The following is Neva’s story in her own words. Thank you again to Neva for sharing your journey!
I had cytoreduction surgery with HIPEC in July 2013 at MD Anderson in Houston. I was 67 years old at the time. Working on year 5. ~ Neva
I turned 65 in June 2011 and scheduled a colonoscopy since I had a polyp three years earlier. A tumor was found in my cecum. The next week I had colon cancer surgery and they removed 12-13 inches of my colon. This was followed by FOLFOX (chemotherapy regimen) for six months. I was accepted at MD Anderson in March 2012 as their patient. I did well for 10 months then routine scans and tests proved I had mucinous adenocarcinoma in my peritoneal and then on Jan 2, 2013 I started a second six month regime with Folfiri, avastin and FU. In the meantime they were talking cytoreduction and HIPEC but did not give me much hope for approval due to my age. I was given 6 months to live without chemo and 2 years with chemo. I finally got an appointment with Dr. Keith Fournier with MD Anderson. I had my last chemo on May 8, 2013 and my biopsy surgery the end of June when I was advised that he thought he could help me. I was told to prepare for feeding tubes, ostomy bags and a long hospital stay.
In July I got a call that an operation opening was available at the of the month. My husband settled into a corporate apartment close to MDA and I had the 11+ hour surgery. When I woke up there were no feeding tubes, no bags, I thought they just closed me up. He told me I was a textbook case. He removed part of my liver, omentum, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, tumors on my bladder, stomach, large tumor on rectum, mesentery, right pelvic wall, peritoneal lining etc. It was a massive operation. They removed my port a couple weeks afterward. I am working on four years plus now. Last year Dr. Fournier opened me up again to remove my gall bladder and he fixed a couple hernias as well as scar tissue, he checked me out from the inside and things still looked good. It is an amazing surgery that unfortunately not many doctors and hospitals are even are aware of. I recommend MD Anderson and Dr. Keith Fournier without hesitation. Hopefully this message helps a few more little old ladies get better treatment in obtaining this surgery.