Support Ruth Boetel-PMP Cancer

Help support Ruth Boetel
PMP Appendix Cancer

I thought instead of an update, I would redo this so it is not so spread out! My mom, Ruth Boetel has been a schoolteacher for 25 years. She loves hiking, bicycling, aerobics, fishing, seeing new things, and being with friends and family. Last May, she went for her yearly Pap appointment. The doctor said he thought he saw a mass of some kind and had her get a 125 blood test done to check for cancer markers. She also had an ultrasound. He had recommended a full hysterectomy. The ultrasound showed a mass in the lower left area where the ovary would be. The 125 test came back negative, as did the Pap results. But, he still recommended a full hysterectomy due to the mass in the lower left area.

My mom did not want a full hysterectomy as she had concerns with both ovaries removed and uterus removed. So she went to a different doctor for a second opinion. The second doctor told my mom that if there were a cyst or some minor problem, then there was a possibility that just the ovary could be removed. This doctor also did an ultrasound. He also stated there was a mass in the lower left area, but it spread all over the bottom of the abdominal cavity; in fact, it looked as though there were fluid in her abdomen. My mom had begun having pain in her lower right abdomen, and she began feeling bloated and was not able to eat much as she felt out of breath. This only had been going on for about a month.

On August 4th, Ruth had an exploratory surgery done. When the doctor got into the abdomen, he found a jelly-like substance and also saw that her appendix had cancer. He took pictures and biopsies. Two days later, my mom met with a Gynecological Specialist- Oncologist. He explained that this was not just any kind of appendix cancer, but it was a rare appendix cancer. More blood work was done, along with CT scans. The following week, the Gynecological Oncologist and a General Surgeon worked together in a five-hour surgery to remove the appendix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries for a complete hysterectomy, and they also took out some of the colon and re-attached it.

The appendix tumor was 5.0x3.5 cm and it was perforated as a rupture. It is stage pT4a cancer. The tumor had attached to the bladder so the bladder was scraped, along with the abdominal wall to get as much of any cancer that was visible. The circumferential (radial) margins are positive for mutinous implants. This was explained as there are microscopic seeds of cancer that will continue to grow unless there is follow up treatment.

My mom spent 6 days in the hospital recovering from the surgery with 36 staples up her stomach. She has been home for about a week now, taking pain medication, stool softeners, antacids, many pillows and cold packs to help her get comfortable. She lost 9 pounds in the first 10 days.

She has had friends from work sending meals, cards; and she has received flowers and plants. The doctor has currently given her an off work order for three months at this time. Many people have her in their prayer groups and she truly appreciates all the support she is receiving!

I created this site, because when I heard that she had the specialized appendix cancer: Pseudomyxoma Peritonei or PMP Appendix Cancer, I began researching it on line. What I found was that there are NO specialists that are local. At my mom’s last doctor appointment to take out part of her staples, the doctor explained that with this specific cancer, the closest specialist was in San Diego and the number one specialist being in Washington DC. At this time, my mom has an appointment with the San Diego specialist at the end of September. This is about a four-hour drive from home. We do not yet know what will happen with the follow up treatment, but her oncologist has told her that he believes she will at least have chemo, possibly HIPEC, which is a heated chemo that is placed directly into the abdominal cavity, but she will have to wait to see what the specialist recommends. She will have someone driving her back and forth to the doctor appointments and staying in hotels when necessary. If she gets a second opinion, she will have to travel farther as the other specialists are farther. So the donations to this site will help pay for the gas, hotels, meals, and any unexpected expenses while she is having follow up treatment.

I would like to thank you all for your care and support, whether it is in prayer, plants, cards, visits, or your donations on this site. If you would like to find out more about PMP Appendix Cancer, check out the site:

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Stephanie Jackson 
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