"I am feeling much, much better and so much lighter," said Turner, a woman from Bloomington, Illinois, who was treated in Chicago. "I had no idea the way that I felt wasn't normal. The red flag was that my belly kept getting bigger, even though I didn't have an appetite."
Turner returned to Chicago Friday and shared her story at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she had surgery in August 2017. She spoke Friday afternoon, along with Dr. Ajay Maker, the surgical oncologist who performed the operation.
Turner's story started three years ago, when her stomach began to grow. It was the first sign of trouble.
"I knew something was wrong," she said.
At first, Turner thought it was bad genetics. However, as the days passed, her appetite diminished. She could barely eat more than a half sandwich at once.
According to the medical center's news release, she began to visit physicians, including Dr. Maker. The doctor solved the mystery - a 20-pound tumor in Turner's abdomen.
The operation took 3 and a half hours to complete. The tumor was so large that surgical staff members purchased a container from a local hardware store to transport the tumor, according to the news release. The tumor was taken to the pathology department for further testing.
Eight months after surgery, Turner was ready to talk about her experience. She wanted others to learn from her lesson too.
"If there is anything I can share with others about my experience," Turner said, "it's to always follow your gut instinct."