Life was all falling into place until I started noticing a chronic pain in my neck. The pain started just below my jaw on the right side of my neck. Some weeks later, a new pain ran from the side of my neck through my teeth and into the back of my eye turning into a massive headache. I was afraid. My concern stemmed from a family history of brain aneurysms. After multiple doctor visits and an MRI, it was determined that the MRI scans were normal.
I spent the next months watching myself fall into depression; I experienced difficulty getting out of bed; It felt like nothing mattered; I had no energy. My usual words of positivity turned into words of despair. The word Depression was tossed around a lot. That was a way the doctors explained how I could be experiencing any pain despite their medical opinion that nothing was wrong.
I stepped down as supervisor; I canceled my gym membership; I lost interest in my passions. My weight slowly changed for the worse and I started experiencing stomach pain. Then, I realized I couldn't give up. I met with more specialized doctors, did more research on my symptoms, and finally I found a doctor who had the sense to run a different set of tests and found low levels of testosterone.
A new MRI was done and the technician discovered a hemorrhagic tumor on my pituitary gland. They compared the scan with the previous MRI and discovered that the tumor had been visible then as well. The tumor has now grown from three to almost eight centimeters within one year.
The growth of the tumor had been interfering with the production of essential hormones the pituitary gland regulates for my normal bodily functions. A pituitary tumor is usually slow growing but one that is hemorrhaging is dangerous as it may grow rapidly into the brain stem or into the optic nerves causing vision problems, even blindness.
October 17 is the date of my surgery at UCSF Hospital and I will be facing medical/economic challenges. I will forever be appreciative of anything anyone is willing to give to help me face this ongoing journey. Prayers, words of encouragement, or even a small donation will help with my travel and medical expenses. Thank you.
- Victor Lai
- Kira James
- Dim Sum
- Amber Costantino
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