Kirsten’s Prolactinoma

Kirsten's face.  Red is tumour, yellow is optic nerve.
Kirsten's face. Red is tumour, yellow is optic nerve.

About a year and a half ago doctors discovered a prolactinoma in Kirsten. At the time it was small so her neurosurgeon sent her to an endocrinologist for drug therapy. She’s been taking a thyroid medication, daily steriod injection (Norditropin®), and Dostinex® (to reduce the size of the tumor). A couple weeks ago her regular MRI revealed that the tumor has grown significantly.

She’s having surgery Tuesday to remove the tumor. Patsy and Dad will watch the girls at their house in Florida until Kirsten is well enough for us to go down and bring them back. Patsy arrives Saturday to accompany the girls on their flights. We are humbled and grateful for their sacrifice and willingness to do whatever they can to ease our burden.

We have received a tremendous outpouring of support from family, friends, coworkers, and our beloved Flickr friends. Thank you all.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions (it’ll give me something to write about.) I’ll try to post frequently over the next week so everyone who cares will be up to speed.

12 Comment

  1. Hi Brent and Kir,

    I know its been a long time since we’ve been in touch, but I think of you all often. I keep up to date in the going’s on through your site. Please know that I’m thinking of the two of you especially at this time. Together the two of you can conquer anything!

    Brigette in MA

  2. Brent Danley says: Reply

    Thank you Brigette. It’s good to know someone visits the site. Perhaps I should keep it up to date and polished. We appreciate your kind words and friendship.

    We’re planning a move to Maine when this is all over. We’ll have to get together.

  3. I am so sorry. If you need someone to talk to I am here. I hope it works out this time for the kids and your sake

    A

  4. […] Kirsten’s Prolactinoma Brent Danley, The Rhetoric, August 3, 2006 […]

  5. I do have a question. How do you know something maybe wrong? Is there any signs? Headaches? Pressure?? What will tell us if a friend/family member need to be checked?

  6. April, I’m going to answer your excellent question in the newer post, so more people will see it.

    The Prolactinoma Is Back
    February 17, 2009

  7. Joe Danniballe says: Reply

    OMG! Your brain is HUGE!!! I think my brain would be the same size as the red spot! Even your MRI shows how hot you are!

  8. Best of luck Kirsten. I hope all goes well.

  9. […] in me a small pituitary tumor. After a year and a half of drug therapy failed to reduce the tumor it was removed transphenoidally in August of 2006. My neurosurgeon said it would probably not recur. It […]

  10. fatima mustafa says: Reply

    hi im 31years old & i have prelactinoma , i have 3 wonderful girls & my youngest is 8 .i want to try for a boy but im really scared to get pregnant because of the things i hear .what is the best thing to do?i dont want to do something im going to regret in the future. i thank god for everything .i wish you luck kirsten & a healthy,happy life its seems you have a great, loving family & thats all that matters. fatima mustafa from ohio.

    1. @fatima – It turns out Kirstens’ tumor is not a prolactimona (according to her most recent neurosurgeon). A prolactinoma would create far higher levels of prolactin than is in her system. Regardless, she has to have surgeries to excise the tumor bulk.

      Her most recent surgery did very little good (probably more harm). The tumor is too high to get transphenoidally, so her surgeon wants to do a craniotomy through her eyebrow.

      Our bodies are imperfect. Unfortunately, sometimes they do things we’d rather they didn’t. I cannot understand why you would thank your god for your tumor. Supposedly he/she/it allowed it to grow inside your head and hasn’t answered the many prayers offered by you or in your behalf to remove the tumor.

      Thank you for your kind comment. I hope the best for you and your family. This, too, shall pass. :)

      Girls, as you know, are wonderful. Don’t worry too much about having a son. There’s even chance you’d have another girl.

  11. […] In 2005 Kirsten was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor. Not having any idea what that meant, and only hearing “brain” and “tumor,” I asked if it was “cancer.” Her doctor at the time assured us that it was a benign tumor, and not cancerous. “How can you be sure?”, I asked. He said that pituitary tumors are always benign. Kirsten went immediately on tumor reduction medication. When that didn’t work, she underwent a endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery to remove the tumor. That usually takes care of it, but not for Kirsten’s tumor. When it grew back, Dr. Florman removed it transsphenoidally. When the tumor grew again, he performed a craniotomy and removed the tumor through her open skull. Because every surgery increases the risks of subsequent surgeries, and the surgical option was becoming too risky for Kirsten, she went through radiation therapy to kill the DNA in the remaining cells, which should make it impossible for them to divide. We hoped that would solve the problem. Until recently, we thought it had. The pituitary tumor hasn’t grown since it was blasted with radiation. […]

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