Leiomyosarcoma


Here’s a free collection of resources about leiomyosarcoma (LMS cancer)- Leiomyosarcoma blogs, videos, support groups, first-hand experiences and advice from people who have leiomyosarcoma, etc.

Jump to:


 

Leiomyosarcoma Blogs

Here’s a list of leiomyosarcoma blogs- blogs written by people with leiomyosarcoma, or about LMS cancer.

****Email alexbalinski@gmail.com to submit your blog to this list.***

NLMSF Research News nlmsf.org 2017
The Leiomyosarcoma Blog nlmsf.org 2015

 

Leiomyosarcoma Support Groups

Leiomyosarcoma Support Groups On Facebook

  1. Leiomyosarcoma Direct Research Foundation (2071 members)
  2. Leiomyosarcoma Direct Research Foundation Facebook Group (2,057 members)
  3. Leiomyosarcoma Group (887 members)
  4. Leiomyosarcoma Support Group (556 members)
  5. Leiomyosarcoma Awareness (410 members)
  6. Del’s Knee Warriors (381 members)

Other Leiomyosarcoma Support Groups And Forums

  1. LMSarcoma Yahoo Group (1,798 members)

 

Leiomyosarcoma Survey

We’re surveying people about their experiences with leiomyosarcoma. Here will be a collection of their responses.

*This information is not meant to replace medical advice, and the information gathered via surveys may or may not be correct. Hopefully it will be helpful to you!

*Response format = Answer (Name, Age)


**Click here to share your experience with leiomyosarcoma**


Leiomyosarcoma Symptoms

What symptoms have you experienced?

  • There’s a lump. (Ferilyn G., 32 years old)
  • Pain in abdomen, like period pain but also when I wasn’t on my period. On examination, doctor found that my uterus was enlarged, the size it would be if I was 3-4 months pregnant. After several tests and an MRI, they decided it was either a degenerating fibroid or a uterine leiomyosarcoma. Have since had TA hysterectomy, subsequent to which the diagnosis of uLMS was confirmed. (Anonymous, 38 years old)
  • Urination problems led me to my diagnosis. (James H., 38 years old)
  • Extreme pain, swelling of legs, weakness, vomiting and naseous, irregular periods, bone pain and muscle cramps especially in my extremities. Dehydrated. (Sherry, 39 years old)
  • Extreme pain, a tumor the size of a football, PTSD, anxiety, nerve pain. (Vicki, 42 years old)
  • Pain. (Crystal, 43 years old)
  • ULMS bleeding, hip pain, lung pain, labored breathing, fatigue, loss of strength in my legs. (Kimberly N., 47 years old)
  • Pain in stomach area. (AC, 50 years old)
  • Non after my surgery. But prior to severe menstrual bleeding severe anemia and pain. (Karla, 50 years old)
  • Abdominal bloating, lump in abdominal area. (Kathleen, 51 years old)
  • I am 53 now, I was diagnosed 10 years ago. (Starlene, 53 years old)
  • I thought I had a bladder infection I thought I urinating a little bit I went to the Dr got antibiotics didn’t work had test done with a w wand that took pictures on a Friday received a call on Monday that I have leiomyosarcma waited for a referral to a sarcoma specialist in Denver Colorado back in December 2013 only 1% In the US have this it’s a rare cancer I never felt sick if I hadn’t had the leakage I probably would not have known. (Annette, 55 years old)
  • Small lump in my left medial thigh. (Julie, 55 years old)
  • Parenthesias of the lower extremities-essentially a progressive neuropathy that went from zero to intense over the 4 weeks before my hysterectomy. It began with numbness and tingling of my left leg below the knee and progressed to the entire left leg including the buttock and my right leg to the knee. There was numbness of the skin, tingling like I had sat on my foot but about 20 times worse and unrelenting, and cramping of muscles. This resolved within 6 weeks of surgery, beginning about a week after surgery -except the muscle stiffness and cramping in my feet that only resolved after 2 years and a short course of baclofen at that point. (Maureen, 55 years old)
  • Lump. (Genevieve, 56 years old)
  • Felt like a UTI which lead to the discovery of tumors. Although not directly attributed to the cancer yet, I have chronic hives, insomnia, bouts of chest pains followed by burps, leg cramps, and toe spasms. (Jean, 58 years old)
  • Very strong abdominal pain – labor like. Acute constipation. (Maria R., 59 years old)
  • Severe abdominal pains. (Anthony, 60 years old)
  • None. (Elise, 61 years old)
  • Malignant tumors in abdomen. (Marian B., 63 years old)
  • Bump on left forearm, biopsy when began having pain at site. (Timothy, 63 years old)
  • I thought I had diverticulitis and went to the doctor, she gave me medicine and told me that if I started bleeding to come back. The next day I returned and had a Cat Scan. They found a very large tumor in my uterus. (Denise, 64 years old)
  • Pain and fatigue. (Mary Anne, 68 years old)
  • Originally I had pain in my side, since they removed my adrenal gland I have not had any pain. (Judy, 72 years old)
  • Shortness of breath, extreme loss of appetite, general weakness, and failure to thrive. (Norma N., 86 years old)

