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July 27th, 2017

Pushing Through It

By saremihaniyeh

I got my ears pierced on March 20. 2 days later, I was with the school nurse to have her help me clean the wounds. I felt dizzy and nauseous and the next thing I knew I was on the floor. I felt like I was asleep and I heard someone calling my name. I felt cold, my head hurt. The school nurse said I had fainted.

My aunt took me to urgent care. They told me there that it was syncope.

The next day was a big school event -"The Carnival of Knowledge." I was very busy with a lot of responsibilities and I was running around from place to place. I was leading Zumba when I began heating up and felt my heart rate racing but I kept pushing. I lost vision but could still hear. I tried to come down steps and had to grab for the nearest adults to keep from falling.The principal and some parents assisted me. I went back up on stage but started shaking and had to be led off.

I was out of it and went to the ER. Again I was told it was syncope. I then saw a lot of different doctors and had ultrasounds. I mentioned I had had a lump I had felt on my throat and when blood was drawn, my calcium level was very high. Many tests were done - blood, urine. Finally an initial biopsy which was said to be benign but my mother was skeptical.

Another doctor did a 2nd biopsy. He said I have cancer. I have always been very healthy in my life so I was surprised.

I was told it is Multiple Endocrine Neoplasty Type 2 which is hereditary. Since I am adopted, I don't know my family history. I had genetic testing which confirmed it. I have been told it is very rare.

The doctor told me the good news is it is treatable with surgery. I was referred to Dr. Livhits who said we should do the surgery soon but it was ok to wait till school ended. The first surgery was adrenal. I was out of it the first day afterwards but happy to have it done.

Then there was surgery for removal of my thyroid and parathyroid. I still have one small tumor but Dr. Livhits said we don't need to do anything with it now.

I had been looking forward to the summer but haven't been able to swim. But there are worse things - at least my cancer was treatable. But it is a lot for a 17 year old!

Tags: adrenal surgery, benign, calcium level, cancer, Dr. Masha Livhits, endocrine, Endocrine, Endocrine Center, Endocrine Surgery, Endocrinology, endocrinology, ER, fainting, genetic testing, heart rate racing, hereditary, initial biopsy, lump, lump on throat, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasty Type 2, parathyroid, patient stories, removal of my thyroid, small tumor, surgery, syncope, UCLA Endocrine Center, ultrasounds, vision

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