Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chanelle hits the news again



I just love this fireball Chanelle.  You have seen her featured here in several posts (hereherehere, and here). Well, here she is again, and I'm very proud of her. This brought tears to my eyes. Keep going, Chanelle!  ~mm




Grad perseveres to earn degree

May 8, 2012 12:10 am

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Chanelle Felder's struggle with Cushing's syndrome prompted her to pursue a career as a patient advocate.

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Felder took ballet in 2008, during her fight with disease.

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Chanelle Felder battled cyclical Cushing's syndrome in high school. She graduates from Germanna Community College this week and is preparing to pursue a bachelor's degree at a Virginia university this fall.

By PAMELA GOULD

Chanelle Felder found her mission in life through the mysterious illness that left her mind in a fog, her body bloated and her high-energy lifestyle on hold.

"I was directionless before," the 22-year-old said. "Now I have a laserlike focus on what I want my legacy to be and what I want to get out of life."

Felder, who graduates from Germanna Community College on Wednesday, was 16 when her slender 5-foot, 7-inch frame started expanding inexplicably.

She began having crying spells, waking in the middle of the night, and suffering numbness and pain in the feet that for years had carried her gracefully across dance floors.

Clumps of hair started falling out, she became sluggish, and her normally sharp mind started going blank.

Felder was a Mountain View High School junior, cheerleader and honors student when the symptoms began. She found them shocking and frightening.

Doctors offered possible diagnoses such as a thyroid disorder, but none fit until the North Stafford teen stumbled upon a program on the Discovery Health channel.

"My turning point was an episode of 'Mystery Diagnosis,'" she said.
A woman named Sharmyn McGraw was describing the symptoms of Cushing's disease. Felder immediately saw her own situation.

She went online, did research and told her parents that's what she had. The rare disorder afflicts 10 to 15 of every 1 million people. It's even rarer in children and adolescents.

Though her parents supported her self-diagnosis, doctors were slower to get on board. But after medical tests confirmed it, she underwent brain surgery in September 2007.

That first surgery removed a benign tumor from her pituitary gland. However, the symptoms returned, prompting a second brain surgery to remove more tumors in January 2009.

It turned out that she had cyclical Cushing's syndrome, a condition in which the symptoms disappear and then return.

When the second surgery didn't resolve the problems, Felder opted to have both adrenal glands removed in April 2010.

That procedure eliminated the Cushing's symptoms because it's driven by the hormones produced by those glands, which sit atop the kidneys.

But removal of the adrenals meant she was without the hormones they produce, which, among other things, help people cope with stress.

She now takes four medications daily to regulate her endocrine system and keeps a close watch on her stress level. But her bubbly personality and energy are back.

MOVING FORWARD

Felder graduated from Mountain View High in June 2008, nine months after her first surgery.
Then, on a doctor's advice, she waited a year to start college.

Her parents urged her to ease into her courses, so it's taken her three years. However on Wednesday, Felder will walk across the stage at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center to receive her associate degree in arts and sciences.

"She's been inspirational to other students," said Judi Johnson-Bartlett, coordinator and student adviser at Germanna's Stafford Center.

Johnson-Bartlett rattled off adjectives to describe Felder: determined, hard-working, dedicated, persistent. "The sky is the limit for her."

Felder majored in science while taking classes on the Germanna campus in Spotsylvania County and at the recently opened Stafford Center.

She frequently drew on her experience for class projects and presentations.

The time spent researching her diagnosis and staying abreast of the steps in her treatment gave her an understanding of medical science and terminology she wouldn't have learned otherwise.

It also redirected her interest from a career in social work to one in which she plans to serve as a patient advocate.

If it hadn't been for a dash of teenage defiance, the support of her parents, and the prayer and encouragement of people at Mount Ararat Baptist Church, Felder said, she'd probably still be suffering.
That's why she wants to study the dietetic field next fall when she attends Virginia Tech or James Madison University and why she's also interested in communications.

"My ultimate legacy will be to get information out about this disease and about other diseases like this," Felder said.

She also wants to provide the support for others that she received during her medical ordeal.

She's already part of an online network of Cushing's patients who share their stories; some of them have been heartbreaking.

She said some people have been ostracized by relatives who don't understand their symptoms, or worse yet, suggest they're lying and just lazy when their weight balloons and they lack energy.

