Throwback Thursday and Tumor Talk


Throwback Thursday picture first.

Daddy with J and J hospital

I mean, right?

It makes me heart melt. I have this picture right by my bed. It’s a nice reminder of the best day ever. My miracles. My best friend. The amazing life we have together. We are truly blessed.



So, let’s take Throwback Thursday to Flashback Friday. Let’s flashback to eight weeks ago when I found out I had a brain tumor.


You probably noticed some things have been going on behind the blog and before it really sounds worse than it is, let me just say that I’m finally feeling better and everything seems to be under control at the moment.

Long story short, after a few doctor’s appointments a couple of months ago, an MRI, lots of blood work and a bone scan I found out I have osteopenia (bone density that is lower than normal, but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis) in my lower back and a pituitary tumor. As luck would have it I actually got the phone call from my doctor with the news the morning of our 10th wedding anniversary when I was writing this blog post.

I’ve kept it off the blog because there was a lot to figure out for awhile, but since I’m finally feeling better I thought I’d talk about it just a bit.

It actually helps explain the dehydration issues I was having and some weird things that were going on that prompted me to go to the doctor. It also helps explain some endocrine problems I’ve had for quite some time.


The size of my tumor is small. 5 x 5 x 3 mm to be exact according to the MRI reports. It also seems to be a common thing that females have and can go unnoticed for years if there are no symptoms. My doctor actually told me I’ve probably had mine for over a decade.

I’ve had multiple symptoms that are most likely related to or caused my the pituitary tumor.

At first I did quite a bit of reading and researching on the internet. I finally decided enough was enough though. We’re treating it with what I need at the moment and will check back on everything in a couple months. Unless things start to get worse or I notice any red flags (severe headaches, changes in vision, etc.), we just wait and see.

Here are some of the articles and information I found useful.

This description pretty much covers everything without being too wordy.

Tumors arising from the pituitary gland itself are called adenomas or carcinomas. Pituitary adenomas are benign, slow-growing masses that represent about 10% of primary brain tumors. Pituitary carcinoma is the rare malignant form of pituitary adenoma.



Most pituitary adenomas grow in the front two-thirds of the pituitary gland. These tumors are classified as “secreting” and “non-secreting.” A “secreting tumor” produces excessive amounts of hormones. Most pituitary tumors fall into this category; they are further classified by the type(s) of hormone they produce.



Pituitary adenomas are benign, slow-growing tumors. Pituitary carcinoma is the rare malignant form of pituitary adenoma. It is diagnosed only when there is proven spread (metastases) inside or outside the nervous system.



Symptoms are caused when the growing tumor pushes on surrounding structures. This pressure can result in headache, visual impairment, and behavioral changes.


Tumors can also either produce excessive amounts of hormone or limit how much hormone is produced. The hormones most commonly affected include: growth hormone (regulates body height and structure), prolactin (controls lactation, or milk production), sex hormones (control the menstrual cycle and other sexual functions), thyroid gland hormones (control the thyroid gland), adrenal gland hormones, and vasopressin (a hormone involved in water and electrolyte balance).


Symptoms of pituitary adenoma and pituitary carcinoma are identical.



Pituitary tumors account for 9% to 12% of all primary brain tumors. They can occur at any age, but they are more common in older people. Women are more affected than men, particularly during the childbearing years.



Like many tumor types, the exact cause of pituitary tumors is not known.



Because the pituitary gland impacts so many of the body’s functions, a multi-disciplinary approach to tumor treatment is needed to ensure the best possible outcome.


Treatment of pituitary adenoma or carcinoma usually includes surgery to remove it. In some cases, however drug therapy may be used to reduce the size of the tumor without surgery. Radiation can be used to treat a persistent and/or recurring tumor that does not respond to medication, as long as the tumor is secreting hormone. For tumors that do not secrete hormone, radiation may be used following partial removal, or if the tumor was invasive. Replacement hormone therapy is often prescribed following surgery and/or radiation.



The Mayo Clinic has really great information on pituitary tumors here also.

Pituitary Tumors


Two other articles I found and have read over and over are these two. Just giving them to you in case you want more information.

John Hopkins Medicine- Pituitary Tumors

American Cancer Society- What Are Pituitary Tumors?


So, there you go. I finally had to write about it.

It’s crazy how hormones and stress and dealing with something like this effects daily life and just your outlook on everything. Just the mental stress and all the body adjustments that have gone on in the past couple of months have been hard both physically and mentally.


