Colleen McGarrie

Colleen McGarrie.jpgIn 2006, my doctor confirmed I had a pituitary brain tumor. In some people, these can be "common" and treated with a form of chemo taken daily to shrink. Mine was not common and did not shrink. I had side effects from the chemo: I vomited multiple times a day, and in 2007, my duodenum, with a section of my small intestine, had to be surgically removed. A second chemo was tried with even more side effects, but there was no change in the tumor growth. In addition, as the tumor increased in size, it was pressing up too close near the carotid arteries.

In 2008, a surgeon was found, and he completed my first Transsphenodial Surgery. However, he had to repeat it three weeks later because he realized he did not get the entire tumor. With the second surgery, he removed the entire pituitary as well. This left my body free of tumor but with a life long disability and ongoing complications. We moved to Texas because where we were living, there was not enough consensus or expertise on how to care for a person without a pituitary, and my body and family suffered greatly.

I am grateful to be here today.