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In Memory: Deloreese Daniels Owens

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in-memory

March 16, 2002

Deloreese Daniels Owens, daughter of “Touched by an Angel” star Della Reese, was found dead at her Los Angeles-area home Wednesday. She was 41. The cause of death was not disclosed, but Owens suffered from a pituitary dysfunction that made her prone to infections.

From 2002:

“Touched By a Pituitary Tragedy”

Actress Della Reese has spent the last eight years starring on the hit TV series “Touched by an Angel.” But earlier this year Reese, 71, was touched by tragedy. In March, her 42-year-old daughter, Deloreese Daniels Owens, died from complications stemming from pituitary disease. Owens left behind two children, ages 19 and 21.

Understandably, Reese has been too distraught to discuss her death, but in an interview with the Pituitary Network Association member and author Ken Baker, Reese talked about the painful experience, sharing her frustration with the lack of awareness and knowledge of pituitary disorders. “When it happened, I thought, ‘It’s such an odd thing to die from,’ because pituitary problems aren’t something you hear about,” Reese said. “It makes it harder because you don’t understand what happened. It seemed so strange and hard to explain. It still is, to be honest.”

Reese said that her daughter’s pituitary gland — the body’s “master gland” — had begun malfunctioning about six years ago. Her Los Angeles-area endocrinologist prescribed various medications, but, still, the gland’s functioning was severely impaired. She continued with hormone injections and other drugs. “She had been treating it for some time,” Reese said. “It seemed fine and the medication seemed to be enough.”

But Reese said her daughter’s death came suddenly this spring soon after her daughter caught a cold. “Her gland stopped — period,” she said. “As you know, when the gland stopped, her immune system stopped too.” Reese believes strongly that the public must have more information about pituitary disorders. She praised Ken Baker for his 2001 book, “Man Made: A Memoir of My Body,” in which he told the story of his battle with a prolactin-secreting pituitary tumor. Reese also applauded the educational outreach efforts of the Pituitary Network Association, which has helped thousands of patients and their loved ones cope with pituitary disease. “People need to know more about the pituitary,” she said. “It is so important.”

Despite the tragedy, Reese, an accomplished gospel singer who has moonlighted as an ordained minister since the late 1980s, has found spiritual peace with the loss of her daughter. “She was in a very good place in her life,” Reese said. “She was happy. She had established a relationship with God. It wasn’t a good time for me, but she was at a good place when she left.”

Remembering Sue Koziol (SuziQ)

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When I opened up my phone this morning, I saw the reminder that this is the anniversary of Sue’s passing. She was such a good friend to so many here and so many Cushies worldwide.  It’s been another year. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss Sue.

When I see a catalog with flamingo items, I’m reminded of Sue.

We took the picture below during a trip to Barbados in 2004.  At the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

sue-flamingos

 

 

We got matching hats.  Since she died, I’ve never worn mine again but it is next to my front door, ready to go…

 

Sue2004

 

Sue loved Barbados.  I’ve renamed the back patio “Sue’s Garden”.  I often “check-in” there on FourSquare and I’m thinking that other folks in the area wonder who in the heck Sue is and why she has a garden in Barbados.  LOL

sues-garden2 sues-garden

 

At Sue’s last Cushie Weekend in Rockford, IL – 2006

rockford

 

We planned to go back to Barbados in August 2006 but Sue couldn’t hold on that long. :(

When she was sick for the last time, I got her her very own SuperSue bear with her name embroidered on the back of the cape.  She loved it but it wasn’t enough…

 

SuperSue

 

I’m sure that many of the new folks here never got to meet her, but you would go well to go back and read some of her old posts. She was always so encouraging to all of us.

RIP, Sue.  We miss you!

From http://www.cushings-help.com/memoriam_koziol.htm

Sue Ann Koziol (SuziQ)

Sue Ann Koziol (SuziQ)

Sue was born in Michigan on August 08, 1946 and passed away on March 12, 2006 at the age of 59.

She was a very special friend to Cushies world-wide. We will remember her always.

