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Found 9 results

  1. And today, we talk about pink jeeps and ziplines… How in the world did we get here in a Cushing’s Challenge? I’m sliding these in because earlier I linked (possibly!) my growth hormone use as a cause of my cancer – and I took the GH due to Cushing’s issues. Clear? LOL http://cushieblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/pink-jeep.jpg?w=300&h=225&resize=300%2C225 I had found out that I had my kidney cancer on Friday, April 28, 2006 and my surgery on May 9, 2006. I was supposed to go on a Cushie Cruise to Bermuda on May 14, 2006. My surgeon said that there was no way I could go on that cruise and I could not postpone my surgery until after that cruise. I got out of the hospital on the day that the other Cushies left for the cruise and realized that I wouldn’t have been much (ANY!) fun and I wouldn’t have had any. An especially amusing thread from that cruise is The Adventures of Penelopee Cruise (on the Cushing’s Help message boards). Someone had brought a UFC jug and decorated her and had her pose around the ship. The beginning text reads: Although I missed this trip, I was feeling well enough to go to Sedona, Arizona in August, 2006. I convinced everyone that I was well enough to go off-road in a pink jeep, DH wanted to report me to my surgeon but I survived without to much pain and posed for the header image. In 2009, I figured I have “extra years” since I survived the cancer and I wanted to do something kinda scary, yet fun. So, somehow, I decided on ziplining. Tom wouldn’t go with me but Michael would so I set this up almost as soon as we booked a Caribbean cruise to replace the Cushie Cruise to Bermuda. Enough of adventures – fun ones like these, and scary ones like transsphenoidal surgery and radical nephrectomy!
  2. http://cushieblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/uva20041.jpg?w=1428&resize=468%2C351 Cushing’s Conventions have always been special times for me – we learn a lot, get to meet other Cushies, even get referrals to endos! As early as 2001 (or before) my pituitary function was dropping. My former endo tested annually but did nothing to help me with the symptoms. In the fall of 2002 my endo refused to discuss my fatigue or anything at all with me until I lost 10 pounds. He said I wasn’t worth treating in my overweight condition and that I was setting myself up for a heart attack. He gave me 3 months to lose this weight. Those 3 months included Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Needless to say, I left his office in tears, again. Fast forward 2 years to 2004. I had tried for a while to get my records from this endo. He wouldn’t send them, even at doctors’ or my requests. I wanted to go see Dr. Vance at UVa but I had no records so she wouldn’t see me until I could get them. Finally, my husband went to the former endo’s office and threatened him with a court order. The office manager managed to come up with about 13 pages of records. For going to him from 1986 to 2001 including weeks and weeks at NIH and pituitary surgery, that didn’t seem like enough records to me. In April of 2004, many of us from the message boards went to the UVa Pituitary Days Convention. That’s where the picture above comes in. Other pictures from that convention are here. By chance, we met a wonderful woman named Barbara Craven. She sat at our table for lunch on the last day and, after we learned that she was a dietitian who had had Cushing’s, one of us jokingly asked her if she’d do a guest chat for us. I didn’t follow through on this until she emailed me later. In the email, she asked how I was doing. Usually I say “fine” or “ok” but for some reason, I told her exactly how awful I was feeling. Barbara emailed me back and said I should see a doctor at Johns Hopkins. I said I didn’t think I could get a recommendation to there, so SHE referred me. The doctor got right back to me, set up an appointment. Between his vacation and mine, that first appointment turned out to be Tuesday, Sept 14, 2004. Just getting through the maze at Johns Hopkins was amazing. They have the whole system down to a science, moving from one place to another to sign in, then go here, then window 6, then… But it was very efficient. My new doctor was wonderful. Understanding, knowledgeable. He never once said that I was “too fat” or “depressed” or that all this was my own fault. I feel so validated, finally. He looked through my records, especially at my 2 previous Insulin Tolerance Tests (ITT). From those, he determined that my growth hormone has been low since at least August 2001 and I’ve been adrenal insufficient since at least Fall, 1999 – possibly as much as 17 years! I was amazed to hear all this, and astounded that my former endo not only didn’t tell me any of this, he did nothing. He had known both of these things – they were in the past records that I took with me. Perhaps that was why he had been so reluctant to share copies of those records. He had given me Cortef in the fall of 1999 to take just in case I had “stress” and that was it. The new endo took a lot of blood (no urine!) for cortisol and thyroid stuff. I went back on Sept. 28, 2004 for arginine, cortrosyn and IGF testing. He said that I would end up on daily cortisone – a “sprinkling” – and some form of GH, based on the testing the 28th. For those who are interested, my new endo is Roberto Salvatori, M.