When it comes to symptoms, it’s hard to narrow down what your ailment is, as we are all built differently and have different pain tolerance levels. But, we’ve learned from other patients that it is best to see a doctor when we are unsure about our health issue. While it could be nothing, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Jaime Neilsen-Lockhart learned this the hard way. For quite some time, the 41-year-old from British Columbia felt sick and was constantly bloated. She assumed that she was entering the beginning stages of “the change” and was premenopausal so she dismissed her symptoms. The stomach pains felt like menstrual cramps and she had been vomiting all the time. She also noticed bruises on her stomach.
And then, her symptoms got so bad that she could hardly stand. She felt a large mass descend inside her stomach.
“At its biggest, the mass was so heavy it felt like I was pregnant,” Jaime said. “I was in pain when standing and had to hold my stomach with two hands whenever I moved. I put it down to every other explanation rather than going to the doctors, until one day, when I felt something in my stomach drop. It was very weird. I knew something was wrong.”
She was right and soon she was receiving news that the ultrasound revealed a massive ovarian cyst.
“When I was told I had cancer, I could barely believe it. It didn’t sink in until I bawled my eyes out for an hour,” she recalled.
Luckily Jaime’s doctors discovered it when they did and they were able to remove the cyst after having a full hysterectomy. Now, she can say that she is cancer-free.
“After it was removed, the tumor looked like a giant, alien lump — and was the weirdest looking thing I’ve ever seen,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that thing was growing inside of me. I let it go on for so long and should have had gone to the doctors sooner.”
After learning that the mass had grown to 20 x 10 inches, it’s hard to believe that Jaime is now cancer-free and she believes it was a miraculous ordeal, especially since she didn’t even have to undergo chemotherapy or other treatment.
“It looked like an alien when it was removed,” said Jaime, of the enormous cyst. “I couldn’t believe that thing was growing inside of me. I feel so lucky to still be here.”
“When I was told I was cancer-free, I went numb. I couldn’t believe it and started crying. It didn’t seem real that it was finally over,” she said.
If you think you may have an ovarian cyst, there are several symptoms that you can look out for including bloating, pain in the pelvic area, fever and vomiting. While there are several different types of cysts, it is best to seek medical attention to determine how severe the formation is so further steps can be taken. And learn from Jaime that it is best to always question a doctor instead of trying to self-diagnose.