Stage IV uterine cancer survivor: ‘Don’t give up hope’

After God, I owe my life to MD Anderson. In the fall of 2009, I started feeling not just tired, but exhausted. I also had an unpleasant vaginal discharge. It wasn’t bloody, but it was very foul-smelling. I told my local doctors that something was wrong, but no one would take me seriously. My symptoms went on for at least three months, until I had my annual checkup. That’s when I had a diagnostic bilateral mammogram and an abdominal ultrasound. The radiologist said he didn’t like the results. A uterine cancer diagnosis I went to my oncologist in Maryland who had treated me for breast cancer in 2000. At first, he suggested it was nothing to worry about, but I said I wanted to see my only child’s wedding someday. So, he ordered a blood test, and then a PET scan. When the results came back, my doctor called me personally. He told me that I had uterine cancer, and it was stage IV. The cancer had already spread to my aorta and omentum (a structure in the abdomen). It was also encroaching on my adrenal glands. The doctors told me that I only had a short time to live. My whole family was very upset. But they didn’t accept this prognosis. One of my brothers is a physician, and his colleague said, “Listen: I have a classmate who’s the best — and he’s at the best place for cancer. So I’m sending you there.” That’s how I met Pedro Ramirez, M.D., at MD Anderson. The best place for uterine cancer treatment I had my first appointment with Dr....