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Crystal (Crystal), Pituitary Bio

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Hi, my name is Crystal and I’m new. I’m a 35 yr.old mother of a 5 yr. old with more energy in her little pinky than I have in an entire day and I’m married to an amazing man, who makes living with this possible.

I was finally diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease (excreting pituitary tumor). In April 2017. I had the typical doctor who didn’t believe me so I took it into my own hands and figured out what I thought was going on….Cushings without a doubt in my mind.

So I went to a naturopath and asked her to order me a 24 hr. urine test and when she got it she said I need to go to an endo asap. I had already made appointments with two, one being at OHSU in Oregon with one of the best pit. teams in the US. I only live 2 hrs. away and am sooo lucky for that. I know many people have to travel much further to get the best healthcare for this.

Anyways, the endo I saw in Portland looked at me and immediately and said I had a very cushoid appearance and that we needed to do about 6 tests in the next two weeks. I did the tests, then had to do an MRI, which showed a 5×4 tumor in my pituitary gland, next was an IPSS to make sure it was 100% pituitary and not ectopic coming from somewhere else in my body. Once this was all confirmed I was scheduled for surgery in June.

As my surgery date approached, my symptoms got significantly worse and I finally called my endo to tell them. The nurse told me I had to deal with it until surgery and that there was nothing tI could do about my symptoms. Within 5 minutes of hanging up the assistant to the neurosurgeon called and told me surgery was being moved to the following week which was four days away. I had the transsphenoidal surgery about 6 weeks ago and my cortisol dropped to 0.6 in less than 24 hours after surgery. The neurosurgeon said I was technically in remission and although I’m happy, it seems to good to be true after the last couple years I’ve had. I came to this site looking for information on recovery. I know everyone is different and I was warned a little bit about it, but I’m pretty miserable and very curious how others recoveries are going.

Thanks, glad to be here. Crystal

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LisaG, Ectopic Cushing’s (Golden Oldie)

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golden-oldie

 

Diagnosed April 1997 with Cushings. They figured it was about 9 years in coming to a head. Started with the weight gain then disc problems (surgery), problems with my teeth breaking, acne, facial hair all the good stuff. Kept changing my hair color as something just wasn’t right but eventually realized it was my skin color darkening.

Took a trip to NYC in Feb of 1987 and swelled up and turned yellow during the trip. Went to the Dr when I got back and they tested me for Hepititas (sp?) and AIDS. Dr asked me if I had been using steroids. Changed Dr’s due to a change in my health insurance.

I talked to her for about 10 minutes about all my symptoms and she said “You have Cushings”. She sent me to an endo at Portland Diabetes Clinic. He got me in to see Dr Cook up at OHSU (Oregon Health Science Univ) and he scheduled the Petrus Sinus Sampling. From that they determined it was an Eptopic tumor.

They started doing Catscans and MRI’s until they found a small lung tumor. I finally had surgery in Sept 1987. The months leading up to that surgery were pretty scary. I ended up being pretty heavily medicated by the psychiatrist I started seeing. I think for me the mental and emotional symptoms were as bad or worse then the physical symptoms.

I’d like to say that’s where this ended but…alas. I started experiencing the same symptoms again and went to the Dr again in April of 2005 and was again diagnosed with Cushings. I am back with Dr Cook and am awaiting the results of the second Petrus Sinus Sampling.

Update October 26, 2006

2nd Sinus Sampling again was negative so again have an Eptopic tumor. After about 4 months gave up looking and decided on a BLA. Since my surgery in Sept 2005 until today Oct 2006 I have lost 60 pounds and my Cushing look is starting to fade. I take my medication without fail and have stayed with my new healthy lifestyle. Still looking for my eptopic tumor, it hasn’t decided to be found yet.

To all those not yet diagnosed or “cured”, Hang in there. If you aren’t happy with your doctor, find a different one. Also, don’t wait for someone else to tell you about your disease. Research!! Hope my next update will be for my tumor removal.

 

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Mary (Mary), Pituitary Bio

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golden-oldie

 

I am 38 and had three transphenoidal surgeries for Cushing’s.

I had a CSF leak with the 2nd and when they went in to repair it and look for more tumor my remaining pituitary gland was necrotic and I lost the whole gland.

That did not cure my Cushing’s so I went on to have a laproscopic adrenalectomy followed quickly by galbladder problems and appendicitis. Dr. Ludlan, Deleshaw and Sheppard at OHSU worked with me. I had my pituitary surgeries in 03 and my adrenals and other 2 surgeries in 04.

I have not been able to return to work as a nurse and feel thie surgeries have greatly reduced my quality of life. I would love tro talk with other people.

I have two adopted kids from China as a single mom who are 12 and 13.

I know have problems with fibromyalgia and arthritis.

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ORKitty, Pituitary Bio

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Another Golden Oldie, this bio was originally posted 01/22/2008

Hi, I’m ORKitty. I live in Portland, OR, with my wonderful husband and kitty. I just turned 50 in 2005.

