BOISE, Idaho — A Meridian woman had no idea that a 50-pound tumor had been growing inside her for a decade.
Brenda Cridland said she thought she was just gaining weight because of menopause.
"My stomach was like a rock," Cridland said.
About eight months ago, Cridland's health started to quickly decline.
"I would take one bite of something and it would make me feel nauseous and like it was stuck in my chest," Cridland said. "In February, I was at my granddaughter’s birthday and everyone was looking at me, like, 'that's not just menopause.' "
Cridland made an appointment with a doctor where she had a CAT scan and was immediately referred to a specialist at Saint Alphonsus.
"He showed me the tumor on the CAT scan and it was very scary because it was cutting off the blood supply to my brain," Cridland said. "He said probably another two weeks it would have been life or death."
After a two-and-a-half-hour surgery, the mass was gone. Luckily, it was benign.
"It was like, his jaw hit the floor," Cridland said." He's like, 'where did my wife go,' because it was like I lost more than 50 pounds," said Cridland. "I lost 65 pounds by the time I got done."
The mass was so large, Cridland said it moved her organs out of place. Doctors had to shift them back to where they belonged.
"It pushed my stomach up into my chest, he said my intestines were over on my side," Cridland said.
Cridland's tumor was caused by endometriosis, a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus.
"According to Dr. Connor, he was like, I'm surprised that no one had diagnosed you with this," Cridland said.
Cridland admits she did ignore red flags and should have gone to the doctor sooner.
And while she is recovering and healthy, Cridland hopes her story might help other women who have been avoiding the doctor.
"It's becoming more common than I realize after I had it removed," Cridland said. "I started reading all these stories about it and it was caused from endometriosis."