Day Twenty-eight, Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2015

 

I first saw a similar image to this one with the saying Life. Be in it at a recreation center when my son was little.  At the time, it was “Duh, of course I’m in it”.

The original image was one a couple males, a couple females and a dog walking/running.  No folks in wheelchairs, no older folks and certainly no zebras.

It would be nice to have everyone out there walking or running but that’s not real life, at least in the Cushie world.  It’s been a long time since I’ve really been In My Life – maybe it’s time to get back.

A dear friend who has not one, but two forms of cancer was traveling throughout Europe for the first time after her husband’s death wrote:

Some final words before I turn in for the night. If there is a spark of desire within you to do something which is not contrary to God’s Holy Law, find a way to make it happen. All things are possible and blessings abound for those who love Him. Life is such an adventure. Don’t be a spectator – live every single moment for Him and with Him.

Somedays, it’s hard even getting up in the morning but I’m trying.  I’ve tried Water Aerobics for People with Arthritis and I actually went to class twice a week, I got a new part-time job two years ago, my son and I will play at Steinway Hall in NYC again in June, we have plans for a cruise in June, and a trip to Scotland to cross something off my Bucket List – seeing/hearing the Edinburgh Tattoo.

This is the one and only life I’ll ever have and I want to make the most of it!

 

 

Day 1: Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2015

April is always Cushing’s Awareness Challenge month because Dr. Harvey Cushing was born on the 8th.

30-posts

 

Thanks to Robin for this wonderful past logo!  I’ve participated in these 30 days for Cushing’s Awareness several times so I’m not quite sure what is left to say this year but I always want to get the word out when I can.

As I see it, there have been some strides the diagnosis or treatment of Cushing’s since last year.  More drug companies are getting involved, more doctors seem to be willing to test, a bit more awareness, maybe.

This year’s logo, also thanks to Robin:

cushie-blogger-2015-large


 

April Fool's Day

How fitting that this challenge should begin on April Fool’s Day.  So much of Cushing’s  Syndrome/Disease makes us Cushies seem like we’re the April Fool.  Maybe, just maybe, it’s the doctors who are the April Fools…

Doctors tell us Cushing’s is too rare – you couldn’t possibly have it.  April Fools!

All you have to do is exercise and diet.  You’ll feel better.  April Fools!

Those bruises on your legs?  You’re just clumsy. April Fools!

Sorry you’re growing all that hair on your chin.  That happens as you age, you know.  April Fools!

Did you say you sleep all day?  You’re just lazy.  If you exercised more, you’d have more energy. April Fools!

You don’t have stretch marks.  April Fools!

You have stretch marks but they are the wrong [color/length/direction] April Fools!

The hump on the back of your neck is from your poor posture. April Fools!

Your MRI didn’t show a tumor.  You couldn’t have Cushing’s. April Fools!

This is all in your mind.  Take this prescription for antidepressants and go home.  April Fools!

If you have this one surgery, your life will get back to normal within a few months. April Fools!

What?  You had transsphenoidal surgery for Cushing’s?  You wasted your time and money. April Fools!

I am the doctor.  I know everything.  Do not try to find out any information online. You could not have Cushing’s.  It’s too rare…  April FOOL!

All this reminds me of a wonderful video a message board member posted a while ago:

It’s Literally Impossible to Have Cushing’s

 

So now – who is the April Fool?  It wasn’t me.  Don’t let it be you, either!

 

 

 

 

Cushings Syndrome/Disease can be healed or cured through change in diet or exercise

Myth: Cushing’s Syndrome/Disease can be healed or cured through change in diet or exercise.

myth-busted

Fact: NO! Caloric intake or lack of exercise has NO impact on weight gain and/ or loss in persons with Cushing’s.

Saying that someone “cheated” on their diet may seem reasonable to some as a reason for weight gain but I assure you that a candy bar or a piece of pie does not make a person with Cushing’s gain weight or get sick. Excess cortisol is the reason for Cushing’s symptoms. Treating the disease is the only way to alleviate symptoms.

The first line of treatment with the highest rate of remission is currently surgery to remove the tumor (s) from the pituitary, adrenal gland, or ectopic source.

One Of A Kind: Despite use of only one lung, right guard Dillon Reagan helps solidify Jacks’ offensive line

The Big Uglies. The Big Nasties. The Hogs.

All terms used to describe a football team’s offensive line.

More often than not, it takes a special breed of player to be willing to do battle in the trenches.

Humboldt State right guard Dillon Reagan can without a doubt be bestowed with the title of special.

From overcoming Cushing’s Syndrome — a rare disease which left him with the use of only one lung — to the depression that was associated with the disorder, the Issaquah, Wash. native has definitely taken the road less traveled.

”The hardest part,” Reagan began, “was the first four months. (Doctors) didn’t know what was necessarily wrong with me. I was misdiagnosed as bipolar.”

Reagan displayed the initial symptoms of Cushing’s in 2009 after earning second-team All-State honors as a freshman at College of the Redwoods. A disorder caused by a tumor on one of the endocrine glands, Cushing’s causes a massive secretion of hormones which can affect behavior and physical appearance.

It did that and more to Reagan.