I began this journey quite possibly 17 years ago when I had some isolated panic attacks and then suddenly had panic 24 hours a day. I also kept crying and didn’t know why. I was eventually put on Xanax and then found a psychiatrist who put me on the anti-depressant imipramine and weaned me off the Xanax. It worked well for both the panic and depression for about 10 years. I gained some weight which I attributed to the anti-depressant. During this time I was still able to work and ran my own home-based business for 3 years. About seven years ago my anxiety worsened and my psychiatrist added Klonopin to deal with it. About this time I began gaining even more weight.

Due to a terrible (and terrifying) experience with a doctor, I developed a real phobia about seeing doctors. I managed to overcome this in early 2003 and have a large lump on my neck examined. An ultrasound showed normal tissue, but while I was there the doctor took my blood pressure at 160/100 and then decided to do an EKG. She found an abnormality and sent me to a cardiologist who diagnosed me with severe cardiomyopathy (next step dead). I was put on medication and had regular echocardiograms every few months and each one showed more improvement.

In fall of 2003 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and began taking Levoxyl, increasing by very small doses because it seemed to increase my anxiety every time I upped the dose. At the same time I was taken off the imipramine because there was some concern that it may have contributed to my heart problems. As my thyroid meds increased I began to lose weight and began having serious digestive problems including constant diarrhea. I had burning sensations in both arms, edema in both legs and my periods stopped. After some misdiagnoses and some doctor abuse I was finally found to have gallstones and had my gallbladder removed in April of 2004. I had hoped this would clear up the digestive issues, but that wasn’t the case.

After the surgery I noticed that my depression was getting much worse. By July I found that I couldn’t stand to listen to music or watch TV without getting anxious and upset. I was also feeling like I was in a fog and had racing, looping thoughts. I had trouble with reasoning and memory. My psychiatrist began prescribing a variety of medications, none of which seemed to help any of my symptoms. Things were so bad that I became suicidal for the first time in my life.

I finally persuaded my doctor to do a CAT scan to see what was wrong with my digestive system. Nothing showed up there but they found a uterine/ovarian mass and an adrenal adenoma. My doctor didn’t tell me about the adenoma until a later visit when she mentioned it in passing, saying it was nothing to worry about.

Oregon Health Sciences University.

Oregon Health Sciences University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That was when I saw my first endocrinologist hoping to get help with my thyroid and an explanation of what was going on with my adrenal gland. He did a 24-hr. urine collection and my cortisol was high (200). He did an 8mg Dex test and I didn’t suppress completely so he sent me to Dr. Cook at OHSU who did a CRH/Dex test. The results were somewhat ambiguous, but he decided that the most likely source was the adrenal adenoma and recommended having the gland removed. I had that surgery in December of 2004. The day of the surgery I developed phlebitis in my right arm starting at the site of the IV. My arm became red and swollen from wrist to shoulder and all the superficial veins in that arm clotted up and disappeared. Ten months later I still can’t have blood drawn from that arm.

In the months after my surgery my heart went back to normal and my cholesterol and blood pressure improved, my periods came back and the burning sensations lessened. My legs were still swollen and suddenly became very red and hot. Doctors suggested it might be cellulitis or vasculitis. After 10 days of antibiotics the redness went away and a few months later the edema did, too. An ultrasound of my legs showed a thickened vein in my right leg that suggested there might have previously been a blood clot there. The mental fog slowly improved but I’m still not back to where I was. The anxiety and depression did not improve and have even gotten worse.

I planned to have the uterine mass removed after the adrenal surgery. This would be a total hysterectomy and my surgeon feels that my blood clotting problems need to be treated before the surgery. He is 99% certain that it is not cancerous since it hasn’t changed in over a year so I have the option of having the surgery when and if I choose. Of course there is a very slight chance that this mass could be the ACTH source.

Dr. Cook wants to do the IPSS before the MRI of my pituitary but this clotting problem needs to be dealt with before we stick 3-foot catheters in my veins. Plus I am running out of arm veins for the IVs.

Right now I’m waiting for my doctors to decide how to deal with this clotting problem before I can get the IPSS done.

I had a follow-up visit with Dr. Cook in September of 2005 and he ran all the tests again including the CRH/Dex. Since we thought the adrenalectomy had cured the problem, we were both surprised when my ACTH did not suppress. Dr. Cook wants to do an IPSS to see if the source is ectopic or pituitary. As I mentioned above, there is a slight chance that the growth on my uterus and right ovary could be the source of the ACTH. Neither my Gyn surgeon nor Dr. Cook feel that this is very likely, but it does make having the IPSS even more important than it would normally be.

Linda, Pituitary Bio

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I Am 52 yrs. old . My sympmtoms began when I was 40 yrs. old. I was at at a yearly physical.  I was extremeley athletic. I used to ren 70 miles a week. when I was 17 to 19… dopamine I believe kept me well.