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School: Catholic University School of Medicine, Rome, Italy Residency: Montefiore Medical Center Fellowship: Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University Board Certification: Endocrinology and Metabolism, Internal Medicine Clinical Interests: Neuroendocrinology, pituitary disorders, adrenal disorders Research Interests: Control of growth hormone secretion, genetic causes of growth hormone deficiency, consequences of growth hormone deficiency. Although I have this wonderful doctor, a specialist in growth hormone deficiency at Johns Hopkins, in November, 2004, my insurance company saw fit to over-ride his opinions and his test results based on my past pharmaceutical history! Hello??? How could I have a history of taking GH when I’ve never taken it before? Of course, I found out late on a Friday afternoon. By then it was too late to call my case worker at the drug company, so we had to appeal on Monday. My local insurance person also worked on an appeal, but the whole thing was just another long ordeal of finding paperwork, calling people, FedExing stuff, too much work when I just wanted to start feeling better by Thanksgiving. As it turned out the insurance company rejected the brand of hGH that was prescribed for me. They gave me the ok for a growth hormone was just FDA-approved for adults on 11/4/04. The day this medication was approved for adults was the day after my insurance said that’s what is preferred for me. In the past, this form of hGH was only approved for children with height issues. Was I going to be a guinea pig again? The new GH company assigned a rep for me, submitted info to pharmacy, and waited for insurance approval, again. I finally started the Growth Hormone December 7, 2004. Was the hassle and 3 year wait worth it? Stay tuned when all will be revealed. Read Dr. Barbara Craven’s Guest Chat, October 27, 2004 Thanks for reading 🙂 http://cushieblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/maryo-butterfly-script.gif?w=468&resize=251%2C121
  3. Sleep. Naps. Fatigue, Exhaustion. I still have them all. I wrote on my bio in 1987 after my pituitary surgery “I am still and always tired and need a nap most days. I do not, however, still need to take whole days off just to sleep.” That seems to be changing back, at least on the weekends. A recent weekend, both days, I took 7-hour naps each day and I still woke up tired. That’s awfully close to taking a whole day off to sleep again. In 2006, I flew to Chicago, IL for a Cushing’s weekend in Rockford. Someone else drove us to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for the day. Too much travel, too Cushie, whatever, I was too tired to stay awake. I actually had put my head down on the dining room table and fallen asleep but our hostess suggested the sofa instead. Amazing that I traveled that whole distance – and missed the main event 🙁 This sleeping thing really impacts my life. Between piano lessons, I take a nap. I sleep as late as possible in the mornings and afternoons are pretty much taken up by naps. I nod off at night during TV. One time I came home between church services and missed the third service because I fell asleep. I only TiVo old tv shows that I can watch and fall asleep to since I already know the ending. A few years ago I was doing physical therapy twice a week for 2 hours at a time for a knee injury (read more about that in Bees Knees). I come home from that exhausted – and in more pain than when I went. I knew it was working and my knee got better for a while, but it’s such a time and energy sapper. Neither of which I can really spare. Maybe now that I’m nearly 15 years out from my kidney cancer (May 9, 2006) I’ve been back on Growth Hormone again. My surgeon says he “thought” it’s ok. I was sort of afraid to ask my endo about it, though but he gave me the go-ahead. I want to feel better and get the benefits of the GH again but I don’t want any type of cancer again and I certainly can’t afford to lose another kidney. I always laugh when I see that commercial online for something called Serovital. I saw it in Costco the other day and it mentions pituitary right on the package. I wish I could take the people buying this, sit them down and tell them not to mess with their pituitary glands. But I won’t. I’ll take a nap instead because I’m feeling so old and weary today, and yesterday. Eventually, I did restart the GH, this time Omnitrope. And tomorrow…
