How I’ve lived with uterine cancer for seven years

I've always had to fight for my health. I had my left leg amputated at age 1 due to a birth defect, and I was born with the sickle cell anemia trait. When I was 21, I watched my mom die from complications of sickle cell anemia.  I had open-heart surgery for a heart defect discovered in my 20s. Then, I had fibroid surgery six months later. Up to that point, I'd been through a lot, so I was overwhelmed when I was diagnosed with a rare type of uterine cancer — endometrial stromal sarcoma — at age 28.  How my uterine cancer symptoms led me to MD Anderson I was a Head Start teacher, and I knew something was wrong when I needed to leave my classroom frequently for restroom breaks. I was gaining weight, too.  In September 2012, I went to the emergency room for kidney pain. Doctors found that my urine was backed up into my ureter, the duct through which urine passes from the kidney to the bladder. An ultrasound revealed a possible fibroid and smaller masses near my right kidney. Suspecting it might be cancer, the doctors referred me to MD Anderson.  My uterine cancer treatment During my first appointment at MD Anderson, I met with gynecologic oncologist Dr. Pamela Soliman, who had the tumor biopsied. The results confirmed I had endometrial stromal sarcoma, so Dr. Soliman referred me to sarcoma specialist Dr. Robert Benjamin. Because the tumor was growing slowly, Dr. Benjamin monitored me over the next few months. Given the tumor’s size and location, surgery would be risky. Dr. Benjamin put me on...