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Tucson woman making "amazing" recovery after 47.5 pound tumor removed

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Marcey DiCaro is amazing everyone with her quick recovery and her attitude.

She's making what her doctors call an amazing recovery, after they removed a huge tumor from her body.

The tumor weighed 47.5 pounds.

"I had all kinds of stuff going on. My belly stuck out so that I looked 12 months pregnant. I was--I just didn't have the energy that I once had and it was really zapping me in a lot of ways," DiCaro says.

The tumor was also causing a lot of pain.

A CT scan revealed the tumor a few years ago.

Doctors were concerned that eventually the tumor would invade more and more organs and eventually kill her. The problem was DiCaro had no health insurance, and with a pre-existing condition, she could not get any of the help she needed.

Doctors say DiCaro would need more than surgery to remove the tumor. They say, without long-term care, her life would still be in danger. 

So the tumor continued growing.

Then, along came the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. DiCaro says she is eternally grateful.

"Because the clause said you have to allow people to have insurance even if they have pre-existing conditions. That allowed me to get a plan," DiCaro says.

The surgery, done at University of Arizona Medical Center in April, took ten hours. The tumor had surrounded DiCaro's right kidney, so doctors had to remove the organ.

The tumor also had damaged the inferior vena cava, the vein that carries blood from the lower body to the heart.

Doctors had to rebuild it.

The tumor was taking up a lot of space inside DiCaro's body.

"I mean, even before surgery I know it's big. But then once you remove it, I say, wow. That's really big," says UAMC Abdominal Surgeon Dr. Tun Jie.

Dr. Jie says the surgery was challenging, to say the least.

"Trying to move this tumor without sacrificing other important organs like the intestine, the arteries, the liver," Jie says.

DiCaro's heart stopped more than once during surgery.

She says she's grateful to her medical team. Her doctors are amazed by her.

"One thing that's amazing to me is how quick she actually recovered. I mean given the extent of the surgery. I think it's all good for her," says Dr. Jie.

DiCaro says, "What can I say? I just knew I was coming back."

She says the little things mean so much now.

"Today I had a massage and for the first time in three years, I could lie on my stomach."

DiCaro continues to recover and keep that positive attitude.

She believes it, and her involvement in natural healing and the support it brings, are why she's doing so well.

Asked if she thinks this is all a miracle.

She says, "Absolutely."

"I just feel like I have a new lease on life and I'm not going to dwell on the possibilities of things coming back or, you know, what else negatively can happen," DiCaro says. "I will do everything to keep myself healthy and vibrant and alive."

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