I feel like we made it though the rough part. This is part of the reason my past three races (Raptor Ridge Half, American’s Finest City Half and the Kauai Marathon) went down like they did. I had a lot going on physically and mentally during them.

My priorities are different these days. Running is my therapy and I love it. I love the experience and the accomplishment of racing.

It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, but you really learn more about yourself and your inner strength and grit with every single race.

If my faster days are behind me I’m totally okay with that. And once my running days are behind me, I’ll be okay with that too.

I’d much rather be slower, healthier, heavier and happier. Not to mention a better mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, etc. than anything else. That’s what truly matters.

This life and the fact that I get to run and race is a gift and who the heck knows what the future holds.

Every single moment is precious.


Phew. Dang, that’s a lot.

It’s been a lot to take in and deal with these past few months on top of our other family pet losses, but it sounds worse reading about it than it really is.


Let’s move on to a couple light-hearted things now, shall we?


The best afterschool activity of the day today was balloon volleyball.

2014-09-25 16.08.57-12014-09-25 16.08.57-22014-09-25 16.09.27

The best quote I read on Instagram was this one from the 21 Day Sugar Detox.

2014-09-25 19.44.04


I finally signed up for a Fitwall class for this Saturday at 10:00 am if anyone wants in! “Sleeveless in Seattle” here I come. Ha ha.

Fitwall Solana Beach Schedule


The rest of the night is all about watching The Biggest Loser and not having my phone anywhere close by.

Have a great night!


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  1. 1
    Bridget E says:

    Ah, I’ve gone through the whole MRI thing back in college when I lactating and not menstruating and I was not pregnant. I’ve actually come across a few people that have had pituitary adenomas. It’s a scary thing to think about, but I’m more than sure you will be fine.

  2. 2
    Krystin C says:

    You are such a stron women Kristin. Keep whatever you want in your life private and we are thankful for whatever you choose to share. Take care, those boys (all 3 of them) need you to be you!! Love your updates and you are an inspiration to us all!

  3. 3
    Kelli says:

    Well I feel a little creepy for being the first comment just moments after you posted but hey! I was online and I was blog hopping!

    First of all let me say, WOW, I cannot believe how strong you are, keeping up your running and everything when you could have just gone into a deep, dark depression with news of a tumor. It would be tough for me or anyone to do handle the news so well, so I have to commend you. I am so sorry for the news but you are definitely a fighter and you will make it through on top. Also, you running at your slowest is me running at my fastest 🙂 So there’s that.

    P.S. THANK YOU for the “like” on my Instagram this morning! It made my day 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. 4
    Sam says:

    Oh my gosh, Kristin, I wish you all of the positive thoughts and healing energy that I can possibly muster. I’m sure you must be feeling an enormous mix of emotions as you work your way through this. I’m glad to hear that you feel like the tough part is behind you and that you have such a wonderful supportive family to surround you with love. I can’t even begin to pretend to imagine that I know what you are feeling, but my own Mom’s bout with a chondrosarcoma (different type of tumor, same general real estate) has shown me a little bit of how frightening and confusing it can be to cope with the often mixed messages in modern medicine. Even though I’ve never met you, I’ve always thought that your strength, bravery, and spirit are incredibly inspirational, so I’m sure that you’ll overcome this nasty tumor like the champion you are. Stay strong, stay positive, take care of yourself! I wish you wellness, happiness, laughter, light, and love during these trying times. The days might seem dark, but this too shall pass. Blessings to you and yours.

  5. 5
    Jessica T says:

    Kristen I read this and seriously wanted to come give you a big hug. You are an amazingly strong woman and I know you will totally kick this tumor’s butt! Let me know if I can do anything to help. You have so many people who are supporting you in this journey, always know that. Take care of yourself and your boys. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. 6
    Sasha says:

    You’ve always been one of the strongest people I know and that strength along with the love of your amazing family and friends will carry you through this. I’m glad you shared your story. I’m always here for you. Love you!

  7. 7
    Erin says:

    First of all, I love that first picture. Second of all, I am so sorry to hear about your health issues. I’m sure it’s been scary and very unsettling. Big hugs and many, many prayers are coming your way! XOXO

  8. 8
    Linsie says:

    Praying for you today and always xo

  9. 9
    Ashley says:

    Praying for you! It’s scary when something like that comes out of left field but you are strong and will come out on top! I was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis as well. It’s kind of weird having it so young! Reminds us to take care of ourselves!!!