Leiomyosarcoma Facts

What are some facts you’ve learned about leiomyosarcoma?

  • It came from a virus. (Ferilyn G., 32 years old)
  • That it usually comes back. And that it kills you. (Anonymous, 38 years old)
  • It’s resistant to chemo and spreads very fast. (Sherry, 39 years old)
  • It’s evil. (Vicki, 42 years old)
  • That it doesn’t respond to chemo and it spreads easily. (Crystal, 43 years old)
  • It is aggressive and there is no cure. (Kimberly N., 47 years old)
  • Sarcoma is rare. (AC, 50 years old)
  • It’s very rare and could be caused by radiation. (Karla, 50 years old)
  • Its a highly aggressive cancer, that is extremely rare, and not a lot of research had been done on it. (Kathleen, 51 years old)
  • A lot more info is out there now compared to 10 years ago! (Starlene, 53 years old)
  • There is a lot of clinical trials available. (Annette, 55 years old)
  • Aggressive rare soft tissue cancer. (Julie, 55 years old)
  • LMS is a rare and aggressive cancer. It is often identified by pathology after hysterectomy for presumed fibroids. I was lucky that mine was found in Stage 1 and it has not recurred. My last scans showed no evidence of disease at 3 years and 3 months post-op. (Maureen, 55 years old)
  • I have a rare form … submandibular. (Genevieve, 56 years old)
  • It is rare and aggressive. (April M., 57 years old)
  • Wow. I learned to stop researching after my initial search for my own mental health. I am Stage 4 with reoccurrence so this may not be for everyone, but it was incapacitating to read that I have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 months. (Jean, 58 years old)
  • It is a rare, aggressive cancer, likely not to respond to chemo or radiation. The only way is surgery. (Maria R., 59 years old)
  • That it is terminal. (Anthony, 60 years old)
  • I really think it is related to Lyme with co-infections such as ebv. (Elise, 61 years old)
  • It does not get treated with chemo or radiation. (Marian B., 63 years old)
  • It is rare. (Timothy, 63 years old)
  • It is a very rare and aggressive cancer that spreads through the blood and can travel to any part of the body. It attacks the muscles that you are not able to flex. (Denise, 64 years old)
  • It is a rare cancer and it is KEY to go to a large Sarcoma Center for treatment. (Mary Anne, 68 years old)
  • Most chemo doesn’t work and it’s not curable right now. (Judy, 72 years old)
  • It can be diagnosed, and sit in the body dormant, not growing for many years, then suddenly start growing again very rapidly, and cause death in mere months. (Norma N., 86 years old)

Leiomyosarcoma Pain Management

What are effective ways to manage your pain (if applicable)?

  • I was on lorcet 7.5 3 times a day. Now I am on dilaudad 2 times daily. Making sure to take my potassium for cramps and to drink lots of water so I don’t dehydrate and have to be hospitalized. (Sherry, 39 years old)
  • Cbd oil and oral pain meds. (Crystal, 43 years old)
  • For two years ibuprofen and I suffered. Finally I have a palliative care doctor, and I take OxyContin. It does not always work, but it’s better than nothing. (Kimberly N., 47 years old)
  • Once chemo started, the pain that helped diagnose the sarcoma has gone away. (AC, 50 years old)
  • No pain now. (Karla, 50 years old)
  • Rest. (Kathleen, 51 years old)
  • Marijuana salve. (Annette, 55 years old)
  • The only way my foot pain resolved was with baclofen. Postoperative pain meds did not impact my leg pain. I tried PT, massage therapy and exercise, but could not resolve my pain until I tried baclofen. My surgical pain did not require medication after post-op day 1. (Maureen, 55 years old)
  • I fortunately don’t have pain at this time. (Jean, 58 years old)
  • Methadone and CBD. (Anthony, 60 years old)
  • No pain from cancer did have horrible pain from Lyme and treated with a machine in pt. (Elise, 61 years old)
  • Pain gone after nodule was removed. (Timothy, 63 years old)
  • The only pain I have had so far was the surgery to remove it. I had a very good surgeon that is ranked at number 51 in the USA and number 2 in California. (Denise, 64 years old)
  • Reiki, therapeutic massage, reflexology, meditation and physical therapy when possible. Medication when needed, under doctors’ advice. (Mary Anne, 68 years old)
  • I had almost no pain, but was prescribed low doses of morphine to manage breathing issues since my cancer was blocking my airway. (Norma N., 86 years old)

Leiomyosarcoma Difficulties

What are the hardest aspects of living with leiomyosarcoma?