There was an online memorial for Sue during the Cushing’s Awareness Day Medical Forum in Oklahoma, April 5-8, 2006. For more information, please visit this topic on the message boards

To light a candle or read/post a tribute for Sue, please go here: http://suziq.memory-of.com

To read more about Sue’s journey, please click here: http://cushings.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=14655

 

maryobeachbuddies

In Memory: Erica Michelle “GaGa” Meno

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in-memory

Erica was a fellow Cushing’s Disease survivor. She had been through pituitary surgery, radiation, and a BLA in an effort to receive her cure.

I didn’t know her myself, and I don’t know if she was a member of the Cushing’s Help boards but it’s so depressing to know that we have lost another so young from the damage done by this horrible disease.

Erica’s official obituary: http://thomasjustinmemorial.com/tribute/details/575/Erica_Meno/obituary.html#content-start

Erica Michelle Meno returned to her heavenly home on March 6, 2015. Nicknamed, “GaGa,” she was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was 38 years old. She graduated from Sycamore High School, Northern Kentucky University and Eastern Kentucky University. Erica had a zest for life and just loved being with her family. She loved sports of all kind and loved to cook. She was an avid reader and volunteered much of her time and many years at The Ronald Mc Donald House.

In addition to her family she had a great love for her pets especially her lively dog, Chesney. She is preceded in death by her grandparents Anthony and Mary C. Meno and Joseph and Katherine Terzo and Aunt, Karen Meno and Uncle, Bruce Ficke.

