Story of Jacqueline
I have spent the last few days trying to think of just the right words to express my gratitude towards your organization, but how does one possibly capture in a few short sentences the hope, peace of mind, and relief you have been able to provide me with. As you well know, when dealing with this type of cancer, there are so many what ifs and uncertainties, and there can be a great deal of anxiety when waiting for test results and scans. Add to that the fact that treatment most likely occurs far from home, with additional travel and lodging expenses, and you’ve got a recipe for more things than a cancer patient should have to worry about. As a stay at home mom (we were lucky enough to conceive after my MOAS with HIPEC), with a husband who is a full time student, to not have the burden of worrying how we were going to afford the costs associated with my doctors visit was priceless. Your organization greatly helped alleviate those stresses, and enabled me to focus on myself and my family. I look forward to the time when I can pay forward your generosity, and bring someone the hope, peace of mind, and relief you have brought me in dealing with this cancer. The two little words – thank you -will never seem like enough.
With heartfelt appreciation,
Story of Storey Hart
I am 54 years old, married with 3 children, a 24 year old daughter and 21 year old twin boys. I had surgery to remove a large tumor on my ovary 12/2/13 during the surgery the appendix was found to be the source and hysterectomy, appendectomy, colon resection was done. 4 months of folfox chemotherapy and then 4/29/14 MOAS/HIPEC at Mercy Medical Center by Dr. Sardi. I live in NJ but have a working horse ranch in Red Lodge, MT. As soon as possible I got myself to the mountains to resume working and doing the things I love. It has helped me heal! I am taking Xeloda and have resumed Oxaliplaitian infusions 1 hour away every three weeks in Billings, MT. 8 weeks after surgery I began riding my horse again and slowly but surely regaining my strength. 12 weeks post MOAS/HIPEC participated in Climb for the Cure for the American Cancer Society a 1,000 ft climb up our local ski mountain, it was a challenge to say the least but an amazing metaphor for my recovery! I also participated in the local Fun Run for Charities with my dogs and met Smokey the Bear. I go back for my 6 month scans and check up with Dr. Sardi in a few weeks and can’t wait to tell him what I’ve been up to. It has been 4 months since my second surgery and I am stringing more good days together each week. Hopefully, “Armando The Great” (aka Dr. Sardi) will tell me to keep climbing, riding and living the dream!
Story of Rob Charlebois
I had CRS/HIPEC with Dr. Kane at Roswell Park on 6/20/2013. I was in the hospital for twelve days. The pain management was excellent as I had very little pain post-surgery. I had four rounds of chemotherapy after surgery which slowed my recovery but I was working again two months after my release from the hospital. I began exercising four months after surgery and at this time my fitness is better than at any other point in my life and I feel fantastic with no health issues or side effects from my treatment. I am enjoying life to the fullest with my five kids and two grandchildren!
Story of Nichole Byrne Lau
After her MOAS on 8/23/12 she had a hellish four months, two of which were spent in the hospital dealing with pancreatitis, bowel obstructions, severe malnutrition, and septicemia (the result of a local surgeon trying to “fix things”). It was a scary time — the surgeries were tough on her body and the complications were not the usual for someone who underwent HIPEC. But with hope at the forefront, Nichole got stronger and pulled through.
For the past year and a half following those hurdles, Nichole’s life has gotten progressively better. Last summer we fulfilled our pre-cancer goal of moving from New York to Seattle, and after taking a year off Nichole resumed her career as a high school English teacher. She had some concern about returning to the rigor of the classroom in a new city and a new school, but she’s flourishing much as she did before. She’s bonding with kids and becoming a mentor to younger teachers.
Every semiannual scan is stressful, but so far she’s had no signs of recurrence. There have been some long-term consequences of her treatment, most significantly surgically induced menopause, which has been both a physical and psychological challenge, but also intermittent digestive pain, especially in the morning. But of course she has no complaints. While she curses the cancer, she’s grateful every day for the treatment that saved her life.
Story of Shell’s
April 9, 2008…the day my life changed forever. As soon as I saw my husband’s face when he came into recovery, I knew something was wrong. I had been diagnosed with possible ovarian cancer. I was waking up from a minor outpatient procedure to remove my ovary. Through a series of tests and appointments, I went from an ovarian mass that would cause me to lose my ovary to having PMP (Pseudomyxomaperitonei). I was at the time 42 (turning 43 on 07/24/08). My dad lost his mom to cancer when she was 38 and he was just sixteen. How was I supposed to tell him now that he might also lose his daughter??
I’m a true believer that there are no coincidences in life. When they opened me up to get to my ovary, they found that my appendix was 4x it’s normal size with a tumor protruding out of it and I was filled with this “stuff”. Because of this, they brought in another surgeon while I was still on the table. They wanted another opinion. By the Grace of God, he knew a surgeon at Roswell Cancer center in Buffalo. They took pictures and closed me up and sent them to Dr. John Kane.
At the time, there were five specialists for PMP/HIPEC in the US. Dr. Kane was one of them. My appointment was set with Dr Kane for April 22 and I had my MOAS (mother of all surgeries) and HIPEC on 5/29/08.