  4. This article was originally published here J Endocr Soc. 2021 Nov 24;6(1):bvab176. doi: 10.1210/jendso/bvab176. eCollection 2022 Jan 1. ABSTRACT CONTEXT: Acromegaly (ACM) and Cushing’s disease (CD) are caused by functioning pituitary adenomas secreting growth hormone and ACTH respectively. OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of race on presentation and postoperative outcomes in adults with ACM and CD, which has not yet been evaluated. METHODS: This is a retrospective study of consecutive patients operated at a large-volume pituitary center. We evaluated (1) racial distribution of patients residing in the metropolitan area (Metro, N = 124) vs 2010 US census data, and(2) presentation and postoperative outcomes in Black vs White for patients from the entire catchment area (N = 241). RESULTS: For Metro area (32.4% Black population), Black patients represented 16.75% ACM (P = .006) and 29.2% CD (P = .56). Among the total 112 patients with ACM, presentations with headaches or incidentaloma were more common in Black patients (76.9% vs 31% White, P = .01). Black patients had a higher prevalence of diabetes (54% vs 16% White, P = .005), significantly lower interferon insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 deviation from normal (P = .03) and borderline lower median growth hormone levels (P = .09). Mean tumor diameter and proportion of tumors with cavernous sinus invasion were similar. Three-month biochemical remission (46% Black, 55% White, P = .76) and long-term IGF-1 control by multimodality therapy (92.3% Black, 80.5% White, P = .45) were similar. Among the total 129 patients with CD, Black patients had more hypopituitarism (69% vs 45% White, P = .04) and macroadenomas (33% vs 15% White, P = .05). At 3 months, remission rate was borderline higher in White (92% vs 78% Black, P = 0.08), which was attributed to macroadenomas by logistic regression. CONCLUSION: We identified disparities regarding racial distribution, and clinical and biochemical characteristics in ACM, suggesting late or missed diagnosis in Black patients. Large nationwide studies are necessary to confirm our findings. PMID:34934883 | PMC:PMC8677529 | DOI:10.1210/jendso/bvab176 From https://www.docwirenews.com/abstracts/journal-abstracts/racial-disparities-in-acromegaly-and-cushings-disease-a-referral-center-study-in-241-patients/
  5. The pituitary gland works hard to keep you healthy, doing everything from ensuring proper bone and muscle growth to helping nursing mothers produce milk for their babies. Its functionality is even more remarkable when you consider the gland is the size of a pea. “The pituitary is commonly referred to as the ‘master’ gland because it does so many important jobs in the body,” says Karen Frankwich, MD, a board-certified endocrinologist at Mission Hospital. “Not only does the pituitary make its own hormones, but it also triggers hormone production in other glands. The pituitary is aided in its job by the hypothalamus. This part of the brain is situated above the pituitary, and sends messages to the gland on when to release or stimulate production of necessary hormones.” These hormones include: Growth hormone, for healthy bone and muscle mass Thyroid-stimulating hormone, which signals the thyroid to produce its hormones that govern metabolism and the body’s nervous system, among others Follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones for healthy reproductive systems (including ovarian egg development in women and sperm formation in men, as well as estrogen and testosterone production) Prolactin, for breast milk production in nursing mothers Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), which prompts the adrenal glands to produce the stress hormone cortisol. The proper amount of cortisol helps the body adapt to stressful situations by affecting the immune and nervous systems, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and metabolism. Antidiuretic (ADH), which helps the kidneys control urine levels Oxytocin, which can stimulate labor in pregnant women The work of the pituitary gland can be affected by non-cancerous tumors called adenomas. “These tumors can affect hormone production, so you have too little or too much of a certain hormone,” Dr. Frankwich says. “Larger tumors that are more than 1 centimeter, called macroadenomas, can also put pressure on the area surrounding the gland, which can lead to vision problems and headaches. Because symptoms can vary depending on the hormone that is affected by a tumor, or sometimes there are no symptoms, adenomas can be difficult to pinpoint. General symptoms can include nausea, weight loss or gain, sluggishness or weakness, and changes in menstruation for women and sex drive for men.” If there’s a suspected tumor, a doctor will usually run tests on a patient’s blood and urine, and possibly order a brain-imaging scan. An endocrinologist can help guide a patient on the best course of treatment, which could consist of surgery, medication, radiation therapy or careful monitoring of the tumor if it hasn’t caused major disruption. “The pituitary gland is integral to a healthy, well-functioning body in so many ways,” Dr. Frankwich says. “It may not be a major organ you think about much, but it’s important to know how it works, and how it touches on so many aspects of your health.” Adapted from http://www.stjhs.org/HealthCalling/2016/December/The-Pituitary-Gland-Small-but-Mighty.aspx
  6. MaryO

