In the fall of 2002, I was having problems with extreme fatigue.
I had a visit with my Family Doctor, who did an exam. He found a lump on my left testicle, which he ordered an ultrasound for, but also took the precaution of having me go for some blood tests.
The day before my follow up appointment, I got a phone call from the Doctor’s office to remind me about my appointment (which they’d never done before) and that I might want to bring my wife, Linda with me.
The day of the appointment came. My Doctor told me that the ultrasound results had not come back yet, but the blood tests had and that my prolactin levels were extremely elevated. When I asked him what caused that to happen, he said “a tumour”. He referred me to an Endocrinologist, and asked if I wanted a referral to a neurosurgeon as well. I decided to see what the first specialist had to say, and go from there.
But, at the same time – my life passed before my eyes. I was 41 years old – and my mother had died of a metastatic brain tumour at age 49.
I ran across a copy of the patient handbook that the Foundation prints in my local library and pored over it. It helped save my sanity (a little!).
As things progressed, it was determined that I had a pituitary tumour. The lump on my testicle was a benign growth that was removed successfully.
The Endocrinologist that I saw at the London Health Science Centre, Dr. Ruth McManus, put me on Parlodel (also known as Bromocriptine) and within 3 months my prolactin levels were back to normal. The MRI showed that it was close to my optic nerve, as long as it was not growing, there was no need for immediate surgery. My Family Doctor had to give me shots for the first couple of months as the prolactin level was so high it was suppressing my production of testosterone.
I had annual MRI’s the first 2 years, then went to bi-annually, and finally, five years.
I do blood work twice a year, and follow up annually with Dr McManus
I became involved with the London Support Group about 4 or 5 years ago.
This is something that I will have to be followed with for the rest of my life. But, you know, there are worse things out there that I could be diagnosed with, so I’m not complaining!