In my previous post, I described how I was diagnosed, in my early 30s, with a Pituitary Tumour causing a one-in-a-million condition called Acromegaly. It is referred to as the Shrek Disease on the Internet after French wrestler Maurice Tillet (upon whom Shrek was based), although I call it a Condition as you can’t “catch” Acromegaly. In my case it was identified, by chance, by a student nurse in an ER ward; and then confirmed by simple blood test which showed that my Growth Hormone levels were over 30 times higher than the safe maximum for a healthy adult male. That night, I was given four years to live unless I was treated urgently.
In this post I describe what happened next.
Well, its taken me a few years to get around to writing this post. Partially because I’m still learning about it, but also because I am also hearing of other people in Australia who are going through similar episodes (either themselves or of a loved one), and are suffering similar difficulties with finding out more about this.
I also want to get the truth out there. Particularly to people who work in the HR, Recruitment and OH&S fields, because when I come across their radar, they get excited, scared, or both. I also work in Risk Management, and I also believe in being up-front with my medical condition so my employer/client can make their own decision. I believe that any decisions that are made must be made rationally, based upon accurate, proven information and not based upon an initial, knee-jerk reaction, on emotion, nor on fear, uncertainty or deceit.
I do have a rare form of cancer in the brain, that has caused a condition called Acromegaly. It is an increase in growth hormone production in the body, and whilst it makes me look like Shrek, its being extremely well managed. I am very likely to survive, because its been caught so quickly and whilst I am so young. It – nor any treatment – is not a danger to anyone I work or socialise with. I am not on chemotherapy or any other medication that would cause risks to anyone else, if I ever do end up going down that path, you will all be the first to know.
It all started in my early twenties, about twelve years ago.