At the age of 27 I started having baby fever. I already had 2 children. But I always knew I wanted a big family. I begged my husband for the a third. He was scared for me because I had horrible post-pregnancy recoveries with my other two children. But I convinced him that things would be ok. We conceived our third baby on February of 2016, I was 28. I was so excited because everything I wanted was falling into place. My pregnancy felt normal for the most part. I did notice that I was extremely tired; like more than usual. I mentioned it to my OBGYN and she said it was part of the pregnancy. But I had never before felt this exhausted. At least the headaches I had being getting before conceiving were gone.
The first and second trimester were going good. I was eating healthy but I continued to feel extremely tired. Things began to change drastically when I hit my 3rd trimester. In August of 2016, began to feel pain in my lower right abdomen that would extend to my back. The pain was so much that it brought me to tears. I had never felt anything like that, and I consider my tolerance to pain pretty high. I mentioned it to my OBGYN, but she couldn't do much other than schedule me for an ultrasound after delivery. Thankfully the pain eventually went away and I continued with my normal routine. I was a teacher.
In September 2016, I began to get more symptoms of a numb lip. I thought it was an allergic reaction to something I ate. I remember feeling uneasy and going to the lunch room to grab something to drink. Around 3pm I began to lose consciousness, everything around me turned dark. All I remember is an aid coming in to dismiss the students and me being wheeled to the nurse's offfice. One of the teachers at that time told the nurse to feed me and that helped me gain consciousness. It is then that she told me that I probably had a sugar drop and should be tested for diabetes.
The probelm was I had already been tested twice for diabetes and it was negative. From that moment on I began to check my glucose and record my blood sugar. In the mornings I'd wake up with a fasting glucose of 42. I gave all my recordings to my OBGYN, and she said it would pass after pregnancy. However, that was not the case. My glucose only seemed to get worse after I delivered a healthy boy in November 2016.
I met with an endocrinologist and explained my symptoms to him. He came back the next day and told me I had an insulanoma and had to be transferred out. I was in shock, how? I hardly ever get sick, I exercise, how could it be? Nevertheless, since this was the first time a doctor had diagnosed me, my transfer was not accepted until further tests were performed. The endocronologist ordered all the tests, the only thing the scans would show was the lesions in my liver. I had two failed biopsies that removed healthy tissue. Due to this I was released within a few weeks.
I went home on Dec. 9, 2016. But my struggle was only starting. I was given medication (dioxicide) to help my glucose and a glucose emergency shot. Being home only revealed how weak my body was becoming. I had to eat so much throughout the day in order to give my body the glucose it needed. Even then my body was producing too much insulin. I had several occasions where my glucose dropped to the 20's and I fell into a seizure. I had to wake up in the middle of the night to eat or I would cease. I remember EMS helping me several times, and coming to only after given D50.
Finally in May 2017, my body could not go more than 30 minutes without collapsing. It was then I decided to admit myself to the hospital. I waited a few weeks to be transferred to Houston Methodist where they were finally able to find the insulanoma. I was hooked up to D50 24/7 and receiving steroids to keep me awake. I had surgery on June 6, 2016. It was a few days later that the oncology team gave me the real diagnosis. I had NETs cancer.
It's been a long recovery since then, but I'm alive and I'm still here. I'm on treatment and feel much better. However, there are still questions I have. This cancer is rarely talked about, and sometimes I wish I could just read all about it. How do I survive? How do a achieve a longer life? Should I have a whipple? Idk. For now the best I can do is enjoy life one day at a time.