#Leiomyosarcoma ~ What Comes Next? My Cancer Fight!

Since my last update I have had numerous blood tests and a PET scan. It seems each time I have a different variety of scan it picks up yet another tumour, this time in the sternum (breast bone). I have got to a point now where I just accept it and add it to the list, currently standing at both femurs (thigh bones), hips, pelvis, base of spine, shoulder, wrist and now sternum.

My main concern has been the condition of my legs. Due to the increasing mass in the femurs they are on the point of fracturing, obviously apart from being extremely painful and inconvenient this poses the risk of spreading the cancer and speeding up my death warrant considerably. So adapting to life in a wheelchair is a challenge.

The main treatment option that I have been clinging to has been having a new hip and femur in both legs. My initial orthopaedic team considered this to be a tricky surgery so correctly referred me up the ladder to the sarcoma unit specialists, of which there are only five in the UK. After little debate they have categorically refused to perform this because they think it will be too traumatic for my body to deal with and by having TWO damaged legs I don’t have the luxury of one strong limb to use while doing the substantial rehabilitation.

All they are prepared to offer me is radiotherapy for pain relief. My oncologist fears this will just weaken my bones further and I agree with him. Not only that but IF I did endure the major surgery and recovery it isn’t dealing with the cancer in other areas of my body. So while healing the legs I will be using crucial energy to fight the tumours. 

I have been offered chemo targeted therapy injections to try and gain some shrinkage on the tumours which I will try along with all the associated side effects. I also need to have a bone biopsy to confirm all the tumours are Leiomyosarcoma metastases. While the UK medics are under the impression that this disease doesn’t metastasise to the bones I know of several people in the US where this is the case. Leiomyosarcoma is pretty much chemo resistant so they need a bone/tissue sample to calculate the correct protocol. 

For a brief moment my team were ‘hoping’ the mets would reveal themselves as Myeloma because that is easier to treat and I thought it would be typical of my luck to have two rare cancers but tests have come back negative on that.

So, where does that leave me now ?? I await an appointment for my biopsy which should be in a few days but that thing called Christmas will undoubtedly hinder it! I have the chemo injections and I see my oncologist again on the 9th January by which time he is aiming to have the biopsy results and will have approached one other team of orthopaedic surgeons. So yet again I play the waiting game and my life hangs in the balance of others.

I am taking plenty of morphine in various forms which has it’s own issues, lack of appetite, constipation, nausea, drowsiness etc plus complete lack of concentration which isn’t helpful for a book blogger! My movements in all body parts are restricted and I’m rapidly losing what little of my independence I have left.

But I have so much love and support in the blogosphere it is amazing, messages galore on all social media sites, delightful surprises via the mail, beautiful bouquets filling my lounge, offers of help from across the world … my faith in good, decent human nature has been restored and I love you all. Every single act of kindness is noticed and appreciated and you have no idea how much strength that gives me. If a miracle could be created based on support I would be flying, fit and healthy by now.

I have several blog tours still to complete in the new year that I scheduled months ago so there will still be a few posts appearing and of course if I actually manage to read any of my backlog the reviews will pop up! I’m currently attempting to compile my top 2017 favourite books list .. it’s very difficult to narrow it down!

I have a T. Shirt with this logo on .. I think it says it all 🙂 xx


So that just leaves me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays whichever you celebrate, make the most of precious time with family and friends. It will be a very quiet time here but my son has his birthday on Christmas Day so that will be our main focus. 

Lots of love Ali xoxoxo 




#MedicalUpdate ~ #AliTheDragonSlayer #Leioymyosarcoma #BookBloggers #Authors #Publishers

I’ve had a bit of a tough time recently so thought it only fair to keep you, my loyal readers informed the best I can with what is going on.

As most of you know I have been fighting Leiomyosarcoma for several years now, it originated in the uterus disguised as a fibroid .. it was only after having a full hysterectomy the pathology came back as cancer. Since then I have had numerous surgeries to remove varying tumours and affected organs but I have carried on with a positive attitude that I WILL beat this dragon.

Hence my blog and user name ‘Ali – The Dragon Slayer’ LMS is known as the dragon, it keeps rearing it’s head and is very difficult to beat. I was told right at the beginning of my diagnosis this particular cancer is ‘treatable’ but not curable.