  10. 10
    RFC says:

    Heavy, scary stuff! I’m glad the worst is over, and I love your positive outlook on all of this. *hugs*

  11. 11
    Becca says:

    Many thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. <3

  12. 12
    Kristin says:

    You are absolutely an inspiration. News like this is never easy, but you’re handling it with such poise and grace You are an amazing mother and I hope some day I can embody the same qualities as you. As for now, focus on getting healthy and embracing the great life you have. There are so many people here for support, Kristin!

  13. 13
    Heather says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. I was diagnosed with a growth on my brain a few years ago. It really put things in perspective for me. I love your blog- it always makes me smile.

  14. 14

    You are good people and you know why. Anytime you want me to return the favor, please vent away. I feel like such a turd complaining all day to you! hugs my friend!

  15. 15
    Melissa S. says:

    Welp, that woke me up this morning!! You are always soooo positive, which I know isn’t easy. But that is exactly what will get you through, along with your faith, family and friends. And running of course! Sending love and prayers 😉

  16. 16
    Emily Lutz says:

    Kristin, you are in my thoughts and I will be praying for you! You truly inspire me with your wonderful positive attitude, and after reading for maybe a year, I’ve found myself trying myself to have a better attitude and speak more kindly myself!

  17. 17
    Adrienne says:

    Can you work on Mizuno to bring the Elixirs back? PLEASE!!

  18. 18
    Jennifer says:

    Kristin, my Dad had found out he had a pituitary tumor when I was in middle school and I am now 35. He has been just fine:). My thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay strong girl, you’ve got this!!!

  19. 19
    Kathy says:

    Kristin, you do have a lot going on in your mind and body. But, you also are so very smart and know when to rest (right? 😉 and you know what is most important….those 3 boys!!! Do what you can to get better, recover, and be YOU!!

  20. 20
    Jill says:

    Kristen, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. That being said, your strong will and positive outlook will get you far.

  21. 21
    Jen says:

    So sorry to hear you are going through this. It must be a relief though that you have a diagnosis for your strange symptoms! Will you be posting more about how you’re dealing with running and osteoporosis?I don’t have it, but it runs heavily in my family–my mother and aunts are all small-framed and struggle with osteoporosis or osteopenia–and I’m always worried how I’ll deal with that as a runner if it happens to me. I was actually able to improve low density in my back through lifting weights (chest press was what the doctor recommended) so I hope you were able to develop a plan of action for that, in addition to the tumor! Sending lots of healthy vibes your way.

  22. 22

    Oh friend, so much to be carrying around with you right now. I guess on one side at least you know. I wish I could give you a hug.

  23. 23
    Catherine says:

    Sending all positivity your way. You are so strong and such an inspiration to us all. I know you will overcome this and heal!

  24. 24

    Thank you for sharing this, and I am so sorry you are going through all of it. I pray that God takes care of you and he has the exact plans figured out. I can’t imagine hearing that you have a brain tumor, and then really going through the motions and figuring it all out.

  25. 25

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been going through all this. Take care of yourself. Remember, you don’t always have to be strong. You have your family and tons of friends to support you.

  26. 26

    Prayers and Hugs girl! I know our situations are different, but I understand what it is like to be in that “unknown, wait and see phase”, so if you ever need an ear, I am here. I know you have an amazing supportive family and they will carry you through! Stay Strong. Stay Positive!

  27. 27
    elizabeth says:

    Thanks for sharing, glad you are feeling well and aren’t so emotionally drained now. Great that you are keeping up with your regular workout routine and sorry you had so much bad news at once with your pets and tumor diagnosis. Is the osteopenia a hereditary thing, or caused by an injury or something else, has your back been bothering you? Do you have a secreting or non secreting tumor? Do they treat it with some kind of hormonal therapy? Why does it cause dehydration?
    I have a lot of questions, guess I need to do some more research!

  28. 28

    wow…i’m so sorry to hear all this!! You need some REST, friend!!

  29. 29
    Joy says:

    Holy goodness gracious, Kristin! I can’t believe you’re dealing with this. You are an amazing woman and you’re truly an inspiration to me. Your positivity and constant work to be a better person (and mother and wife) is why I keep coming back to your blog. I love your honesty and thank you for sharing your news with us.

    You are in my thoughts and I wish you nothing but health and happiness.

  30. 30
    Laura says:

    Oh I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. Hugs and thoughts go out to you. Take care of yourself!!!

  31. 31

    Kristin I’m praying for you and your family!!! I’ve been a long time reader and you inspire me daily! You’re such a strong kick butt lady you’ve totally got this!!! Big hugs to you!