  • Not knowing. I am currently awaiting CT scans to see if the cancer is anywhere else in my body. (Anonymous, 38 years old)
  • The mental aspect of having a rare and aggressive cancer, plus having a wife and two young boys, 9 and 5. (James H., 38 years old)
  • Knowing that I am terminal and that I won’t see grandkids and knowing that nothing is gonna help me. I don’t want to leave my son or my sister or my momma. (Sherry, 39 years old)
  • The fear of the unknown. (Vicki, 42 years old)
  • Not knowing how long I have. (Crystal, 43 years old)
  • Loss. I’ve lost my job. My health. My security. My time. My sanity. My boyfriend of six years. My house soon. My entire life. I cannot live every day happily and enjoy it. Everyone says that, and it infuriates me. If not for my son then I may as well already be dead. (Kimberly N., 47 years old)
  • 1) Pain in legs after chemo treatment 2) There are days that I have no taste and water and food taste like nothing. (AC, 50 years old)
  • I am currently NED, BUT it has mentally affected me. I try not to think about it but it’s in a corner of my mind “what if it comes back”. I’ve struggled to find a new normal. (Karla, 50 years old)
  • Uncertainty. (Kathleen, 51 years old)
  • Wondering if its coming back…. (Starlene, 53 years old)
  • I’m truly terrified that it can spread to my brain I just finished 7 weeks of radiation I have a spot on my lung attached to the sack that surrounds your heart it’s the size of a squished Clementine I only get one chance of doing radiation on that particular spot I won’t know results for approximately 3 months after I completed radiation meanwhile waiting for results is so nerve racking I pray it worked. (Annette, 55 years old)
  • The uncertainty. (Julie, 55 years old)
  • Anxiety. Wondering when the next shoe will drop. (Maureen, 55 years old)
  • The fear of re-occurrence and the debt my family has incurred for my treatment. (Cynthia, 56 years old)
  • Having trouble swallowing due to radiation treatment. I can’t eat certain foods. (Genevieve, 56 years old)
  • Thinking that everything weird that goes on with your body is the cancer coming back. (Jean, 58 years old)
  • Uncertainty of return – for now – I had surgery in February 2015 – NED since then. (Maria R., 59 years old)
  • Fatigue from chemo. (Anthony, 60 years old)
  • Trying to find best treatment options and who to trust. (Elise, 61 years old)
  • Uncertainty. (Marian B., 63 years old)
  • Newly diagnosed so just knowing I have it is a shock. (Timothy, 63 years old)
  • My husband has just retired and we were looking forward to spending our golden years together. I am hoping to live a long life and see my grandchildren get married and have babies some day, and knowing that may not happen. (Denise, 64 years old)
  • The waiting and wondering on when and where the next new disease will show up. The anxiety and the fatigue, and also having to find a new way of living a new normal. (Mary Anne, 68 years old)
  • It was the chemo. (Judy, 72 years old)
  • Helping my family deal with loss, and trying to live while knowing death is approaching. (Norma N., 86 years old)

Leiomyosarcoma Advice

What words of encouragement/advice can you share with others who have leiomyosarcoma?

