I woke up to find I’d lost two stone overnight!

I woke up to find I'd lost two stone

by take-a-break |
Updated on

Beth had lost weight, so why was her belly ballooning?

weight loss after cysts

Yawning, I stretched out on the sofa.

‘I’m thinking about doing the couch-to-5k challenge,’ I said to my mum, telling her about the running plan for beginners.

It was lockdown, and my hours at my cover-supervisor job had been cut.

Now, I was bored and stuck at home.

A few of my co-workers had done it, and I was keen to try it.

I was 5ft 4in and a size 18, but my weight had never really bothered me.

My boyfriend Kyle and I had been together since secondary school, and I wasn’t insecure.

But I wanted to do something productive with my new-found free time — and getting fitter seemed perfect.

To my surprise, I really enjoyed it.

And it was good to have something to keep my mind off my recent health issues.

I’d developed terrible acid reflux, and my periods had become irregular.

My doctor prescribed me medication for the acid reflux.

weight loss after cysts

And when I stopped taking the Pill, my periods evened out too.

As far as I was concerned, I was back to normal.

When lockdown lifted, I decided to keep going with my weight-loss journey.

I joined a local gym and started working out three days a week.

In a few months, I’d lost over a stone.

But though the number on the scales was dropping, my stomach was still beachball-shaped.

One day, I’d just come home from work when I found Mum in the kitchen.

‘The neighbour just asked me if you were pregnant,’ she said. ‘She wanted to know if I was going to be a grandma!’

‘That’s so embarrassing,’ I cringed.

Although I wondered whether I could be, I didn’t take a test.

‘It doesn’t make any sense,’ I said. ‘Why is my tummy still so big?’

'It doesn't make any sense'

My mum rubbed my back sympathetically.

‘I had an ovarian cyst when I was pregnant with you,’ she said. ‘I think it’d be worth finding out if you have the same thing.’

Deciding it was a good idea, I booked a GP appointment.

In the consulting room, I did my best to explain the situation.

As the doctor examined my stomach, I could see she was growing increasingly concerned.

‘You need an urgent blood test and a scan,’ she told me.

She booked me in for the tests that same day.

Though I was pleased to be doing something about it, I was also very nervous.

Two days later, my phone rang.

‘Hello, Beth,’ said the doctor. ‘I’m sorry to tell you this, but we did a test for cancer antigens and the results are higher than they should be.’

She said she’d refer me to a gynaecologist straightaway.

I burst into tears as soon as she hung up.

weight loss after cysts

‘Don’t overthink it,’ Mum soothed as I sobbed down the phone to her.

It was two weeks until my appointment with the consultant.

Before the appointment, the hospital rang to give me some more news.

‘The scan revealed you’ve got two very large dermoid cysts on your ovaries,’ said the doctor. ‘The larger one is 27cm in diameter. It’s not surprising you were getting acid reflux with that pressing on your stomach!’

Looking down at the bulge in my stomach, it all made sense.

I had a mass the size of a basketball in my belly.

But if I hadn’t lost weight, I might never have even noticed the cysts.

'We've removed three cysts'

I was very anxious by the time of the consultation, but luckily the doctor managed to reassure me.

‘We won’t know if they’re cancerous until we operate, but it’s unlikely to be anything really dangerous,’ she said.

She told me they’d book me in for surgery as soon as possible.

That August, I had a holiday to Greece booked with my boyfriend Kyle.

I was desperate to be well enough to go.

So I kept calling the hospital, hoping that a surgery slot would open up.

And two months before our flight, I got lucky — an appointment was available.

My parents drove me in, though Covid restrictions meant they had to leave me at the door.

At 23, I’d never had an operation in my life, and I was panicking.

But the surgeon calmed me down.

‘We’ll either drain the cyst or remove it,’ he explained.

It wasn’t long before I was sedated for the operation.

When I woke up in the recovery ward two hours later, I was groggy but not in pain.

‘We’ve removed three cysts in total,’ he said. ‘The largest was two stone — it was the biggest I’ve ever seen.’

I gasped. The giant cyst weighed the same as a toddler!

weight loss after cysts

I was disgusted when the nurse showed me the photo — the cyst was enormous and covered in blood and veins.

It was like an alien growing inside me!

The surgeon said there was no way of knowing how long it had been there.

‘I’d love to lose weight that easily!’ he laughed.

He was right — when I looked in the bathroom mirror, I was stunned at how trim I was.

Now I knew why all my time at the gym had seemed like it wasn’t paying off.

Weight loss after cysts

The surgeon advised me that since I’d had dermoid cysts, there was a good chance of them coming back.

‘If you want to have kids, it’s probably better to do it sooner rather than later,’ he said.

‘We had to remove your right ovary during the procedure. If it happens again, you could lose your left,’ he said.

It was a stark warning, but I was glad the cysts had been removed before they got any bigger.

I’d read that if they burst, they could have killed me. It was a frightening thought.

After a two-night stay in hospital, I headed home.

My dad and brother came to pick me up.

Back on my bathroom scales, I’d discovered I’d dropped from 14st 6lb to 12st 5lb overnight!

Despite this, it was one diet plan I never wanted to repeat.

For the next two months, I dedicated myself to my recovery.

Too much exertion might have burst my stitches, so I rested as much as possible.

And I was super-excited for my holiday to Greece — I even brought my first bikini.

Kyle and I had an amazing holiday.

weight loss after cysts

Relaxing by the pool, I felt more confident than I ever had before.

Now it’s been a year since my operation.

My six-month scan revealed I have two new small cysts on my left ovary.

Currently, they’re each only a couple of centimetres across.

The hospital will just need to monitor them to make sure they don’t get any bigger.

I’d always planned to wait until I was older to have kids, but I know I might have less time than I thought.

I can’t believe my bloated tum that made me look pregnant was hiding a cyst.

Hopefully my next baby bump will be the real thing!

Beth Smith, 24, Corby, Northamptonshire

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us