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Joy Z's Story

I was first diagnosed with Cushing's Disease in August 1994. I was 15 years old.

In November of the year, I had transphenoidal surgery at the University of Virginia with Dr. Edward Laws to remove a 4mm adenoma from my pituitary gland. After the surgery, I lost 40 lbs. and everything seemed to be okay, but that was all that I ever lost.

In December 2002, I was diagnosed with hypothyroid and was put on thyroid hormone. I felt great and lost 15 lbs., but that only lasted for six months.

In Aug. 2004, 10 years after the first diagnosis, I was diagnosed with Cushing's again. This time there was a 2mm adenoma on my pituitary gland. It had come back in the same spot as the first adenoma.

In February 2005, the adenoma (along with 3/4 of my pituitary gland) was removed by Dr. Laws. Since then, I have lost 45 lbs. One year after the surgery, my cortisol levels were at 3.

Update August 23, 2006

I've just past the 1 1/2 year mark since my second surgery. Although, 3/4 of my pituitary gland was removed with the tumor, my am cortisol level is up to 10. Dr. Marshall from UVA has taken me off the replacement cortisol. I've lost 55 lbs. since the surgery.

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