”I had full-ride scholarships taken away,” he said.

A full-body scan revealed a softball-sized tumor wrapped around his heart and left lung. Open heart surgery remedied the situation but his left lung useless.

In the midst of all this, Reagan also developed diabetes.

It would have been quite easy for the 6-foot-3 kid from Washington to call it quits. No one would have blamed him.

But an offensive lineman never quits.

”I never changed my approach,” Reagan said. “It’s a position of dominance and perseverance. Being an offensive lineman helped me get through all that. It helped me not feel sorry for myself.

”It was a long road back to full speed, but, your body reacts to how you push it.”

And push he did.

Reagan hit the weight room and transformed his body — which ballooned to 380 pounds due to Cushing’s — back to the muscular 300-pound frame he showcased his freshman year. He returned to Redwoods for his sophomore campaign and again displayed the skills that made him a Division I commodity.

”I ended up getting All-California,” Reagan said. “And with the use of only one lung.”

Looking to further his football career at the university level, there was really only one option.

”I wanted to go to a good program,” Reagan said. “That clear answer was Humboldt State.”

Reagan noted the close ties Redwoods and Humboldt shared as a deciding factor. His coach at CR was Duke Manyweather, a former HSU player himself. Reagan also sought the guidance of Humboldt State strength and conditioning coach Drew Petersen during his road to physical recovery.

Reagan asked to join Humboldt State as a non-scholarship athlete during the 2012 Spring semester and head coach Rob Smith and his coaching staff were more than happy to have him.

The following season, Reagan showed why.

As a junior, Reagan started 11 games for the Jacks providing a stabilizing force for a unit which paved the way for running backs to gain 2,152 total yards. He also earned second-team all conference honors.

It is amazing how high Reagan has risen after seeing how far he had fallen. An inspiration and uplifting athlete, it is easy to label him special.

Just don’t tell Reagan that.

”It takes me a little longer to warm up and get to game speed. But I don’t want to be treated differently than my teammates,” he said.

Entering his senior season, Reagan is being counted upon to be a stalwart right guard as he is only one of two returning starters (center and good friend David Kulp the other) from last season’s road graders.

Reagan is more than ready.

”As an offensive lineman, you show up every day, no matter what happens outside of practice, no matter what’s going on at home, no matter how beat up you are. You do it again and do it every day,” he said. “We set the tempo for the rest of the practice, rest of the game. If we don’t know up, it’s hard for everyone else to show up.”

Three positions are up for grabs on the Jacks’ front line. Reagan likes what he is seeing from the player stepping up to the plate.

”Start with tackle,” Reagan began, “(Jonathon) Rowe has made tremendous contributions at camp. He’s really growing up for his in a short time. Jonathan Bajet, he’s moving over from the defensive line, and he’s been really neck-and-neck for a starting guard position. David (Kulp), he’s a great guy to play next too, a great guy to have in your corner. It just works. We don’t have to say anything, we know what we’re doing. And (Jarrett) Adams has stepped up a bit. In the last few weeks he’s learned how to play right tackle.”

Humboldt is still knee-deep in competition in preparation for the Sept. 7 season-opening home contest against Simon Fraser. Reagan notes practicing daily against a defensive line which features returners Alex Markarian, Silas Sarvinski and Tommy Stuart, to name a few, helps both the O and D.

”They are adapting to our fast offense,” Reagan said. “You’re only as good as you practice. No one shows up game day and plays good. We challenge each other every day. It gets intense. But it’s all out of competition. Competition is a thing that drives a football team.”

If everything falls into place, all the Jacks’ hard work will result in one thing: Great Northwest Athletic Conference supremacy.

There’s simply no better lasting impression for Reagan.

”A GNAC Championship,” he said. “That puts you down in the books forever, that GNAC Championship.”

Title or not, it’s a pretty safe bet Reagan has already left a lasting impression.

 

Ray Aspuria can be reached evenings at 707-441-0527 or raspuria@times-standard.com. Follow him at twitter.com/AirUpsa707

 

From The Times-Standard

Day Twenty-Four, Cushing’s Awareness Challenge

 

I first saw a similar image to this one with the saying Life. Be in it at a recreation center when my son was little.  At the time, it was “Duh, of course I’m in it”.

The original image was one a couple males, a couple females and a dog walking/running.  No folks in wheelchairs, no older folks and certainly no zebras.

It would be nice to have everyone out there walking or running but that’s not real life, at least in the Cushie world.  It’s been a long time since I’ve really been In My Life – maybe it’s time to get back.

A dear friend who has not one, but two forms of cancer is travelling throughout Europe for the first time after her husband’s death wrote:

Some final words before I turn in for the night. If there is a spark of desire within you to do something which is not contrary to God’s Holy Law, find a way to make it happen. All things are possible and blessings abound for those who love Him. Life is such an adventure. Don’t be a spectator – live every single moment for Him and with Him.

Somedays, it’s hard even getting up in the morning but I’m trying.  I’ve signed up for Water Aerobics for people with Arthritis and I’m actually going to class twice a week, I’ve applied for a new part-time job, bought plane tickets for a trip.

This is the one and only life I’ll ever have and I want to make the most of it!

 

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