Friday, December 17, 2010

The Diagnosis of Uterine Leiomyosarcoma

A diagnosis of uterine leiomyosarcoma is devastating. It's a rare and aggressive cancer that is not as well-studied as some other cancers because of the small number of cases diagnosed each year. I was surprised when I received my diagnosis. Leiomyosarcoma is a sarcoma of the smooth muscle tissue, occurring most often in the digestive tract or uterus or bladder or prostate. Leiomyosarcomas are aggressive tumors that are often difficult to treat. The prognosis is poor, with survival rates among the lowest of all soft tissue sarcomas. That's why I immediately went on a total change of lifestyle including relaxation, nutrition, exercise and supplementation. 

After suffering with vaginal bleeding for many years, I finally decided to have a hysterectomy in November 2008.  I chose to have a  laparoscopic hysterectomy because it was less invasive and the recuperation time was much faster. I was anxious to get back to my work as a classroom Special Education teacher.

Everything was cut into tiny pieces so that it could be removed through the small incision in my belly button. They call this process morcellation. It's not the best way to remove cancer! But it wasn't until a week later that the lab informed my gynecologist that they had found uterine leiomyosarcoma there. I was also told that leiomyosarcoma does not respond to chemotherapy or radiation. Removal by surgery is the best form of treatment. My doctor consulted with M.D. Anderson about my case. I had a second operation to remove my cervix and check for any signs of cancer in my abdomen. The cervix was cancer-free and there was no sign of metastasis. Now it was up to me to strengthen my immune system so that it could fight the microscopic remains of the cancer and prevent it from returning. My lab report said it was a Stage II/III with a mitotic count of 100 in 10X magnification field. The sky high mitotic count definitely downgraded my prognosis. I was told I'd have a 50% chance to live 2 years, and a 20% chance to live 5 years. My mother immediately told me that I was going to live, and I believed her.

Please join me on my journey to strengthen the immune system. Throughout this blog you'll find information about nutrition and supplements that researchers have shown to stop angiogenesis (a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a dormant state to a  malignant one).  Discover how to use your mind to direct the healing process, which type of exercise helps stimulate the lymph system, and so much more. Come to a place where the talk is positive and uplifting, and where integrative and natural treatments can be explored.

NEW! December 2010  I have gone for over two years without any recurrence of the cancer. When you are speaking of Uterine Leiomyosarcoma, that is a milestone! Every day is precious. My number one goal each day is to stay peaceful and calm inside, like it feels when you've just had a massage. Guided Imagery and Meditation help me to do this, along with walks in nature and deep breathing. My second job is to focus on myself: my nutrition, my supplements, my juicing, my exercise... and so much more. It's my job now, and I don't feel guilty about doing it. I still have time to cook for my family, keep the house clean, shop, run errands, and teach a little bit. But all of those things have to come second to my staying well. So I pace myself. I hope you will be encouraged to stay on your path for healing. 

NEW! October 2012  It has been almost 4 years now since my diagnosis. I have remained cancer-free. My lifestyle is second-nature now, and very enjoyable to me. I hope to encourage you on your personal journey to strengthen your immune system. 

NEW! June 2014  It has been nearly 5 years and 7 months since my diagnosis and I continue to remain completely free and clear disease. I continue to follow the entire anti-cancer program, and will do so for the rest of my life because once you have had cancer it is normal to have microscopic cancer cells that remain in your body. But your immune system is designed to keep them in check and will do so if you continue to follow a lifestyle that keeps the immune system functioning properly. That includes keeping stress hormones turned off with meditation and guided imagery!

NEW! August 2017 It has been over 8 1/2 years since my diagnosis and I have remained cancer free.  I continue to follow the program I have outlined in this blog as it is essential to keeping my immune system functioning at its best. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you for starting this blog. I was diagnosed with ULMS and want to follow a natural path to healing so I'll be looking forward to reading about what you have done.

Anonymous said...

You can count on me. I also felt alone in the path many times doing Gerson, thinking I should do a blog or a youtube channel. So, count on me for supporting your blog. I will keep you inform of my fight too.
Best wishes, Dorian (Recurrent Metastatic Thyroid Cancer, fighting with Gerson Protocol)

Jeannie said...

Thank you, Dorian, for your support! I have read your testimony and it is amazing. Gerson is an excellent protocol. Wigmore, Gerson, Malkmus and Budwig all made outstanding contributions to our understanding of enzymes and essential fatty acids in a diet filled with living foods. I look forward to hearing more from you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the blog and telling your story. My story is almost word for word what Im going through. Ive been struggling with accepting my diagnosis, and honestly Im scared., but trying to stay positive. I had a hysterectomy with bso but left my right ovary.(spent my 31st birthday in the hospital and a week later found out a couple days ago I had ULMS. thank you again for all the info youve posted.

sincerly, s.alexander

Jeannie said...

To S. Alexander, It is definitely scary when you receive the diagnosis, and there is no shortage of depressing information on the internet about ULMS. I found that I had to STOP reading any of it. It plants seeds in the mind that can be destructive to the body. You are young which means your immune system should be easier to rejuvenate. Join me on Facebook, and saturate your mind with positive, healing thoughts. You have taken the first step right here. Join me on Facebook, too. ~ Jeannie

Danna said...

