Lesa DeMaria, Uterine Cancer Diagnosis at 54

As a longtime friend of DetecTogether, I knew exactly what to do when I started experiencing health changes. Because of that, I am happy to say, my cancer story is a short story.

While on vacation with my husband and some friends, I was suddenly not feeling well. I had terrible back pain that felt like menstrual cramps, despite having been in menopause for a few years. I skipped dinner and woke up in the middle of the night soaked with blood. I hadn’t had a period in two years.

When going through menopause, women don’t know what to expect. So, we ask other women. The friends with me on the trip had been in menopause longer than me, and I asked them if they had experienced this. They said things like this do happen. I felt relieved.

I returned from the trip and began waking in the night with terrible cramping but no bleeding. I knew it was time to act. I called my doctor. Given my symptoms, she got me in as soon as possible. She discovered a cyst during the exam and decided to biopsy it.

I had cysts before and knew they could be uncomfortable. I had some blood work done and left for a trip to South Carolina with my girlfriends. While I was there, I received the results in MyChart. I had uterine cancer. Thankfully, I was away with a friend who had just lost her husband to pancreatic cancer. She kept me calm.

My doctor later called with the news, assuring me that the cancer seemed to be in the very early stages. I left the trip, and just a few days after returning, I had an appointment with an oncologist. She confirmed that the cancer was Stage I and recommended that I have a full hysterectomy. Miraculously, there was a cancellation, and I was able to have surgery the following day. I was home by 9:00 the next night.

After the surgery, I could not have had a better prognosis. They got all of the cancer during the surgery, and it had never spread past the uterus. I was 100% cancer-free.

I knew that there was something wrong with my body. I didn’t wait. I acted quickly on health changes. From the time I was diagnosed to when I was told I was cancer-free was just three weeks. The DetecTogether message was ALWAYS with me—if it doesn’t feel right, get it checked out.

I am so blessed to have not put it off, to have pushed to get checked. It doesn’t matter how healthy you are, cancer still knocks on your door and tries to get at you. I fought the war and won. I want other people to have these same types of short cancer stories.


  • postmenopausal bleeding
  • cramping