Blessings In Disguise


The title of this post mostly encompasses the news of yesterday as David and I went to his doctor’s appointment with the endocrinologist almost one year from our first visit with him; but it can easily apply to the whole journey we’ve been on together over our first year of marriage.

David's pituitary adenoma. About the size of a plum.

Shortly after Dave & I were married, we found out that he has what is called a pituitary adenoma. This is a noncancerous tumor surrounding the pituitary, and does not spread beyond the skull. The pituitary itself is about the size of a pea, and David’s tumor in the beginning was about the size of a plum in the center of his head, below the brain. You can sort of make out what I’m saying just by looking at the scans. 

Not only is the tumor potentially damaging the pituitary gland, but it’s also secreting a hormone called prolactin at outrageous amounts, compared to what an “average David” is supposed to have, impairing the production of other hormones in his body. Since your pituitary is the master gland of your whole endocrine system (hormones), long story short it put his whole body out of whack. 

David at Dr. Donaldson's for his 2 HOUR LONG check.

Another scare after the first MRI was to check with the ophthalmologist if the tumor was in the optic chiasm. In a basic sense, if the tumor was pressing up against this area near the “back of his eyes” he could go blind. After an “emergency” eye exam that lasted longer than my phone battery, we received
Blessing #1: No eye problems for David. THANK HEAVENS.

With a new prescription and plan underway to shrink the tumor, and get on the road to recovery, we went on with our lives like normal. Other than paying medical bills as newlyweds, and visiting the specialist every six weeks, life was pretty normal. 
Well, as normal as it could be. This sort of changed our whole world as we knew it. In the short term, David was extremely fatigued the first few months. He was very tired, and could hardly think straight; especially with all of the headaches he was getting, it was hard for him to get up at all in the mornings. With this being a fact for us in our early marriage, it meant that the majority of home responsibilities fell on my shoulders. Even helping him get out of bed and get ready for school on most days of the week. So here we come to Blessing #2: We gained a lot of love, appreciation, and compassion for one another so early on in our marriage. As our situation continued to get better, this desperate cling to everything good in each other has stayed with us and strengthened us as a couple.
Blessing #3: David got an amazing job at Qualtrics that pays all of our expenses, so we have had no debt over this last year.

Regardless of our difficult circumstances at times, we still made wonderful memories together. 
In our recent visit with our specialist, we sort of had this (unknowingly) unrealistic expectation of a sort of “game plan” appointment. At this point, we were expecting to hear news of needing either surgery or radiation to get rid of the last bit of tumor Dave has left. (The treatment over this last year was very affective; but the tumor wasn’t reacting as well as the doctor would have hoped. So we were expecting a “call to action”, so to speak, in this appointment.)
But as the visit with the doctor pressed forward, we realized that he had no intentions of pushing towards surgery or radiation at this point. 
Confused, we asked him for a sort of timeline that we would be in this for. About how long was this really going to take to get David back “up to speed” again? To our surprise the doctor nonchalantly says, “1-2 years. I want surgery to be the very last resort, and if we can avoid it as much as possible, we should.”

I guess I should have known that all along, but for some reason I had a naïve view of how long this would last.

Long story short, this means that our family plan is pushed back a few years. We don’t have very many answers, but we suppose that it could be anywhere between 3-5 years, or even up to 10+ years before we can start to bring children in our home. 

After a lot of prayer and pondering, we both saw the silver lining in this sort of daunting realization of our life. Blessing #4: We don’t really have a choice in having children yet, so there’s no pressure of starting a family hanging over our heads.
Blessing #5: What a great time of our life to spend as much time as we can together, making memories, and doing the things we couldn’t do if we had young children. And when they come, we will accept them with open arms.
Blessing #6: We are both so lucky to have nieces and nephews of different ages in our family, to get our “parenting fix” in. They are such a joy, and I imagine will become even more so as we go through these next few years. What a great opportunity to grow greater relationships with them. 

Baby Blaire
We're so blessed to have each other.

With every sorrow, joy comes in the morning. I’m excited to see what journeys life will take us on in the next few years. And we hope to have our eyes open to more blessings along the way.

“Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.” – Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Until next time!