Vim & Vigor - Spring 2013 - University of Virginia - (Page 6)

A Heavy Weight, BY MELANIE DICK LIFTED 15-year-old Morgan Taylor has quite a story to tell her classmates. In May, doctors removed an 18-pound tumor from her abdomen. The peculiar thing is that she didn’t even know it was there. Morgan Taylor’s tumor weighed as much as 35 apples, or half a bushel At 14, Morgan was like many other girls her age. She loved swimming and riding horses, and at 5 feet 7 inches, she maintained a healthy weight. Interestingly, she hadn’t been feeling any pain or unusual symptoms, until seemingly out of nowhere she noticed some extra weight around her middle. SUBTLE SIGN OF SOMETHING WRONG “We noticed that she was dressing a little differently to cover it up,” says Morgan’s mother, Tana. “It seemed odd for her to be gaining weight around her waist and nowhere else, so we made an appointment with our family doctor, and a sonogram showed that there was definitely something there.” That “something” turned out to be an 18-pound, fluid-filled tumor that originated, for unknown reasons, in Morgan’s left fallopian tube. Though not cancerous, the tumor extended from Morgan’s left ovary all the way up her torso, displacing organs in its path and causing her ribs to expand. This kind of tumor is so rare that she had less than a 1 percent chance of developing something like this in her lifetime. Her doctors had no way of knowing when the tumor started growing or how fast it had grown, but one thing was for certain: It needed to come out. She was immediately referred to Leigh Cantrell, M.D., a well-respected gynecologic cancer specialist at University of Virginia Cancer Center. A REASSURED MOM “It is very scary to go from having a healthy 14-yearold daughter to walking through the doors of the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center,” Tana says. “It’s the kind of experience that makes you take a step back, put things in perspective and realize how quickly things can change. But Dr. Cantrell has been such a blessing. From the moment we met with her, we felt 6 SPRING 2 013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Spring 2013 - University of Virginia

Vim & Vigor - Spring 2013 - University of Virginia
Life in Balance
When the Unthinkable Happened
A Heavy Weight, Lifted
You’re the Star
Lighten Up!
Have No Fear
Work It!
Diane Keaton
What Are the Chances?
9 Symptoms Never to Ignore
When Allergies Attack
Virtual Health
UVA Club Red Celebrates
Living Way Beyond a Broken Heart
When Cancer Spreads

Vim & Vigor - Spring 2013 - University of Virginia