Surviving Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma: My Journey of Strength, Resilience, and Gratitude


-Surya Pillai

As a child, I always found it fascinating how the zodiac signs were said to influence our characteristics. For instance, ‘Aries’ is known for being full of energy and enthusiasm, while ‘Libra’ is associated with intellectual thinking and communication skills. There are countless websites out there that delve into our personality traits based on our zodiac signs. I believe there is some truth to it. Being a Cancerian myself, I have always been known for being loyal, empathetic, and caring. Unfortunately, these traits have made me vulnerable to emotional turmoil. The more stressed I become, the more it affects my physical health. Adding to the complexity, my husband revealed his romantic involvement with another woman and subsequently left me. My anxiety and internal struggles have led me to neglect self-care and it was during this period of heartbreak that my doctor diagnosed me with Myxoid Leiomyo Sarcoma.

A minor discomfort; A major problem

Initially just a mild discomfort. Soon, a sharp pain that comes and goes quickly. The idea of cancer is the least likely thought to cross someone’s mind when dealing with symptoms like this. It all began with a quick sting on the labia that barely lasted a moment. Most people would brush it off as menstrual cramps or simply a normal part of getting older, especially for those over 40. But my instincts told me differently, urging me to seek medical advice to rule out any potential issues.

With the guidance of a gynecologist, an MRI was conducted which revealed a soft tissue tumor. Subsequent cancer-related tests all came back normal, indicating a positive outcome. Despite experiencing only occasional mild pain and maintaining a regular menstrual cycle, the presence of the tumor necessitated surgery. While opinions among doctors differed, the majority recommended waiting a few months before proceeding with the surgery, showing a cautious yet hopeful approach.

I see my encounter with Dr. Aswathy G Nath, the Gynecologic Oncologist of PRS Hospital, Trivandrum, as a beautiful intervention from above, guided by the prayers of my parents who are now in a better place. Meeting her while seeking advice for a friend stricken with stage 2 breast cancer turned out to be a life-changing moment for me as well. Dr. Aswathy’s prompt recommendation for surgery without hesitation led to a successful operation on April 9th, 2022. The procedure went smoothly, removing the lump while preserving my other organs.

Truth, Agony, and the Unknown

The happiness was short-lived as the biopsy revealed Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma Grade 1. It felt like the end for me. Why me? was the question that plagued my mind. The strength and courage I had gained after leaving my husband’s home following our separation disappeared, leaving me feeling like I was back at square one. Decisions had been finalized. The surgery date was fixed. I had no idea what the future held for me. Everything seemed beyond my control. The prayers and unwavering support from my friends and family, the comfort of knowing Dr. Aswathy was just a phone call away to patiently address my concerns, the financial and emotional backing from my caring cousins who treated me like a sibling, the constant calls from friends near and far checking on me, even a friend of a friend whom I had never met before sending prayers my way – all these elements served as the pillars that guided me through. And then, amidst it all, my husband re-entered my life, or at least made an effort to show he cared. At that moment, I felt as though I had all the necessary support to face my battle against cancer.

The Real Battle

A hysterectomy was performed just one month after my initial surgery. I can vividly recall the tears streaming down my cheeks while lying in the post-operative ward, feeling an intense amount of pain. Even the slightest movement of my legs caused excruciating pain. My cousins took care of me like a baby, bathing me, changing my dress, and ensuring that I didn’t feel the absence of my Mom. As the days went by, I gradually began to feel better. Thankfully, the final biopsy results indicated no signs of metastasis.

Adjuvant Therapy and the Unpleasant Truth

What people find truly terrifying about cancer isn’t only the physical pain and financial burden, but also the emotional toll of seeing a completely different person in the mirror after undergoing Chemotherapy. The loss of hair, persistent nausea, exhaustion, and huge loss of appetite can turn a once vibrant individual into a stranger. I also had the same thoughts lingering in my mind. It kept me up at night, constantly pondering how I would manage to get through it. And to make matters worse, my husband’s refusal to end his affair added insult to injury.

Myxoid Leiomyosarcoma, a very rare variant of sarcoma, has only been documented in 56 cases worldwide from 1982 to 2013. Due to its rarity, there is limited reference material available, making it challenging for medical professionals to treat effectively. However, my journey took a positive turn when I was referred to the outstanding medical oncology team of Dr. Ramdas, Dr. Parvathy, and Dr. Arun of PRS Hospital, Trivandrum. Their expertise and compassionate approach instantly put me at ease regarding the chemotherapy drug, alleviating any fears I had after reading about potential side effects online.

Blessings bestowed from the Heavens

A dear friend from Bhubaneswar who introduced me to the enlightening videos of Swami Udit Chaithanyaji, my caring cousins abroad who generously covered my financial expenses, my supportive cousins here who stood by me from beginning to end, my precious children whose smiling faces always inspired me to persevere in this battle, my husband’s loving family, all my incredible friends and well-wishers… the list goes on and above all the abundant blessings from God Almighty and my amazing parents. I am endlessly grateful to all my loved ones for helping me through this phase and shaping me into the person I am today.

Surya Pillai
Surya Pillai

The author, a seasoned freelance writer, specializes in crafting engaging content across various topics and also holds expertise in spoken English training and soft skill development.





Disclaimer: The opinions and perspectives presented in the article are the author’s own and may not necessarily reflect those of the Team Meditation affinity.

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