spread them to other nearby organs. These are called metastasis lesions or adhesions, or “mets” for short. These mets are what my mom’s CT scans have found. The treatment, usually surgery, chemotherapy or both depends on the grade and stage of the cancer tumor. My mom is scheduled to have surgery in the next few weeks, followed by chemotherapy.

At this point me and my family are simply hoping for the best. My deepest thanks to all of you that have us in your thoughts and prayers.

1 Comment »

  1. Our beloved 42 yr old son died of stomch cancer last month. He was having stomach problems and just shrugged it off as indigestion. On Sept 9 we took him to emergency room for extreme pain He nerver came home and died in our arms on Oct 9.

    We spent the entire time in the hospital with him. If we have any advice for families it is this. Get your families Health Proxy up to datewith SPECIFIC desires. Noo matter what you have doctors will do as they pleae, unless threatened. Nurse are sent by God and it is well worth the effort to communicate with them in detail. They can get doctors to respond when you can’t.

    Finally, only believe half or what doctors tell you, use your intuiton, beleive me it will probably be right in the end? Above all don’t be afraid to look doctor in the eye andsay, YOUR FIRED. It is your loved one settle for anything less than what you think is right for your loved ones.

    Good Luck

    #1 by Dave — December 29, 2005 @ 5:47 am

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