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I am a Leiomyosarcoma survivor.
I have always been very faithful with my personal health, all done with regularity on my birthday month. It was my 49th birthday in May 2010 and I had my annual GYN exam. The doctor performed the exam and I was stunned that she discovered a “mass” in my uterus. She told me it must come out and that I should see a Gyn-Oncologist surgeon “just in case” it was something more than a benign fibroid. I was horrified to find out that this mass was not detected 1 year earlier and was now 10 centimeters big. How on earth did I have a grapefruit sized tumor grow in a year’s time? No major symptoms?
I was operated on by a Gyn-Onc surgeon at a Chicago Hospital and when I woke up from surgery on 6/10/2010, my husband told me what I had, Uterine Leiomyosarcoma. I had never heard of this let alone pronounce it. My husband, Young, researched everything he could about my disease and spent hours arranging slides for second opinions at expert cancer centers. It was now real. I dug deep down for the strength to fight the disease. Bring it on!
Sarcoma is often referred to as “the Forgotten Cancer”. Uterine Leiomyosarcoma is a subtype of rare tumor of the smooth muscle located in the uterus. It affects 6 out of 1 million women. Surgery was my first round of action against this horrible disease. Then I had 6 rounds of chemotherapy, or “weedkiller”, as I like to call it, which treated any microscopic cells that may have been left behind. The chemo was tough but I plugged along and did everything my doctor told me to do like eat right, exercise, meditate and get a daily dose of sunshine.
In April of 2011, 3 months after the completion of chemo, another tumor reappeared. This time it had gone to my lymph node. It was resected and I was given 30 treatments of radiation just to make sure that the aggressive cells were gone.
I am now 50 years old and have completed my radiation treatment in June of 2011. I am followed by a Sarcoma Specialist where my scans are repeated every 3 months to make sure that the tumor cells are all gone. No one knows if or when my disease will ever be back. I feel great now and I plan to help others facing this dreaded disease.
I feel so fortunate to have top notch medical team and family and friends that support me. I am eager to help the SARC organization because we want to make a difference with those affected by ULMS. It is an uncommon cancer but is one of the big worries when diagnosed with fibroids for women. Funding for new research and new treatment options are not readily available compared to more common cancers. However small in numbers we are, we are women- single, married, mothers, black, white, young and old who need to fight this disease and find a cure.
Young and I have decided to concentrate our effort in this battle by partnering with SARC, Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration. SARC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and support of clinical trial research for the prevention, treatment and cure of sarcomas.
We’d like you to contribute to SARC which is helping me and other women who are going down a similar path in life. We are excited to celebrate our special occasions by donating to SARC and hope you’ll be inspired to do likewise.
Kris and Young
Thanks for visiting our page and for any donation you are able to make.
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Checks should be made payable to SARC and mailed to:24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive Lobby A, Suite 3100
*SARC facilitates the conduct of research and therefore engages partners to do this important work. SARC’s Board of Directors limits the amount our partners can spend on overhead costs. A maximum of 25 cents per dollar (or 25%) can be used for infrastructure or indirect cost. Therefore 75% of funds are retained to directly support research activities.