Others have died from symptoms related to the disorder.

Many, she said, just resign themselves to a life of suffering after medical professionals brush off their symptoms or aren't familiar with the disorder.

Felder said her mission crystallized as a result of Facebook communications with a man in California with Cushing's syndrome.

She shared the treatment she'd undergone, and in her he found hope and committed to the same path.

He underwent surgery and messaged her recently to say, "You saved my life."

Felder became teary as she shared that encounter.

"Just to think I was just a 16-year-old girl. For me to go through that and actually help someone, it made me see it wasn't in vain," she said, pausing to keep her composure.

"That's why I went through it--to help people."



Germanna Community College will hold its spring graduation ceremony at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Chanelle Felder is scheduled to sing the national anthem as part of the commencement exercises.


Copyright 2012 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.


A special thanks to Pamela Gould (540/735-1972, pgould@freelancestar.com) for the excellent story.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cushing's Support Group

Forwarded for those Northern California Cushies:


Join us for our Cushing’s Support Group.

Facilitated by Laurence Katznelson, MD
Professor of Neurosurgery and Medicine
Medical Director, Pituitary Center
Stanford University


Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 6-8pm
Stanford Advanced Medical Center
2nd floor conference room CC2105
875 Blake Wilbur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305 


Please rsvp to Danielle Ziatek
email: dziatek@yahoo.com

Light refreshments will be provided.



Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 14: Around the Cushie World in 30 days -- AI

Today we visit Vanessa again, where she recounts her day suffering from the adrenal insufficiency, an issue many Cushing's patients face after surgery or if their cortisol levels go up and down unpredictably.


Thank you for sharing this story, Vanessa. It is important for everyone to understand this part of Cushing's.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 13: Around the Cushie World in 30 Days



Hello. Today we visit Robin again, where you talks about the need for awareness for Cushing's.  Why do we work so hard just to let others know about Cushing's?  Robin explains it well in her post called Getting it Right.  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 12: Around the Cushie World in 30 Days-- April Fool

Hi everyone.  MaryO gets another shout out today for her wonderful April Fools Day post to kick off the Cushing's Awareness Challenge last month.

I hope this makes you smile, too. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 11: Around the Cushie World in 30 Days-- Diagnosis

Hi y'all.  Today, you are in for a laugh.  I sure laughed when I saw MaryO's post comparing diagnosis: actual vs. reality.

Take a look at her post here.  Think it is an exaggeration?  It is totally *not.*

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 10: Around the Cushie World in 30 Days



Hi there.  I hope you are enjoying the information and sentiments shared by my fellow Cushie bloggers.


For today's trip, we visit Robin again. She asks, Why do we overeat? Underexercise? Is it a matter of willpower?


I'd like to talk to you a bit about what it is like with Cushing's high cortisol surging through one's system and the hunger it brings.


You can read her blogs at Survive the Journey and 365 with Cushing's.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 9: Around the Cushie World in 30 Days-- MaryO



Today, I take you to one of my favorite posts from one of my favorite people.  MaryO!

MaryO is a Cushing's survivor and the founder of Cushings-Help.com and a host of internet sites dedicated to understanding the high cortisol to low cortisol continuum Cushies find themselves.  I learned the foundation of everything I know about Cushing's from her message boards and the people who share their  heartaches and knowledge there.  Today, I thank you, as I have said many times before.  Somehow, it just doesn't seem like a big enough word, thank you.  I thank you for all your hard work to keep us Cushies informed and in line.

Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life, ever! There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did! And because I did I’m going to celebrate!

You can read all of MaryO's blog posts by visiting her Cushie.info blog, because as she says,
"It's about time there is some support for Cushing's."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 8: Around the Cushie World in 30 days-- ALICIA



Hi everyone.  I wanted to share a post today from Alicia's blog, entitled Hear Hoofbeats, Think Zebras.  

Alicia write a short but sweet entry about the 20 Things Cushing's Has Stolen from Her.  You can read that post here.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

I see so much of myself in these blog posts.  I find it both comforting to see that I am not alone.  Sometimes, you feel so unlike yourself, you wonder if you are going crazy.  Posts from friends make me feel assured that this is not my fault, not our fault.  It is the disease.  Cushing's is evil.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 7: Around the Cushie World in 30 Days--How I'm a Better Person Now



Hello everyone. Are you enjoying our trip around to vist with other Cushies?  Good. I knew you would.

