Blog Entries With Tag: breast


Posted: Feb 7, 2011

FatCatAnna at diagnosis in 1968

It's not a question I really have ever thought about - with becoming diabetic at a young age.  Sometimes I think perhaps getting it so young, is the reason I am able to handle it better then some who become diagnosed later on in life.  All I know is that I don't know life any other way then then this.  Do I get worried sometimes about it?  Yes, but the fear is more so when I become much older, and I'm not capable of taking care of myself like I do now.  To have someone else taking care of me scares the crap out of me.  I'm probably like this because my parents had me taking care of my diabetes probably much younger then today's generation of parents would do.  I am glad that they did this with me, as I had to learn how to cope.  Anyway, I think I'll be around for a while, hopefully with a body/brain intact enough to deal with the roller coaster ride of diabetes - through good and bad.  This is what I think makes long term diabetics like myself survivors and strong willed.

What started off this whole blog title is an article that popped up on my desktop from the UK, stating that a virus called Enterovirus is the 2nd leading cause of the common cold virus could perhaps be the cause of Type 1 diabetes in children.  The article goes on to say " that children with Type 1 diabetes are nearly 10 times more likely to show signs of enterovirus infection than children without Type 1 ".  The genetic factor has sort of been tossed around for awhile and is still up for debate amongst the medical community to this day.  What has been revealed with combined studies is that they can't pinpoint the exact environmental factor that sets off Type 1 diabetes but this virus is now being more thoroughly researched.

I know over the years with discussions with other diabetics that were diagnosed at a young age, that many of us have muddled this idea in our hand that it could be to do with the environment we lived in, as well as genetically being passed on to us.  I know my great grandmother who died at quite an old age, was discovered to have diabetes, probably Type 2.  This wasn't the cause of her death though, it was just time for her body to go onto the next life (or that's the way I like to think of it through rose coloured glasses).

I don't really remember too much about having colds before I was diagnosed  - but I remember getting hit with the chicken pox.  I was so angry to not be able to go outside to play in the snow - and basically bashed in my parents front bay window with my foot while my older brother teased me outside the window.  So, who knows, maybe that set things in motion for me? 

The way I'm reading the article which is based on 4,440 patients in Europe, is how hygenic our society has become which causes our body not to develop antibodies to ward off viruses.  This in turn makes children more susceptible to infections since they have not acquired antibodies.  Of course, this is one of their theories, but it's always been something that's bugged me in the back of my mind with how many people nowadays are always somewhat fantical about things being squeaky clean/sterile.  I'm imagining if I'd had children, they all be running around dishevilled and snotty nosed (visions of Pippy Longstocking here), but happy little buggers as they played with the dust bunnies in the house.  Along with how many Mums now breast feed?   It has been shown that breast milk helps build up a child's immunity (and it's way cheaper then formula). 

So, what are your thoughts?

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Posted: Aug 19, 2009

Back in my early 30's I experienced some problems with my left breast - and of course - the first reaction was "breast cancer".   I was immediately seen by a breast surgeon to determine why my breast tissue was sinking in - along with the lumps (like many women - I have very dense breast tissue).  Needle biopsies were useless due to the hardness of the lump - so over the next 5 years - I underwent many slice ‘n dice procedures as more growths appeared - drainage tubing - core biopsies, yadda, yadda, yadda.   I was a medical oddity - making medical journalist documents to the point where I was willing to go to a Miami medical conference and stand naked up on the stage for someone to say - " Ah ha - we know what it is !!! "). 

In the end, because I am a gal who likes to be informed about my health - I hit the needle in the haystack - and came across a few articles on a condition known as diabetic mastopathy.  Yes, I the patient figured it out, but the sad thing is, in every article I came across - they said to " leave the lump alone it'll resolve itself after menopause and do not operate as this can lead to more growths! ".  When I told my surgeon what I had discovered - he was very baffled by it all - and I became abit of a celebrity in the medical community due to the way my healthy breast tissue had been eaten away to basically the point of nothing.  I wore silicone prosthesis for many years - which became abit of a party hit - when I'd take it out of my bra - and slam it on someone's forehead - sort of like the neural parasite from the Star Trek episode of Operation Annihilate.

