DIETS can be tough – especially if you’re not getting the results you want.
Getting on the scales and gaining weight had become a usual occurrence for Jaimi Conwell.
The 28-year-old had been trying to lose weight for years, but to no avail.
She tried keto and other low calorie diets before visiting her doctor in March 2021.
It was then that she found out the true reason she couldn’t lose weight – a 20lb tumour with hair and teeth growing in her ovary.
Jaimi, who lives in Texas, US said she had started to gain weight rapidly in the two years before the tumour was discovered.
After experiencing nausea when she bent over to tie her shoes, she put it down to her weight, which at the time was close to 18st.
She went to her doctor who took her bloods, and it was discovered her white blood cells were abnormal.
“I was placed under anaesthesia, but was with my mum who I made a proxy so she could make any decisions for me.
“The doctor came in and told her I had a massive tumour in my abdomen that had engulfed my right ovary.
“He asked if they could remove it and my mum agreed, so I had the tumour along with my right ovary removed.”
After waking up, her mum told her about the tumour and said the doctors were unsure whether or not it was benign.
“I was in so much shock, that I can’t remember how I was thinking or feeling at the time.
“At one point though, I remember thinking: ‘Am I going to die? Did I even live the life I wanted to?”, she said.
Jaimi decided to have her right ovary removed as tests showed the tumour was dangerous.
She was diagnosed with a teratoma tumour – a slow-growing tumour that had been growing her entire life.
As the tumour weighed 20lbs, it is believed that it overtook all the nutrients she was giving her body in order to grow.
What is a teratoma tumour
Teratomas have been the subject of intense fascination among scientists because of their sometimes strange qualities – some have been reported to contain hair, teeth, bone and, very rarely, more complex organs such as eyeballs.
Thoughts about the origin of these tumours have attracted much debate.
“Teratoma” comes from the Greek word “teraton,” meaning “monster”. They are seen most commonly in children and young adults.
Teratomas are made up of tissue from all three germ layers – mesoderm, ectoderm, and endoderm – that occur during the formation of an embryo.
Although teratomas can occur during embryonic development, most arise much later in life.
Teratomas occur most often in the midline of the brain, therefore often obstructing and putting pressure on critical areas of the brain. This can lead to loss of basic functions, but this loss can be temporary — until the tumor is removed or reduced in size.
Teratomas are commonly very solid and rubbery making them resistant to dissection with standard instruments.
She said it was like ‘having three kids inside you’.
“It was also growing teeth, which was an absolute shock.
“It also grew hair and I think that was more disgusting for me than anything.
“They said it could be due to a number of things and as my mum, grandfather and aunties are twins, maybe I had a twin in my mum’s womb.
“At first, I thought that [having my right ovary removed] meant that I couldn’t have kids and I was devastated. All I have ever wanted was to have kids and start a big family.
“I was so depressed and crying all the time, until I saw my OBGYN [Obstetrics and gynaecology] who assured me that all my hormones and eggs will go to my left ovary.”
Now that the tumour has been removed, Jaimi has returned to her diet and fitness regime which includes healthy eating and exercise.
She has since lost 7st 5lbs and now weighs 10st 7lbs.
Jaimi has documented her journey on social media.
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