It came with a phone call from our pediatrician.
…..It all started about this same time in 2004.
My beautiful daughter so excited about starting her freshman year in high school.
She was in her bedroom, upstairs, and yelled for me to come up. She needed me to look at something.
“Mom….what is this?” She pointed to her shirt. At her breast.
There was a wet spot. Her breast had leaked through her bra, and through her shirt.
She was fourteen, and I told her it was probably hormones, but, that we should watch, and see if it continued.
Well, it continued for several days.
While I knew we had doctors here, at our small clinic, my gut told me to call our pediatrician, who is three hours away.
We made the trip, and Dr. E. said she would like to do some tests. It was probably an infection, or possibly related to puberty.
Ok. Not that big of a deal, I thought.
But the phone call I received….rocked my world in ways I can’t even explain.
I was sitting at my desk at work. Our kids were in school.
Dr. E’s voice was on the phone.
I heard….elevated prolactin.
Possible brain tumor.
Can you come tomorrow.
We made the trip the next day.
She was terrified of the contrast IV for the MRI. She was terrified of needles-period.
Wranglers sat with her while they put the needle in. (Little did we know, this was just the beginning of many, many, needles to come.)
After the test, we made the trip home and waited.
The phone call was a blur.
It was a tumor.
A tumor on her putuitary gland, which caused her prolactin level to soar from the normal range of 20-25 to well over 100. Prolactin is the hormone which produces breast milk for nursing mothers.
The good news-it was small.
And most likely, benign.
We were sent to Childrens Hospital in Denver, where we met with numerous specialists, and had more tests.
Even though most pituitary tumors are benign, they still sent us through the cancer treatment area where we saw many brave little soldiers receiving chemo. If she had to have surgery, this, they told us, is where she would receive her radiation treatments.
All I could think was, “are they talking to me? are they talking about my daughter?” It was like having an out of body experience. It was terrifying.
There was a team of five specialists on her case, who met a week after we left. They were to determine the best options for her. So, again, we waited.
All of the doctors felt we should try medications vs. surgery.
It’s been a long road, tons of meds, (with many side effects), blood tests every month, and MRIs’, however, the tumor has continued to shrink.
I have wanted to write this for a long time, and finally have done it.
Today, she had her yearly MRI, and now….we wait. Again.
Our hope, once again, is that the tumor is gone.
We have had that hope each year, and we always feel like…this is the year!
I will let you know.
My daughter’s message is this….
If you are a mom…a sister…an aunt, grandma, whoever…
If someone in your life has this symptom….don’t wait.
See your doctor, because it can be treated, without surgery, if caught early.
And while it is very rare, it can happen to young teenage girls.