So, advance many years later - about 4 years ago - what has become of the breast at that time is now a  lump - like a piece of wood  - hard - uncomfortable - sometimes painful when my cat would walk across my chest at night time to cuddle.  The recourse at this point in time - due to now a new group of surgeons wanting to slice ‘n dice me - is because of not knowing if this could become cancer over time - and they had nothing to compare me to - was to go ahead with a subcutaneous mastectomy (removal of the breast tissue inside - leave skin intact on outside).  Three days recovery in a hospital (have I ever told you I hate hospitals?) - I was CURED - thump with the bible on my forehead!!!

I'm still getting used to having a "Dolly Parton" again - have abit of scarring problems due to all the surgeries (had to have implant removed and replaced due to wrong size few years ago) - but I'm doing alright.  Because many mastectomy survivors have to keep there arms immobile for awhile - I did develop frozen shoulder -  not annoying enough to cause movement problem - but needs abit of work.  Of course, we diabetics are known for this condition - what isn't with long term diabetes ?  So, I've got a physiotherapist coming by my house for the next little while - showing me the correct techniques to massage the breast due to the scarring and tightening of muscles (very strange - when you have no feelings) - as well as sorting out the frozen shoulder.  The funny thing about the physiotherpapist who works with many breast cancer survivors - has never heard of this condition of the breast - and she knew very little about diabetes - so I educated her about diabetes while she did her magic work on me.  So, one more person out there that now knows that diabetes is a serious disease despite what they see of us on the outside (I told her that diabetics blood sugar when high is like battery acid on an engine - eats away at the good stuff - abit scary to hear - but it's true when you think about it).

So, look out world - I'll soon be slinging my over the shoulder boulders at you - as I take on the world with my Dolly Partons!!!  Just remember - diabetic or not - always do your monthly self breast examinations - and get a mammogram done at least every 2 years - or as recommended by your medical team that helps with your mission of good health!


Updated October 3, 2015 - old links have been corrected :)

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Tags: physiotherapy (1) mammogram (1) frozen shoulder (1) breast (1) diabetic mastopathy (1)
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Blog: Gizzz

Posted: Jul 7, 2008

 

A friend of mine from London sent me the link to the breast cancer research and added: "I am screwed".

Jen has always been a pretty big woman. Her mother's weight was about 260 pounds when she died of a heart attack at age 50. I remember Jen (at that time age 25) mentioning to me a couple of months after her mother's death that she started watching her diet and exercising regularly: "I need to be healthy. I am naturally predisposed to being overweight. I do not want to have any overweight problems at older age". I thought she was doing great when in a couple of months Jen sent me a picture of her in a swimming suit and her new boyfriend Mark on one of the beaches during their trip in Turkey. She became much slimer and had lost 40 pounds by then (she still weighted about 190 pounds with her height of 5-06). Seemed like Jen must have been happy but our next conversation proved the opposite: "I am unhappy. I am sick of watching what I eat and when I eat. I am stressed out all the time. I simply want to relax sometimes and have a slice of pizza in front of a TV at 9 pm while watching my favorite show. But my doctor says there is long way to go"...

...during our next conversation in a couple of months I found out that Jen had given up dieting and started "enjoying food world fully". She gained her 40 pounds back but Mark was still crazily in love with her. She was happy to be with her lovely man and enjoy her favorite foods...she called me a week later..."I have diabetes. Why me?" Mark was supporting Jen but refused giving up his food habits. As a result, she could not start eating healthier either. It has been a constant fight for Jen between food habits and diabetes during last 2 months. She gained another 20 pounds and is not happy about herself anymore. Mark left her a couple of days ago unable to deal with her fast change in the moods and constant reminding of diabetes in the life. And now Jen read this article:

OVERWEIGHT women putting themselves at risk of diabetes are also increasing their risk of advanced breast cancer, Melbourne research has found.

She feels depressed as she understands there is a looong way to go in order for her to be healthy. You will be fine, my friend. You simply need to give up your food and see this world in a different way - HEALTHY WAY.

 

 

 

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