  • Keep the faith. (Ferilyn G., 32 years old)
  • Google, but google responsibly! Don’t read too many of the doom and gloom stuff, but do educate yourself. (Anonymous, 38 years old)
  • Get a support group such as family, or find a support group. Talk to people, and keep up the fight. (James H., 38 years old)
  • Pray. If you feel any kind of way about your doctor go get a second opinion. My doctor hid things so I would continue his treatment that was not helping. Cry if you need to cry. The shower is a good place so no one hears you. Don’t be afraid to get counseling. Tell your family how much you love them. (Sherry, 39 years old)
  • Faith and hope, without it you’re dead already. (Vicki, 42 years old)
  • I have no encouragement. Advice would be to be seen at a major sarcoma center. (Kimberly N., 47 years old)
  • Believe, have faith, stay positive, control your mind to think good things, always know there are angels taking care of us, there are wonderful people willing to help. (AC, 50 years old)
  • Accept it cry, get mad, don’t let anyone “should” on you, by that I mean never let anyone tell you how you should be handling your diagnosis. Set healthy boundaries. Research and take care of yourself!!!! This be positive stuff all three time is impossible. Get counselinga get whatever you need to help yourself. (Karla, 50 years old)
  • Pray and see a sarcoma specialist. (Kathleen, 51 years old)
  • Try to stay positive keep working even if it’s part time. (Annette, 55 years old)
  • Find a sarcoma clinic. Develop a rapport with your oncologist. See a counselor if you struggle emotionally. (Maureen, 55 years old)
  • Drs can be wrong about your prognosis. I have done much better than expected. Try to stay positive and never give up hope. Treatment has come a long way since I was first diagnosed with Stage 4 ULMS in 2008. (Cynthia, 56 years old)
  • One day at a time… (Genevieve, 56 years old)
  • Just be on top of your health, and don’t just listen to your doctor. Find a doctor who is up to date on Sarcoma. (April M., 57 years old)
  • Stay alive long enough for us to find a cure. (Jean, 58 years old)
  • Try to get a good sarcoma oncology center. Be positive and in the present. (Maria R., 59 years old)
  • You are never alone. (Anthony, 60 years old)
  • We need to find the root cause that caused the tumor and not just treat symptoms or primary tumor. (Elise, 61 years old)
  • Hang in there, we are stronger than this disease. (Marian B., 63 years old)
  • Pray and trust that God won’t take you one day sooner then planned. Turn your heart over to Jesus and ask Him to be the Lord of your life. He loved us so much that he died for our sins and also that we might be healed. (Denise, 64 years old)
  • Together we are stronger and knowledge is power. It is key to also be your own best advocate. Join support groups with other sarcoma and LMS patients for support. (Mary Anne, 68 years old)
  • I am on Lartruvo, and my cancer has disappeared from two places, and has greatly reduced in my longs. (Judy, 72 years old)
  • Never give up, and NEVER STOP FIGHTING!!! (Norma N., 86 years old)

Leiomyosarcoma Diet and Exercise

What’s been your experience with diet and exercise?

  • I don’t eat sweets anymore. (Ferilyn G. 32 years old)
  • Too early to say, but I was glad to get back exercising 2-3 weeks after the hysterectomy. I am generally very active though, so I think that helped. (Anonymous, 38 years old)
  • Take your nausea meds 30 minutes before meals. I recommend getting a cancer cookbook. Fruits. Water. Make your body as strong as possible. Exercise if you can because being in the hospital long term will cause weakness. (Sherry, 39 years old)
  • A huge struggle. (Vicki, 42 years old)
  • Try to eat healthy and walk when I can. (Crystal, 43 years old)
  • If I’m on chemo, which I am non-stop, then I eat what I can because most things taste disgusting. Another loss. (Kimberly N., 47 years old)
  • I haven’t had any dietary changes, doctor has allowed me to continue to eat normal, avoid junk food. (AC, 50 years old)
  • I’ve made a huge change. No sugar or processed foods no dairy and I eat organic. I also exercise more. I’ve always been active. But I feel this helps a little bit with feeling like I have some control over keeping it away. (Karla, 50 years old)
  • Newly diagnosed, haven’t tried any yet. (Kathleen, 51 years old)
  • my diet is not the best I use to exercise but my motivation is blahhh. (Annette, 55 years old)
  • I needed to get my head in the right place to begin eating a healthier diet and exercising. Nobody could tell me anything until I was mentally ready. (Maureen, 55 years old)
  • No problem exercising, trouble eating. (Genevieve, 56 years old)
  • I am doing chemo right now, and I am hungry and tired all the time. I have tried to put more greens into my diet- less processed food. (April M., 57 years old)
  • First three months after diagnosis I had no soy, wheat, sugar, corn or dairy. Now I just try to eat well, and do yoga. (Jean, 58 years old)
  • They are both important- difficult to manage. I need strength and encouragement. (Maria R., 59 years old)
  • Eating is as important as work used to be. Walking is a must…keep moving. (Anthony, 60 years old)
  • The more, the better. (Elise, 61 years old)
  • It encourages me to exercise, diet has not been my way yet. (Marian B., 63 years old)
  • Active and try to eat well but general diet. (Timothy, 63 years old)
  • I will be starting chemo in two days and they are going to have a nutritionist meet with me at the same time. I guess that means I may have to start eating my vegetables. My husband is dying to rat me out. I try walking in the State Park redwood forest with my husband and dog a couple times a week. I try living in the moment and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. (Denise, 64 years old)
  • I stay away from foods with GMO’s Growth Hormones, and also try to eat organic when possible. There is a great program at the YMCAs with Livestrong that was helpful for me. (Mary Anne, 68 years old)
  • I have kept walking throughout the two years of treatment, now I am going to the gym. (Judy, 72 years old)
  • Eat anything you can keep down, even broth, anything is better than nothing. If you can walk from a chair to the bathroom, do it! (Norma N., 86 years old)

