Due to occasional problems at Diabetes1.org – where I still blog and post in their forums – I’m slowly moving some of my “better” blogs (hey – they’re all works of art to me <lol>) to Wordpress – to ensure that we/I can still read them (alot of research/work goes into my blogs I type out). This one – about diabetic mastopathy is often one that is asked about when I talk about my Dolly Partons – aka silicone implant that even today – still feels abit weird – but I’ve grown to love it. Read on – and hopefully my words make sense – if not – don’t be shy – ask – or maybe share your own experiences with diabetes mastopathy – you’re not alone.
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 back to slinging 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!
Note – This blog was originally posted on August 19th, 2009 at Diabetes1.org – they own my work that I’ve written over the years for them.