She is survived by her parents Michael and Mary Meno, devoted brother Ryan Meno and sister-in-law Melanie, loving niece and nephew, Leah and AJ Meno, her aunts and uncles: Frank and Terri Terzo, John Terzo, Judy (Terzo) and Chris Tocatlian, Victoria Ficke and Teri Zingale, cousins: Joseph and Kristen Terzo, John and Lesli Terzo , Amanda (Terzo) and Mike Stewart, Dominique and Natalie Tocatlian, Kati (Terzo) and Chris Mottershead, Dana (Terzo) and Omar Qureshy, Joe Granato, Kelly Ficke, Alex and Melanie Ficke, Vincent, Sam, and Remy Zingale. Erica was deeply loved and will be missed and remembered by many friends and family. Visitation will be 9am until time of Mass of Christian Burial at 10am on Friday, March 13th at The Community of the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 8815 E. Kemper Road, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45249.In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations may be made to the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Erica’s memory.https://www.rmhcincinnati.org/help/donate/donate-online or you may also donate by check, made payable to RMHC – Greater Cincinnati, and mailed to Ronald McDonald House Charities, 350 Erkenbrecher Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229. Thomas-Justin Memorial serving the family. – See more at: http://thomasjustinmemorial.com/tribute/details/575/Erica_Meno/obituary.html#content-start

~~~~~~

Some of the comments from other Cushies:

My condolences to Erica’s friends and family and to our Cushie community.I too am afflicted with Cushings and a part of me dies every time I lose another fellow Cushie!The world just got a little bit dimmer without her beautiful soul!May she rest in peace and may her memory live on.She was a wonderful person.

~~

Dear Meno family, My name is Melanie and I’m a survivor of Cushing’s Disease. Your daughter and I corresponded a few times on a message board dedicated to this disease. Please accept my heartfelt condolences at the loss of your beautiful daughter. Every time a member of our Cushing’s Family leaves this earth it sends a wave of sadness throughout the world-wide members who live with this disease daily. The tribute you’ve written about Erica is lovely and indicates what a beloved daughter of God she is and how special she is to you and your family. I believe our lives continue on in the next life and believe Erica is now free from pain and sorrow. May God grant you peace and comfort in the days ahead. With love,

~~

My prayers go out to all who knew and loved Erica. Having had surgery for Cushing’s Disease and dealing with it’s consequences myself, I am inspired by her strength and determination to keep pushing forward for her cure. My heart aches that she was taken so early, and I pray she can now rest from her struggles and is at peace.

~~

I wanted to express my sincere condolences to Erica’s family and friends at this difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Sadly I never got a chance to meet Erica in person, we met though Bobbi Phillips on FB. We both have Cushing’s disease or as Erica called us Cushies and there aren’t many people that understand, it was a comfort to have someone that does. I will miss hearing from her, she will hold a special place in my heart. God Bless Erica!

~~

 

Lor, Pituitary Bio

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golden-oldie

From Tuesday, June 9, 2009

9-07

COLON SURGERY: 1’ colon removed (pre-cancerous pulup/tumor removed.)
10-07

HEAD/NECK/SHOULDER/THROAT PAINS: hundreds of daily: “pops” in neck, terrible stabbing pains in base of skull, throat, shoulder, with hundreds of random screams of “ouchhh” daily for months. Tests or Treatments tried: chiropractors, ibuprofen, hot packs, x-ray on neck normal, physical therapy, MRI on neck normal
1-08

BODY JOLTS & INVOLUNTARY MOVEMENTS START: electric jolt sensations and myoclonic type jerks and involuntary movements – mostly when relaxed. Movements will stop if I get up and move around. These come with or without loud screams, gasps or other vocal noises. Tests or Treatments tried: EMG normal, MRI of head and normal, pain meds no help, oral steroid by Physiatrist no help,
1-08

SLEEPING PROBLEMS: wake up every night and sometimes stay awake for many hours – happened entire 2008, but 2009 was better.
2-08

MOUTH/JAW/TONGUE START: randomly the tongue tingles or twtiches, the jaw & cheek have pain (like someone is pulling off my face), the mouth/throat/tongue/and/or gums get ice cold, the mouth waters for hours. Tests or Treatments tried: more blood work normal, except a 7x higher than normal inflammation which neuros said had to be a lab error. Got steroid shot in head where the stabbing pain is. EEG recommended due to small seizure like movement when injecting the steroid.
4-08

MUSCLE TWITCHES START: randomly, different muscles twitch, hundreds of times daily (it is like body is making popcorn). Tests or Treatments tried: took a coupld stress free vacations. (I now its not stress related anyway but since the doctors cannot diagnois me, they don’t know what else to think. No help – same symptoms. Seen Neurologists with no answers. Got another steroid shot in head.
8-08

KNEE POPPING STARTS: just like neck from 10-07, one day it started to “pop” with pain hundreds of times daily. This made it hard to walk for months. Tests or Treatments tried: knee x-ray-normal and a special Lymes Blot test in California = negative.
11-08

Another Neurologist: Repeated inflammation test=normal.
12-08

Rheumatologist ran more blood test=normal
OTHER SYMPTOMS IN 2008-2009:

INVOLUNTARY MOVEMENTS / TWTICHED CONTINUE

ALL MOUTH SYMPTOMS CONTINUE

