Leiomyosarcoma. That's the type of cancer that killed Juliet. She fought it hard for over 4 years. No one should have to endure what she did just to have what she lovingly called "my little life." She never claimed to be brave. But she was.
Everyone kept telling us how the story of Juliet's cancer, her fight to live, her recovery, our adopting Abby, and all the rest would make a great screenplay. Juliet tried to write about it several times. The first time was in 1991, just two days after she got home from the hospital after the initial operation.
That's a voodoo doll Juliet bought in New Orleans when we went there for a vacation in 1992. We were told that if you wrote your wish many times and pinned it to the doll, then the doll would look out for you. "What the hell?" Jules thought.
Years later, after we had adopted Abby and after the cancer had returned, Juliet tried again to write down the story of her battle with the cancer. Unfortunately, she didn't get much farther than she did the first time.
Following her initial surgery and chemotherapy in 1991, Juliet's cancer came back in 1992. What happened then can best be told by some of the newsletters I sent out to our families and friends.
In November of 1992, Juliet was interviewed by Dr. Bob Arnot of the CBS This Morning for a series on cutting-edge medical treatments. The interview took place after Juliet had finished all of her conventional chemotherapy and just before the autologous bone marrow transplant. While stem cell harvesting is considered common treatment now, back then it was considered cutting edge.
The cancer didn't come back until June of 1994. Things after that were a blur. I sent out the final newsletter in September of 1995, about five months before Juliet died.
Heaven forbid that any of you have or get cancer, or that you found this site by doing a search on leiomyosarcoma. Juliet found it easier to deal with her cancer by knowing as much about it as possible, by asking every doctor the hard questions, and by always keeping mind that none of the doctors were either omnipotent or omniscient. Here are a few quick links to cancer info resources:
Elephant Jokes | Cancer
Copyright 1998, 2017 Andrew Amster
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