Friday 27 July 2012

a twist in the tale of two teratomas

Try saying that 10 times as fast as you can.

This is one of those weird stories you might read about in the side column of the ninemsn page or perthnow. Like the story of the unidentified animal that washed up under the Brooklyn Bridge that sort of looks like the spawn of satan.

                                                            spawn of satan article

About 2 weeks before christmas in 2005 i discovered i had a teratoma (or mature dermoid tumour) on my right ovary. These are the types of tumours that they probably based the 'Alien' films on. Enormous things that contain hair, teeth, bone, and the occasional fetus.

                                                                  'alien' teratoma

Even though the odds of getting one are more than 100,000 to 1, over the last 6 years i have met 3 other people who have had one. The first 2 were children who had much smaller versions of them in their brain, but the third one was discovered while having coffee with one of the mums from school. Hers is the most unusual story i have heard involving a teratoma. She had a 3kg whopper (which was also weird because mine weighed 3kgs) on her lung when she was 19. Imagine the pain and discomfort of having something like that on place that you are supposed to use to breath. Then having it happen when you really should be out partying and giving your parents something else to worry about.

It was bad enough imagining my operation, with my intestines sitting on the outside of my body while the surgeons unravelled that grotesque monster of a thing that had wound it's way around my organs. This poor girl had to have all her ribs broken to get hers out and then months of pain and physio to put her back together again. Humpty Dumpty has got nothing on her.

Now i'm not a betting woman, but i would never put money on the odds of two women meeting at their daughters school, then getting on well enough to start going for coffee, then bringing up in conversation the term 'teratoma', only to find out that they had both had one that weighed the same amount when it was removed. Spooky!