Today, I want to take you to see Dawn, a Cushie who started blogging as part of the 30-day Cushing's Awareness Challenge in April.  Dawn, you finished, and you did awesome.  In her post entitled, How having Cushing's has made me a better person, Dawn talks about all the ways Cushing's has affected her life.  I loved that she tagged her post 'bright side of Cushing's.'

Way to go, Dawn!

You can visit read all of Dawn's blog at http://mrszebra.blogspot.com/.

"Girl Disappearing to some secret prison, but she's right in front of me."
This blog is about my journey to beat Cyclical Cushing's Disease and hopefully raise awareness to others so that someday this information could possibly save the life of yourself, a family member, or a friend.

p.s.  I loved her blog decorating motif so much I swiped it!  I promise to find my own template as soon as I can dream up something so good.




Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 6: Around the Cushie World in 30 Days~Danielle



Hi everyone.  Today, I want to show you how too much cortisol can destroy a body and force it to pack on weight.  I share with you a post from Danielle's blog Life with Cushing's:  my journey through diagnosis, treatment, and aftermath of Cushing's disease.

In her post simply entitled Pictures, Danielle shares with us what happens when one can *stop* cortisol from being overproduced in the body.  Danielle looks AWESOME.  She further charts her weight gain and subsequent loss after her bilateral adrenalectomy here.  

Thank you for sharing and making us part of your recovery and healing!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Day 5: Around the Cushie World in 30 Days~ eHow is an eDon't

For today's trip around the internet, we visit Cushie blogger Jessica.  Her site is called Brain Tumors can make you Fat!

In her post entitled eHow is not for medical advice!, Jessica takes on a person who purports to know enough about Cushing's to write an article telling others how to get rid of it.  Jessica brilliantly dismantles each false assumption and asks the author to revise the falsehoods about Cushing's

Bravo, Jessica. Bravo.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 4: Around the Cushie World in 30 days: Ashley's Pituitary Surgery



Today, I bring to you a profile of my friend Ashley R. She does not blog, but she should.  Ashley and I have been writing each for many many months online.  I have used everything in my arsenal of knowledge to guide her, and she has been an excellent student.  I take my role as Cushie advisor very seriously, and Ashley took my advice and made her own journey shorter as a result. I am very proud of her diligence and persistence, despite being very ill.

I finally met Ashley R. in Los Angeles this past January 2012.  When she saw our shared doctor, Dr. Friedman, I drove her to the appointment.  

Beyond what I have taught her, Ashley R. has been a wonderful teacher to me.  She has become one of many Cushing's patients for whom I have deep admiration.  Most importantly, Ashley R. and I have had many discussions, including how to enhance our outlook in order to create our new destiny without Cushing's and despite Cushing's. We are both committed to moving on to powerful and healthy lives that we have only because of the Cushing's.  For this and many other reasons, I am proud to call Ashley R. my friend.  I find her so compelling that I asked her permission to share her story here for you.  

Ashley R. is having surgery in Houston at the MD Anderson Cancer Center on Friday, May 4 at 8 am.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

**************


"You have a brain tumor? What the heck is Cushing's Disease?"
by Ashley R. on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 4:20am ·

I've spent much of the last year being quiet about the changes in my body and mind. Yes, there was chronic illness and debilitating/disfiguring symptoms, but I never really wanted to take ownership of what was going on - it always seemed like an invader to my body. I certainly didn't want to worry anyone unnecessarily and I definitely didn't want to jeopardize any professional contacts by littering my Facebook profile with too much medical information. For the most part, I tried to keep as normal of a schedule as possible.

... but I knew things were changed. I knew that I couldn't keep up appearances for long... so I (as gracefully as I could), withdrew from everything but what it took to survive. If you were a part of my life that didn't make the cut, you likely saw my involvement dwindle. I promise, I wasn't trying to hide. I was trying to survive. I am fighting so I can come back to full involvement. I promise, I'm almost there.

So here I am, about a year and a half out from the initial start of this mess, and I am ready to put pen to paper and explain what happened. Before I start, I need to be laser clear on a few things:

1. I am so grateful for the healing that this journey has brought to my life. This process flipped my world upside down... and in the process, forced me to confront things that I had avoided. 

