Posts Tagged ‘Cushings Disease’

If you have followed my blog you know that I have been married over 30 years. You know that my wife Dianna has Cushing”s Disease and has suffered for well over 25 years. She has had 3 brain surgeries including having Her pituitary gland removed. You know that I have been involved in ministry about the same amount of time and the last 10 years in world missions including taking teams to Africa to help build an orphanage.None of which Dianna has been able to be directly involved.

Dianna under Her endocrinologist absolute warning, has never been across the big pond with me. BUT this year because Her health is so improved She received Her Dr’s blessing to go. It would end up being a short term mission trip with me to the Dominican Republic, yes the other side of the island from Haiti.

So what does that have to do with teaching old dogs new tricks. Well at almost 50 years old you get in a rut, in fact so deep in a rut you have a hard time seeing out. I am that old dog. I am a  bit, no extremely adventurous. I am used to curbing my crazy zeal, only when I have students with me, and act more parental. I can not tell you how  my emotions were rocking trying to balance being safe for Dianna, yet wanting Her to actually experience adventure.

Getting married so young “17 and 16″ ” you fill in the blanks” we did not have the opportunity to have a Honeymoon. We would tie in a couple of days at the end of our Mission adventure, to Marital Bliss in Susua, on the North side of the Island. We had a great time, I was nervous. The life most normal people live meaning, Husbands and Wives just doing what they want, when they want, has never been an option for us. We have always had the restraint of the disease dictating how we live. For the 1st time I felt we, and mostly Dianna was free from its grip. I will share a few pictures with you, of both our mission and Honeymoon. Unless you have lived under the restraints of extreme sickness, you might find this post odd. But for me, I learned a few tricks, and we enjoyed each other in a world we had never shared before.

I am so proud of Dianna for taking a risk and thankful to the Lord for opening a door of Liberty. enjoy the pictures.

jarabacoa falls

jarabacoa falls Dominican Republic

Dianna Gross rides a horse in Jarabacoa

Dianna Gross rides a horse in Jarabacoa

John and Dianna in La Vega

John and Dianna in La Vega

John and Dianna Gross

John and Dianna Gross

Susua Bay , Dominican Republic

Susua Bay , Dominican Republic


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Sub-title : longsuffering the fruit of the Spirit growing in my Wife

Dianna and I were married in 1979 in the mid 1980’s She became very sick. No one could diagnose the Problem but after breaking several bones in Her foot by simply walking up the stairs we went to Dr. Travis in Harrisonville Missouri. He said something very serious was wrong and sent Dianna to a specialist at Research hospital in Kansas City. He diagnosed Dianna with Cushings Syndrome. For Dianna it was basically a small tumor on the pituitary glad. Dianna has now had 3 brain surgeries and a gamma knife surgery. She has had Her pituitary gland removed and now takes more medicine than I can keep track of. Dianna has suffered so much yet keeps trusting God. She truly is inspiring when you have seen Her suffer like I have over the many years.

Below you will see a progression of the effects of Cushings Syndrome in the photographs of my wife Dianna. The first picture was taken in 1978 the year before we were married the next photo was taken about the time of Her first brain surgery. On the far right is how She appears today at 45 years old and a very hard life. Looking great after all that WOW.

Dianna Gross a progressive picture of the effects of Cushings Disease aka Cushings Syndrome

Progression of Cushing’s Syndrome

Update : Dianna soon to turn 50 and going strong

Below is a picture of Dianna about to receive Gamma Knife radiation. She had already had two brain surgeries one entry point through the nose and the second cutting under the upper lip going to the pituitary gland to remove a pea size tumor that coming back. After the gamma knife in 2000 She had Her pituitary removed. Thank God for giving Dianna grace to suffer long “longsuffering” She is amazing.

Dianna Gross just before Gamma Knife procedure

Dianna Gross having Gamma Knife

UPDATE: Dianna has continued to have problems related to Cushings and after years of Her Endocrinologist advising to have Her Adrenal glands removed it has happened. She is 2 weeks recovered from Surgery and though very sore feels more normal than She has been for 30 years. OF course it is now a life of hormone replacements BUT, She is now in control not the unknown circumstances.  Once She recovers a bit I will have her add Her thoughts to this. What led to this was several very close calls to the emergency room after ATCH crash’s.  Praise The Lord for keeping Her going all these years.

This web site information can be found  plus great support.


Update 7/30/2017

Another 5 years have passed after the adrenalectomy and Dianna continues to do well. The main two issues are with out Adrenalin you have NO fight or flight and a weaker than normal immune system. The immune system is easily cared for just be over cautious and eat and be healthy.  No fight or flight, can you imagine living life without that adrenal rush when you are suddenly frightened that in some cases could save your life. I can not imagine because I find it so helpful but watching my wife’s behavior change in that area is mind blowing. When you are stressed your body naturally makes more hormone but after this surgery you really need the help of family because you may not recognize stress until you are very sick and not know what happened. Hormone replacement dosage is tweaked once you get used to reading your body and taking advice from family as they see the symptoms. Once you get the routine down life becomes very manageable. Way less trips to the ER 5 years after this surgery as compared to 5 years before.

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