The Scariest Moment Of My Life….Ever

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.

MRI, asap.

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.

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.


  • Smalltowngirl

    Just now reading your post..
    it's wonderful you guys caught this early on! It's scary enough for an adult to go through this much less our young daughters!

    My post today was along the same lines (early detection) as this month is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

    Prayers for continued shrinkage!!

  • Mommas Soapbox

    I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer (Leiomyosarcoma) in October of 2004. I can't imagine having been told this information about my daughter. I'm sooo sorry to you and to your daughter. Please know that I will be keeping her and your family in my prayers. ((((hugs))) And please tell your daughter thanks for sharing I will now know if that happens to one of my daughters or any one I know to address it right away!

  • dkuroiwa

    you are both in my thoughts and prayers…i had no idea this was going on. i can't imagine how hard it was….is…going through that. we just imagine that our children are going to be healthy and fine and not have any troubles.
    here's to finally getting that call that all is okay.
    much love to you all!!!

  • Dianna

    Oh, Darcie,
    I'm so glad you shared this with us. Right this minute I'm praying that the tumor is gone. Your daughter is beautiful and so brave for dealing with all of this.
    The daughter of one of my friends has just been diagnosed with this same thing, and they're in the process of deciding what to do: surgery perhaps?
    Will be watching your blog for news and praying that it will be good!
    Thinking of YOU & Wranglers too!

  • dcash

    I am so touched by all of your comments and prayers…thank you. While this has been a long journey, she has done so well, and has never let this get in her way! She breezed right through high school, and went on to college, with one goal in mind…to be an Aveda Stylist. A goal, I am proud to say,she achieved, and continues move onward and upward with her Aveda family!

    We should have test results at the end of the week, so I will keep you posted.

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