Vicki Shigley was diagnosed in Dec. 2012 with retroperitoneal (basically behind the stomach lining) Leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer called a soft tissue sarcoma of which Leiomyosarcoma is in the smooth muscles cells. Sarcomas represent 1% of all cancers and Leiomyosarcoma is a sub group of Sarcoma, so you can see why it is so rare. Because of this being rare there is little funding focusing on this cancer. LMS is not curable currently.
Vicki had metastasis to both lungs in 2016 with surgery June and August. Shortly after the surgery more nodules showed up again in both lungs but of this date are stable and below 1cm. In October 2017 she had an MRI of her thoracic spine where cancer had metastasized to the t11-t12 but very small and like the lungs stable for now. In October of 2017 she felt a strange nodule on her left shoulder and biopsy was positive for LMS. The left shoulder tumor was excised Nov. 2017. LMS is best treated with surgery obtaining clear margins. Other treatments of radiation and chemotherapy can also extend life.
In 2013, after the surgery in 2012 and radiation in early 2013 she was feeling so alone as she read more about this cancer and wanted to meet other survivors. Leiomyosarcoma Direct Research had their first retreat in Copper Mountain Colorado in 2013 and for the first time she met with another person, many with LMS from other states and Colorado. She is so thankful for the connection with other LMS “thrivers” through the closed Face Book group and other retreats and for the work Sharon Anderson has achieved as executive director for LMSdr. Original research about LMS gave a low 5-year overall survivability. Vicki will be a 5 year plus on Dec. 10, 2017 and as she says, “still kicking it”. The support and knowledge from LMSdr is a lifeline for her. At these retreats Vicki and her husband met Dr. Matt van de Rijn, a researcher and who spoke to the group about his research in Leiomyosarcoma. His information was an eye-opening experience into a new world and vocabulary. Vicki has informed herself about LMS and is her own best advocate. She feels this knowledge is what is keeping her alive by being aware and informed.
Leiomyosarcoma Direct Research is a public charity and is a 501(c)(3) IRS designated charity and your donation is tax deductible.
Your donation will go for research for this very rare and aggressive cancer. Vicki and her family thank you for your donation and support. You will honor her with your donation.