Margaret McMahon from Belfast, Northern Ireland, is 48 years old and mother to two children. Some time ago, her stomach began mysteriously swelling. At first, Margaret thought she must be pregnant with her third child, but that certainly wasn’t the case.
When she finally headed to the doctor to ask about the swelling and discomfort, he gave her a diagnosis straightaway: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). She trusted her doctor and listened to him, but was a bit perplexed because she felt her symptoms were atypical of IBS.
“It was like a never-ending pregnancy. The only difference was that usually you have a baby after 9 months!,” said Margaret. The poor woman essentially relived all the trying parts of pregnancy, without the positive end result. Margaret didn’t know what she should do and felt a bit abandoned by her doctor. The whole experience was becoming a real nightmare and there seemed little hope that anything was going to change.
After several years living with chronic hip and back pain and countless follow-up doctor visits, she realized the original diagnosis must’ve been incorrect. She finally went for an MRI. The scan made it clear that she indeed wasn’t suffering from IBS, but rather had a foot-long irregular cluster of cells resting near her uterus. The growth had the diameter of a sizeable watermelon.
After three years of near constant pain and a false diagnosis, Margaret underwent a hysterectomy, an operation to remove both her uterus and the fibroma tumor.
Margaret felt complete relief following the operation. Her day-to-day life was completely transformed. Prior to the surgery, she wasn’t able to drive more than five minutes before having to exit the car because the pain was so severe. She finally felt like her life had returned to normal.
Photos of her swollen belly are all she has left of those dark days in the past. She’s now fully recovered and feeling like she’s gotten a fresh lease on life. Bravo Margaret!