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Susie's Story...

I am a 33 year old single professional woman. Up until 3 years ago, I was active, healthy, happy and energetic who maybe went to the doctor once a year. Then, out of nowhere I was overcome with anxiety and depression. Next came the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, surgery and chemotherapy. I was constantly sick and easily fatigued, but everyone just chalked it up to aftereffects of chemo. However, instead of getting better, things got worse. Friends would coax me out of the house to go skiing, hiking or biking--and I would come home with a broken ankle or wrist, a concusion, or maybe a dozen unexplained bruises or gashes that would take weeks to heal.

I was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in my hip, ankle and shoulder and underwent joint replacement surgery to fix it all. And along the way, I gained over 100 lb., yet no one thought anything was wrong (other than I was going thru a streak of bad luck) or that any of these symptoms were connected. Then I moved....and had to explain to a new doctor my epic medical bio....she asked for my medical records and for some pictures. A few weeks later she called and said that she was referring me to an endocrinologist, and I assumed this was because my blood sugars were creeping into the diabetic range. And that was the start of the Cushing's diagnosis. At the time, I was excited because I had the naive assumption that now that it had a name, we could fix it...and the fix would fix a bunch of things.

However, in the six months since the diagnosis, the doctors have been unable to locate the source of excess cortisol. And the disease continues to wreak havoc--I had to have my knee replaced and I've been hospitalized twice for mystery infections. But most importantly, I finally had to give up the dream of having kids and had a radical hysterectomy. So that's where I am....and we're still testing and looking.

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