This Woman Thought She Gained A Few Pounds, Then Was SHOCKED At What Doctors Discovered Inside Of Her

Brenda was gaining weight fast and feeling sick. She knew something was wrong, but wasn't ready for the shocking news doctors told her.

Gaining weight with age is only natural. After all, it's expected that most of us will put on a few pounds as the years go by because of a slowed metabolism. Most of us won't gain a third of our body weight in just a short amount of time though. So why did a woman begin gaining weight suddenly? It certainly wasn't for the reason most of us would probably expect.

Meet Brenda Cridland:

She lives a simple life in Meridian, Idaho but would find herself making international headlines for a bizarre medical condition that had her scared for her life and confused about what was going on with her body.

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It all started one February morning

when Brenda woke up and had breakfast. After eating she felt sick, but didn't feel like she had an empty stomach. In fact, Brenda reported feeling full even though she hardly had anything to eat.

As the weeks rolled by, Brenda was eating less and less, yet she was quickly gaining weight. What in the world could have been causing such weight gain without her diet being a factor?! Could she have become pregnant without even knowing it?

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Brenda didn't think that was likely because she was older and thought she had started menopause. Menopause of course is a natural process and marks the final chapter of a woman's menstrual period. It typically begins for women in their early 50s but can even start for a woman in her 40s. Weight gain is a common part of the process. Maybe that's why Brenda was gaining weight in her stomach so quickly.

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It seemed like Brenda was putting on more weight

with each week and she was constantly out of breath. She could barely eat a bite of food without feeling sick and her family members were starting to get pretty worried about what was going on.

Scared and confused, Brenda eventually decided to see her doctor. With fingers crossed, she made an appointment and hoped that her doctor would be able to get to the bottom of her weight gain mystery.

What the doctor was about to tell her though was going to be some truly shocking news.

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The doctor gave Brenda a routine physical exam

and then decided that it was probably pest to give Brenda a CAT scan. This would better provide an idea for the reason behind Brenda's weigh gain and hopefully lead the doctor to a solution that would save Brenda's health before it was too late. Brenda nor her doctor were expecting to find what they saw next.

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The doctor ruled out that Brenda definitely wasn't pregnant.

And the weight gain was not simply a side effect of menopause. So what could the reason behind Brenda's weight gain possibly be???

In just a short period of time she had gained 50 pounds, wasn't exercising, and was feeling more sick by the day. "My stomach was like a rock," she said.

This is when the CAT scan revealed why Brenda was gaining so much weight. The doctor was shocked and had some very disturbing news to share with Brenda. Here's what Brenda's doctor told her...

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Brenda had a giant TUMOR growing in her STOMACH!!!

She couldn't believe it. A tumor was the last thing she expected to be behind her weight gain and at 50 pounds it was the size of a huge bag of potatoes. Think about how much 50 pounds is, that's the equivalent of carrying around five 10-pound bowling balls in your gut every day!

Even more concerning for Brenda and the doctor were the medical risks related to the tumor. Here's what a 50-pound tumor growing in your stomach can do to your body...

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Doctors discovered that it was benign, so that meant Brenda was free of cancer, but her life was still in great peril.

The tumor was the result of a condition called endometriosis and occurs when tissue from the uterus grows outside of it. It's very painful and can lead to infertility in women.

Endometriosis can also be very difficult for doctors to diagnose, because the symptoms often imitate other illnesses. The tumor grew so large in Brenda's case that it was pushing her intestines to one side of her body and forcing her stomach up into her chest. Time was of the essence.

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Doctors knew that they had to act fast

and perform surgery to save Brenda's life. If the tumor wasn't removed it would just continue to grow and Brenda would eventually die.

Brenda prepared herself mentally for surgery and her doctor organized a team of surgeons to remove the huge tumor and try to save Brenda's life before it wast too late. Removing a tumor so large is no simple operation and requires precise skill. Would Brenda be able to survive the surgery?

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Doctors performed a two-and-a-half hour surgery

to remove the tumor that was robbing her of blood and suffocating her organs.

In the end, Brenda emerged from the surgery alive and 65 pounds lighter. Her life was forever changed. Her husband couldn't believe it when his wife walked out of the hospital. She looked like a completely different person.

'It was like, his jaw hit the floor," Brenda joked. "He's like, 'where did my wife go?"'

Brenda is glad to be back in good health and said she hopes that her story will raise awareness and bring others to be more observant about their health.