Leiomyosarcoma Treatments

What’s been your experience with treatments (medication, surgery, etc.)?

  • Painful. (Ferilyn G., 32 years old)
  • Too early to say really, recovery from the hysterectomy has been much better than I thought (from what I’d been told). (Anonymous, 38 years old)
  • I am going the natural approach. I am using cannabis oil, essential oils, high dose vitamin c infusions, limiting sugars, esiac tea, supplements and vitamins. I had surgery to remove my prostate and bladder which left me with an ileostomy and a urostomy bag. I just two weeks ago had an ileostomy reversal. They wanted to do radiation and chemo, but I passed. (James H., 38 years old)
  • I am inoperable. Have been from the start. I have had 3 rounds of 2 different chemos. Nothing has helped. I wish I had never taken it. I feel so much weaker after. I have been off chemo since mid November and I’m not sure if I am still feeling the effects of chemo or if the cancer spreading so bad has made me weak and with more pain but I think a second opinion is best before taking anything. I was on lorcet 7.5 3 times a day. Worked great at first. Now I am on dilaudad. It works well but is very strong. I waiting til my Dr’s appt to see if there is anything in between to help. (Sherry, 39 years old)
  • Complete negligence. An absolute nightmare. One medical mistake after another. (Vicki, 42 years old)
  • I’ve tried everything. (Crystal, 43 years old)
  • I would always choose surgery if it’s an option. Chemotherapy is heartbreaking when you suffer through all then side effects, but then you’re told that it didn’t work and even worse, it caused damage. (Kimberly N., 47 years old)
  • It took three biopsies to diagnose me, first cycle of chemo kept mass at 11cm, once FDA approved lartruvo, Doctor changed chemo to that drug and after three months, scans showed reduction to 7.5 cm. Currently completing another treatment with lartruvo. (AC, 50 years old)
  • Surgery is all I had, a complete abdominal hysterectomy stage 1b. It thru me into menapause and I am having a hard time coping. (Karla, 50 years old)
  • Surgery with removal of part of both intestines. (Kathleen, 51 years old)
  • Loss of appetite, some nausea, tired and low white cells. (Annette, 55 years old)
  • I only had surgery. I declined chemo options. I had just lost my husband unexpectedly and was not in a good position to manage chemotherapy. (Maureen, 55 years old)
  • Radiation therapy to my neck. I can’t swallow breads, pepper burns my mouth and causes blisters, I can’t eat spicy food. (Genevieve, 56 years old)
  • They found my cancer during a hysterectomy- mainly to remove fibroids. I started Chemo right away. The cancer had not spread to any place else on my body. (April M., 57 years old)
  • Surgery to remove seven tumors in October 2016. Nothing but Chinese medicine so far. The next scan is in two weeks. (Jean, 58 years old)
  • Surgery went well, but left positive margins on vena cava, so frequent check ups and uncertainty are a daily reality. 34 sessions of radiation “just in case” they help; I’m not on medication for this cancer, but many others for other conditions. (Maria R., 59 years old)
  • Lack of consistency among medical professionals when dealing with me. Many just don’t ever read my chart or even know the basics of my situation. I am constantly educating my caregivers. Also keeping good veins for chemo is challenging. (Anthony, 60 years old)
  • Had hysterectomy and 3 weeks later had lung lobectomy. (Elise, 61 years old)
  • Two surgeries- it was hard to deal with and recover. (Marian B., 63 years old)
  • I had two very rare conditions inflammatory mayofibroblastic tumor (IMT) and leiomayosarcoma (LMS). I was referred to a well known medical center. The doctor thought at first it was an IMT and told me nothing to worry about, no chemo, that it was slow growing, they would just keep a watch on it and they would see me in four to six months. They did a Pet Scan and there was no sign of cancer eight weeks after surgery. I was referred to an intervention radiologist and told him I was confused. The surgeon made it sound like it was LMS and that it was at least stage two and could be stage three. The doctor called the surgeon and the slides were resubmitted for testing. They have an aggressive form of IMT which mine looks like, however, mine exceeds even that. They think it is more likely LMS. I am going to be on a new drug just approved for clinical use in October 2016. It is Olaratuma and has been tested on 133 people. It may extend my life by one year. It is still so new that the doctors need to report back to the drug company how well it is working. Since I have an Alk gene mutation they have another lung cancer drug that may also be a possibility for me if it is an IMT. I have been referred to a genetic specialist and having my DNA tested. (Denise, 64 years old)
  • Wide variety of treatments have found for some time estrogen inhibitor pills did help with no new disease, but have also had SBRT and External Beam radiation and surgeries. I have not started chemo to date, although we have discussed it lately since I have new disease starting in new areas, and when I go to my next PET/CT we will decide the next steps. (Mary Anne, 68 years old)
  • Radiation wasn’t bad, chemo was horrible. None of the nausea medication worked. My sister said to try cannabis oil. I haven’t been sick since. (Judy, 72 years old)
  • I refused chemo since I had beat breast cancer twice, and another cancer once before the leiomyosarcoma, so my doctor and I felt radiation would allow me another six months with my family. As it turned out, I was only given three months. (Norma N., 86 years old)

