Zipping up and down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in her Mercedes-Benz SUV and conducting business on her Bluetooth was a way of life for Aleasha Arthur of Laurel, Maryland.
And when the 45-year-old human relations executive for United Healthcare wasn’t at the hospital or closing a real estate deal, she was working with a writer as a book publisher or spending time on a tropical beach.
Until life took an unexpected, much more serious turn.
“I was planning a trip to Jamaica,” said Arthur, who went for routine physical in March and asked her physician about a hair bump “along my bikini line.”
“I took a biopsy that turned out to be a tumor,” Arthur said. “I had sarcoma.”
Sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops from soft tissues of the body, bones or muscles. While it is treatable, it can spread to other parts of the body and tumors can be malignant.
The diagnosis was a wakeup call for Arthur, and she hopes her situation will be a cautionary tale for others.
“Not to take away anything from breast cancer, but my lump was in my pelvic area,” Arthur said. “I was diagnosed in April, had surgery in May and in July, I started seven-and-a-half weeks of radiation that was completed Sept. 28.”
Arthur is now the founder of the Rise Against Cancer Foundation, and on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., she is hosting a fundraiser to raise awareness at the Lake Presidential Golf Club at 3151 Presidential Golf Drive in Upper Marlboro. Dr. Pranshu Mohindra, an oncologist at the Maryland Proton Center, is scheduled to speak at the event.
“Even though [October] is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, people need to touch every part of [their] body,” Arthur said. “Get to know you and don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor.
“I am a witness that your life can change overnight and God can move you in a directions that you can’t control,” she said. “I had a trip planned to Jamaica. This was not part of my plan. God is driving everything that I do now.”