Saturday, December 5, 2015

Pituitary weekly-a hairy subject

 It really is a hairy subject.

Photo credit:

 One of the icky things about having an adenoma is that I get facial hair. Thick, black facial hair. I've given many estheticians extra monthly income over the years due to having to be waxed once a month. Laser hair removal won't work, according to one dermatologist I saw about it, until the hormonal aspect is under control. Therefore, I wax....

 I've been made fun of by family for this issue many times. They acted as if I could control my facial hair and tell it to go away and never return! I remember one time in particular about 5 years ago when my sister called me after seeing me the night before to tell me how horrible my facial hair looked. (Never mind that she brought her drunk boyfriend to dinner to introduce him to us and my mother kicked him out of the house...) I was done right then. I was done being nice to someone related to me who could be so cruel about something that I tried hard to control.

 My half Mediterranean genes don't help much here either. Another Mediterranean person with the same hairy issue as me was joking that we should just blame our genetic makeup, as we all get hairy. As much as me?

 That's why I wanted to hug the breast surgeon in 2012 after she mentioned the words pituitary adenoma. I was smiling as I Googled them that evening. You can have bad facial hair with them! Yay! There is hope!

 I can't even begin to tell you the psychological crap that has come from bad facial hair-that has also spread to my arms now, by the way. And not just with my family, by the way. It really makes you want to have primary doctors be better educated about all this instead of wondering if people think you have a beard. This is a serious problem.

 Therefore, I wax....

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ask For Help

 I hit my limit last week-and learned a valuable lesson in the process.

 I think the garage fiasco, among other things, did me in. I really do. There were so many things going on with that when finally, I hit the breaking point.

 The breaking point came last week. My boss ended up pulling me aside and, without going into detail, mentioned that she was concerned about me. She allowed me to go home early. As I was driving home, I thought about what she said. She was right. I was concerned also. Some things will come of that.

 And then, my dad ended up in the hospital. Their dog got loose and went for a stroll down to the next street. Fortunately, Dad chats with the neighbors who spotted the dog and immediately got her. When they went to pick her up, my 80-year-old father lost his balance and hit his head on the block wall fence of the people who had her in their house. (I'm sure those people were thrilled...) Dad ended up in the hospital for a few days, which was another headache.

 I told my sister she needed to visit and help with driving Mom back and forth from the hospital. (The hospital wasn't the closest one to their house. It requires freeway driving, which won't happen with a 77-year-old woman with Macular Degeneration.) After all, it's Thanksgiving week and she had the time off. Therefore, she can help out when your elderly parents need it, right?


Lessons came from this week though. One in particular.

Ask for help.

People are willing to help out. I got a call from my aunt up north telling me that all I had to do was ask for help and they would make a trip down. My uncle offered to help with driving. Even when I hit another breaking point on Turkey Day, I got help/feedback I needed from a friend.

 Ask for help.

 That's hard to do. After all, I feel I should be there all the friggin time for my parents since they've done a lot for me. My unhelpful sister told me this a few years ago, which is true. How helpful am I though when I'm at my breaking point? The answer: none. I am no help to them whatsoever if I'm an irritable mess with them-and they probably wouldn't want me around like that anyway.

 There are other resources for my parents, which a friend made note of the other day. For free. (Mom specifically asked that. Lol. Gotta love my frugal parents who shouldn't drive anymore...) I'm not obligated to be a servant to my parents. I do want to respect them and be a decent daughter though.

 Which means I need to ask for feedback. I need to ask for help.

 Why is it hard to do?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

And then, my garage caught on fire....

 One way to get a small dose of anxiety is to have something catch on fire-like my garage.

 My garage caught on fire last week. :( The fire department report says it's faulty wiring from a light fixture, even though the property manager mentioned some weird stuff to me. Needless to say, it was a stressful week.

 The fire department got there pretty fast, so the fire is well contained. However, there is structural damage, so I can't use the garage for a little while. Lovely.

The fire department had to use the jaws of life to get into the garage...

 Yoga here I come! 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pituitary Monday: Anxiety Central

 Another one of the lovely side effects of a pituitary adenoma seems to be anxiety. :(

 (I can say the word "seems" only because the online groups I'm in for this tumor seem to have scads of us worried about something every minute.)

 I was trying to think of a way to describe what my anxiety feels like. This was the first thing that came to mind.

Photo credit:

 Edward Much's "The Scream" is the only thing I can think of to describe anxiety. I don't know if it's worse or not due to my tumor, but it's there. Oh yes, it's there....