2. I am confident that this is already cured and I am already healed ... my body is not broken, and this was no mistake. I don't write this for sympathy -- I've already grieved for what I thought I had lost. I write this story today from a place of gratitude... gratitude for my friends and family who have supported me through this and gratitude that I was trusted with this story. My prayer is that I say what needs to be said and that there be no mistaking that Jesus has been in control of the outcome from the beginning. I am at peace with what happened. 

Understanding that, let's start at the present.

Today, I lay in bed in a Houston hotel awaiting my turn to see one of the top neurosurgeons in the country. Tomorrow, I will undergo brain surgery to remove a tumor from my pituitary gland. Today, I pray, is the last day Cushing's Disease is allowed to be in my body.

What is Cushing's Disease?

Ever heard of the stress hormone, cortisol? Cushing's Disease is simply (ha!) an overproduction of cortisol in the body, usually caused by a tumor that overproduces the "give us more cortisol" hormone (ACTH).

Picture for a moment a time in your life when you experienced EXTREME STRESS. Perhaps you went through a trauma of some kind...perhaps you had a point in time where you had too much "critical" stuff to do and not enough time. Picture how your body felt - your muscles twitching between super strong and super goo, your heart beating fast, your head going from clear to mush... your appetite dropping only to hours later leave you ravenous... your body switching to survival mode with only one objective: run away from the tiger before it eats you.

Got it?

Now picture never being able to shut that off.

That, is the only way I can give you a glimpse of what this disease process looks like.

Take a few moments and watch this video - it explains the technical side of things quite well. It is worth the 6 minutes.

How did it happen to me?

I'm not really sure... but as I looked over the patterns in my life, it is entirely possible this is something I've been cycling with since I was a young girl. We started to get suspicious January 2011 when an overwhelming amount of fatigue took over my body and I gained about 30 pounds in 30 days - while dieting, walking 3 miles a day, and regularly practicing EFT to work through the emotional side of things. Something was wrong, something was very, very wrong.

As I scrambled for answers (surely, I had to be doing something wrong), a friend mentioned Cushing's. I scoffed, "now why would I want that? That's not fun."

A few weeks later, Samuel picked me up in San Luis Obispo and drove me to Seattle to be seen and have initial tests run. When the tests came back showing that we were on the right path, the choice was made immediately to move me back to Seattle permanently.

I didn't struggle through doctor after doctor who told me I was crazy. I didn't have the energy for that... I went straight to one of the leading experts on Cushing's Disease. For 8 months, I tested - blood draws, 24 hour urine collections, and saliva tests... Over and over again. Trip after trip to the lab. It was an exhausting and humiliating experience. Scratch that... it was an exhausting and humbling experience.

I tried to stop the process. I tried hard to fight it. When I stopped fighting it, there was a bit of a lull to the process. It made no sense. Throw everything you know about your body out the window. I was gaining weight eating a clean paleo diet and could get the weight gain to stop if I ate crap junk food. It made no sense. None. It still doesn't.

By September, most of the changes in my body had already occurred. I had gained about 150 pounds in a little over 7 months. My waist circumference doubled. My hair fell out. Reddish purple lines striped my arms, shoulders, and chest. Pads of fat seemed to grow both at the back of my neck AND on top of my collarbone. My face COMPLETELY changed. My moods altered and I fought against rage in my body. My skin turned both bright red and orange. Anxiety and paranoia were present daily. 

While I've avoided posting pictures over the last year, I feel like none of these words can quite show the change like this photo can. This my friends, is what the diagnostic process cost me physically. 

end of December 2010   -------------------------     April 2012

Dramatic, eh?  It was only 16 months.

I've tried (sometimes unsuccessfully) to rationally think through these changes. I've tried to keep perspective - that most of these things I felt were caused by the hormones NOT by real threats. In short: I did everything I could to not BLAME this disease process for any of my shortcomings. There were definitely limitations, but I refuse to give in completely and let this disease process take more than it needed to.

We found the tumor in October via MRI. You'd think, with an ever growing mountain of evidence supporting a diagnosis AND a visible tumor, that the doctors would be clamoring to take that puppy out, right? That just wasn't the case.

