Lynn's Story

Lynn, Leiomyosarcoma Survivor

Lynn was 44 when she was diagnosed with uterine leiomyosarcoma.

I am a personal trainer and fitness competitor. I was about four weeks out from my fifth figure competition when I realized something was not right. I was dieting for fat loss and I trained about 2 1/2 hours a day in the gym, but my tummy wouldn't go down. My tummy is always the last to disappear, but this was weird. I could feel the outline of something in my abdomen. I wasn't hurting so I just kept going. I was tired, but with my training and diet, I was used to that.

I went to a doctor friend and asked him to see what he thought. He couldn't diagnose me but did order an MRI. I didn't have an OB/GYN, so I saw him the next day and he immediately said, "go to the ER, this has to come out, whatever it is." That scared me, and I went straight to the ER. After a CT scan, ultrasound and exam, I scheduled an appointment with an OB/GYN. Surgery was scheduled, but within four days, the tumor ruptured. I was still working out, just not hard, and I was at the gym when it ruptured.


Lynn in Competition

I was in surgery within two hours of arriving at the hospital. When they saw it they knew, but they sent the biopsy off and then sent it for a second opinion before letting me know. The tumor had caused other issues, so I had to have a procedure on my kidney within ten days of my surgery.

I was a mess. But when they got the results back, it was like a sucker punch. All I could think and say was, "This can't happen; I take care of myself! I eat right and exercise daily! How could this happen to me?"

When my doctor told me what type of cancer it was, a uterine leiomyosarcoma, I said, "I don't have a uterus!" I had a hysterectomy 11 years prior, and this cancer had evidently grown from fibers of uterine muscle that remained in my abdomen. The doctor said, "It is rare and aggressive." My response was, "I'm rare and aggressive!" But... I was so shocked!

After I met with my oncologist, and he met with the national tumor board, they called me with the plan of action. Taking into consideration my health, they felt it would be best to just watch me closely every three months.


Recovery is interesting. I am finding out what Lynn's new normal is. I am a very active mom of four, fitness professional and overall driven woman. But the surgery threw me right into full menopause. I don't have the same energy level I had before, and I hate that. I feel like I have to work extra hard to get the desired look I want. But my thoughts have to be on being healthy.

Lynn's Family

My children, who were my biggest support, have fallen back into just being kids, as if that moment never happened. I am trying to do that myself, but I get emotional now. I think the realization that I was diagnosed with this hits me differently every day. I have refused to talk about this cancer as something I have. I say, "I was diagnosed with" but I don't say I had it, ever!

Life Now

Now is a day-to-day moving forward. I tell my clients that baby steps are still steps, and I am applying that thought process to my life as well. I don't have the energy I had, and I'm working through that daily. With the goals I have, I need the energy. My eating has been consistently clean over the past four years but now I am really using my diet to fuel my body for my day to day. I am currently training for another figure competition. I want to do the one in 2014 that the cancer didn't let me do this year.

Thoughts for New Patients

Trust the Lord! He truly is the healer! Get involved with other people. Give because it gets you out of yourself and keeps you focused on others.

I have also learned the value of rest. If your body is tired, rest. But...don't give up! Remember that "baby steps are still steps!" Set goals. Live life. Get rid of negative influences. Be that living testimony! I like to let people know that I kicked cancer's butt!

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Swie 07/06/2014 11:45 pm
Lynn, I was very happy with your story. You are a fighter. I agree with you that we all need to learn the value of rest. Jesus has thought us about this: "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:30) We need to learn to God's promises and live accordingly... "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22. May God bless you and your beautiful family.
Carolyn 13/05/2014 11:34 pm
Thank you for posting your story.
I was diagnosed following a routine hysterectomy in Sept /13
I had already been treated for breast cancer with radiation and lumpectomy.
I struggle with the fact that my energy level is not what it was.
I really need to connect with women who have survived .
Careful watching is very stressful.
John 16/01/2014 08:59 pm

Reading your story was so humbling yet inspiring. Someone very near to me was diagnosed with LMS. You have a beautiful story and I want you to continue and accomplish all your goals! Keep staying positive, you are an inspiration to us all.

-John C.
Lisa 14/01/2014 05:08 pm
Reading your story brought back my own swamp of emotions when I was diagnosed just under 2 years ago. Following my surgery, I worked with a food coach for 6 months and enrolled in a yoga teacher training program. Keeping a focus on health is the best advice that I also give people. Good luck to you. Keep focused. Keep positive.
Susan 15/12/2013 09:18 pm
God's speed on getting back to full health. My mom was just diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma on her thigh. I'm so grateful that the tumor popped up there because she could see it. Tests show it has not spread. I'll email her the link to your blog.

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