It took doctors in Portland, Oregon three operations and over two months to remove a 140 pound cancerous tumor growing near the stomach of Linda Rittenbach.
Rittenbach, who has struggled throughout her life with her weight, had been told by doctors that she needed to lose weight. However, no matter what diet or workout she tried, she was unable to lose the weight. When she went to a different doctor for flu-like symptoms, she learned of the tumor.
According to Dr. George Tsai, "The type of tumor that wound up being extracted was extremely rare." The tumor, a rare form of liposcarcoma had likely been growing for 15 to 20 years.
According to Rittenbach, her doctor told her she had two choices, "I could either live or die. And I had a 20 percent chance if I had the surgery. And if I didn't have the surgery, I would die at home where my family would find me, and I didn't want that."
During the surgery, doctors had to remove both kidneys. However, they were able to put one of the kidneys back.
Now, as the healing process continues, Judy Evanoff, a friend, says that Rittenbach is even back to "driving herself around" again.