It was a relief, really. An actual diagnostic term to attach to the debilitating symptoms that had dogged her for years. But just like that, her enemy had a name – Cushing’s Disease – and Concetta Troskie now had a plan.
That November day back in 2010, Troskie was determined to say goodbye to the strange symptoms that had been wrought by the prolonged presence of too much cortisol, a stress hormone, in her body, which had then caused a pituitary gland tumor at the base of her skull.
Thanks to OSUCCC – James neurological surgeon Daniel Prevedello, MD, and his team of specialists, there was a definitive way to stop the disease in its tracks, and that plan included a delicate, intricate surgery to remove the tumor.
“My biggest fear,” Troskie says, “was that they wouldn’t be able to get the whole tumor out. The disease can be disfiguring, and I was worried I would never look the same as before.”
But with no incisions on Troskie’s head or face, Dr. Prevedello and OSUCCC – James Otolaryngologist Bradley Otto, MD, actually used her nostrils to access the tumor at the base of the skull. And by using imaging via a high-definition endoscopic camera, Prevedello and Otto were able to reach and remove the tumor with no complications for Troskie.
“Dr. Prevedello and Dr. Otto were the most amazing doctors,” Troskie shares. “And their support and their team’s support was a huge part in my recovery process,” which included nine post-surgery visits on that road to recovery.
Now healthy, Troskie is determined to help others facing adversity and disease. She has since shot a YouTube video that brought enormous comfort to other patients and viewers, and she spoke at a conference in Michigan about the tools used in her surgery.
Additionally, she decided to make a lifetime career change to continue her mission of helping others. “I started as an actress, but now I’m a mental health therapist and focus on helping women with body image.”
As Troskie continues her work, she offers this advice for anyone who is currently struggling: “Be as compassionate toward yourself as possible. Feel whatever you need to feel, reach out for support, and ask for help,” she shares. “You have to move forward, think positively, and stay connected.”