Anyway, I have been having regular surveillance in the form of CT scans, chest x-rays, ultrasound scans as is standard procedure for this disease. Because it originated as a gynaecological tumour my scans have been abdominal/pelvis and chest because it is known to metastasise to the lungs.

For the last 6 months or so I have been having increasingly excruciating pain in my legs, hips and back. Now I am always alert to any ache or pain in case it is the LMS recurring but I was categorically told by my GP and consultants that it couldn’t possibly be connected and it’s most likely arthritis. Thankfully my house move prompted a change of GP and this one suggested having some x-rays to ‘put my mind at rest’. Fast forward to the results and ‘something’ has shown up, so I was scheduled for a full body bone scan. This also showed areas of concern but the medical team decided they needed an MRi to clarify what it is! So finally after about 3 months of scans I eventually saw my Oncologist for the results … numerous secondary bone metastases in, yep you’ve guessed it, both legs (femurs), hips, spine and shoulder.

I was shown the scan which frankly horrified me .. both femurs have large tumours in them which have disintegrated the bone and are pressing into the muscles. I was immediately referred to the trauma team who have told me I can’t walk and must stay immobilised because the chance of leg fracture is very high. I will need surgery to insert titanium rods into both legs. With a view to then treating the cancer with radiotherapy and chemo. The fear is the cancer has spread elsewhere so I am currently awaiting a full PET scan (either Monday or Tuesday) the trauma team will then decide after seeing the results whether the surgery will simply be palliative to prevent the legs fracturing or more substantial so that I can walk again.

Either way I’m once again in the fight for my life, currently on a large amount of time-release morphine tablets plus Oramorph (liquid) whenever needed for breakthrough pain. Obviously this is making me incredibly sleepy so ‘normal’ life is no longer possible.

I have reached out  to all the fabulous authors, publishers, blog tour organisers to say I won’t be able to fulfil all my review/tour commitments. Thankfully I have some posts already complete and scheduled until the end of the month so they will appear regardless of where I am, but of course I won’t be able to share as much as I would in an ideal world. Any new review or blog tour requests are being refused for the foreseeable future. I will read as and when my body or mind allows and if I can concentrate enough will review at various stages. Frankly I don’t know if I am looking at weeks, months or a year of life remaining so I need to put myself and my family first.

I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone in the bookish community who has sent me messages of love, hope, prayers and support. You are all a truly wonderful bunch and it is so appreciated. I will pop up on social media (probably twitter) when I can but please don’t be offended if I can’t reply personally to each message.

Much love to you all for now .. I will endeavour to keep you updated, Ali  xxxx 

For info there is a donation event via the LMS Facebook page 🙂 

Donate to us on GIVING TUESDAY – November 28th from 8am to Midnight EST and the Bill Gates Foundation will match it! You can double your donation on this day and all fees are waived. Please let all your friends and family know to go to

Sadly this is such a rare cancer so I am reliant on support, info and medical knowledge from the USA .. UK has a long way to go to catch up!

My gorgeous friend and fellow LMS fighter Lorene made this for me 🙂 xo

‘Spotting the Signs of Anxiety’ #Kalms @spinkhealth #RaisingAwareness #livelifeready

I’m doing something a little different today. As most of you know I am fighting Leiomyosarcoma which in itself is an uphill battle, add to that having to deal with stress, anxiety and depression it makes life quite difficult some days. 

It does beg the question whether the reality of cancer causes the anxiety etc or whether having mental health issues has made me susceptible to cancer? It’s a real chicken and egg scenario.

I do know my oncologists and medical team always state that a positive attitude can be beneficial and my mantra is one day at a time, stay positive, believe in miracles but how can I maintain that frame of mind when I’m in pain, facing the stress of scan results, accepting my prognosis and generally deteriorating in mobility?

Obviously I am on a strict drug regime that needs tweaking frequently but if I can possibly do anything else to boost my immune system then I will. So apart from a healthy diet and plenty of water which is a given I did wonder if there are any natural or herbal substances that might help relieve some of the anxiety symptoms.

So when I spotted Kalms Lavender  I figured they would be worth a try. Lavender is a well known relaxant and sleep aid (my grandma swore by it) .. I will be seeing my oncologist tomorrow so I will make sure I can safely take it in conjunction with everything else and will let you know how I get on.

I’m all for raising awareness and getting people to talk about their mental health … have you tried Kalms Lavendar and if so did they help?