    Last Day to Register

    13th Annual Conference for Adults with Endocrine Disorders in Partnership with Barrow Neurological Institute Pituitary Center February 28th, 2019 - March 3rd, 2019 Phoenix, Arizona Schedule of Events Thursday 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Welcome Reception, Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Exhibitors, Barrow Pituitary Center 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Educational Segments, Barrow Pituitary Center 12:00 am - 1:00 pm Lunch (included) 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Educational Segments, Barrow Pituitary Center 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm Group outing to Scottsdale Waterfront Saturday 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Educational Segments, Barrow Pituitary Center 12:00 am - 1:00 pm Lunch (included) 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm Educational Segments, Barrow Pituitary Center Sunday 9:00 am - 1:30 pm Educational Segments, Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown ********************************************************** Friday Educational Segments at Barrow Pituitary Center 10:00 am Managing Cushings: Navigating Through the Maze, Yuen or 10:00 am Managing AGHD: Daily and Beyond, Knecht 11:00 am Hypothalamic Obesity: Not Just Calories In, Calories Out, Connor 12:00 pm LUNCH (included) 1:00 pm Me, Myself and My Adrenal Insuffiency, Yuen 2:00 pm Navigating the Medical Maze, Herring Saturday Educational Segments at Barrow Pituitary Center 10:00 am Beyond AGHD and Cushings: Familial and Genetic Factors, Stratakis 11:00 am Q&A, Stratakis 12:00 pm LUNCH (included) 1:00 pm Tools for Coping with my Endocrine Disorder, Jonas 2:00 pm Finnigan and Friends: A Year in AI Training, Palmer 2:30 pm Quality of Life Study, Cushings, Edgar & Keil or 2:30 pm Life is What You Make Of It, Jones Sunday Educational Segments at Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown 9:00 am Preventing Muscle Wasting and Nutrition, Fine 10:00 am Nuances of Treating Hypothyroidism, Friedman 11:00 am Macrilen Stimulation Test for Growth Hormone Defiency, Friedman 11:45 am The New and The Old for Diagnosing Cushing's Syndrome, Friedman 12:30 pm Ask the Wiz, Friedman Location Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center Goldman Auditorium and Sonntag Pavilion 350 W. Thomas Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85013 Transportation will be provided on Friday and Saturday between the Wyndham Hotel to Barrow for an hour prior to the segments and an hour after close of the segments. The hotel is approximately 1/2 mile away from Barrow Pituitary Center if you choose to walk or travel there on your own. Hotel Room Rates and Reservations Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown 3600 N. 2nd Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85013 $109 per night + tax. Includes free wifi, parking and buffet breakfast To make hotel reservations call 602-604-4900 and ask for The MAGIC Foundation guest room block. Refrigerators are first come so be sure to request one when making your reservation. Airport Transportation Transportation is not provided to/from the hotel from the airport. The Wyndham is approximately 9 miles from the airport. Preferred airport is Phoenix, AZ - PHX - Sky Harbor Intl. Deadline to Register and book your hotel is January 28, 2019 View the entire PDF Program
  7. MaryO

    Carpal Tunnel?

    Always something! I woke up last night with numb tingly wrist and ring finger. In the last few days, I've had to move my watch band out a notch. I've been on Omnitrope .3 growth hormone for a couple months and just finished my second cartridge. Emailed Dr. Salvatori for advice. A couple weeks ago it felt like my wisdom tooth lower left was coming in and I generally felt like something was happening with my jaw. That's evened out now. Naturally, my second shipment (2 more cartridges) just came, along with their co-pay, so I hope I don't have to throw any of that away.
  8. MaryO

    Back on GH

    After an 11 year break due to kidney cancer, I went back on Growth Hormone (Omnisource) just over a week ago. I'm not feeling a whole lot different yet but I am keeping a journal on Carezone. If anyone is interested in following that, please PM me your email address. I may be going off it again if things don't improve - I'll give it 2 months to see improvement but after that, no. I really can't afford or justify the copay of $535.
  9. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 04/24/2013   Reed ML et al. – Deficiency of growth hormone (GH) in adults results in a syndrome characterized by decreased muscle mass and exercise capacity, increased visceral fat, impaired quality of life, unfavorable alterations in lipid profile and markers of cardiovascular risk, decrease in bone mass and integrity and increased mortality. The potential of GH to act as a mitogen has resulted in concern over the possibility of increased de novo tumors or recurrence of pre–existing malignancies in individuals treated with GH. Though studies of adults who received GHRT in childhood have produced conflicting reports in this regard, long term surveillance of adult GHRT has not demonstrated increased cancer risk or mortality. Read more: http://www.mdlinx.com/endocrinology/news-article.cfm/4588746/growth-hormone-adult-growth-hormone-deficiency#ixzz2RODfAgDb
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