 Panic is the best way to describe the anxiety I feel. The moment happens. I panic. I talk myself down. The sad part is it's nothing ninety-nine percent of the time.

 I've been told my anxiety is so obvious that I should smoke pot to get it under control. (Just one ass****. That could make the tumor bigger, so there. ;) ) People have also mentioned that my anxiety is quite obvious even when I don't notice it myself.

 The question remains-what do I and other sufferers of anxiety do to contain it? Pituitary tumor or not, there has to be something I can do-without taking something to dope me up. There is.

 Meditation. Exercise. And on and on.

 A cousin does yoga to control her anxiety. (It must be genetic. It has to be.) I'm going to soon follow with some form of consistent exercise as this is too much. I can't handle life right now.

 Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Zero to 100 in no time flat

 One of the things about pituitary tumors is that they affect your mood. Normally it's fine and I'm sweet and happy and cheerful and the nicest person in the world. When I get mad though, I can go from 0-100 in no time flat..... Brain tumors really suck.

 This topic had me thinking about an ex-boyfriend. He was working late and didn't call me before arriving 30 minutes late to pick me up for our date. I had also called him at work to see where the hell he was, but he shooed me off the phone. (I believed him then but later understood why he did it.) Let's just say he called after that when he knew he was going to be late..... Why?

 I screamed my ass off in the car.

 He flung himself against his door with a fearful look-with his jaw to the ground. He looked shocked and scared. (For the record, I have never hit a boyfriend and never will.) It wasn't one of my finer moments as I made good points at probably 10,000 decibels. He was very likely ADHD and I screamed at him that not calling me if he was going to be late was disrespectful and rude and to brush me off like that on the phone was even worse.

 I was tired of him at that moment and was going to get out of the car and say goodbye. I flung that seatbelt off me and saw it fly toward the closed window. I knew that window was going to break if I didn't catch it.

 I caught it! Yaaaay! But my mood remained.....

 I unfortunately had a situation at work this past week that although was much milder than the above one, took on a pretty similar theme.

 My boss has a terrible, terrible memory. Even though she can be really sweet and patient, she reminds me of my neighbor who is very open about his recovery and honestly admits he has brain damage and memory loss due to years of drug use. (For the record: I do not know that she abuses drugs or has in the past, although I strongly sense it.) She will forget like no tomorrow and makes assumptions that are so far out there that it's not even funny.

 This past Friday was no exception. I'm working on some high end stuff, so my work is being checked by her for now. Understandable and I welcome that. I was half asleep that day and probably cranky too though....

  My boss emailed me with two mistakes I made on a file. One of them you could tell I was just half asleep and not focused. The other was simply a dumb mistake.

 "You need to brush up on your materials. I can tell you haven't looked at them in awhile," she wrote.

 Baloney! I politely and dumbly told her back, "No, I'm half awake. I got little sleep last night."

 My boss high tailed it to HR after that.

 Granted, I've heard nothing from them, but I got scared when I went to get water later that day and saw the owner of the company's door closed with the HR rep talking to her.

 I think I said what I did because my frustration with her was pent up. I was telling the truth. I was half awake. Should I have said it though? No....

 Ninety-nine percent of the time I say thank you, I will do that and go about my work. I had it though on Friday. The woman forgets like crazy, is a poor explainer and makes half-assed assumptions. And I was half asleep......

 I will admit that there are other problems that I see at work. The level of processing we have to do at work has gone up to ten more than I do right now. Mind you, none of us are processing at that level, but my boss told me I should be at that level right now! I guess I'm special?? I said nothing back but felt like it.

 Let's just say I need work in this area. :) I'd like to eventually bring this down to 0-2 in no time flat.

 Is that ever possible though? 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pituitary Monday...

 (Catchy title, huh? ;) )

 And so, to actually talk about the subject of this blog and to answer a few questions. How did I get here? Where am I going? What can be done?

 How did I get here? 

 I had bloody discharge coming from my right breast. Fear sent me to the gynecologist, who referred me for all the necessary tests and also a visit with a breast surgeon.

 "I'm going to warn you," he said "This could be breast cancer."

 He should have added in that I wouldn't have breast cancer but would instead come away with a brain tumor....

 "Let me show you your ultrasound," the breast surgeon told me when I finally got in to see her. "Do you see your milk ducts? Do you notice that some seem bigger than the others? You're lactating. This obviously isn't normal since you're not pregnant."