Midway through November 2011, I learned that my doctor was retiring his practice and moving in to drug research. I never managed an official diagnosis out of him -- the day he left his practice, he had spent 8 months being "highly suspicious" but never committal. Is this a doctor thing or a man thing? Who knows.

my buffalo hump
In January 2012, I flew to California to see another Cushing's specialist. There were several of you who prayed for and helped fund this trip. I am eternally grateful for your generosity.

When I met one of the doctors the first thing he said to me was, "Why hasn't anyone helped you before now? Why did they let you get this sick?" I do not have an answer to that question.

I spent most of February and the early part of March doing one final blitz of testing. In truth, the doctor likely had enough to make the final call, but needed tests that he had ordered to come back positive to do the whole CYA thing. 

Mid March 2012, almost a year to the day of my first appointment to discuss Cushing's Disease, I had a diagnosis: Cyclical Pituitary Cushing's Disease. 

Over the year and a half of progressively getting sicker, I was asked many times why I fought so hard for a particular diagnosis. After all, most people are traumatized when they hear they have a tumor and a life threatening illness. I, on the other hand was relieved.

I have a short answer to this: I needed 100% written proof, verified by a professional, that I did not intentionally do this to myself. I needed that proof for me... and for anyone else that would raise an eyebrow to me.

Sound strange? Sound selfish? Sound a bit ridiculous? Probably.

You see, I grew up an overweight child. I was blamed, from the age of...oh...8 or 9... for my weight problems. I've had so many labels put on me by doctors that refused to look for something other than a sad child who liked chocolate. I needed the diagnosis because I spent decades hating those responsible for my physical and emotional well being. I couldn't put my finger on it... but I never bought what they were saying.

The Cushing's diagnosis gave me the courage to forgive.

The process to get the diagnosis gave me the ability to appreciate and love my body in a way I can't quite explain - though I am going to try later this week. 

Anyway, here's what's next:

I'll have drive by brain surgery through my nose on Friday... then we pray that it is a cure. The surgery is really easy guys - I promise I am going to be ok... I am at one of the best facilities in the world and have one of the top surgeons in the world. He knows this disease inside and out and is going to take good care of me. Yes, please pray for me and for him for the actual surgery... but also keep my family in your prayers... as they are the ones who have to anxiously await the good news. Dad, Kelly, and Sam are here with me... and my sister is back up in WA (worrying no doubt).

Once I return home, I get a new fight on my hands: the "drying out" process (allowing the cortisol soaked tissues to get rid of the excess stored cortisol) and the "waking up" process (where my body starts producing hormones on its own again). They say the cortisol withdrawal is akin to a heroin addict going through withdrawals. Please pray for me. Please come check on me. This process scares me more than anything else.

Then, we rebuild from a place of gratitude. We learn from the process... and we move forward.

I am overwhelmed by the support, prayers, and generosity of those around me. I am overwhelmed at the humility my husband has shown through the whole process (I love you!). I am overwhelmed by the support of my bosses and coworkers - I've never felt more cared about by any other group of women. I am overwhelmed that women I didn't know came to visit me when I first moved back to Seattle and was lonely because no one was coming to see me. I am overwhelmed by the knowledge I've had the privilege of acquiring. I'm overwhelmed by the courage of the women who have gone before me in this fight - the women who took their time to navigate this process and support me every step of the way. I am overwhelmed that you took the time to read this... and mostly, I am overwhelmed that Jesus has been there through it all, going ahead of me, carrying me, and providing what I needed to come out on the other side of this in a much better place than when I went in.

Thank you so much for everything you've done and for the love you've shown to me.

All my love,
Ashley R.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Off The PNA Press

I was happy to see the Pituitary Network Association newsletter in my email today. In this short piece, it makes the point I have been trying to make: pituitary tumors change a person's personality. 

Off The PNA Press: Psychological Manifestations of Pituitary Disease

Editor’s note: This is an introduction to a lecture given by Dr. Michael Weitzner. It makes many of the points that the PNA strives to promote.

The objectives of this lecture are to provide an overview of the psychological and neuropsychiatric problems faced by patients with pituitary disease, the impact on family, and the options for treatment.

Cushing, himself, believed that there was a need to differentiate the psychological effects that resulted from the pituitary tumor from those that resulted from the stress of illness. It is now recognized that the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is not only an integral element in the expression of behavior, but also an essential part of the limbic system which controls our emotions.

