Click on the links to view the full articles or videos our members have provided to offer a patients perspective and insight on how to live with LMS.
I recommend that people that are newly diagnosed with any sarcoma, but certainly LMS – seek a Sarcoma Specialist immediately. Sarcomas are difficult to diagnose in the first place, so if you have a lump or bump anywhere- make sure to advocate for yourself to your primary care physician that perhaps seeking a sarcoma specialist’s opinion would be wise. It certainly would be!
Hi All – I shared my story during the Mayo Clinic patient program with the NLMSF and
I wanted to reach out to newly diagnosed patients, and those currently in treatment.
Be your own best advocate by knowing as much as you can, asking the right questions
of your care team and embracing support from those that love you. Be sure to let your care
team know of any problems during treatment as communicating with them is key to
better outcomes and it is also key to reducing your own anxiety.
Knowedge is Power = Patient Power A great line borrowed from the NLMSF! .
I am a survivor and thriver, and I wish you the
very same outcome. Together are stronger!
Hi, I am a 27 year survivor of LMS – a true blessing . . . a beacon of hope for others.
I want to share my hope for all – my survivorship has been an amazing journey, taking one day at a time, and making the most of it! Taking small steps each day, sometimes trying to hold down anxiety and stress when its time for a scan, doctors visit, even if I have a strange feeling somewhere in my body. It’s important to try to get through it all as best as possible – to enhance positive outcomes.
Staying strong and hopeful is not easy to do, but it is something to always strive for each step of this journey.
I have been blessed- there is no doubt. From a fellow LMS thriver, I reach out to you with my prayers for the best outcomes for all, with great support behind you all the way . . . .. and to know that everyone in this sarcoma community is pulling for you as I am.
Hi, my name is Nikky, I was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) a little over a year ago. This diagnosis is incredibly overwhelming. When I was first diagnosed I thought my life was over. I wish I knew then what I know now, and that is why I am writing this letter. When you get online and look up LMS, the information can be pretty negative. Be careful what you read, a lot of information is outdated, and skewed in one direction. It is important to find a medical team that is knowledgeable in sarcoma, positive and supportive. I have found this, and with the help from my family, friends, and medical team, I have so much hope for my future. I still have cancer and I am currently undergoing treatment, but that does not mean my life has to stop.
I am a wife, nurse, and mother of middle school aged twins. I live a very active life. We just went on a vacation to Seattle, and Victoria B.C., I volunteer at my kids school, do yoga, manage my Etsy craft site (Crafts4CuringCancer), and have recently returned to work one day a week. I wake up each morning thankful for every day. I thank my body for all the hard work it is doing, and I say to myself “today is going to be a great day,” and they almost always are. And if they are not that is ok, your entitled to feel like “this sucks,” because sometimes it does. But don’t give up hope. There are a lot of great supports out there such as the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation. Hang in there, I know how you feel, and you can do this!
Laughing All the Way
I love to “bring the funny” to almost every aspect of my life; whether it be a bumpy hiccup or a splendid joy. My faith in God, my devoted husband, a steadfast belief in kindness, and my giggly outlook make my earthly journey a paradise.
My life with LMS took hold 6 August 2018 with a total pelvic exenteration. During my consultation about my vaginal cancer, my surgeon explained that during the 16-hour surgery, he, along with 17 additional surgeons would remove nearly every organ in my urinary, gastrointestinal, and gynecologic systems. He also explained surgery would mean, I’d have a permanent urostomy and a colostomy. My immediate response was, “I don’t care if you have to gut me like a deer. I got a lot of living left to do.” When things go wrong, humor sets them right.
God didn’t promise me a life without rides on narrow, winding roads. For me, this side of eternity means a longstanding relationship with an unkind foe. LMS is my grace cloud. It’s an angry storm cloud that hovers over me, yet reminds me to be graceful, thoughtful, kind, and to appreciate everything, God has given me. This includes those harrowing rides on my LMS bus to delightful adventures on fluffy white clouds
I try to bring kindness to every situation. Kindness is memorable and brings comforting blanket hugs to the giver as well as to the receiver. It is my lesson in humility.
Don’t let LMS steal your thunder. It will hit you with some frightening punches. But as Rocky Balboa said about life, “… it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.” You are so very much stronger than any punch LMS throws.
Twenty-five rounds of radiation after surgery, one year and nine months later, I remain cancer-free, smiling, and being the person I was meant to be.
You can too. Stay kind, resilient, and tough. Never back down. You are meant to be the hero of your life story.
“HI – My name is Anne – and I want you to know that you have what it takes to get through a challenging diagnosis. If you keep your courage, strength, and resilience – your strength will be your lens to staying focused through important collaborative decision-making for selecting your sarcoma specialist, the best treatment protocol plan and maintaining quality of life in the treatment journey and after treatment is over. Stay strong!
I am writing this to encourage newly diagnosed cancer patients that there is still life with this rare disease.
Hello, my name is Shannen Shapiro and I was diagnosed with LMS in April 2018. As I write this, I am celebrating my 49th birthday. It’s a day, I really wasn’t sure I’d see. This past year and half has been the biggest rollercoaster of my life, emotionally, for sure.
At first, I read everything about LMS that I could find and in doing so, I scared myself to death. My tumor was very large, 19 cm at it’s largest point. This put me in a less than favorable category, so they gave me the harshest of treatments even after the tumor had been removed. Five months later, the cancer was back. I had not made it six months cancer free. We tried another chemo and again, it didn’t work.
Finally, we found something that worked for me, the tumor is shrinking and I am scheduled for surgery in December to remove what’s left of that tumor and to get a good look around and remove anything else that looks suspicious.
I know this may not be the end of this journey for me, but I am hopeful. So much work is being done to find the cure, if not more and better treatments, and NLMSF is leading the charge in these efforts. I have hope that I will see my children grown. Stay positive, stay informed, ask questions. Don’t forget to just live your life. When you’re done with the hospital and the doctors and the meds, put it out of your mind.
Spend time with the kids. Go to the football game. Read the book. Watch the movie. Just live and be happy. You can still be happy. God bless you all. My prayers are with you.
I was diagnosed with uterine leiomyosarcoma in May 2015. Since the diagnosis, I have undergone numerous surgeries and chemotherapies.
I have done extensive research on supplementation, diet and alternative medicine. I exercise as much as possible – I walk, bike, hike and do yoga. I think it is very important to stay active and remain as positive as possible.
Everyone’s disease is different and to me, cancer is a very personal journey. People react differently to treatment, both physically and emotionally. Even though you may have the same diagnosis as another person, how both of you deal with the disease can be very different. Each person has to determine what works best for them.
You have choices to make when you receive a diagnosis. I chose to make positive changes in my life. Through this all I have lost a lot, but I have gained as well. Cancer has changed my perspective on many things — what is important, who is important and how I spend my time. I spend time with people I enjoy and love. I have a very strong faith, which has carried me through. I volunteer and spend time trying to make a positive difference in this world. My hope is that others will make choices that help them through their journey.