My story starts at the age of 18, right after I graduated High School in 2003. Just a few weeks after I was done with school my dad passed away at the age of 38 and from then on, I started to gain weight non- stop. I went to my doctor in town and was told to eat right and exercise, which I did, but it did not matter, I still gained weight. I gained over 100 pounds in 6 months! I would buy new clothes and couldn’t get into them the next day, all I wanted to do is cry. Then one day at a checkup my doctor said that he was reading about Cushing’s Disease and that it sounded like I might have it, so we did all the testing and it came back positive. The stress from my dad passing away brought all the symptoms on a lot faster.
After I did my MRI in 2003 they found a tumor on my Pituitary Gland. So in 2004 I had my first pituitary surgery trying to get all of it but unfortunately a few months later I found out that it didn’t work and it was growing back. I had my 2nd pituitary surgery in December of the same year but as soon I woke up I had a feeling it didn’t work, and it didn’t. I had gone through all the options with my doctor and the next step was to remove my adrenal glands to stop producing cortisol. I had them removed in 2005, which now causes me to have Addison’s Disease, but that option still didn’t work like we had hoped it would. The next option was to do Gamma Knife Radiation, which I had done in 2006 and finally something worked to help with the disease. After the radiation I lost almost all the weight I had put on and was feeling good but then in 2008 I started having other health problems, so I had to quit working. In 2011, I found out from my yearly MRI that I had another tumor growing on the other side of my Pituitary Gland. I went to the doctor to find out my options; they were to do another pituitary surgery to try to get the new tumor or try Gamma Knife Radiation again. Well, I went with the Gamma Knife Radiation again and had it done in July of 2011.
I just had my 1st MRI since the last Gamma Knife and it was finally good as new, the tumor was not growing anymore! It was the first good checkup in so many years, I cried. After all the stuff I have been through, it has made me a stronger person and has made me who I am today. I’m thankful I’m still here even though this isn’t the life I thought I would have. I have to say thank you to my family for always being there for me, especially my mom Kim and my brother Eric. I don’t know what I would have done without them. Mom goes to every appointment with me and is always there if I’m having a hard day from all of it. I really don’t know what I would do without her by my side, there’s nothing I can do that’s big enough to say thanks for everything she has done.
Newsletter: Summer, 2012