It takes a team to get through primary peritoneal cancer

Ever since Kathy Brown was diagnosed with primary peritoneal cancer in 2018, her husband Andy has been at her side. He drives her to appointments, helps with housework, cares for their 14-year-old son and helps keep Kathy’s spirits lifted. “He’s been phenomenal,” Kathy says. “You never know how strong your marriage is until one of you has cancer. He has taken on everything and has never complained.”  Kathy often refers to Andy as her cancer coach. It’s a role he’s pretty comfortable with. After all, he’s a high school girls’ soccer coach and math teacher. But Andy isn’t the only one who’s been there for Kathy. His soccer team has, too. The players wear teal hair ribbons on the soccer field to show their support for Kathy, and one player even organized a fundraiser to help the Browns pay out-of-pocket costs not covered by their health insurance. “They’ve been so helpful and so caring,” Kathy says. “They’ll text me or email me or send me a message, ‘Hey, Miss Kathy. How are you doing today? Just thinking about you.’ Little things like that that make you feel better. They just show that they care in so many different ways.” Choosing MD Anderson to take on peritoneal cancer In 2016, Kathy tripped and fell over a branch hidden under some leaves while taking photographs. The resulting pain led her to her primary care doctor, and eventually, a neurosurgeon. When months of pain management efforts didn’t work, she underwent surgery in 2017. Her back finally felt better, but she still had pain near her hip. After more scans, her doctor discovered...