Stress and anxiety – Do you know the difference?

The terms stress and anxiety are often used interchangeably, but can you recognise the differences? The term stress usually describes feelings experienced when the demands made on an individual are greater than their ability to manage, and we often know precisely what it is we are feeling stressed about, e.g. starting a new job, sitting an exam or attending an interview.

But, anxiety is an unease about something with an uncertain outcome – and that unease can exist even when the cause of the worry is gone. Symptoms of anxiety include feelings of worry, apprehension and uncertainty. Sufferers might find they are worrying all the time, perhaps about things that are a regular part of everyday life or things that are unlikely to happen – or even worrying about worrying! Anxiety can also affect the body, causing issues such as a racing heartbeat, nausea, headaches, and muscle tension.

Anxiety can become problematic when it is excessive or present over a long period of time. Long term, anxiety can impact on quality of life and wellbeing.

So, what can be done to relieve periods of anxiety?


For the first time in the UK, there is now a new option to relieve the symptoms of mild anxiety with uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil – in a one-a-day capsule.

The results of over 15 clinical trials have shown that a daily capsule of the uniquely prepared lavender oil can relieve the symptoms of anxiety, with benefits notable in just one to two weeks [i] , and the benefits are comparable to commonly used anti-anxiety medications [ii][iii]. One study found that symptoms in 70% of those taking the lavender oil capsules were rated as ‘much’ or ‘very much’ improved when reassessed by researchers at the end of treatment iii.

The anxiety relieving effects of this uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil are now available for the first time in the UK, only in new Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules RRP £6.49.

Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of the symptoms of mild anxiety such as stress and nervousness, exclusively based on long standing use as a traditional herbal remedy. Always read the label.

Kalms Lavender One-A-Day capsules are available in Boots, Asda and online at

RRP £6.49


The Anxiety Imbalance

Anxiety symptoms can occur when nerve cells in the brain become over stimulated, due to the excessive release of neurotransmitters – the brains chemical messengers – such as dopamine and adrenaline. This leads to hyperactive nerves which are excessively ‘switched on’ – an imbalance which can result in symptoms of anxiety.

Research into the uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil – which is the active ingredient found only in Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules in the UK- suggests that it can reduce the over stimulation of nerve cells leading to an improvement in symptoms of anxiety.

Thanks to Catherine Major at Spink Health for all the information/graphics

[i] Kasper S, et al. Silexan, an orally administered Lavandula oil preparation, is effective in the treatment of ‘subsyndromal’ anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Int Clin Psychopharmacol 25:277–287 _c 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.DOI: 10.1097/YIC.0b013e32833b3242

[ii] Kasper et al, Lavender oil preparation Silexan is effective in generalized anxiety disorder – a randomized, double-blind comparison to placebo and paroxetine. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Page 1 of 11. © CINP 2014 doi:10.1017/S1461145714000017

[iii] H. Woelk a, S. Schlafke. A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder.  Phytomedicine 17 (2010) 94–99 doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2009.10.006

London Marathon … Donations Appreciated – Macmillan Cancer Support

No, I’m not the one running! I can barely walk but my dear friend Michelle Brownlow has been offered a place & is running to support me & Macmillan Cancer Support to raise awareness for Leiomyosarcoma.

We have 6 months to publicise it & raise as much as possible. I will never be able to thank Michelle enough but I know she is doing it out of love & friendship .. I am so very proud of her. She suffers from her own health issues so this makes it doubly special that she would even consider attempting it.

I will update progress as we go along!

Just Giving Linky 🙂 Please Donate xx

She has already done the Race for Life this year 🙂


A Day in the Life of LMS!

Some days are better than others .. I always have the ‘Dragon’ hanging over me but if I feel ok in myself I can pretend it’s not there.

Today has been one of the ‘crap’ days. Constant pain, nausea, diarrhoea & fatigue so dreadful that my eyes won’t stay open to eat at times. So begins the vicious circle of taking extra pain relief & becoming like a zombie, depression sets in & I lose all sense of positivity & fight.

At times like this I am so thankful for the family & friends who stick by me with unswerving support, a kind word, just letting me know I’m in their thoughts etc it really does help.

I will be at the hospital again this week & next .. more tests & procedures, it’s a never-ending battle but one I have to endure just in case a miracle happens! Tomorrow is another day & the journey continues…