Bride finds out she only has days to live after her wedding due to rare disease

A woman who had struggled with her health for years has married her partner after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and told she only has days to live.

Ashleigh McMahon, a 29-year-old woman from Liverpool in the UK, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of ovarian cancer called ovarian mucinous carcinoma in January 2023.

She underwent two months of chemotherapy, the Echo of Liverpool reported, but to no avail, and was told there was nothing more to be done. She was placed in end-of-life care and decided to marry her partner of 11 years, John, on short notice.

woman with stomach ache
A file photo of a woman with a painful abdomen. Ashleigh McMahon was diagnosed with mucinous ovarian cancer after years of painful symptoms and married her partner in hospital in her final weeks.
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Ovarian mucinous carcinoma is a form of ovarian cancer in which tumors form on the surface of the ovary that are large and filled with mucus-like fluid. Mucinous ovarian cancer accounts for only about 3% of all epithelial ovarian cancers, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

According Health line. Tumors from this cancer can grow to large sizes, averaging around 7 inches in diameter, which is why the cancer is often caught early. For McMahon, he was unfortunately diagnosed too late.

“Ladies – you know your body, you know when something is wrong – fight for your diagnosis, ask for others [doctors]a second opinion, even if it means hitting a million walls of excuses along the way, because there’s nothing worse than getting worse,” McMahon said in a Facebook post.

Prior to her diagnosis, McMahon had spent four years trying to figure out what was causing her symptoms, which included nausea, pelvic pain, stomach bloating and irregular periods, initially being thought to have cyclical vomiting syndrome. She was then later diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) when they found cysts on her ovary.

PCOS is a condition affecting between 6% and 12% of women of childbearing age in the United States, and can cause multiple, small, non-cancerous cysts on the ovaries and higher levels of male androgen hormones.

ovarian cancer
Archive image of a micrograph of ovarian tissue with mucinous ovarian cancer.
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“Ovarian cysts can be common and usually go away on their own – but anything over 5cm is cause for concern. My first was 14cm [5.5 inches]my second 16cm [6.3 inches]and my recent one was a complex 20cm [7.9 inches]”McMahon said in the Facebook post.

“About three to four years of illness, two years consisting of four surgeries, and my cysts were borderline cancerous. appendix.”

The cysts turned out to be cancerous and did not respond well to chemotherapy, leading to his terminal diagnosis.

McMahon is now making his funeral arrangements. She is being treated with painkillers, anti-illness and anti-anxiety medication in her final weeks, according to a GoFundMe set up to help the couple pay for the funeral. They raised £4,400 [$5,486] of their £5,000 [$6,234] aim.

McMahon and her partner were married on April 3 at the hospital.

“We knew we had to do it now because it was getting progressively worse,” John told the Echo of Liverpool. “On Monday the hospital contacted the registry office for us, I got a call at 9:30 a.m. and we got married at 2:30 p.m. in a private room on his ward. It was magical, I wouldn’t have Could have asked for better. The hospital went above and beyond for us and I can’t express how grateful we are for that.”

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