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We're sorry that you are experiencing this issue.
A newer version of Lightroom is now available. Please update Lightroom to version 6.12 and let us know if that helps. See Keep your Lightroom version up to date
Its definitely a weird suggestion, but have you restarted your computer since the problem appeared?
Keywords are stored directly in the catalog itself. However, it's not clear from your post if the keywords are missing, or the photos are missing? You said "many photos I've spent months keywording are missing."
If the photos are there but are not keyworded, is it possible you opened the wrong catalog? You can go to File > Open Recent, and see a list of recently used catalogs. Is it possible your keywording was done in a different catalog from the one you're using now?
Thanks Mike, I have updated LR but my keywords on many photos are missing. Seems I need to reenter keywords,
Asash, the photos are not missing, just some keywords but not all. Something weird happen and seems I need to re-enter the keywords all over again.