Shannon Rider, a Santa Clarita Valley mom and full-time Verizon employee, was only given a few years, maximum, by her doctors.
“The doctor said, ‘You have to start getting your affairs in order’,” she said, describing her reaction as “total denial.”
And now she’s living life like she doesn’t believe them, but she could use a little help, she said.
She was diagnosed with Stage IV PMP cancer, or Pseudomyxoma Peritonei Appendix Cancer, last year, with a prognosis of two to five years.
About 1-in-500,000 people are diagnosed with this type of cancer, according to the PMP Research Foundation website.
“I thought I had ovarian cancer. A cyst grew in my ovary — that was my only symptom,” Rider said.
The cyst grew to 19 centimeters in length, “about the size of a small watermelon,” she said.
Doctors did complete hysterectomy on Rider, but found that her appendix had ruptured and cancerous mucus cells were inside.
They took out the tumor, her appendix, the cancerous cells and part of her intestines and sent the samples to be tested.
She needed 22 staples after the surgery.
The results came back positive for PMP cancer.
“Funny, I don’t feel like I’m dying,” Rider said. “I’m not going to act like I’m dying until I feel like I’m dying.”
After a couple months of being in remission, the PMP cancer came back just like the doctors said it would.
Rider decided that she would go through with a second surgery June 12. Her doctor has given her a 50 percent chance of the cancer going away.
Doctors will make an incision from her pelvis to her ribcage to remove the cancer, she said.
The wife and mom of three continues to work 45-50 hours a week to provide for her family, and her husband, Jeff Rider, said she’s “his hero.”
Shannon and Jeff Rider have three daughters: a 12-year-old, 13-year-old and 17-year-old.
Shannon Rider and her family are asking the Santa Clarita Valley community to help raise funds for her surgery and to help raise awareness about rare diseases.
“I have always worked for everything but I find my family needing help so I will humble myself and ask for help. I thank you in advance and pray that our story has a happily ever after,” Jeff Rider, who lost his job in the construction industry a couple years ago, said on the GoFundMe page. “I’ve never met anyone as amazing as my wife.”
The goal is $5,000, which will go a long toward helping the family with medical bills and the missed time from work for Shannon Rider.
In the meantime, she plans to keep working to help support her family while she hopes for the best.
“I’m just going to live everyday until the surgery and place my faith in the doctor and the treatment,” Shannon Rider said. “Some things do have happy endings.”