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Lisa K's Story...

HI! What a wonderful site this is!

Here is my story:
I am a wife and mother of three, who has always been very slender and "on the go". About a year and a half ago, I started gaining a lot of weight... but attributed it to that whole "middle age thing". I felt like my body just fell apart in 6 months. I went in for a physical, hoping it was a thyroid thing, and they would just give me a pill or something. They did blood work, urine tests and a chest x-ray and found nothing peculiar...so my doc told me to start eating right, exercise and quit smoking. Well, I did none of the above on a regular basis. In the summer of 2001, my legs started swelling, and I started itching a lot. I went back in (my doc was on leave, so saw someone new). She did an ultrasound on my legs (thinking blood clots from my smoking and being on estrogen), again... nothing wrong. She did give me some "water retention pills" which helped. As the months went by, the water retention became worse, the itching was unbearable, the weight gain continued (mostly in my belly), and I was beginning to look more and more like a man every day (hair, hump on back...you know the story). I did not want to go to doc again, because I was still eating poorly, no exercise and still smoking.

Everyone in my family finally talked me into going, as my itching was sooo chronic (I have not seen anyone else with that symptom yet). They did an ultra sound on my belly (thinking hepatitis), and found a mass (or as the medical world says, "a shadow") that was 19cm x 10cm x 12cm (that is one heck of a big "shadow"). After more investigation, a lot of "pending" results, and a lot of waiting on pins and needles, I was diagnosed with Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma (adrenal gland cancer), with metasteses to the both lungs. The Cushing's is a result of the overproduction of cortisol from the tumor.

I am currently on mitotane and awaiting surgery, which I am very anxious to have, as I think it will get rid of the Cushing's. My docs are hesitant, as with this size of tumor they are looking at removing the adrenal, kidney, part of the liver, and possibly reconstructing the vena cave (one of the major arteries in the body). They are afraid of hemorrhaging. They also want to avoid such an invasive surgery. So, I have a second opinion in at the Adrenal Tumor Clinic at the University of Michigan to see what they think.

I have been wanting to join a support group for people with this type of cancer, but find that it is such a rare cancer, that I have not found anything. So, I decided to create my own support group. If there are any other cushies out there who have adrenal cancer, please feel free to visit my web site (which is still being worked on, but very visitable). If you end up on my families homepage, just click on my picture (which was obviously taken before Cushing's, I am currently about 172 lbs), Lisa, and you will arrive at the adrenal support page. Also, please feel free to e-mail me: Kiska@gte.net.

I thank God and the creator of this page....what a wonderful support system for such a nasty disease!

Much love, Lisa



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