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Nov 30, 2012 11:38AM
Sonson-I read your comment about why any of us get this to begin with, especially if we are considered healthy people to start. I have read about all the risk factors even before I got my diagnosis,, including weight, exercise, diet, stress, family history, never having children, no breast feeding, alchohol consumption, etc. Yet I know many women who have had this disease that are at a good weight, eat well, have no family history, have kids they breastfed, don't drink alchohol, etc. I just see no rhyme or reason to who gets this, when they get it, or why. I have seen young and old, thin and heavy, and all the variables play out here with women I have known who have had it.
But I will share two things I feel contributed to my situation, and they are things I am working to change as I go forward. I think really all we can do is to review our lives and perhaps determine some lifestyle changes we can make to be healthier. During the past 8 years, I had an elderly parent who became ill and both my sister and I have been helping to take care of her in various ways until she went to the other side. She passed away peacefully in March of this year. Interestingly enough, both my sister and I were diagnosed with BC this year (and no family history of this). Coincidence? I think not. We both had a lot of extras on our plates and the stress with her care and then her decline this past year. We don't blame our mother for this, but we do feel the situation may have contributed to our immune systems wearing down. We say we are now middle aged and stuff happens too! But we are both looking for ways to better take care of ourselves going forward, and to better manage the ongoing stresses in our lives (and we all have them).
The other thing is weight. Both my sister and I have too much weight on us and we are committed to getting ourselves down into a healthy range. I recently lost 35 pounds due to some other health issues that have occurred this year unrelated to BC, and my doctor has suggested I need to keep going. Kind of hard to be on a diet with all that is going on, and not able to exercise fully yet, but I told my surgeon I am committed to taking off the remaining additional weight to get in a healthy range. She said excess weight creates estrogen in the body that feeds the cancer. And as we know, extra weight helps nothing.
So did I bring this on? I have asked myself the question if I did this to myself. Not helping an aging parent was not an option. But I do accept that maybe excess weight didn't help anything? Probably. But I am going to be kind to myself, given this difficult year I am working through, and just try to do better going forward. My goal is to learn from this and grow into a better person, but do feel I did not deserve this.
9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-