Cynthia Thayer

Hello - My name is Cynthia Thayer. I am a 41 year old mother of 3 who has been a Leiomyosarcoma soldier since 2006. I was diagnosed after being treated for what was believed to be uteran fibroids. During a routine exam with my gynocologist, it was decided to proceed with a procedure that will help me with some monthly issues. I was experiencing no symptoms of anything being wrong. A few days after my procedure, my doctor called me and told me that the cells taken from what was believed to be a fibroid was indeed cancerous. She was going to send it back through the lab for a second opionion and will contact me when she receives the results. Sure enough, they results were the same. I remember walking into the office, sitting in the exam room while she told me that I had Leiomyosarcoma, a very rare recurring cancer. She proceeded to tell me that she did not want to handle the care of this disease because it was not in her area of expertise. She referred me to a gyno-oncologist at which time, a radical hysterectomy was scheduled. On February 15, 2006 - I was put into surgical remission. It was amazing how the sarcoma grew inwards and did not grow out to attach itself onto my other abdominal organs, which would not be unheard of for this particular disease. After recovering from the surgery, I went through 25 rounds of radiation followed by one intense treatment that required me to lay flat on my back for 24 hours. I was so very tired, but, I knew as a mother of 3 sons I needed to turn this horrible situation into a learning enviroment for my children. I continued to work full time and pushed through my daily radiation putting my fatigue behind me. My sons were/are very active in school. I did not let this disease ruin my children having their mother at their events. I made it my mission to inspire others to fight for things they way, to never give up!

In 2008, my sarcoma returned. My left kidney was compromised and I needed to get a splint placed in my ureter and I under went 6 months of chemo-therapy. This is when I met Dr Milhem from University of Iowa. One thing I worked on starting was a cancer support group, there was nothing of it's kinda in my home town. We had to travel outside of town for such a group. When I met Dr Milhem, it was decided to just watch and wait to see what happens with the mass that was still lingering in my pelvic area. Sure enough, in 2010, the mass grew. In October 2010, I went through a nephrectomy. This surgery was a 10 hour surgery and a very tough recovery. They thought they got it all! Unfortunatly, that is not the case. I found out that it did indeed grew, but I found out after finding out a very dear friend of mine passed away from Osteosarcoma. She was in her early 20's and very innocent yet wise. She was simply amazing! She helped keep my spirits up. Who was I to go to now? Who would understand what I was going through? I was scared. I wanted to give up and just let it take me. I went to see a movie with my son and I left the theater thinking - NO!! This cancer is NOT going to take what I was determined to do back in 2006. I toughened up, lifted my head and said - cancer, your not taking my spirit! I went to my next scan telling Dr Milhem that I have a clock I need to watch, I can either have my surgery this summer or wait until October because my youngest son is a Senior and I am not missing his activities. I am on a tight schedule and I am taking over! Because of this revived attitude, I am feeling very strong. Like I can take anything on - cancer, go away but if you must stay and be a pest, you will have a fight! I decided to help with a sarcoma fund-raiser for my friend.

My attitude torwards this entire condition, don't feel sorry for me! Don't say sorry! I am not sorry, it just happened. If someone has high blood pressure, they have risk. If someone has an allergy, they have risk. If they are a diabetic, they have risk. So what, I have cancer! I have risk and I have medicine or procedures I need to do in order to see my grandchildren start school (keep in mind, I do not have ANY grandchildren right now). My healthy is closely watched, if there is even one milimeter difference in my cell structure, I'll know about it in enough time to prepare for the next step. If you have a cold, what do you take? That's right - medicine. I have cancer, so what? I have to have scans and at times take medicines or have surgerys. I am going to win. Even if the cancer takes my body, it will not take my life. I have shown others that life does go on even if your health is not where it should be. Don't give up, keep fighting, keep pushing, live life - it's worth it!