  32. 32

    Sweetheart, sending you all the positive love and healing vibes! XOXO

  33. 33
    Michelle C says:

    Prayers for you and your family! You are the strongest woman I know so you are going to kick this in the butt! You are my inspiration as a runner so keep on keeping on what you can. We will be here for you in support if you need us!

  34. 34
    Nicole says:

    Keep the positive attitude – Attitude will help you through the tough parts. I’m so glad that you have such a tremendous family surrounding you and supporting you through this difficult patch. You’ll get through it!! Have faith!! <>

  35. 35
    Carlee says:

    Praying for you ma’am!

  36. 36
    Jenny says:

    WOW lady you have had LOTS going on and obivously are a VERY strong woman. Just makes me love you even more! I will keep you guys in my prayers. God is great and through him all things are possible, as you know. Wishing tons of blessings to you guys!! Jenny

  37. 37
    Denise says:

    Holy cow!!! You ran 2 halfs AND a full marathon while dealing with all this……SUCH AMAZING STRENGTH !!
    I am so sorry to hear about your situation but know you will get through it just fine. When times are tough the amazing love of your three guys will keep you going !! Running is great therapy and I hope you can continue to do it for a LONG time to come. Take care of yourself!!

  38. 38

    Wow, Kristen. I cannot imagine the stress you’ve been under. If you ever need someone to watch the boys so you and the hubs can have a night alone, you let me know. I have somehow become everyone’s go-to sitter for date nights (probably since I’m childless). 🙂 Sending healing, loving thoughts your way. You are an amazing woman — and your strength is just out of this world!

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Sarah says:

    Oh goodness, I am so sorry to hear. But it seems like you have it all under control and have decided to take an optimistic approach to this, which is so respectable! I look up to you a lot and to see you strong through this makes me admire you even more, and I didn’t think that was possible (since I already admire you so much)!

    Prayers going out to you and the fam. I also wanted to say that through the blog it seems like you take such great care of the boys and always do fun things with them! I’m sure they love and appreciate that.

    Make sure you get some needed rest! xoxo

  41. 41
    Kayleigh says:

    WOW!! I don’t know how you do it – you are one tough cookie! Glad to hear that you are in a better place mentally and physically and that things are moving in the right direction. MASSIVE kudos to you for staying so positive – you are one heck of an inspirational role model!

  42. 42
    lindsay says:

    praying for you friend! the pituitary is very sensitive. I know this. REST rest rest! We are here for you!

  43. 43
    Tracy says:

    Oh Kristen! I just can’t believe this. I am praying for you. For peace that surpasses all understanding as you navigate your new normal. Hugs to you. Practically speaking, will anything change? Will you have to be on meds or is it just a watch and see type thing?

  44. 44
    Joanna says:

    Kristen, I’m so sorry to hear your diagnosis. I’ll be thinking of you and your family as you go through this together. In case no else has mentioned this, I’d like to point you to a resource:
    Sending you much love.

  45. 45
    Michele S. says:

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I have been following you for nearly a year now, and you seem like such an optimistic, amazing and inspiring person! Thanks for having the courage to share your news. I can only imagine how difficult it was to write this post. My Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago, and although the struggles are very different, I know how difficult writing/telling people can be. Take advantage of all of the nice things people will want to do to help you out along your journey. 🙂 it is a gift to you and to them.

  46. 46
    Joe says:

    There’s been no indication that you were going through this. You are one, tough cookie! Stay strong!

  47. 47
    laura says:

    I am pulling for you girl! I too have had some serious health issues in the last ten years (thyroid, osteopenia, breast cancer) and you have your priorities in order. These thing in life do teach you to value what you have even more and you are truly blessed. You and your family are strong and you have a great attitude towards everything in life. You can get through this and come out even happier and stronger than before. I always say cancer was the “best worst thing that ever happened to me” (or is it the the worst best thing?) Anyway, love your blog and even my daughters who are in their early twenties read it and love it! You’re awesome!

  48. 48
    natasha says:

    Wow! What a shocker. I’ve had osteoporosis since I was in my mid-twenties due to my ballet career and really poor nutritional/over-exercise habits. No turning back now but I just have to be extra careful with falls etc.

