Way back when we first got married, my husband thought we might have a big family with a lot of kids. He was from a family of 6 siblings, so that’s what he was accustomed to. I am an only child so I wasn’t sure about having so many.
I needn’t have worried.
In January 1974 I had a miscarriage. I was devastated. My father revealed that my mother had also had a miscarriage. I had no idea.
At some point after this, I tried fertility drugs. Clomid and another drug. One or both drugs made me very angry/depressed/bitchy (one dwarf I left off the image) Little did I know that these meds were a waste of time.
Eventually, I did get pregnant and our wonderful son, Michael was born. It wasn’t until he was seven that I was finally, actually diagnosed with Cushing’s.
When I had my early Cushing’s symptoms, I thought I was pregnant again but it was not to be.
I’ll never forget the autumn when he was in second grade. He was leaving for school and I said goodbye to him. I knew I was going into NIH that day for at least 6 weeks and my future was very iffy. The night before, I had signed my will – just in case. He just turned and headed off with his friends…and I felt a little betrayed.
Michael wrote this paper on Cushing’s when he was in the 7th grade. From the quality of the pages, he typed this on typing paper – no computers yet!
Click on each page to enlarge.
When Michael started having headache issues in middle school, I had him tested for Cushing’s. I had no idea yet if it could be familial but I wasn’t taking any chances. It turned out that my father had also had some unnamed endocrine issues. Hmmm…
I survived my time and surgery at NIH and Michael grew up to be a wonderful young man, if an only child. 🙂
After I survived kidney cancer (Day Twelve, Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2015) Michael and I went zip-lining – a goal of mine after surviving that surgery. This photo was taken in a treetop restaurant in Belize.
I know it doesn’t fit into a Cushing’s awareness post but just because I’m a very proud mama – Michael got a PhD in math from Cornell and his thesis was Using Tree Automata to Investigate Intuitionistic Propositional Logic
These days, he’s working on Wall Street, running a Math Meetup, still playing the piano…