Support for Paige and her family
Hi, my name is Rachelle Stewart, and my oldest child Paige Atherton has been battling appendix cancer for almost 3 years. She was first diagnosed in December 2019, a month after she gave birth to her youngest son. After going to the hospital, it was found that she had appendicitis and needed her appendix removed. Doctors who performed the appendectomy did not like the look of her appendix and sent it off for testing. About a week later, she received the news that all healthy young adults do NOT expect. She had appendix cancer. Plans were quickly made for her to undergo a right hemicolectomy surgery and then to endure 3-4months of chemotherapy. It seemed successful, and Paige was on the road to a full recovery.
However, at a follow-up scan and bloodwork, a cancer recurrence was found in October of 2020. Surgery was scheduled again for
November to be followed by seeing a specialist in Toronto to undergo
another treatment plan. Unfortunately, the planned surgery ended when
surgeons realized the cancer spread was worse than they initially thought, and it was decided she needed to consult further with the specialist at Mount Sinai in Toronto who specializes in this rare form of cancer.
Again Paige was put on chemotherapy treatments for the next few
months while waiting to see if she was a candidate for a HIPEC surgery.
Paige did not respond well to the chemo even though it did help control the
cancer spread and growth. She was so ill that 2-3 times, she had to go to
the hospital to be put on an IV due to severe dehydration from the vomiting.
She became weaker over time and could barely get out of bed most days.
This was a very stressful time for her family. Finally, she found out she qualified for the HIPEC, and this major surgery happened in June of 2021. It was successful, and all cancer growth was removed. During this procedure, she also had a complete hysterectomy, a gallbladder removed, and the large bowel and diaphragm scraped.
Her 3 and 6-month follow-up bloodwork and scans indicated that
she remained cancer-free, and Paige was feeling well and back to normal.
However, she again received some devastating news in March 2022
after her 9-month scan. A small tumour was noted close to her spleen.
After consulting with the oncologist in Ottawa, he deemed that going
back on chemo might be her only choice. However, being determined,
Paige reached out to the team in Toronto who had done her HIPEC.
The specialist sent her for a PET scan, further bloodwork, and anotherscan 6 weeks later. Since the growth seemed unchanged, they decided to
conduct another HIPEC procedure. So again, on August 2, 2022, Paige underwent HIPEC surgery, but the surgery could not be completed again.
The surgeon felt that the spread was worse than what was indicated on the scan. There were smaller multiple innumerable tumours on her small and abdominable areas, one (that was removed and a bowel resection was done) on her upper bowel, and a larger flat tumour by her lower right pelvic bone region.
In September of 2022, at her post-op appointment with Toronto, Paige
was told they could no longer help her, and that surgery was not an
option. Chemotherapy would provide her with some longevity.
Again, Paige was determined not to give in to cancer and contacted a specialist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who is highly reputed inperforming life-saving surgeries on cancer patients with her type of cancer.
After consultation, they are optimistic they can perform surgery in
February/March of 2023. For now, they recommended that Paige undergo
chemotherapy for at least 3 months to help shrink and control cancer
Paige began these treatments in September of 2022 but didnot react well. She had to be hospitalized for about a week after her first
round. Her second round had to be postponed until a month after her first one. She had her second treatment last week and since then has been hospitalized, unable to keep anything down.
Again this is a very stressful time for her and her family. However, she is
determined to keep going with the prospect of going to Pittsburgh for
Since surgery is in the States, it comes with a hefty price
tag. The approximate cost of this procedure is about $100,000. Since Paige’s diagnosis back in 2019, she has been unable to work and therefore had to go on a disability pension. Her husband has also had to take a second leave from work. Thus, this has caused significant financial strain.
We hope that through this Go Fund Me page, we can help raise the money they need to help ease some of this burden. No donation is too small. God Bless You All.
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