Mary Clancey of St. Clair, Pennsylvania, is thankful for the quick-thinking decisions of her doctors who discovered a serious medical condition that could have potentially ended her life.
A 140-pound cancerous tumor was removed from the 71-year-old grandmother in a five-hour operation on Nov. 10, 2016, after her son urged her to seek help.
“Things started getting harder to do -- harder to walk, harder to stand -- and then one day I couldn’t get out of bed,” Clancey said. “My son said, ‘Let’s call an ambulance and take you out of here.’”
Although Clancey described herself as “getting a little plump” over the last 15 years, she had no idea it was due to a tumor slowly growing in her abdomen. It wasn’t detected until doctors at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, did a CAT scan and realized an ovarian cyst had grown into a Stage 1 mass. At the time she weighed 365 pounds.
“The results of Mary’s CAT scan are permanently engrained in my mind,” Dr. Richard Boulay, chief of gynecologic oncology at LVHN, said. “The mass was so big it didn’t even fit in the picture of the scanner -- I had never seen anything like it.”
Prior to the discovery and as she was gaining weight, Clancey said doctors told her just to watch what she ate. Just over 5 feet tall, she said she felt destined to become “a short round, fat little old lady.”
But as a result of that surgery, she lost 180 pounds of tumor and tissue -- about half her body weight, the doctors said.
Made up predominantly of water, the tumor was “slippery and nasty,” Boulay said.
To help in the removal of the tumor, a second operating table had to be moved next to the one on which Clancey was lying so the mass could be rolled out without it rupturing, The Morning Call reported.
Clancey was under the watchful eye of LVHN doctors for 26 days after the procedure. She is now back home in good spirits.
“I was going to be a short, fat, round little old lady before, so you never know, I might just turn into a voluptuous babe now,” Clancey joked.
The hospital posted a video on YouTube documenting her medical journey.
The team at LVNH who took care of Clancey are happy to be a part of this success story.
“When someone like Mary grabs your hand a couple of days later and says, ‘Thank you for giving me my life back,’ it doesn’t get any better than that,” Boulay said.
The doctor said Clancey has no need further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation.