Skip to main content

Cushing's and Death

Today I logged onto the Cushing's Support Facebook group and heard some horrible news. A fellow Cushie from our community had lost her battle with Cushing's. Sarah was 28 years old, and has had two pituitary surgeries to attempt to cure her of this horrendous disease. Story sounds familiar, right? She posted on Saturday in our group begging for help, her doctors weren't listening to her when she said she still felt sick and that something was wrong. Days later, she is gone.

I have spent the past half hour in shock. I'm devastated for her lost life and her family's loss, I'm angry at her doctors for not listening, I'm frustrated with the medical community as a whole for not taking this FATAL disease more seriously, and I'm relieved, because it wasn't me. I feel guilty for feeling that, but it could've SO EASILY been me at this exact time last year. After my two pituitary surgeries, my illness and complications grew exponentially. I was gaining weight faster, having higher blood pressure and increasing heart problems. I had trouble getting around and doing simple things like walking up the stairs. Thankfully, it wasn't too late for me by the time I got to my surgery in September. Yes, I am dealing with another disease for my entire life that is also potentially life-threatening, but I am able to get some of my life back.

I'm planning to go to school in the fall - something I never could've planned for even just a year ago. I hope to someday help people with this same disease that has taken the life of this woman too young. More has to be done.

We love and miss you Sarah.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Plastic Surgery

When I was 17, I thought about getting a breast reduction.  I was still pretty thin at this point and it bothered me to by bigger clothes just to fit my bust.  I had a hard time exercising and always had back pain and grooves in my shoulders where my bra straps sat. I had a few consults with different plastic surgeons and ended up scheduling surgery for the week before my high school graduation.  I ended up "chickening out" because I didn't want the surgery to have any impact on my graduation, and I hadn't had any major surgeries before.  I started gaining weight due to Cushing's shortly after, so it worked out for the best in the end.

Now, my breast size has gone way down since I've lost weight, and even though they are still bigger than average, they don't get in my way as much and are more proportional to my body. These days, my plastic surgery dream is to have a tummy tuck.  I have a lot of excess skin on my body, especially on my belly, and in a drea…

Cushing's Awareness Challenge - Day 9

The only potentially permanent treatment for Cushing's is surgery.  Whether you have a pituitary tumor, adrenal tumor, or ectopic source of ACTH, most often, you will eventually need surgery.

For me, the first step was a pituitary surgery to try to remove the tumor in my pituitary gland. They went through my nose to access the pituitary gland, which means you have no visible scars after.
I was very nervous heading into the surgery, but didn't have much time to dwell on it, as my surgery was scheduled about a week after my IPSS.  I talked to a lot of people before, about their experiences, and heard vastly different stories from each person.
The only thing I remember from before my surgery was being rolled down what looked like a basement hallway (all concrete), while passing maybe 30 operating rooms.  I saw patients in the hallways on stretchers waiting for surgery, I saw into the small windows in the doors to operating rooms, it was a very scary experience.  Obviously, not ev…

The Challenges of Getting a Diagnosis

I have been asked about this so many times, and talk about it a lot, whenever someone asks me about Cushing's.  So many people have the same experience - KNOWING you have Cushing's, and seeing 5, 10, 20, or more doctors over the course of many years before you officially have a diagnosis.  I would say this is one of the most common links I have with other "Cushies".  We all fought for a diagnosis, heard we were just fat and depressed, waited with hope after every test, until a day came when one test came back high, or a brain MRI showed a tumor in the pituitary gland.

I think the reason I haven't written about it is because it's one of the hardest things to sit down and spend time on.  It's painful, and of course, I can't help but wonder what my life might be like today if I was diagnosed sooner.  Would I have needed an adrenalectomy?  Or for that matter, a second pituitary surgery? Would I have as many health issues after Cushing's?  It's ha…