Leiomyosarcoma Recommendations

Anything you’d recommend for someone with LMS cancer?

  • Have yourself check with your doctor. (Ferilyn G., 32 years old)
  • Learn as much as you can, and have a good support system. (James H., 38 years old)
  • Prayer. A support group. I am now looking for a therapist to help with the depression. Don’t be afraid to take something for the depression and anxiety you a get. Don’t let your mind tell your body to give up. And give all the love you have just in case. (Sherry, 39 years old)
  • Cannabis oil. (Vicki, 42 years old)
  • Research research. (Crystal, 43 years old)
  • Stay positive. (AC, 50 years old)
  • Just be your own health advocate push if something doesn’t feel right. (Karla, 50 years old)
  • Not yet, newly diagnosed except see a specialist. (Kathleen, 51 years old)
  • Try not to be depressed working really helps me. (Annette, 55 years old)
  • Sarcoma center. (Maureen, 55 years old)
  • Be sure to seek care from a Sarcoma Center and do not be afraid to get several opinions. You must educate yourself on LMS and be your own advocate. (Cynthia, 56 years old)
  • Be positive- Everything you read is so negative- I could be scared all the time, but that is no way to live. (April M., 57 years old)
  • Find others to talk to with the disease, and find a good counselor. (Jean, 58 years old)
  • Go to a good center, be informed and be an active participant in your treatment, ultimately try to be positive and involved, though you need to come to term with the seriousness of this cancer. (Maria R., 59 years old)
  • Challenge everything and question everyone. (Anthony, 60 years old)
  • Test for Lyme and coinfections such as ebstein barr virus. Check your genetics. Look at all possibly treatment options and find a sarcoma center. (Elise, 61 years old)
  • Get a second opinion. (Marian B., 63 years old)
  • Pray for a healing. I believe in miracles because I believe in God. Hold on to your faith. (Denise, 64 years old)
  • IT is KEY to be with a top Sarcoma Oncologist and team at a Sarcoma Center. (Mary Anne, 68 years old)
  • Lartruvo, it’s really working for me. (Judy, 72 years old)
  • Enjoy and cherish each moment, nothing is guaranteed. (Norma N., 86 years old)

Leiomyosarcoma Resources

What specific resources have you found most helpful?

  • Insurance. (Ferilyn G., 32 years old)
  • Cancer wellness centre offers massage and counseling. (Vicki, 42 years old)
  • LMSDR on Facebook. (Kimberly N., 47 years old)
  • Sarcoma online groups. (AC, 50 years old)
  • Second third fourth opinions, talking to other ULMS patients. Research and my doctors. (Karla, 50 years old)
  • support group on facebook. (Kathleen, 51 years old)
  • I have never looked into any I try not to think about it. (Annette, 55 years old)
  • Online information. My oncologist. (Maureen, 55 years old)
  • Mayo Jacksonville. (Jean, 58 years old)
  • My medical team at NYU, serious websites on the sarcoma and Facebook support groups. (Maria R., 59 years old)
  • Family support through their research. Plus an oncologist that is receptive to new ideas and conversations. (Anthony, 60 years old)
  • Still looking. (Elise, 61 years old)
  • The internet and my cancer center. (Marian B., 63 years old)
  • Internet, Facebook groups. (Timothy, 63 years old)
  • Knowing that I have so many people praying for me. (Denise, 64 years old)
  • Support groups are key for me. I actually created a Facebook group. (Mary Anne, 68 years old)
  • The internet is an amazing resource. (Norma N., 86 years old)

Leiomyosarcoma Stories

Share an experience you’ve had related to living with leiomyosarcoma.

