Pituitary Tumor Removal


I think that my symptoms started 20 years ago, just after my daughter was born. I started gaining weight and my blood sugar started going up. Really, my whole body started changing.

I went to the doctor but they kept on telling me, “You’re a diabetic now and you’re going to have to start taking insulin.”

Over the next 20 years, I heard 4 other doctors tell me that very same thing.

In 2000, I had respiratory problems so I went to a doctor who put me on prednisone. My varied symptoms kept getting worse; my feet swelled, I had trouble going up and down stairs, I began to develop a hump in the back on my neck, and my neck got thicker and thicker.

I went to another endocrinologist but they didn’t know what was wrong. They did a CT scan, but that came up negative. They said, “You’re just insulin resistant. There’s nothing else wrong with you.”

In May of 2008, I was up to 225 pounds, loosing my hair, and had started growing hair on my chin. My blood pressure was high, I was starting to have heart problems, and I was very depressed. I understand how people feel when they are suicidal because I was so close to that point. Everyday was an unbearable struggle.

Finally, my boss said, “There’s something wrong with you. You need to leave work and find out what it is.”

That was the start of finding a doctor who really listened to me. My primary physician suspected Cushing’s disease in June of 2008 and an MRI revealed a tumor on my pituitary gland. That’s when I was referred to the Emory Pituitary Center.

I came in and I looked like the Pillsbury doughboy, with no hair. I walked in and the first thing that Dr. Ioachimescu said to me was, “Cheryl, we know what’s wrong with you and we are going to take care of you.” And the whole time she said this, she was holding my hand. That’s the first time a doctor had ever done that to me.

Then Dr. Oyesiku came in and said, “We know what’s wrong with you and we are going to give you your life back.” And he held my hand.

Dr. Oyesiku removed the tumor on my pituitary gland in the winter of 2008, and I am now in remission.

Now, I am so much stronger than I was. I can help my daughter with her two-week old baby, the depression is gone, and my hair has grown back, thick and wavy. I have lost 50 pounds and I feel like myself again.

The doctors at Emory listened to me. They answered all of my questions and explained all of my lab work. They didn’t treat me like a patient. They treated me like a person.

I would recommend them to anybody, anywhere.

They saved my life.

Cheryl Dunlop, 58, Woodstock, Georgia