A woman from Victoria, Texas, underwent several rounds of chemotherapy, only to find out that she never had cancer to begin with, reports CBS’s Houston affiliate, KHOU.
Herlinda Garcia, 54, was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal breast cancer after she had a benign tumor removed from her left breast. Through the next seven months and eight rounds of chemotherapy, she felt her body and mind deteriorating.
“Everything was swollen,” Garcia told KHOU. “I lost my eyebrows, my eyelashes. It’s really hard. I can’t explain how I felt. It’s like I was in a dream.”
Certain that her life was coming to an end, the part-time civil process worker gave away most of her belongings and wrote a bucket list.
"I just wanted to give up on everything," Garcia said.
But when she decided to seek help for her growing anxiety at Citizens Medical Center, a series of scans revealed a new reality: Garcia never had cancer.
At MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, a second opinion confirmed what doctors at Citizens Medical Center had discovered.
“I was happy, but at the same time, I had anger,” Garcia said. “The damage had been done.”
For her pain and suffering, a Victoria County jury awarded Garcia $367,000. Garcia said she hopes her experience will lead others to always seek a second opinion.
“I know I’m never going to feel the same because of what I went through,” she said. “It changed my life.”