Hello Jeannie, I too have ULMS and have had it for 6 years now. I have had 4 reaccurences and am getting ready for my 4th surgery. I have had a full hysterectomy and some intestine removed. I will be turning 55 late this year and have been a reader of your story for the past 2 years. I have changed doctors now for the 3rd time in hopes that this time I will have more support for healing naturally and less scare tactics towards chemo which I have had 3 times and no it did not work at all just tore done my immune system and made it harder to heal and get better. I've always been told I was stage one and that it has not invaded any other organs I hope that is the case this time. My appt. with the new oncologist is May 7th. I live in the Orange County area and would love to be seen by your MD Anderson if you could share that contact info with me and any oth doctors you have seen regarding ULMS that you have found to be supportive of your way of healing. I have followed a lot of your advise and have felt incredible for the most part but I know that the chemo has blocked my good doing and hurt my immune system to where each time I have had chemo I have said no more! I really need good doctor support so I feel like I can do this and keep going, beat it and feel healthy. Thank you for this blog, I am so happy for your personal results and hope that I can turn my health around and keep the cancer cells from coming back.

Jeannie said...

Hi Danna,
Thank you for your comment. I support your efforts with natural and integrative treatments, as well as an anti-cancer lifestyle. I wanted to clarify for you that I did not personally go to M.D.Anderson - my Kaiser oncologist conferred with them, and he showed me the correspondence. They both agreed that chemo is ineffective when first diagnosed with ULMS. It is often used as a palliative measure when a recurrence takes place. I would suggest going to a Naturopath that specializes in the immune system/chronic illness in your area. Have testing done by the Naturopath to see what you need to do to help your body's immune system work effectively. It sounds like you are probably incorporating many of the Mind-Body techniques that are utterly mandatory for the best outcome. I welcome your questions, and I wish you the very best! Love, Jeannie

jaywilb said...

Hello Jeannie, I was online last night and came across this site. Thank you for providing some helpful tips and positive words of encouragement. I was recently diagnosed with ULMS back in Oct '12. Found out that my fiboroid tumors were actually malignant...who knew after yrs of being told that they were benign. I love your spirit dealing with this beast that we have/had in common. I also chose to wait on the chemo. I had the partial one first and 5 weeks later had the remainder organs removed as well as the staging surgery. As you well know the journey thus far has been a roller coaster. I am definitely trying to get help with more awareness. I have run into so many doctors with the same song & story...not enough people get this disease & there is no money to research these rare cancers. I want to help change that...I think there is a reason that this has happened to me. If you have had any luck in that aspect I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks again for being a wonderful light on something that can be so dark and lonely. Many blessings...

Jeannie said...

Right now your priority needs to be yourself - it is a full time job! I'd advise against reading any more of the negative information on ULMS. Traditional western medicine may not have an answer, but that doesn't mean there is no hope or solution. The answer lies inside our own bodies: our immune system holds the key. And when it comes to the immune system, the Mind-Body connection is so very powerful that it can't be ignored. Begin juicing vegetables and eating a raw, organic diet. Practice meditation, guided imagery and listen to affirmations. Take liposomal curcumin and other anti-cancer supplements. When you feel like you have a little energy, don't spend it. Let your body have it so it can use it to heal you. Sleep a lot! This is a time to be at peace, and make peace, not to take on anything that might stimulate the cortisol-adrenaline response. I'm so glad to hear from you. Join me on Facebook, too! Love, Jeannie

Donna said...

Hi Jeannie, Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge. You are the first woman I've read about with morcelated ULMS that has made it past the poor time predictions all over the internet. You have given me hope. I had a fibroid (ULMS) morcelated in Dec and am scheduled for surgery in a couple weeks - hysterectomy including ovaries and cervix, and biopsies. I've been searching for a story like yours. I wish you continued good health.

Jeannie said...

Hi Donna,

When I met with the physician who unwittingly morcelated the cancer, he was obviously worried, too. He had printed out an article from a medical journal that said that the survival rates were not changed just because it was removed that way. Intuitively this seems so wrong, but nonetheless it is going to be our immune system that takes over after the surgeries are completed.

Belleruth Naparstek has some wonderful guided imagery on her CD entitled Successful Surgery. I listened to the track "Preparing for Surgery" before my second operation to remove the cervix and check the abdomen - Belleruth has you envision yourself with competent staff, surrounded by everyone who has ever loved you in the past, including angels, etc. I really loved it.

Become a watcher of your thoughts. Your thoughts are giving directions to your body, so you want to make sure they are only positive ones. Saturate your mind with positive guided imagery until your mind accepts it and begins to think that way on its own. Fear, shock, anxiety, anger, etc. are accompanied by fight-or-flight hormones that shut down the immune system. We can't go there. That's why the Mind-Body connection is so important for our healing.

I see you surrounded by a glittering blue-green light, peaceful and calm, ready for your surgery and continuing on to heal completely.

Lots of healing energy to you,