There is truth in the statement that “Cancer is not for wimps.” The surgery and recovery were not easy. But I’m still here to tell you my story. I’m here to tell you that last fall, I was6 1/2 years out and got to dance with my dad at the celebration of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary !
I owe this to Dr. Kane and that wonderful miracle of HIPEC. Perhaps I owe another thank you to someone else as well…a guardian angel? I’d like to believe that my guardian angel is my grandmother.
Story of Mike Moran
When I first heard that I had peritoneal carcinomatosis (appendix cancer), I was shocked, scared, and then resigned to the fact that I would be dead in a less than a year. The doctor at Wilmot cancer center gave me two choices. First, since traditional chemo would not work for this type of cancer, they would monitor the situation. Did that mean wait around to die? My wife said that was not an option we could accept. Second, we could look outside Rochester for help. But, where should we go and to whom? Luckily for us, someone we knew had seen Tim Wesley on TV promoting a golf tournament for appendix cancer awareness. They did not catch his name but knew he was from Penfield. My wife, Mary, went to our computer and googled “Penfield man, appendix cancer , golf”. To her surprise, up popped Tim Wesley and his website “be unintimidated”. Thru this website, she was able to read Tim’s story about his ordeal and contact Tim. He immediately wrote back and said he could help us and he did. He invited us (strangers) to his house for dinner and he went over the type of surgery he had and what the Hipec procedure involved. He told us about the places and surgeons he and his wife, Denise, had explored. This saved us a lot of precious time and money. Within a week we had an appointment with Dr. Sardi in Baltimore. Today I am cancer free.
So, as you can see, I feel that the Wesley’s and their web site helped to save my life. Their knowledge (shared on their web site) and their personal support was invaluable. We owe them a debt of gratitude that we can never fully repay.
Story of Tawn Feeney
I Literally Owe my Life to Tim and Denise
Yes, it is true. Without Tim and Denise’s devotion to finding a treatment for peritoneal cancer, I would probably not be around anymore. Whether it was amazing good fortune or divine guidance, I was able to find one of the few physicians in the world who provides effective treatment for the type of cancer that Tim and I share, through the research that he and Denise launched just a few months before my diagnosis.
Here is my story. I have always lived a very healthy lifestyle, always staying very active and consuming a nutritious diet. I am rarely sick and usually recover quickly from the colds that the little kids pass on to me in my profession for over 40 years of speech pathology. So it was very unusual that about a month after my retirement, I passed out in our kitchen. I came around quickly and felt I would be fine, but my partner insisted on calling an ambulance, fearing that I might be having a heart attack or stroke. Those concerns were quickly ruled out, but a CT scan found a mass within my abdomen. Assuming that it was an ovarian tumor, my OB-GYN was scheduled to provide the surgery. What she found was not what had been expected: it was a tumor attached to my appendix, and worse, there were mucoid tumors that had spread throughout my abdomen, attaching to every organ. The prognosis did not look good.
However, when I met with the oncologist, Dr. Tejani at Wilmot Cancer Center, he shared with me the story of Tim Wesley, who had been one of his patients just six months earlier and had a similar diagnosis. Tim had basically been told that there was nothing that could be done and that he would die within 18 months. But Tim and his wife, Denise, felt that there must be another answer, and through an exhaustive search, found the surgeon who had pioneered a procedure to treat this form of cancer, Dr. Armando Sardi at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. Because of Tim’s persistence and positive attitude toward his illness, Dr. Tejani was able to guide me in the right direction. Without that, I too would have been told to “go home and die.” I don’t believe that I would have been able to find the answer by myself.
I later found out how extremely fortunate I had been to have been assigned to Dr. Tejani. Another patient with a similar diagnosis about a year later saw another oncologist in the Rochester who did not have the benefit of personal knowledge of Dr. Sardi’s procedure, and was told that there was no treatment. It was only through searching on the internet that he was able to find Tim’s website and subsequently was helped by Tim and Denise to find the right treatment.
I will always be grateful to Tim and Denise for their pioneering effort in refusing to give up in the face of a dire prognosis. Without them, my future would have been dim indeed. Thank you so much, Tim and Denise!
Story of a family in Kentucky
Hello Mr and Mrs Wesley, I now sit here in tears after reading your story and seeing you both on the Media Coverage. Not because of sadness but because of pure inspiration. I listened to the radio coverage and read your foundation’s mandate and you guys are the real deal. The fact that you picked up the phone, called a complete stranger and offered to share your story means more to me than I could ever put into words. When I got off the phone with Tim tonight, I composed myself and shared the conversation with my husband (what I could remember, my brain is less than functional now a days) … and I saw tears in his eyes. And I KNOW those tears weren’t from fear this time. I am going to study your website inside and out over the next 24-48 hours. I just want you to know how much your phone call meant. It’s amazing that someone is out there who will not only take the time to read our story but to actually respond, reach out and offer to help. You are both Angels walking this earth, mascarading yourselves as humans. I won’t take any more of your time this evening, I just really wanted to thank you. Sincerely. Have a wonderful evening.