A Message To The EPCF Community From Coach Kate Stone
An Important Message to the EverProven Community From Coach Kate Stone
When October rolls around, you may notice (or maybe you won’t haha) that you don’t see me around the gym, coaching, working out or heckling you. I wanted to take a minute to fill you guys in on why….
On October 4th, I’ll be undergoing a procedure to surgically remove a small mass that has taken residence at my anterior pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain. It is part of the endocrine system and produces critical hormones (such as estrogen) which are chemical substances that control various bodily functions. Before you panic (like I did a little bit) this is not your typical brain surgery. I’m very lucky that this procedure will be less invasive, going through my nose. So please don’t go out and shave your head in support of my craniotomy 🙂
One question you may have is “how did you figure out you had a pituitary adenoma?” Long story long… it all probably started about four years ago, maybe even more. I started having irregular “female cycles” and my doctor started ordering blood tests to make sure my levels were normal and safe. At first they were but over the past few years and consequent blood tests, the levels they were concerned with (mainly TSH, LH, estradiol) with kept dropping to almost negligible production. At one visit, my doctor asked if I ever experienced headaches or significant blurry vision, and I when I answered yes, she suggested a brain MRI. The MRI showed a 10mm x 12mm mass at my anterior pituitary gland, very close to my optic nerve.
My care got transferred to a neuroendocrinologist and neurosurgeon out of Mass General. Several more months of testing took place to rule out some other disorders and conditions. Eventually it was decided that surgical removal was the best solution. The reasons why: 1. My body is not producing any estrogen, which affects my ability to menstruate, conceive and grow a baby, and can cause a decrease in bone density (fractures, early osteoporosis, etc). 2. If the mass continues to grow, it will likely press on my optic nerve, leading to loss of peripheral and/or full vision. 3. My cortisol levels are all out of whack, so I’m pretty much always really tired and anxious, which makes life (working, coaching, working out, etc. a real struggle some days….ask Scott, I’m wicked fun).
So on October 4th, I have a great team at Mass General who are hopefully going to help me get back on the right track. I’ll be out of work and on a “limited physical activity” plan for about four weeks. I’m nervous, scared, excited, anxious, tired (haha)… but mostly happy to have a plan with hopefully a positive outcome. I’m happy to share more about this experience, so please, if you have questions, just ask! You may even see a more detailed blog series about the whole journey. The best news is I think we’ll be able to squeeze in “Stone’s Birthday WOD” before I go under… don’t miss it!
Hugs and Burpees, Stone
P.S. From Momma Stone: If you experience any symptoms that are “abnormal,” such as missed periods, chronically tired, low energy, headaches, etc., I recommend that you talk to your doctor about them. Don’t keep waiting and thinking that the symptoms will subside. Of course, they may improve on their own, but I encourage you to take care of yourself and your body.