Hello fellow survivors!
My name is Susan Hampton and I’m a Leiomyosarcoma survivor and thriver for 18 years. One Saturday in early August 2001, I woke and ran my hands down the tops of my thighs. I had a lot on my mind as I was due to leave for China within the week to adopt my daughter. I felt something weird in my right thigh, high up along the crease next to my trunk. I called my doctor who (very reluctantly—his son had a soccer game) met me at the emergency room. An ultrasound was performed. The doctor left before speaking to me, but the nurse relayed his message: “Call me when you get back from China.”
I was preoccupied with new motherhood at the age of 45. And I was very tired.
It was 2003 before I saw a surgeon. He sent me to a cosmetic surgeon, who then sent me to Barnes Hospital. It was cancer, first thought to bone cancer, but then diagnosed as leiomyosarcoma. “What’s that?” I wondered. I remember asking the surgeon if he thought I would see my kid go to kindergarten. He sighed and said, “Probably.”
I had surgery followed by 7 weeks of radiation. Four months later, my husband decided that life was not “fun” anymore. He left. I was home alone in a two-story house with a three-year-old, recently retired on a teacher’s pension, with open burns on my radiation site. Yikes!
I survived. I eventually remarried a saint who has helped raise my child. I have a lovely scar, lots of edema, a slight limp, and a handicap license plate.
My daughter will be 21 this July. On February 10, 2021, I will have been cancer free for 18 years. I have been very lucky, I will admit. My daughter has been more affected by being abandoned twice, once as a baby and then again by her dad, than she has by my “boo-boo leg.” Life is good. We own four horses and ride on the weekends. That leg comes in handy!
Caption for photo: The family with boyfriend Nathan