  • Life after a diagnosis of LMS is different. I had a rough time at the beginning with depression, but I battled through with the help of my awesome family. (James H., 38 years old)
  • I had a 15-hour surgery, and lost the feeling in my foot from surgery permanently (dissected sciatic nerve). Worst experience of my life. (Vicki, 42 years old)
  • I’ve learned that I am teaching the doctors that treat me. (Kimberly N., 47 years old)
  • Learned how much people care to help. (AC, 50 years old)
  • Scary as hell, ptsd, anxiety, depression, fear, numbness, you name it. (Karla, 50 years old)
  • I am going to start working on my bucket list and see the country. (Kathleen, 51 years old)
  • I knew something was wrong but my obgyn didn’t. If I hadn’t took matters into my own hand and got a second opinion I wouldn’t be here today! (Starlene, 53 years old)
  • My type of cancer is so rare no cure yet. (Annette, 55 years old)
  • I asked my oncologist, “How do I live with LMS?” She told me I had to live as if I didn’t have cancer. I truly wanted LMS to kill me and kill me quickly. I was 51 when I was diagnosed. I had just been widowed the second time 12 days before I discovered that my left leg was numb below the knee. I had an MRI that had shown a pelvic mass and I had more tests scheduled before I even had my husband’s memorial service. My sarcoma oncologist has been incredibly supportive from the time I met her.  (Maureen, 55 years old)
  • I cried for the first three months, and then finally picked myself up off the floor, and went back to work. Now I am living with cancer, not dying from it. (Jean, 58 years old)
  • I had a craniotomy in 2014 for a huge meningioma, which was successful, but that required a long recovery time. Also for a couple of epileptic seizures immediately after the surgery; so when 15 months later an MRI revealed the sarcoma mass on the vena cava, it was a huge surprise. I was lucky to have a good medical team who followed me, surgery was great, but left positive margins. I tried to get all the information I could on the leiomyosarcoma. It is important for me to know as much as I can so that I can be prepared, and be a positive protagonist in my own treatment. I wanted to have radiation in case radiation could help to prevent its return. It was a very strong experience. Besides fatigue, I did not have secondary effects. What I come to term now is the constant fear that it may come back, reading all the statistics and studies concerning this cancer, I am convinced that it will come back. This conviction is deeply embedded in me. I dream about it. What I am trying to do is be deeply focused on the present, and give of myself to others, so that whatever time I am have left it is well spent. The constant fear or thought of an ever present cancer growing in me helps me to live life fuller. (Maria R., 59 years old)
  • I have lost my physique and strength. (Anthony, 60 years old)
  • So many unknowns and no straight answers. (Elise, 61 years old)
  • I found the support of my community and husband very inspiring. (Marian B., 63 years old)
  • I only recently found out that I had it. I really appreciated that my brother and sister-in-law came to see me every day I was in the hospital. They would walk me around the hall ways. She had survived breast cancer and can relate to what I am going through and wants to be there for me if I need anything. (Denise, 64 years old)
  • I am fortunate to be at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA USA where I have met many wonderful warriors and survivors who continue to inspire me, and encourage me to stay hopeful. I also wrote a blog for the Dana-Farber Insight page. (Mary Anne, 68 years old)

Leiomyosarcoma Interview Transcription

What Causes Leiomyosarcoma (LMS Cancer)?

My oncologist’s feeling is that it’s just genetic- My mother’s side of the family is very healthy, but my father’s side of the family is very unhealthy. And my father passed away from colon cancer in his late 30s- his parents both died from different types of cancer- my oncologist felt it was genetic- however in some research I’ve done online- some of the holistic community feel that pesticides may have a contributing factor. And I do live right next to a commercial nursery, so that may have had a factor too. So in my case, maybe both genetic and environmental factors.

(paraphrased from Julia’s interview)

Leiomyosarcoma Symptoms & Treatments

For me, I just felt a mass in my lower right abdomen, I didn’t have any pain. I think it might be unusual to not have any pain. I think most people with LMS, especially uterine LMS have some pain with it. Mine was an abdominal mass I felt. So I guess you would feel it physically, and some patients have pain with it.