One year prior to my  symptoms ..I was 39. I was very fatiquiged..my children were suffwering. They were 6  and 9.  They are now 17 and 20.  I feel I stopped raising them at this age.  If any of you have seen the Sting  the movie with Paul Newman obbserve that he  dunked his head in ice.  I was at Lincoln city , Oregon when I attemted this. procedure. I say procedure and I didn’t even know a tumor was forming on my pituairy gland. Who kneew? Not me. It didn’t even occur to me that a growth was growing in my brain!!

I went from 135lb to 265lb. in 3 months. I was so frightented!!!!!!!!!! My doctor told me to go to an encronologist…very important DOCTOR!!! Most doctors do not have the slighist idea what Cuhing’s is ..Dogs ,horses, and PEOPLE get it. Some doctors are either dumb or totally ignorant. The    E. doctor said it looked like I had Cushing’s syndrome. I then made him fall off his chair in laughfter! My family and I recently put a family dog down with Cushing’s disease. I wanted to know if it was contagious?? No, he said wiping his eyes from laughing. He appologigized when I started crying.. I wanted to know how I got it. My dogs was in the adrenal glands. Fatal. We said goog-bye to BUDDY>> My doctor said he hoped I did not have the same dianosis.

After thousands of dollars later..Thank goodness we had great West insuanarce..Get it if you can. Covered everything 100 percent. Discovered a benign tumor on my left pituiary gland. They removed it through my nose . I also had my 9th sinus surgury. It was also from my left nostril. I got fake diabetes. It went away when I left the hospital. The weight started dropping with the help of a nutrisionist. I was taking hydrocortisone. pills.  I lost 65 lbs. A few years later my head started  hurtimg worse.

After One day of test at a major University OHSU I was diagnosed again with the same tumor . but 3x’s bigger . Surgery through my mouth.  Weight came back and some. I asked what my options were? #00lbs, heart attack and death. They told me to remove my adrenal glands. I did. I now have diabetes ,I take 200mg. because my thyroid is so large. Guiess what?? My immunec system is nill.

I wanted to be healthy I loved bananas… get what I got ?? I got the e-coli scare with the spinacach in the bag. E.R. 3 weeks . Everyone in yellow smocks..  No visitors! June 2007… I lost 40 lbs. I was going out to lunch with my husband saw double.  Uncontrollable votimiting… E.R. Encronologist. or family doctor. After driving 90 miles an hour 45 minutes away we arrived. I was talking all the way through it . No pulse ..I said am I dead? My doctor said Shut up. No heartbeat. I said am I dead yet? She said shut up agin. I wass vvvvvvvvv teching. I said where are the cameras for HOUSE the t.v. show. I sell novelty neck ties my huband Allen just so happenned to be wearing a Bug’s Bunny tie…I guess you know what i said ..What’s up doc??

The Paramedic behind me was 2x’s larger than my husband He said I was going to the hospital. They put me in the ambulance. Allen asked my husband if he wanted to come . He said he would follow. When they closed the door Allen said if you feel anytjhing  hit my knee. 10 seconds later I hit his knee as hard as I could. I felt an elephant!! If you want me to tell you what death is ask me. I died for 5 seconds. plus I was clinically dead at the doctor’s office. My potassium level was7 normal is 4.2 to 5. If anyone has seen Austin Powers drinking poop quadruaple it    I attempted to drink it.  Started vomiting it. A Doctor was walking by…USE ANOTHER ORAFACE!!!! The butt. I was drowning. Needless to say , my children were screwed up again.. I called the oldest Brandon ,the youngest Nathan and a very nice gentleman if i wasn’t married I would marry him…SHAROn 14, MEGAN 11 and ALLEN!! I now take fludocrt and hydrocortisone @ 4:00 P.M.  everydyt. If I miss two consecutive days I will die.

I am also Bi polar I feel their is a correlation with Cushing’s disease. I take Depacote etc. 12 more pills plus hydrocortosone in the morning too! I Have 2 books at home Manic Depressive Disorder. By Fredrick Goodwin and Jay Jamison. Worth reading. Stated Cushing:s disease is derived and assossiated with bipolar. I believe I have been bi polar from birth.  Only episodes  I had as a child…TRAUMA!!!!! I now have addison’s disease too! What else could go wrong?

By the way, I have a theory  bipolar is assosiated chromosome 13.  I also think cancer is a virus. Hit or miss. Cushing’s is fatal i not treated properly. Adrenalectomies are the worst . Take Vicatin .I threw it at my husband I did not want to get addicted to it like House. I used ice 24/7. I won’t go into the detatails it was bad. If you do get one , move I used a swifter, and a cane. No wheel chair or death for me!! I’m a fighter!!

 

Thank you for allowing me me to tell my story. I want to write a book about my experiences. I hope there is a publisher out there so I can get my Life story across!!

 

Sincerely,,

 

Linda

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