No one would tell her what was happening to her body, and the doctors just dismissed her like she was crazy – how could they say this wasn’t serious?
But finally, another opinion revealed what was going on – and for a second she was relieved to know the truth. But what it meant opened up a brand new chapter of anxiety.
At 24 years old, Keely Favell wasn’t really in a position to get pregnant. She had been with her long-term boyfriend Jamie for years, but they were always so careful and the home test showed negative.
The health-conscious woman’s belly was swelling way beyond normal levels. But Keely had a very good reason for not wanting to see a doctor.
“Having grown up with my dad as a doctor, I had become a bit of a medical coward, so the hospital was not my first option,” Keely said.
But eventually, Keely plucked up the courage – and it went as badly as she’d imagined. One doctor told Keely she should take another pregnancy test, and the other said something she couldn’t help but take offense to.
Keely spent a lot of time at the gym and eating healthily because she was passionate about being in shape – so having a doctor tell her she needed to lose a few pounds just didn’t make sense.
But more than that, it made her want to burst into tears. She worked really hard to stay fit. How dare they tell her she was putting on weight? But the reality of the situation became clear on a shopping trip.
Keely was embarrassed to admit it, but she just couldn’t get the button to close on the jeans she was trying on. Her belly had swollen to such a size that people in the mall were asking her when she was due. She wanted to scream.
Her tummy was also becoming hard and sensitive to the touch. Keely had lost all hope that this would just go away, because it was only getting worse.
Keely had now gone up eight dress sizes. At this point, Keely just told people she was pregnant because it was far less embarrassing than saying she didn’t know what was happening to her.
After her initial experience with the doctor, she was more reluctant to go back to the hospital than she was to go in the first place. But when she passed out at her desk at work, she really didn’t have a choice.
“It was a tough period at work, so when I passed out, the doctor put it down to stress,” said Keely.
Without a doctor’s note, Keely had no choice but to continue going to work, despite her now enormous size which made her look nine-months pregnant. She was forced to buy clothes at the maternity store. Then the doctors asked if she’d been taking acne medication.
Keely was already embarrassed about her appearance, and now the doctors were blaming her spots for her humiliating situation.
At this point, Keely knew the doctors she was seeing weren’t going to give her a realistic answer, so she buried her anxiety and asked her dad to recommend a specialist. As it turns out, she should have done this way sooner.
The doctor understood that she wasn’t pregnant based on her previous tests, but insisted on an ultrasound so they could see exactly what was going on inside her belly.
Keely could tell something was very wrong as she watched the doctor’s expression. “I saw her eyes widen in horror. The look on her face said it all. Jamie did his best to reassure me but I felt paralyzed with fear.”
Keely wasn’t pregnant. The traumatized young woman was suffering from a 10-inch thick cyst that was connected to her stomach.
Within a month, Keely was sitting with a high-risk obstetrician to talk about the different options available to them. “I’ll never forget the look of shock on his face when the consultant examined me,” she said. “He said I had a large ovarian mass and the only option was surgery. He couldn’t say what it was exactly, or how big.”
“He warned me there might be more than one and they could be attached to other organs,” said Keely. It felt like she was signing her life away, even though she knew that her only hope was to get surgery.
While her surgery was supposed to only take 90 minutes, five hours went by as everyone waited with bated breath.
The 60-pound cyst was successfully removed – it weighed about the same as seven babies! Having lost half her body weight, Keely was finally ready to live her life again. “I lost sight of how difficult even simple things like driving a car or walking up stairs had become,” said Keely. “Losing my lump gave me back my life.”
Wow! Can you imagine carrying the weight of seven babies in your stomach for so long?