You could have a heart tumor and not even know it.

When I was 39 years old I had an experience that changed my life. I had a heart tumor. For one thing I didn't even know that heart tumors existed or that you could actually survive one. I knew about blood clots to your heart and such but a tumor, never.

It all started when I started having trouble breathing and was having shortness of breath everyday. I started taking benadryl which seemed to help but the problem was still recurring and getting worse. I was a smoker, so I started thinking that I had emphysema or lung cancer or something horrid like that. I went to the doctor and they did an EKG which seemed to look normal and sent me on my way with an inhaler because they diagnosed me with asthma. I went home.

The problem still continued and got worse, I started having very bad back aches and shoulder pain and also developed pain in my side just under my ribs so I went to the doctor once again. My pain level was increasing very quickly. This time they ran some tests and said that my gallbladder was bad and had to be removed, but that the surgery was going to be in a few days. I pleaded with them to keep me in the hospital. I was having fainting spells, I was in pain, I couldn't breath, but reluctantly, I went home. That night I collapsed at my home and my son called 911, my eyes were sunken in, my face was blue. I wasn't breathing correctly. I didn't know it then and neither did the doctors but I had a huge tumor blocking the airflow to my lungs.

Finally when I got to the hospital there was a cardiologist specialist that recognized the symptoms that others had missed. I was diagnosed with a Myxoma which is a heart tumor in the left ventricle and probably had been there since I was born. The doctor told me that most people are born with heart tumors the size of small pearls and most of the time they do not grow, in my case it grew very large. The doctor said that it was the largest tumor he had seen in a person that was still breathing. At this point I knew that I was close to death but I didn't realize how close. I had open heart surgery the next morning and the tumor was removed successfully and the color came back to my cheeks and when I woke up from surgery I felt better than I had in a very long time. I didn't care about the horrid recovery that was next, I just knew that the tumor was gone and that I was alive. Thanks to a very skilled cardiologist whom I think was an angel sent there that night.

Signs of a Myxoma

Of course the reason that Myxoma's are so hard to diagnose is that they mimic other illness's so that it makes it hard to pinpoint the tumor. If you have symptoms that I will mention below, do not settle just for an EKG, but ask for an electrocardiogram, and an ultrasound. These are really the only way to pinpoint a tumor or blood clot and doctors are reluctant to do it if they have a crowded emergency room. So be persistent, this is your health that you are concerned with, be stubborn and ask a lot of questions.

Signs and symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • back ache in neck and shoulders (pain like your back is on fire)
  • a cough that will not go away
  • fatigue
  • insomnia

I hope that I have been of some help to others out there who did not know about these tumors. Yes they are rare but it did happen to me and it can happen to anyone. I get checked every year and so far the tumor has not grown back. If they grow back they tend to grow back within the first 4 years, and now it has been 7 years for me. I have a heart murmur because of my surgery but other than that by the grace of God go I .

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Comments 20 comments

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK

Yikes! Ladyjane1, that was a close one. We need to be persistent with the medical people; we only get one body, one time.

This hub could save lives.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas Author

Hello Amillar you got me in the middle of editing my first hub. My score wasn't what I was hoping for but you are right and that is why I wrote this hub to save lives. I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK

Ladyjane1, you'll need to give your score a bit of time to build up.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas Author

Amillar I am sure that you are right. I just need to get the hang of this forum I guess. I appreciate the encouragements from insomniacs such as yourself he he.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California

Very good hub and advice. I've had similar problems and had to insist that the doctors look elsewhere. About your hubscore. I don't publish my hubs right away. I write them and let them marinate for a few days, if I can, and mostly I can. To get your overall hubscore up, visit, read and comment on others hubs. Join fan clubs, or is it follow other hubbers, so they can get to know you. Your writing is topnotch, so you'll be alright. Welcome.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you so much fastfreta, you made me feel so much better about my writing and my hubs. I will definitely take your advice. Love your name by the way.

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

Wow - never heard of this. Glad you're okay!

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you habee I appreciate you stopping by. Love your hubs

MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

All of my heart tumors have been femake related, the love that grew there mutated into something that needed to be cut but I appreciate the heads up on the real thing, and I am glad your heart is still with us.~~~MFB III

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware

Hi, MFB's poem introduced me to you and this is the first hub I decided to read because I didn't know heart tumor's were possible either. I'm glad to read you have been tumor free for 7 years now. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and posting the warning signs to look for. Those of us who have been in the ER at just the right time for a specialist to identify our symptoms always feel extremely grateful. In your case it was truly life-saving!

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you Jen I appreciate your concern and that you took the time to read my hub. I didn't know it was possible either but apparently you can have one for years without showing any signs either until it starts to affect your lungs airflow and then the downfall happens pretty quickly.Thanks again for stopping by. Blessings.

Mirandaa 5 years ago


I Had To Have An EKG Done Last Week And The Results Said That My Left Side Of My Heart Was Working More Then My Right Side Of My Heart.My Dad Was Talking About Having A Tumor Because His Side Of The Family Has Heart Problems As He Has A Heart Tumor.I Have To Go To The Hospital August 22nd For More Testings And I'm Kinda Scared Because I'm Only 13 Years Old.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 5 years ago from Texas Author

Miranda thanks for reading and I hope that everything is well with your heart. The good thig is that they are doig amazing things these days with problems of the heart so try not to worry too much..blessings to you, cheers

SammySammo profile image

SammySammo 5 years ago from Boston, MA

Thank you for the information--definitely something to watch out for.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 5 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for reading Sammy Im glad you found it useful. Cheers.

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Informative hub! Thank you for sharing! If it helps save one live it'll be worth it. I had no idea what a heart tumor was until I read this.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 5 years ago from Texas Author

Sunshine thanks for reading. I certainly would have liked to have had this information before I got really sick at least people know that things like this are definitely possible. Thanks again. Cheers.

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Dmichbrooks 2 years ago

Thanks for posting this. I just found out that I have a heart mass today. I'm so scared. But reading this makes me feel a little better.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 2 years ago from Texas Author

Im glad you found my article useful and I wish you the best of luck.

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Ellen osofsky 20 months ago

God bless you

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