 I was sent immediately for blood work, which showed a higher than normal Prolactin level. An MRI showed a 3mm tumor in my pituitary gland.

 Holy shit, I had a brain tumor.....

 I told the breast surgeon that I wanted to hug her when she discovered all this. It explained so much after I did some research. My facial hair. Weight gain. Anxiety. Antidepressants. My life for many years....

 Holy shit, I had a brain tumor! A Prolactinoma, to be exact.

Medication (Bromocriptine) was given that reduced the hormone level which was causing the lactating. It made me manic. I loved the amount of energy I had, which was not normal. I loved it while it lasted though!

 Even though my endocrinologist did a ton of testing, he did not have a good bedside manner. He would only speak to his tape recorder, which frustrated me to no end! I ended up getting a second opinion at UCLA, but they agreed with him and said the amount of testing he did was outstanding. Even my current endocrinologist was also impressed with how thorough his testing was.

 I ended up quitting getting treatment all together for this. I questioned my decision at the time but knew I had other issues to take care of. It proved ultimately to be a good decision in the long run. Not much had changed when I resumed treatment for it last year with my new medical group. My tumor stayed the same size and my Prolactin level hadn't jumped up wildly.

Where am I going? 

 My primary doctor has been on my case to continue the treatment even though I don't feel like it. I'm grateful for her, because I now see that it's affecting my mental health. One of my medications requires blood work, which actually showed that the medication was not effective due to my Prolactin level being too high. An actual connection between my tumor and my mental health? Yes!! I'm excited to see how things change with the change in my Cabergoline dosage. I'll report back! :)

 I need to continue treatment. I need to make my health and my life a priority. Getting my hormones in check is a priority.

 I've often wondered if I have Cushing's disease. I've certainly been tested for it and do politely advocate with the doctor to get the 24-hour Cortisol urine test done every so often. Joining online forums that discuss it sure helps me advocate more effectively with the endocrinologist. Most of the people in the group who were found to have it were diagnosed 2, 3, 5 years after being diagnosed with a prolactinoma due to it being cyclical in some cases. I don't want brain surgery, but I secretly do wish that this thing would just go the hell away sometimes.

What can be done? 

 I'm doing it. Otherwise though, advocate. People honestly are surprised when I tell them I have a brain tumor. Advocate and stay informed. We need to know how to advocate for ourselves and know what the latest treatments are.

 Coming next week: what a pituitary tumor feels like.....

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday, Sunday-a day in my life......

 Doing this seriously feels like an exercise in vanity. (Hence why it's taking longer than normal...) I think though that it'll be good to look back and see this stuff (but not my fat face). So, here are the final random snapshots of a Sunday-just not today.

Yes, I've gotten bangs since this began! Lol

It rained one Sunday...

And I also got some much needed new clothes... 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Saturday in my life...

I think today was the least amount of pictures I took during this self-imposed project. That happens when you're tired....

I only noticed now how hideous my hair looks. I went out in public this way. Yikes! 

I gave myself a reward of bringing my lunch to work daily with a trip to a scrapbooking store I like in a nearby city. There's an area with beautiful old homes right by the shop. 

A Friday in my life....

 Friday once again didn't capture the whole day, but here we go with what I do have!

Good morning! Lol...

I honestly didn't mean to capture that but am glad now that I did. 

Work lobby

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Thursday in my life (a week late :) ...)

 Woops. :) Here you go. I didn't take a lot of photos of Thursday, but here's what I have. A Thursday in my life....




Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Wednesday in my life...

 Wednesday wasn't much different, except for the beloved waxing to get rid of that fun adenoma facial hair! I just love that I can share that now on a blog dedicated to pituitary adenomas-NOT! Lol.

 A Wednesday in photos:

A moody wake up photo. Lol. 

Traffic on the way to work-after I got off the freeway. 

Decor where I got my waxing done. 

Thumbs up for getting my waxing done and being able to show the sides of my face again! :) 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Tuesday in my life...

 I took less photos today. It was just that kind of day. Here are my Tuesday photos.

Hideous, but accurate...

It rained. And was humid. And it rained...

Freeway travel in the rain in Southern California...

It was payday today... Yaaay!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Monday in my life...

 In honor and somewhat following Ali Edwards A Week in the Life, I bring you a photo journal of my life for a week.

Waking up is no fun..... 


Freeway driving....

Sorting change.... 

Doing laundry.... 

My lunch view....