Acromegaly is a rare medical condition. I’m one case in 3-4 of a million cases happening per year. Yep, that rare! Maybe because in most cases the disease is left undiagnosed until it manifests major complicating conditions, like diabetes and cardiovascular problems, which are then treated as the primary ailments.
Wikipedia better explains this rare disease:
Most pituitary tumors arise spontaneously and are not genetically inherited. Many pituitary tumors arise from a genetic alteration in a single pituitary cell which leads to increased cell division and tumor formation. This genetic change, or mutation, is not present at birth, but is acquired during life. The mutation occurs in a gene that regulates the transmission of chemical signals within pituitary cells; it permanently switches on the signal that tells the cell to divide and secrete growth hormones. The events within the cell that cause disordered pituitary cell growth and growth hormone oversecretion currently are the subject of intensive research.
I faced it head-on 1 Feb 2007 when I went in for surgery in Manila. The tumor that showed in my first MRI scans measured around 7mm. This was reduced post operation to a subtle 3mm. Between that time and last 16th of Sep, that subtle residual tumor had been insidiously affecting my life on the whole. I know I was not yet cured. I know the battle had not ended. And I know that there was still something that could be done. Something within my reach. Something that just needed me to will it to happen.
And on 16 Sep 2009, with one of the best neurosurgeons in Singapore, something amazing happened. I went under the knife (again) with a faith enough to ride any tide. It was an extraordinary day. For one, it was my 34th birthday. It was the 2nd time I was taking my chances of battling it out with an unheard of disease amongst my circles of family and friends. A post on Facebook before midnight immediately drew attention to my status, and all through the next day, messages poured in. The prayers whispered to God by family, relatives and friends from all around were truly amazing. Not only did they make me feel loved, they made me come out of the surgery cured. Yes, I have the gut feel, and the faith that I have defeated acromegaly finally. I have a whole life, maybe another 34 years, may be even more to look forward to. I can now happily picture myself in Gabee’s 18th birthday, Garrett’s college graduation, in both their weddings, and in many happy family occasions yet to happen.