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Freda Editha Contreras
Freda's LMS & more
Hi, this is Freda from Kuwait. I thank CaringBridge for the opportunity to share my journey with Leiomyosarcoma or LMS (a very rare form of cancer) and other diseases I currently suffer from.
I created this journal in July 2006 to give inspiration to those who are newly-diagnosed and to those who are suffering from ongoing illnesses. I would want to give hope and insight as to how best one can deal with a cancer diagnosis and a continuing struggle with other diseases. Having been blessed with quite a number of rare diseases - a very rare combination, as my doctor once told me - I feel the need to share my journey so others may get informed and inspired.
Life indeed is good and despite the many body ailments I suffer from, I still am thankful to God. As I always say: "Thank God, it could have been worse . . ."
Here's my history:
I was born a 'blue-eyed' baby. I inherited from my father a very rare disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). Hard-of-hearing as an after-effect of OI, I now wear, and am totally dependent on, bilateral hearing aids. At age 43, I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer, Leiomyosarcoma or LMS of the uterus. I underwent TAH (total abdominal hysterectomy) and BSO (bilateral salphingo-oopherectomy) in November 2000. I was diagnosed at about the same time with diabetes mellitus (DM). In 2001, a routine follow-up check revealed osteoporotic changes, lordosis and scoliosis in my lumbar vertebrae.
In June 2002, an MRI showed lesion in my brain. It turned out to be non-specific, a calcification of sorts caused by a childhood infection. In early 2005, my liver was discovered enlarged (hepatomegaly) and a year of follow up with blood works, ultrasound and CT scans (to rule out metastasis) I was finally diagnosed to be just having a 'fatty' liver. As late effects of diabetes, I now suffer from high serum cholesterol and triglycerides levels and high blood pressure (hypertension). And lately, a full-blown Osteoporosis has set in, affecting major bony areas in my body. I also suffer from Allergic Rhinitis and am taking anti-histamine tablet on a daily basis.
In 2011 four new conditions were discovered: Meniere's Disease, Spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine, Tuberosity, a bony prominence in the gum which was surgically removed in December 2011 and Goiter.
In July 2012, after continuous vertigo and dizzy spells, I was finally diagnosed to be suffering from left Peripheral Vestibular Disorder with mild Benign Paroxysmal Positioning Vertigo (BPPV). Two months after I suffered from GI symptoms and CT scan and Endoscopy revealed Gastritis and Hernia. Gastritis was healed after two months of treatment but the recommended surgery for the Hernia has been postponed to give way for my holiday in my home country in order to visit my family. No date yet has been set for the surgery, which will also include removal of scar tissues in my abdomen from the Myomectomy and Hysterectomy I went through in October and November 2000, respectively.
I continue to be followed up and I see to it that I don't miss any appointment. It is good and a blessing from God that Kuwait has an excellent health service and I get to enjoy everything it can offer for free. At the moment I go to seven health facilities on a regular basis and get to undergo various diagnostic examinations in order to detect progression of a particular disease.