GASPING FOR AIR (take in a huge gasp of air, happens randomly, a several times daily)

LEG WEAKNESS / PAIN

INSIDE ELBOW AND MIDDLE FINGER, LOWER BACK AND BIG TOE PAIN

FATIGUE

HIGH PULSE 130+ doing nothing

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE 145/97 average

HEART HURTS (just occasionally)

EAR ACHES/RINGS (CT of sinus area was normal)

NIGHT SWEATS (occasionally / only on head/neck area)

NECK HUMP

SKIN (acne, ichy, sweaty)
1-09

Tests or Treatments tried: Tried depression pills for 2 months with no help. I do not believe I have depression/anxiety issues though.
3-09

Tests or Treatments tried: Went on another fun trip to Disney World – had very strong symptoms most days
3-09

WEIGHT GAIN: (necklace didn’t even fit because my neck / stomach is getting fat).

Cortisol level checked and was high, so Endo specialist was recommended).
5-09

DIAGNOSED WITH CUSHING’S

4x6mm tumor on pituitary and high cortisol level. Scheduled for consult/surgery at Mayo in July.
7-09

UNDIAGNOISED and called Borderline Cushing because symptoms not are typical of Cushings.

They reviewed MRI – says its either a tumor or a rathke’s cleft cyst

CHEST XRAY – normal

EKG – normal

EMG – normal

ENT Dr. – normal exam – cannot explain mouth symptoms

COLONOSCOPY

MAMMOGRAM

DERMOTOLOGY – skin cancer diagnosed, shaved and treated

MRI on neck & spine- normal

EEG – normal

CERVICAL SPINE MRI – normal

MOVEMENT LAB: my movements don’t fall into the myroclonis catagory because I move faster than 100 milliseconds (?), even though they are a split second movement

SENSORY PROVOKED POTENTIAL NEUROLOGY LAB – normal

DEX SUPPRESSION & CRH & CORTISOL TEST, did not suppress, and had high and normal cortisol

OTHER URINE AND BLOOD TEST

PARANEOPLASTIC PANEL blood work – results show striated muscle antibodies which is either a neuro, myasthenia gravis, or a hidden tumor so get a lung scan recommended
9-09

LUNG/ADRENA CT SCAN: did not show lung tumor but showed enlarged or nodules on both adrenal glands
10-09

blood test & urine- (did 24 hr urinary metanephrines and fractionated catecholamines and blood aldosterone concentration and renin activity – all normal) (cortisol at highest end of normal)
11-09

new MRI – same as before
12-09

new CT of adrenals – no change. Await new results of striated muscle antibody test.

Dr recommends I wait 6 months to see what changes.
6-10

bi-lateral neuro angiogram confirms Pit. Cushings
Pituitary Surgery May 12, 2010
Back to work after 2 weeks. Its been 1 month since surgery and muscle pain and weekness is gone, heart pounding gone, high blood pressure down, but still have unusual symptoms such as involuntary movements and mouth symptoms. Still have enlarged adrenals.

 

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Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2015

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Not a bio but folks who write bios might like to participate!

 

awareness

 

The Cushing’s Awareness Challenge is almost upon us again!

Do you blog? Want to get started?

Since April 8 is Cushing’s Awareness Day, several people got their heads together to create the Fourth Annual Cushing’s Awareness Blogging Challenge.

All you have to do is blog about something Cushing’s related for the 30 days of April.

There will also be a logo for your blog to show show you’ve participated.

Please let me know the URL to your blog in the comments area of this post or an email  and I will list it on CushieBloggers ( http://cushie-blogger.blogspot.com/)

The more people who participate, the more the word will get out about Cushing’s.

Suggested topics – or add your own!

  • In what ways have Cushing’s made you a better person?
  • What have you learned about the medical community since you have become sick?
  • If you had one chance to speak to an endocrinologist association meeting, what would you tell them about Cushing’s patients?
  • What would you tell the friends and family of another Cushing’s patient in order to garner more emotional support for your friend? challenge with Cushing’s? How have you overcome challenges? Stuff like that.
  • I have Cushing’s Disease….(personal synopsis)
  • How I found out I have Cushing’s
  • What is Cushing’s Disease/Syndrome? (Personal variation, i.e. adrenal or pituitary or ectopic, etc.)
  • My challenges with Cushing’s
  • Overcoming challenges with Cushing’s (could include any challenges)
  • If I could speak to an endocrinologist organization, I would tell them….
  • What would I tell others trying to be diagnosed?
  • What would I tell families of those who are sick with Cushing’s?
  • Treatments I’ve gone through to try to be cured/treatments I may have to go through to be cured.
  • What will happen if I’m not cured?
  • I write about my health because…
  • 10 Things I Couldn’t Live Without.
  • My Dream Day.
  • What I learned the hard way
  • Miracle Cure. (Write a news-style article on a miracle cure. What’s the cure? How do you get the cure? Be sure to include a disclaimer)
  • Health Madlib Poem. Go to : http://languageisavirus.com/cgi-bin/madlibs.pl#.VPGZQlPF9A8 and fill in the parts of speech and the site will generate a poem for you.
  • The Things We Forget. Visit http://thingsweforget.blogspot.com/ and make your own version of a short memo reminder. Where would you post it?
  • Give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them. Bonus points if you provide a visual!
  • 5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories.
  • The First Time I…
  • Make a word cloud or tree with a list of words that come to mind when you think about your blog, health, or interests. Use a thesaurus to make it branch more.
