My PIT (uitary) Story.

                                                                       


  In honor of Brain Tumor Awareness Month, I decided to share my personal bout with a Pituitary Adenoma. If you are unfamiliar with the pituitary, most people are, it is known as the master hormone gland of the body. Although the pituitary gland is only the size of a pea , it is a powerhouse to how our hormones regulate throughout the body. It is located at the base of the brain, behind the eyes.
    I am sure this post probably comes as a surprise to most of you, even to my family. I was diagnosed with a 10mm functioning pituitary adenoma in 2008, yet to this day only a handful of people know that I have now struggled with this for over 10 years. I have chosen not to share it with many people for a multitude of reasons, that is a whole other post.
    Let's back up to how I was diagnosed.  In 2008, I was in my first semester of college and working full-time. I had yet to have a period (naturally) and I was 18 going on 19. I didn't think much of it because my mom was a "late starter" and I saw my family doctor about it when I was 16 and he basically said It was because I was undergoing a lot of stress and depression, which was true, so I took his words as truth and he put me on birth control to hopefully start regulating my hormones. That was one of the worst, uneducated decisions I've made to date.
  Unknowingly the birth control pills were actually increasing my prolactin ( produced by the pituitary) which caused the pituitary tumor to form. Not to mention the other awful side effects; weight gain, acne, mood swings , etc.. As you can imagine, It didn't take me long to stop taking those birth control pills.
    Now fast forward to 2008. Still no period, moody, and I just had a feeling that something wasn't "right" I couldn't explain it in Layman's terms. I just knew something was off. The littlest things irritated me, I hated being in the sun, hated the lights on, had horrible almost debilitating head aches behind my eye and the list goes on. One night when I was feeling overwhelmed I decided to google all of my symptoms. I literally typed in all of my symptoms into one search, lol. After reading through several articles and forums I made a personal diagnosis of a pituitary tumor. I just remember thinking I have every symptom, everything matched up. Now what do I do? I had no insurance and no family doctor.  I went ahead and took it upon my self, even though I was scared, and made an appointment with the doctor that I went to as a little girl.
        That Friday I went to our Church's healing room for prayer. I didn't write down on the prayer form anything specific. I simply wrote "pray for whatever God has for me". Mind you, I didn't tell anyone about my self diagnosis and it wasn't the first time I had went to the healing room at my church. As they were praying over me, one of the sweet ladies in the room said that she saw God reaching into my head and pulling something out. I immediately was in awe. A sense of hope and love overwhelmed me mentally. I didn't know if that "thing" she saw God removing was the pituitary tumor ,that I thought was there, or what it was or meant. But I felt hopeful.
   That next day, I woke up with fresh eyes. It was like someone lifted the darkness up over my thoughts and my metal state. I mentioned earlier that I was struggling with depression and that stemmed from my young upbringing. I remember Tim , my then boyfriend, and I going on a walk which I normally dreaded because of the sun but that day was different. I remember looking up at the sky and saying "that heat from the sun feels so good... isn't it beautiful out?"Tim thought I was being sarcastic. Normally, I wouldn't have said that.
   At the time I didn't put 2 & 2 together. Now looking back I realize God took my depression away. Something so dark and everyday debilitating, something that hindered the life that he so graciously gave me ... he gave back to me. I could go on and on into detail but I'll save that for another time.
     The Monday after I went to the healing room at church I had my doctors appointment. I went in explaining my symptoms and everything that I had researched. He knotted his head as I explained and said, "I think it may just be depression. I'd come back when you are married and want to have children, it doesn't seem like a concern right now". My eyeballs almost popped out of my head, I thought you have got to be kidding me! He said the prolactin blood test is $74 and I think you'd be wasting your money. I politely replied, "I think I'd like to waste my money".
          A week later I had a voicemail on my phone from the office nurse . In a very chipper voice she said, "Just as the doctor suspected your prolactin is over 900 ( normal range is 0-23) therefore indicating a Pituitary Adenoma. These are usually non-cancerous tumors. Give us a call back to set up an MRI appointment" .
   In that moment it was like time stood still. My body went into this surreal state. I was at work that day. I walked upstairs and told my boss with a blank face about the call. She asked "do you need to take time and leave for the day?". I immediately said no and walked out the front door, lol. I went outside and called Tim, my then boyfriend. His response was " what, you are going to be okay". At the time I didn't understand his response, I was looking for a different kind of compassion. But that response increased my faith in the weirdest way. I was used to my family finding out about a problem and it was the end of the world. Gossip and negativity spread through my family faster than the speed of light (or what it seemed). But Tim's faith " you are going to be okay" gave me hope. Positive reinforcement. Child-like faith.
    I thought to myself, if he can boldly speak out my result , I much rather stand with those words vs the words of defeat. I asked him years down the road why he responded that way and he said, "It wasn't questionable, I knew you were going to be ok, I just spoke the truth".
