Monday, May 16, 2011

Tumor update

As if Mondays are crappy enough, I started mine out in the office of Dr. Kryshak, Endocrinologist. For those of you who are not fully aware of my current issue, let me back up a bit. For the last 4+ years, I've addressed a certain health issue with my then primary care physician...  he kept blowing it off as "just getting older." When I changed doctors a few years ago and addressed the same issue, she immediately became concerned and ordered quite a few tests in the following week. I spent my 2009 Christmas Eve at the hospital having an ultrasound and galactrogram done. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say I left the hospital that night convinced that the mass they found was cancer.

That next week, an MRI was ordered. The very next day, the MRI technician called me and said that they found "something" and I needed to come back for a second scan. When I asked when they could squeeze me in, their response was, "we need you to come back immediately." Yes, I'm freaking out at this point. Bottom line, after two blood workups, two MRIs, a galactogram, mammogram and ultrasound... I was diagnosed with a pituitary microadenoma (benign tumor on my pituitary gland) and elevated prolactin levels.

I was doing the medication-bloodwork-MRI tango for a year and a half before I stopped taking the meds. Results showed the tumor was neither shrinking nor growing, but my prolactin levels elevated again once I was off the medication. Unfortunately, my doctor mis-informed me of the parameters of this drug. She said that if I was considering getting pregnant, I had to be off the meds for at least six months and they were dangerous to take when pregnant. She also said that pituitary adenomas could lead to vision loss and a whole list of side effects. Plus, thanks to Health Savings Account, these expensive pills were now 100% out of pocket. Bottom line, I haven't been taking them since January.

The endocrinologist quieted a lot of my fears today and was more helpful in an hour than my PCP has been in two years. Basically, high prolactin levels makes you infertile (sadness, yes) and my tumor isn't gone as the last MRI might have suggested. However, he explained that the meds were not dangerous at all to women who are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant. In fact, I have to be on these pills if I ever plan on having children. Although I didn't want to continue to be a pill popper, looks like I'm back on meds to control the tumor and hormone levels... for now at least. I'm hoping that I'm one of those cases where this all goes away, but for now, I see a lot of praying and pills in my future.
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