Many patients with pituitary tumors develop an apathy syndrome which is the result of this interplay between the limbic system and the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. An important task is the differentiation of this apathy syndrome from other psychiatric disturbances which are also seen in patients with pituitary disease. It is well recognized that depression and anxiety are present in many patients with hyperprolactinemia and Cushing’s disease. Personality change and anxiety are commonly seen in patients with acromegaly and hypopituitarism. There are several options for treatment, both pharmacological and psychological. One element that is unfortunately ignored in this illness is the effect on the family. Effective treatment of the patient with pituitary disease included treatment of the family.

Michael A. Weitzner, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

www.pituitary.org

Day 3: Around the Cushie World in 30 Days~10 Things I Can't Live Without



For today's featured post, I share with you Robin's post entitled 10 Things I Can't Live Without.  

I find this post particularly important for Cushies, not in the nice-to-know way but the you-can-die-without-it way.  The pituitary gland and adrenal glands' choreographed dance to make cortisol is life-sustaining.  Enter a tumor and friends to tinker with that, it the dance turns ugly real quick.

You see, when people in the general populace talk about things they can't live without, they aren't talking real life and death. They are talking, I'd throw a bitch fit without it, it would make me cranky, I'd be bummed out if... 

Big difference.

We love Robin. She is a science teacher who helps all of us so much.  You can read her blogs at Survive the Journey and 365 with Cushing's.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 2: Around the Cushie World in 30 days~Let's Talk about our Bodies



Today, I share Gracie's post entitled Let's Talk about our Bodies from her blog called One Day at a Time / A Day in the Life of a Train Wreck.

If we didn't laugh, we'd cry, and well, we did that already.  Here is an excerpt. 

We also often lose a lot of our hair, and it just turns into this frizzy, haystack consistency that you can't do anything with. Oh, and don't forget the big red face! 

When you have Cushing's, you often have a very odd  body odor that no shower and no soap can get rid of.

I feel awkward in my clothes. My belly shows through my clothes. There is no hiding it. It makes me look odd! 

Day 1: Around the Cushie World in 30 days~Things Cushing's has Stolen from Me

As you know, April was Cushing's Awareness Month. I surprised even myself by completing 30 new blogs posts here in 30 days.  I didn't do it like it wanted, ie every day or ahead of time, queued up days in advanced, and on all my favored topics, but I did it.  I went days not feeling well and lying low on the couch and in bed. When the clouds parted, I rushed to complete three to five blog posts in a matter of hours. On those days, I did little else. I am proud I kept my word and finished the challenge. It was difficult, it was challenging, it took every bit of effort for me to complete it. I don't commit to anything anymore because I always have to cancel.  So, I am proud of myself for finishing. Go me.

With over 20 Cushing's patients blogging along with me in the Cushing's Awareness Challenge, we wrote our little hearts out.  I am proud of our group, and I am especially inspired by the perseverance despite illness.

This month, I wanted to share with you a few of the posts that  caught *my* eye and touched my heart. I wanted to share with you the best the Cushing's bloggers have to offer.

For today's blog post, I share with you an emotional post entitled, Things Cushing's has Stolen from Me, from Vanessa's blog, The Dark Side of the Moon:  

Having Cushing's is like being on the dark side of the moon. We are always up at night and rarely feel like we get up on the right side of the bed. There is very little light in our worlds. Even under the moonlight's glow. It's a cold, lonely place.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Rieger kitty

Photo
Today, my cat Rieger Magillicuddy, turns 5 years old.

This is newsworthy to include on my Cushing's blog because my husband bought him for me in 2007, just month's after finding out that Cushing's was the enemy. Husband had read that pets help patients with depression, and I was facing the worst of my depressive symptoms at that time. Soon, we searched the Internet to find one that wouldn't make us allergic. This is what we found: a gorgeous Siberian kit cat, new to the US in 1990.

http://www.cfa.org/client/breedSiberian.aspx

After avoiding cats for my entire life, I now fancy them, well, one in particular.


Happy 5th birthday, my sweet kitty cat Rieger. Our family wouldn't be the same without you.

With love,
Mama and family

P. S. 'Scilla Presley spent a lot of time getting her eyeliner to look like this!