Margaret McMahon, 48, figured that something was wrong when her stomach grew beyond its normal size back in 2013.
Her doctors informed her that it was irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but since she felt wasn’t happy with the diagnosis, she went and took a CAT scan where it was found that she had a tumor.
“The last year was awful”
She compared the experience to having a never-ending pregnancy but the difference was that there’s no baby at the end. When asked about the experience, she adds, “The last year was awful.”
Mrs. McMahon believes that the reason why her tumor went undetected for years was due to a lack of understanding of fibroids.
She was initially told that she just had IBS, and then doctors told her it was a fibroid and that she didn’t need to worry about it. However, after excruciating pain and discomfort, she was taken to emergency care where she was told that there was a mass, but no one really explained what was happening to her.
That was when she decided to take a CAT scan and they found that she had an 18cm tumor beside her womb.
“My life was on hold”
According to an interview with the Daily Mail, she said:
“I couldn’t sleep at night. My life was on hold. I had to stop work and my social life because there was so much pressure on my bladder. I would feel sick after eating too. I couldn’t drive even five minutes down the road without needing the bathroom. It was just miserable and I couldn’t wait to get my life back.”
Eventually, she had it taken out during a hysterectomy and was then able to recover quickly.
She adds, “Just being able to get a plane, or a car and not needing to go to the bathroom was wonderful. You still get the odd day of pain but that’s normal and on the whole I feel like a new person, especially this last six months.”
Mrs. McMahon has since went on a family vacation in Spain, something that she wasn’t able to do for years due to her tumor.
She also hopes that her story will provide more information about fibroids, which affect about one in three women around the world.
What you need to know about fibroids
According to NHS.uk, “Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the womb (uterus).” Fibroids are made up of muscle tissue as well as fibrous tissue and they can vary in size. They’re also known as uterine myomas or leiomyomas.
Here are the symptoms that you might have a fibroid:
- Heavy or painful menstrual flow
- Abdominal pain
- Pain in the lower back
- Frequent urination
- Being constipated
- Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
For the most part, fibroids don’t cause overt symptoms. However, if you think that you might have a fibroid, or if you have persistent symptoms such as the ones listed above, it’s best to consult your doctor so that they can conduct an ultrasound scan to check if you might have fibroids.
Surgery isn’t always necessary for fibroids such as if they’re not showing any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, then non-invasive treatments can help shrink the fibroid. As a worst case scenario, surgery might be necessary, but this doesn’t happen in all cases.
READ: Boy accidentally discovers sister’s cancerous tumor while tickling her
Sources: NHS, Daily Mail
Be sure to check out theAsianparent Community for more insightful stories, questions, and answers from parents and experts alike. If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from theAsianparent.com Philippines!