My sister’s had a benign (as in non-cancerous) pituitary tumour for absolutely years. Unfortunately, in her case, benign hasn’t meant symptomless. She’s been struggling with lethargy and other depressing, albeit not disabling symptoms for years.
She’s now exhausted all four (I think there are four!) drugs for controlling it, and all either didn’t work, or had side-effects that made her feel worse, or both.
Although there’s a good chance symptoms would resolve naturally at menopause, she’s only 44 yet, and absolutely adamant she can’t put up with it that long. So she has pushed for - and eventually been offered - surgical intervention. That means a brain op.
She’s been advised that there are risks, including to her sight, as it’s very close to the optic nerve. My mother and I are both naturally more conservative about treatment, and feel we would be more inclined to stick it out, and not take the risk of surgery. My view is coloured by the fact I live with MS, for which there is no available surgical intervention (leaving aside the controversial CCSVI theory), and it seems to me my sister’s symptoms are not so very debilitating, by comparison, that they merit risking one’s sight for. She’s a single mum of two young boys!
My sister and I are not close, either geographically or emotionally, and I respect it has to be her choice, but I still don’t want her to go ahead with this. It doesn’t help that the nurse on the actual care team responsible has told her: “Oooh no, I wouldn’t do that!” I’m not sure if this was ethical or not, although I do think Sis should hear voices both for and against, and not only those who tell her whatever she wants to hear.
The surgery was scheduled for the week before Christmas - 18th December - but now we’ve had a shock, as the hospital as been in touch to say the theatre is not available that week (Why didn’t they know that already?), and could she have it done NEXT WEDNESDAY - which she has agreed to.
I know it’s none of my business, but I don’t want her to do it. I’m worried she will end up blind (or worse), and what will then happen to my nephews? And all for the sake of symptoms that would be considered a mere minor inconvenience to many here. She doesn’t appreciate what many live with, without making such heavy weather of it. I know there’s an argument that why should you live with any health issue, if it’s fixable? But fixable at what cost? I’m really apprehensive, and don’t want her to do it.
I know the hospital wouldn’t go ahead if they thought it was severely contra-indicated, but on the other hand, they have been resisting this route for years. I think it’s only because my sister wouldn’t back down, that they’ve eventually caved in, but I didn’t get the impression they were exactly enthusiastic about it.
Did think about going anon for this one, on the off-chance she might wander by and read it, but on second thoughts, it would still be fairly obvious it was me, even if I removed my name - too many suspicious coincidences for her not to recognize her own story. I thought of changing a few key facts, like giving her a different type of tumour, but then it might not entirely make sense.