Another diagnosis, another pill

No, it’s not another cancer this time!

Seven years ago, I was diagnosed as pre diabetic. I managed to control it with diet alone until recently when I gradually slipped into the diabetic range. Though I’d originally hoped that this would never happen, it comes as no real surprise. In some ways, I’m not a usual candidate for diabetes. I’ve never been overweight, I’m not a smoker, and I ate a healthy diet and exercised regularly long before the pre diabetes diagnosis. In addition to a family history of diabetes, however, the injection of Sandostatin that I receive every 28 days for my neuroendocrine cancer (NETS) can suppress the release of insulin and cause elevated blood glucose levels. With those two strikes against me, I’ve now reached the stage where I need medication and my doctor has prescribed Metformin, the most common treatment for type 2 diabetes. I’m also going to be meeting with a dietician to find out if there are ways that I can further tweak my diet.

If there’s one good thing about having NETS, it’s the fact that the regular surveillance that it requires brings other health issues to light before they become as serious as they might otherwise. Typical symptoms of type 2 diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, unintended weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, and frequent infections. I have experienced none of these. If it wasn’t for the regular blood tests that I undergo because of my cancer, I likely wouldn’t have known that I was pre diabetic seven years ago and without the dietary changes that I made back then, I probably would have reached the diabetes threshold much sooner. Looking for silver linings helps me maintain a positive attitude!

I don’t share these health updates to garner sympathy. In spite of cancer, diabetes, and several other health concerns, I continue to enjoy excellent quality of life. Hopefully, with the help of medication, excellent health care practitioners, and healthy lifestyle choices, that will continue for a long time yet!