    May I ask why you decided to get yourself checked out specifically why they might have been looking for a tumor? Just curious because of my similar symptoms and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a doctor let alone done any tests/scans. If that’s too personal, no worries. Just glad to hear that you have the right attitude and are feeling better (:

  49. 49
    Bridget says:

    OooooooooooKAaaaaaaaaaY, wow, scary, glad things are better!!! It does make sense with how you were feeling. That darn pituitary gland rules your body!!!

  50. 50
    marti says:

    this just reinforces how highly i think of you. so positive and inspiration..HARD WORKING – despite all that has been going on in your life. please know i’m always here to do whatever i can to help 🙂

  51. 51

    Love you my friend! You are in my thoughts…ALWAYS! Sending hugs to you now! xoxo

  52. 52
    Jill Morris says:

    I read your blog daily for a long time, but the last couple of months my life has so busy I’ve missed out. My heart hurts that you have to face this, but I know you will tackle it with grace and strength. You’ve been such an inspiration to me. Keep running and keep loving those boys with all you’ve got!

    Praying for you!

  53. 53
    Katie says:

    I’ve never commented but I’ve been reading for a while. I usually read your posts in my reader but today I had to click over to comment. I am so sorry you are going through this! How scary! I’m wondering if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia though? Your original post had the latter and now it is different. If it is osteoporosis, be super careful with running! High impact exercises are dangerous especially for someone with hip troubles already. You want to play with those boys of yours forever!

  54. 54

    I’m so sorry to hear this tough news, Kristin, but I know how strong you are and that you’ll tough your way through this like a champ. There’s nothing I could say to make it better, but please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. You continue to be a huge source of inspiration for me and so many others!

  55. 55
    Kendyl says:

    Praying. Thank you for sharing. Take care of those guys in your life and I pray that they take extra good care of you! xoxox PS. PURPLE POTATOES are the PERFECT remedy for anything and everything, by the way! 🙂

  56. 56
    Alicia says:

    Oh my goodness! I can’t believe I missed this til now! I was wondering if you had figured out what the dehydration issue was. Anyway, as always, you seem to be handling everything well! As hard as it might be sometimes, talking about it always helps me feel better. I’m sure you already are aware, but know that we are all here to support you! <3

  57. 57
    Alicia says:

    PS…love the baby picture!!!!

  58. 58

    I said it all in my FB message to you & you know we are all here for you if you ever need us – you are such an inspiration Kristin – mom, runner, wife, you are you – so much to love!!!!!

  59. 59

    Lots of prayers your way! You are amazing to share with such poise and grace. I was also wondering like a reader above what exactly your symtomns were and what made you make a decision to get checked? You can use this to help a lot of people. GOD IS WITH YOU AND IN YOUR MIDST!

  60. 60
    Theodora says:

    Wow. Thinking of you, lady <3

  61. 61
    Kim says:

    OH, Kristin…I’m a little behind but still had to let you know that I hope you truly are OK. As soon as I saw the title and your comment about a brain tumor my heart sunk. I’m glad that you are taking care of yourself and feel like you have this under control but I hope you stay on top of it!!!
    Praying for you!!!

  62. 62

    Oh my goodness I am so sorry! Just know you have a lot of people thinking of you and who are rooting for your health and happiness. You truly are inspirational though! Sending love and hugs <3

  63. 63
    Diana says:

    Sending love, prayers, and positivity your way! <3

  64. 64
    SamanthaK says:

    You are one tough cookie 🙂 You have had a few rough patches this summer, but you seem to be pretty positive and moving forward. You are an inspiration to many!

  65. 65
    Marcia says:

    She stands resolute…. such a powerful post written by an even stronger woman. Hats off to you my friend. Thanks for sharing your story. Sending hugs!


  1. […] to answer some questions on the whole pituitary tumor […]

  2. […] last Thursday’s post was a bit of a downer, we’ll keep this one as positive as possible. […]

  3. […] start out by acknowledging how rude I am. I had a thought this morning on my run. I totally dropped the tumor bomb last Thursday and then never took the time to thank you for your kind words and comments. They mean […]

  4. […] Really though, it’s a huge dream come true. I feel like I don’t deserve it. I mean really, who am I to be able to go to New York and run one of the country’s biggest marathons? I kind of wish I would have been more focused on training, but at this point there really isn’t anything I can do and what can I say, life stuff happens. […]

  5. […] had an MRI last week. After having a cat scan for the whole pituitary tumor thing, the MRI was really not that bad except that it took forever and was just […]

  6. […] year on our anniversary I got the awesome (or not so awesome really) news about the whole pituitary tumor thing. I feel like this whole past year since then has just been one heck of a roller coaster with […]

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