    About a month later, I had the MRI scan of my pituitary. It came back that I had a 10 mm prolactin secreting tumor located on my pituitary gland. From there I went to an endocrinologist that started me out on a medication called Bromocriptin. I ended up having little success lowing my prolactin levels with it. He then put me on a medication called Cabergoline. Both of these medications are dopamine agonists. Cabergoline seemed to be working great but boy was it expensive! I mean $1000 a month for the dosage that I needed. Even though I was working full time I was only making minimum wage and that wasn't cutting the bill. I started ordering my medication from an online Canadian pharmacy per the recommendation of my endocrinologist. Although the medicine was still ridiculously expensive it was two hundred dollars cheaper than what I was paying in the states. During this time I was humbled to my core by the outpouring by a couple unnamed individuals that were clients at my work. I had a random $100 bill on my desk  every month by someone who wished to remain anonymous. I also had a client that was a nurse and I had spoke to her about what was going on just for some general feedback about the condition itself . After our conversation , she handed me her checkbook and told me to go order my medication. I ,at the time, was extremely prideful in the respect that I didn't want anyone doing anything for me without me earning it. I was raised to work for what I had and if not, I didn't have anything. There was NO way I was ever going to be a charity case, or so I thought.
    It was in these times God showed me his grace and his unmerited favored, that I didn't have to work for everything, including His Salvation. He alone is my provider, he alone is my faith, he alone is my health, he alone is enough. I was shook to my core and  humbled. Still to this day all I can do is laugh with gratitude because the grace of God that was shown and is continued to be shown in my life. I went through so many stages in the last ten years. Denial, fear, rejection, anger, jealousy, humility just to name a few. I plan on sharing more about what my eyes have been opened to and how my relationship with Jesus has continued to blossom.
   Just for the record I don't believe that God "made me" sick but I do believe he allowed it. I believe everything goes through his hands. I also believe that he healed us all on the cross and when he said, "It Is Finished" it WAS finished. All sickness and disease. Now I'm sure you're probably confused thinking ... then why are you writing this talking about your sickness? I believe that just like getting "saved," A.K.A asking Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior, is a change of mind. A change of the way you think or perceive something. I once was blind but now I see. It is simply a change of mind. That is how I view what he did on the cross. I choose daily to recognize what he did on the cross and believe what he said. Not denying the physical (symptoms)  but recognizing that God is not a liar either. I am not about to sit here and give more power to sickness in my life over the one who holds the world in his hands. For instance if the crayon is blue but yet you continue to believe its green... to you it is green. But it is truly blue. It is perception. I hope I am coming off transparent, I could go into greater detail of what I am trying to get across but you'd be reading this for the next month. Unless you're a speed reader like my Nana, ha.
      Eventually,  my prolactin platued at 430. Don't get me wrong, I was grateful that it went down but paying $1000 a month on medication and it wasn't going down further was a bit discouraging. I almost forgot to mention the side effects of the Cabergoline were almost unbearable. I talked to the doctor and he said that I could go ahead and go off the medication and see what it does and come back when /if I had symptoms that were bugging me or when I was married and ready to start a family.
   Meanwhile, the little researcher in me set out on google once again. I spent countless, sleepless  nights researching. Until I came across a blog, ihaveprolactinoma.blogspot.com,  by a woman name Shy. I instantly felt connected to  her in so many ways.
It was like finding someone who understood you without even meeting.
Her blog was filled with a timeline of her journey with the prolactoma.
She had tried traditional medication without much success and began a journey with holistic
medication (essential oils) . I was intrigued. I began researching the oils she had been blogging about and even e-mailed her with a list of questions... Way to introduce yourself right, Ha. She was extremely generous and helpful.
 A little while after that, I decided to mimmic her regime. It had been working for her so what did
 I have to lose besides the pesky tumor?
        To this day I still have a strict essential oil regime.  I am not on medication
currently. I actually just went to the doctor for the first time since 2010. I found an amazing
Integrated Medicine Physician that has been wonderful so far.
  I would be lying if I wrote that some days are not hard because they are. It's not even days more like times. I
There are times when my hormones try to take over and my emotions are everywhere but where I want them.Somedays my body physically feels like I have been beaten. Somedays I feel a loneliness that feels like my only friend. There are many sleepless nights,many. I often even feel robbed of my dreams and goals.But in the midst of those PIT moments, I continue to make the choice to believe someone greater than myself.
    I simply wanted to write this post to share a glimpse into my PIT but I am here to tell
you the PEAKS in my life far out way the PIT. I say that with gratitude. I don't have this all
Figured out nor do I claim to. What I do know is that Christ is the solid rock  in which I stand.
 I say that with confidence because I know without him... I can't stand.
      Just as the pituitary is a small gland with mighty power , so is a mustard seed and that is all the faith we need.
I wasn't planning on typing this post tonight but I hope in some form or fashion it is an encouragement to you.
        I plan on breaking down this journey and sharing a lot more in the future as I feel led.
As I mentioned above, I used to be in denial. I didn't want anyone to think something was
 wrong with me. I've since learned that was pride. I never wanted to give the problem attention.
I've since realized you have to shed light in the dark; If not, no one will notice it and will always
 be trying to find their way out.

                                                               










#graymatter #gograyinmay #prayformay #peakoverpit




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