Morbidity 101: Leiomyosarcoma

Today marks the 17th year since I got diagnosed with a very rare cancer: Leiomyosarcoma of the uterus.

It was in the late afternoon of November 16, 2000 when my Gynecologist, after telephoning my husband and I from home to come to see her, informed that the biopsy report noted “Leiomyosarcoma” as the final Diagnosis. Handing over a copy to us, it didn’t immediately register in our mind that she meant “cancer” when she mentioned the strange-sounding diagnosis of Leiomyosarcoma! She admitted that my case is the very first she has encountered in the long years of her practice and that it was actually her first time to know of such a rare form of cancer!

After removing the uterine mass (which she thought to be just a fibroid), via Myomectomy, in October 21, 2000, she visited me afternoon in the hospital and informed that she sent samples for biopsy as a routine procedure.

The biopsy report, dated Octobber 29, 2000, as mentioned above. Kindly take note of the dates. There was quite a delay in my receipt of the copy, which was only in November 16, 2000.

Leiomyosarcoma, or LMS, for short, is a malignancy which involves the soft tissues in the body, in my case, the lining of the uterus. It is one of the sub-classifications of Sarcoma and appears in one among four million women worldwide.

I have written a number of stories relating my brush with LMS and I would like to share a few selected parts:

I was soon referred to the Kuwait Cancer Control Center (KCCC) with a recommendation by my Gynecologist for total removal of all my reproductive organs. And that was in November 16, 2000, the day I was informed of the result of the biopsy, nearly a month after the surgery to remove the “fibroid” was done.

Although my cancer was high grade and was deemed likely to recur within the first five years, I passed the years till the 14th when a recurrence in my pelvic area showed in my September 2014 CT scans. Removal of the huge tumor, which was sitting on my right bladder, was done October 17, 2014 and because the tumor again tested positive for both estrogen and progesterone receptors, I was started on an Aromatase Inhibitor, in the form of Femara (Letrozole), in November 2014, as soon as the biopsy and special studies report came in, and lasted till July 2015.

My case is quite peculiar because despite me not taking any treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation, I lasted 14 years before a recurrence. I have actually defied all odds and predictions of science and I attribute this to my God’s intervention. He is always healing me and it is not only the cancer which I am facing at the moment. There are a lot more and yet I continue to thrive and transcend all the difficulties and discomforts and I continue to bear witness to God’s love to and protection of all His creatures!

About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of Suite101.com, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer." http://fredacontreras.com/

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