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A mother-of-one was shocked to discover that what she had believed to be a second baby on the way was actually a tumour.
Sandra Lundry and her husband Garrett, from Kansas in the US, believed they were about to become parents for the second time, but weren’t due to see a doctor until she was 12 weeks along.
According to KSNT News, Sandra was experiencing typical pregnancy side effects such as vomiting.
However, just before her first doctor’s appointment she lost a significant amount of weight, prompting concern.
During the appointment, Sandra’s doctor was unable to hear a baby’s heartbeat.
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This led to the heartbreaking revelation that the baby bump was actually caused by a tumour.
Sandra said: “They tried every source to be able to find the heartbeat and they couldn’t find it.
“And I knew at that time that, I was like, ‘This is not normal’. At 12 weeks, you should be able to hear the heartbeat pretty immediately.”
What Sandra was experiencing was actually a molar pregnancy.
“So we did a sonogram and they actually discovered what was called a complete molar pregnancy, which is pretty rare,” she recalled.
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This occurs when an egg and sperm “join incorrectly” at fertilisation and create a noncancerous tumour, the Cleveland Clinic explains.
Typically the tumour can’t support an embryo, which is what happened in Sandra’s case.
In rare cases, molar pregnancies can lead to severe life-threatening consequences such as cancer and sepsis.
After learning she wasn’t really pregnant, Sandra underwent surgery to remove the tumour.
However, the tumour returned and became cancerous.
Despite treatment the tumour returned several times, even extending to her uterus and lungs.
Sandra underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and a partial hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus).
She said: “We decided to do a hysterectomy in June of 2022.
“Complete chemotherapy, so doing two more rounds, I believe, finishing in August of 2022.
“And so I just hit my one year of being chemo and cancer-free.”
Sandra is now sharing her story to help others overcome adversity.
She said: “I never expected to go through any of this.
“It’s not like anybody wakes up one day and thinks, ‘Today…I’m going to beat cancer. I’m going to go through all these things.
“I think you just take life as it comes and then you make the best of it.
“And I just want my story to be something that people look at and know that they have the ability to go through that and do it too.”
Some people do not experience any symptoms of a molar pregnancy.
However, symptoms can include:
- Vaginal bleeding within the first three months of pregnancy
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Grape-like cysts coming out of your vagina
- Preeclampsia (extremely high blood pressure)
- Abnormally high HCG levels
- Abdominal swelling
If you experience any symptoms you should speak to your GP.
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