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‘Filipenses 4:13’

“You have a tumor,” my mom said as I lay on the emergency hospital bed. I felt my heart drop down to my stomach and saw my life nearing its end.

It was early August and I was about to start my senior year of high school. I was diagnosed with a benign tumor in my right ovary, which means it was not cancerous.

A few days before I was checked into the emergency room, I was feeling sad, overwhelmed, hopeless, had random crying spells and suicidal thoughts. I felt as if my presence on this planet was useless and I was just a grain of sand in the galaxy. I wanted to die.

It wasn’t until after I was diagnosed with the tumor that my doctor told me I had symptoms of maternal depression.

The tumor I was diagnosed with was actually a twin of mine that slowly developed throughout the years in my right ovary. The doctor said it was rare to see cases like this.

I had a fetus in fetu. My body naturally thought I was pregnant and reacted as if I were. I would even throw up several
times a day for no reason. My mother would get after me, thinking I was actually pregnant, but I knew for a fact I was not.

My mother realized something was wrong when I almost fainted. I felt dizzy and everything around me appeared bright and blurry. I was pale and started to sweat like a pig. I was immediately rushed to the emergency room.

“Are you high? Or on any drugs?” the nurse asked me. “Because you’re eyes are dilated.” Of course I was not. I was then checked into a room and scheduled to receive a CT scan.

I was given an injection before the CT scan and, as a side effect, my neck started to swell and I struggled to breathe. All the nurses came inside the room and gave me another injection that would reduce the inflammation. I didn’t know what to think other than, “I don’t want to live anymore. I hope this is my last day here.”

It was after my CT scan that I got diagnosed with a tumor the size of a potato.

“We might not be able to keep your ovary, but I will try my best,” my doctor said.

A C-section surgery had to be done early the next day to remove it. I was unable to sleep that night.

After the surgery, my doctor showed me photos of the tumor. I couldn’t believe it had a small form of what could’ve been a hand. It was disgusting to know that I had that in my body all these years even though it could’ve been my twin.

I was told that my tumor was going to be used for research because of its rarity.

At that point, I didn’t care what they did with it or me. My depressive and suicidal thoughts remained.

I had a needle in my left arm for 48 hours.

“If you feel pain, just press this button to release the codeine. Only press it once or twice an hour,” the nurse said.

I pressed the button 14 times before I completely knocked out. I slept from noon to 10 a.m. the following morning.

After being at the hospital for a week, I was able to go back home, but missed an entire semester of high school. I was,
of course, flooded with many visits, bouquets of flowers, and “get well soon” balloons from family and friends.

My depressive symptoms disappeared after several days, but I had to put a lot of effort into it. I still have minor pregnancy-looking stretch marks around my stomach region and the scar from the surgery. To this day, I can remember
every minute of this event in my life.

The whole experience made me realize several things about life: depression exists, I am one of kind and people are only present when you are nearly dying.

I hadn’t seen my dad and several family members in years and they actually came to visit me.

At the time, I somehow felt I had been saved by God because there were several times when I wanted to end my life but
did not accomplish it. Two years later, I got a tattoo that reads “Filipenses 4:13”

on the lower right side of my stomach as a reminder of the Philippians verse in the Bible, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Sometimes I fall back into sadness, but I look at myself in the mirror and think back to this event. I know I am strong
and can overcome anything.

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