As far as treatment- LMS is very resistant to the treatments out there- it’s resistant to chemotherapy. I think another reason to go to a sarcoma center where you have oncologists who have treated more LMS patients- there are certain cocktails of chemotherapy drugs that they use together to target LMS that has better results. Some LMS patients will have great luck with one chemotherapy cocktail and another patent won’t- so a lot of it depends on your body chemistry too. Some drugs will work better for some patients. There was an oral chemotherapy drug I was taking for a while- I didn’t have much luck with it, but other LMS patients have been on it for years with a lot of success, so it depends.

Some of the holistic things I’ve tried- I think it’s important to eat less processed foods if we can. Organic- you know there’s a list of the dirty dozen foods online- of foods that definitely you should buy organic, such as strawberries, celery, apples and then there’s other produce that isn’t as important to buy organic. But doing that would depend on availability where you live. If you’re able to have an organic garden to help feed your body with good, organic food that’d be great.

I think it’s good to avoid processed food and foods with sugar. Natural sugar from fruits I think is fine- but anything with added sugar is not so good. There are sugar alternatives you can find- there’s a stevia plant that’s called a sugar plant- you can grow it in your garden and dry the leaves and use that as a sugar substitute. I use a little bit of honey sometimes. Just try to stay away from processed foods and try to eat organic as much as you can. Also, when you have a cancer diagnosis you’ll have a lot of people who will want to give you things or tell you about a certain treatment- you know- so and so had cancer and this cured it- there are so many things that you could be taking, so I think it’s important to listen to what the Spirit is telling you, or what your intuition is telling you, and just do what feels right for you. You’ll find a combination- whether it’s what the oncologist or what the holistic community is telling you- find a good balance and do what feels right for you.

When I was first diagnosed and had my surgery, we didn’t know it was leiomyosarcoma. I had the surgery first and then I saw an oncologist at UCLA- a surgeon and he said the best way to do it if you think a patient has leiomyosarcoma from a CT scan- try to do a biopsy first, because they prefer to do chemotherapy first and then surgery. So I think you have better survivability if it’s done that way- but it’s not the end of the world if not- I didn’t have it done that way. I think ideally this oncologist recommends chemotherapy first and then surgery, which is kind of hard as a patient, because if you have it in your body you just want to get it out of there, but from his experience (which is a lot of experience with LMS patients) it’s best to have a biopsy for the diagnosis, then chemotherapy, then the surgery.

LMS is a little different from other cancers because it doesn’t travel through lymph nodes, it travels through the blood, so if left untreated you would just have spots that pop up in different sites of your body. I’ve had metastases to my my liver and also different bones in my body. Right now I’m taking a drug called Xgeva which is also prescribed for people who have osteoporosis, it strengthens the bone, and so I get an injection of that once a month.

When I knew the cancer was in my bone I was a bit concerned with that- you know- does that mean I’m going to start breaking my bones? He said no, usually what happens is you start feeling pains in those sites and there’s pain medication to treat that. I recently got a magazine from UCLA that was about using radiation to treat pain, when you have metastases to the bone- they can use radiation now to treat the pain.

(paraphrased from Julia’s interview)

LMS Cancer Life Expectancy and Prognosis

Pain management would evolve into palliative care and then that would move into hospice care.. My father passed away in the mid 70s from colon cancer so his experience with pain and cancer was so much more difficult than it is now- even with palliative and end of life care- I think patients are much more comfortable now then they were back then.

I think probably most LMS patients- their survivability is 3-10 years maybe. I think it’s an exception for someone to survive beyond that with LMS- it’s not really a curable cancer right now. But so much depends on your body- I’ve talked to some LMS patients who were diagnosed 20 years ago and they’re still doing fine- it’s not curable right now- other cancers are curable- you don’t really go into remission with LMS. I think you just learn to live with it.

You know, how your body reacts to different treatment is different for every patient. I know years ago malnutrition was a factor in people passing away, but I don’t know if that’s really the reason these days.

What do you feel like people who have survived a long time have done differently?

I kind of feel like it’s more luck of the draw, but I do know for sure that those people have done their best to maintain a positive outlook, and to never stop looking for options, even if your oncologist feels that he’s done all that he can for you- try to find another oncology team that will help you with more treatment.

A positive attitude is everything. Having faith or hope in the future. I think it’s also important to try not to be so stressed about it- try to find ways to be relaxed and calm. Other than that I do think it’s kind of luck of the draw. Those patients I’ve talked to that have lived with LMS for a long time are very positive, hopeful people.

(paraphrased from Julia’s interview)