Survivors Say: Lauren Erdmann
Lauren Erdmann, of Midland, is a three-time cancer survivor. Listen to her story.
It's not an exaggeration to say I owe my life to MD Anderson. I've had cancer three times over seven years and successfully fought it each time, thanks to my doctors and nurses there.
In 2007, during my high school senior year, I was experiencing discomfort, bloating and stomachaches. When I learned I had colon cancer, I went straight from Midland to MD Anderson and underwent a massive surgery to remove my colon and rectum.
Nine months later, after a CT scan revealed that a cancer cell had traveled to a lymph node in my abdomen, I had more surgery, as well as five months of chemotherapy before and after the procedure and 30 rounds of radiation.
I was in remission until 2013, when cancer struck a third time: uterine clear cell carcinoma, a rare form of endometrial cancer. I had a full hysterectomy at age 23.
Later that year, a genetic test showed constitutional mismatch repair deficiency syndrome, which was the cause for my developing cancerous colorectal polyps and other cancers.
I don't know what lies ahead, but I won't let cancer beat me. Cancer has made me stronger. And my expert medical team has made it easier for me, as I know I'm in good hands. They've given me a second and a third chance at life.
Promise invites cancer survivors to share their reflections. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.