She Doesn’t Look Like She Has Cancer

Dr. Elizabeth Zide vs. Neuroendocrine Cancer 

Members "Nothing But NET" marathon relay team. (left to right) Elizabeth Zide, Alaina Kronenberg, and Cassi Cohen.

Her lifestyle is the model of health and wellness. Elizabeth R. Zide, MD, eats an organic farm-to-table diet, swings kettlebells, and practices nutrition-based holistic medicine.  Even still, she is among the thousands of Americans who have been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor.

In the fall of 2018, a few weeks after running a half marathon, Dr. Zide suspected she was developing a case of appendicitis. Diagnostic imaging, however, revealed inflammation in a portion of her small intestine and a large mass ( she calls “Gertie”) and multiple smaller masses in her liver, which led to a diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumor.  

As a testament to the fact that neuroendocrine cancer has not slowed her down, Dr. Zide again ran the Detroit Free Press-TCF Bank Marathon this fall, but this time as part of a relay team called “Nothing but NET,” which designated NETRF as its charity, raising more than $8,700 for NET research. Her powerhouse team ranked 10th out of 82 for overall female and 5th out of 16th for masters female. 

Dr. Zide does not want neuroendocrine cancer to define her. Instead, she works to defy it. “I do not want to be treated like a sick person,” she says. 

Exercising strength, power, resilience

An emergency medicine physician by training, Dr. Zide channels her medical knowledge into improving her physical health. “I run regularly to keep my body in the best possible condition and am hoping to boost my immune system in positive ways.”  In addition to the desired “upregulation of her immune system,” Dr. Zide uses running to strengthen her muscles and cardiovascular system. Plus, she works on her mental health.  

“Important mood-uplifting hormones generated by exercise help improve the strength of mind,” according to Dr. Zide. She centers herself for running and other exercise with the mantra, “Suck it, NET,” a rallying call for her body to fight the disease.

Imaging earlier this month showed her largest liver lesion (Gertie) had decreased in size. 

Focusing on the family

As another source of strength and healing, Dr. Zide’s husband, Vince Hosfield is a business partner as well as a life partner. Trained in traditional Chinese medicine like acupuncture, Hosfield’s insight into the mind-body experience helps him support his wife’s journey with neuroendocrine cancer.

Together, the couple has three young children. Dr. Zide waited more than a year to tell her children about her cancer diagnosis, reluctant to change their lives forever with information she could never take back. 

 

She felt and looked healthy, not sick.  “How do you explain it to a six-year-old? Eleven-year-old? Thirteen-year-old?” she wrote in her blog. 

Dr. Zide hopes the money raised during her upcoming marathon will help patients with NET and their families, and move us closer to a cure.

Visit Elizabeth Zide’s fundraising page 

 

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Marilyn Geller

Would it be fair to assume that Dr. Zide does not have carcinoid syndrome. Whenever I read stories about NET’s patients leading active lives, I feel like I never get enough information about their actual symptoms or tumor grade. My husband was diagnosed with NET’s 22 months ago and while he had one stable and energetic year after surgery and Lanreotide, once the disease started progressing again he lost all his energy. He has just started PRRT so perhaps things will get better but running marathons is certainly not in the cards. I have found NETRF to be very helpful… Read more »

Hi Marilyn, I have Grade 1, advanced metastatic neuroendocrine tumor, small intestine primary with liver and other mets. My tumor(s) is/are considered non-functional, which is surprising to my physicians considering the significant tumor burden I have in my liver – besides the large cyst which initially measured close to 10 cm, I have around 20 other metastatic lesions in my liver. I definitely do not follow the typical disease course at present. I am not currently on any therapy other than diet modulation; whole food, herbal, and nutritional supplements; and regular exercise at a moderately high level of intensity. I… Read more »

Dave Johnson

I’m glad you’re doing so well. I like to hear successful stories. Where can we learn of your regimen???

She Doesn’t Look Like She Has Cancer