My Mom was robbed of her life on June 9, 2013 and leiomyosarcoma (li-o-my-o), aka LMS, was the thief. During the past decade, my Mom Millie, had celebrated holidays and birthdays, enjoyed sipping fine wines at the coziest of places along the French Riveria, strolled along the Seine, watched me wed the love of my life, retired from her career as a jet engine parts inspector, read countless books, hiked, saddled up for a week long ride through the Rockies, welcomed her four spirited grandchildren into the world, built sandcastles, snorkeled the Caribbean Sea, hula hooped, refused time and time again to buy a Smartphone, sailed on a catamaran, flew kites, became addicted to Downton Abbey, watched the sun rise and set, daydreamed, and just simply, lived her life, all while battling one of the most vicious cancers around. Most of you didn’t even suspect a thing I am sure. That is because my Mom was quite honestly, the most amazing woman I have ever had the honor of knowing. Her strength, spirit, and love of life inspire me everyday.
In the ten years that she had been living with leiomyosarcoma there have been very few advances in finding a cure for this aggressive cancer. LMS is classified as a soft tissue sarcoma. Soft tissue includes fat, muscle, nerves, tendons, tissue surrounding the joints, and blood and lymph vessels. The site of involvement of my Mom's leiomyosarcoma was in the retroperitoneum, which is the space behind (retro) the abdominal cavity. This would include the kidneys, bladder, pancreas, vena cava, aorta and parts of the duodenum. Retroperitoneal leiomyosarcoma is an aggressive disease that is often not amenable to complete surgical resection, nor does it respond very well to chemotherapy or radiation. That being said, my Mom had undergone three major resections, tried numerous chemotherapies and had undergone radiation therapy. Her endurance through all of this left the oncologists speechless. She had doubled the life expectancy of the typical patient with this cancer. Great news, but I wanted more for my Mom. I wanted more time for her. I wanted better treatments. I wanted a cure! I want more time, better treatments and a cure for all who are diagnosed with this rare form of cancer. The human body can only endure so much. My Mom would not have survived another surgery and she had stopped chemotherapy only a month before passing away because it was doing her more harm than good. Sadly, her beautiful life had to come to an end much too soon. She became so fatigued and weak as the soft tissue masses grew aggressively in her abdomen. She didn't stand a chance for the first time during her decade long battle. Please help me to restore her hope, as she watches from above, in finding a cure for those that will be diagnosed with LMS. Help me to raise money for the sarcoma researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. They gifted my Mom with extra years of quality living. Years that she lived to the fullest. And now we want to thank their sarcoma team and inspire them to keep working hard, day after day, until they find a cure. With your help, we can do this!
When you finish admiring my Mom's amazing smile in the slideshow below, please take the time to donate some of your soggy dollars to a great cause. Just click on the first pic below and you'll be taken back in time.
Thank you in advance from , a project honoring Millie and her love of
all things outdoorsy. We are dedicated to raising awareness and lots of moolah for Dana-Farber's Sarcoma
Millie chose to continue her legacy in a very beautiful and unique way. She requested that her cremated remains be mixed with cement in order to create an artificial reef formation, known as a reef ball. Her permanent addition to the marine life sits 65' below the oceans surface, off of the coast of Sunny Isles, Florida. Millie's reef ball will protect and preserve the oceans ecosystem and become home to all sorts of fishies. Her request to become part of a tropical reef helps to heal the sea and our souls. Thank you Mom. Way to go!