  • How much money have you spent on Cushing’s, or, How did Cushing’s impact your life financially?
  • Why do you think Cushing’s may not be as rare as doctors believe?
  • What is your theory about what causes Cushing’s?
  • How has Cushing’s altered the trajectory of your life? What would you have done? Who would you have been
  • What three things has Cushing’s stolen from you? What do you miss the most? What can you do in your Cushing’s life to still achieve any of those goals?
  • What new goals did Cushing’s bring to you?
  • How do you cope?
  • What do you do to improve your quality of life as you fight Cushing’s?
  • How Cushing’s affects children and their families
  • Your thoughts…?

Sheara (sbailey), Pituitary Bio

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golden-oldie

 

I started back in Jan 08 with a heart arrythmia that ultimately put me through weeks of cardio testing. All cardio came up negative, including passing the stress test at 110% for my age. I went back to my PCP and she was deadended with answers.

I started to advocate for myself asking if it could be endocrine since I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease(a type of Hypothroidism) in 2002. In particular I asked her if she thought my adrenal system was the culprit. My doc said well let’s check cortisol levels. I did a salivary cortisol test that, according to the endocrinologist my doc spoke with said, was the highest he had seen.

They ordered up an MRI and confirmed a Pituitary Tumor on June 27th. My doc reacted quickly and had me go for an emergency eye exam that day to check visual fields…they were fine. Then my doc had me do urine and dexamethasone testing to see if cortisol levels could be duplicated.

Early July I had a phone call from my doc stating that since the other tests for cortisol came back normal they felt I had a non-functioning tumor but still wanted me to meet with a neurosurgeon. Finally on Aug 5th I met with the surgeon.

In the meantime I had been reading whatever I could get my hands on. I was prepared with many questions to the surgeon. Before I was in the room talking with him for 15 min. he mentioned Cyclic Cushing’s as a possibility. He had me repeat the salivary testing for 5 days…all came back normal. So the opinion remained that I may have Cyclic Cushings or can watch the tumor and symtoms or I could have the tumor removed for peace of mind.

I opted to have the surgery. to remove the tumor. Last Mon. Sept 29th I had Transsphenoidal surgery to remove the tumor. On Fri. Oct 3rd the neurosurgeon called with the pathology report results being that it was an ACTH(aka Cortisol) and Prolactin Tumor. He was vague to make a formal statement to agree that it was Cyclic Cushings.

So I am home on the mend 1 week post op…glad I made the decision to go forward with tumor removal. The medical system is curious though how they appeared almost afraid to make any formal opinions. Although the surgeon did state that Cyclic Cushings is difficult to diagnose. In my opinion, the evidence is in the pathology report!

Maybe it is my imagination, but I already feel like my “old self” back 10 yrs. ago. The other bit of history for me is that after my hypothroidism was diagnosed and I was stabilized on Synthroid and Cytomel I could never get weight off and in less than 6 months in 2005 I gained 40+lbs. No matter what I tried to do for weight loss I could not budge more than 5 lbs. I am now anxiouis to see how I do. I meet with the neurosurgeon in 5 weeks. He and possibly an endocrinologist will be following my health. Time will tell but I do feel I am on the right track.

Thanks for listening!

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Elaine, Undiagnosed Bio

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golden-oldie

 

 

 

Hi my story is so much like all the others that I have been reading on this site.

For the last several years I have been feeling bad, I am tired all the time. I have gained 50 pounds. I have always had a low body temperature and feel the cold more than most people;however in the last 3 years or so I can’t take extreme heat either. I am always either too hot or too cold. Sometimes I sleep for 12 hours and other times I do not sleep at all.

This year I have had people tell me that my personality has changed I am much more aggressive than before. I also look bloated around the face and belly. People keep asking me am I pregnant because my stomach is huge!

In the last 12 months my hair started to fall out. I got an peptic ulcer, been diagnosed with slow digestion, sleep apnea and arthritis of the spine. I used to be able to walk 4 miles in 40 minutes but now I can barely walk a mile. My short term memory is bad and getting worse all the time. I find it really hard to focus. I have had 2 upper respitory infections in the last 10 months which is unusal for me. Also I have dermatitis on my back which just started 4 years ago.

I thought maybe I had a thryoid issue so I went to my GP who sent me for bloodwork. She tested my TSH, T3, T4, ACTH and Cortisol. My TSH’s came back normal (2.7) but my ACTH and Cortisol is high. I don’t have diabetes or high blood pressure although my stress level is through the roof most of the time. Anyway my doctor thought that the ACTH and Cortisol was too high and she asked me if I was getting more headaches. I have always suffered from migraines but in the last couple of years the headaches have gotten worse. She thinks I may have Cushings disease.

My doctor was so concerned that she is sending me for an MRI and I got to a referall to an endo who I will see in two weeks. I will post an update as soon as I know something.

 

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