15 Responses

  1. Kristin
    Kristin June 3, 2011 at 7:03 am | | Reply

    Thanks for this post! Nice to find some camaraderie in another person living with both diabetes and cancer.

    I have been living with T1 for over thirty years, and a little over ten years ago, was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). At the time, the standard treatment was a bone marrow transplant, but I was lucky enough to get into a clinical trial for a drug that was soon cleared by the FDA and has been touted as a “miracle drug” ever since. Ironic that a lot of people offhandedly and confidently say, “It turns CML into a chronic disease, just like diabetes,” as if that is a good or easy thing.

    I’ve wondered and done literature searches and asked my various docs about any relation or causality between T1 diabetes and CML, but have found no correlations, even though I *feel* that there is a connection – T1 being an autoimmune disease, and CML being a blood cancer of the white blood cells, which are the workhorses of the immune system. As if my body in fact doesn’t really like itself, and has found at least a couple of very strong ways to turn against itself, trying to shut me off and shut me down. Talk about “self-conflicted!”

    The two diseases have interracted in my body in various ways, even though the default tendency of the medical community is to treat the two in isolation. Living with diabetes for so many years before the CML came along helped me develop good skills in being my own best health advocate, and I’ve certainly needed those skills in getting the help I need to develop good treatment plans for my WHOLE health, not just the diabetes or the CML.

    Long post just to say that yes, treating diabetes PLUS cancer is often tricky bc the medical establishment is not set up to treat the whole person’s health. But, as in Barbara’s case, good people can be found to help.

    Good luck, Barbara! Thanks for sharing your story, Sister!

    And thanks D’mine for once again for going into the more remote corners of living with diabetes, into which others fear to tread!

  2. Jeanne
    Jeanne June 3, 2011 at 8:17 am | | Reply

    What an inspiration you are! Thank you so much for your bravery and wonderful attitude!

  3. Scott Strange
    Scott Strange June 3, 2011 at 9:40 am | | Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story, Babs!

  4. Lauren
    Lauren June 3, 2011 at 9:52 am | | Reply

    This is such an amazing post. Living with diabetes alone is tough, and I couldn’t imagine trying to deal with cancer as well. It seems like you have a great support system in your life as well as here in the DOC. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring us all.

  5. Holly
    Holly June 3, 2011 at 11:57 am | | Reply

    Barbara, thank you for sharing your story. Your husband checking you every two hours? A Godsend-bless his heart. You are full of courage and inspiring to all of us. Thank you : )

  6. Jon Campbell
    Jon Campbell June 3, 2011 at 1:51 pm | | Reply

    I continue to be amazed at the strength and resiliency my wife shows on a daily basis. I am proud to be her T3! It is very difficult for us in the caregiver role to see our loved ones suffer and I would encourage those of you who stand side-by-side to keep going, keep steady, give them something and someone to rely on. And those of you who are the recipients; let us help you. Barb and I are a great team because we talk to each other, we tell each other what we need. The other unsolicited advice I would give to T3′s is learn all you can yourself about these maladies, and attend as many of the appointments you can. Having two sets of ears to listen and then ask follow up questions or challenge the answers when they do not make sense is in both of your best interests! And lastly, do not isolate yourselves. There are always people who want to help. It is a natural reaction for us who have introversion tendencies to “hunker down” when faced with struggles, but reach out to someone. And if you have no one, then contact Barb or I. We care. Thanks.

    PS Kristin I concur with your conclusion about linkage between the diseases. We had one practitioner actually scoff at us when we suggested that maybe, just maybe there might be a link between autoimmune disorders. We left his office and will not go back. I will not allow someone to practice with a closed mind on me and mine!

  7. Kelly Rawlings
    Kelly Rawlings June 3, 2011 at 2:46 pm | | Reply

    HI, Babs. Thanks for sharing your story. You (and that nice yet assertive husband of yours) rock. Sending many thoughts and prayers your way!

  8. Pearlsa
    Pearlsa June 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm | | Reply

    Thanks you for an inspirational post Barbara

    My mom was diagnosed with Invasive Ductile Carcinoma stage 3 (Her2 positive) a few years ago. While undergoing chemotherapy the steroids lead to her acquiring diabetes.

    Your strength, resilience and faith are infectious.
    Thank again for sharing, stay blessed.

  9. suzy
    suzy June 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm | | Reply

    I have Type II and am a kidney cancer survivor! Double whammy to begin with, then I have to worry about diabetes damaging my remaining kidney. It’s tough but, I am dealing as best I can.

  10. Patrick McConnell
    Patrick McConnell June 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm | | Reply

    Bravo, and Best of Luck,


  11. T1 in Boston
    T1 in Boston June 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm | | Reply

    Thank you. I am really touched by your story.

    We are here for you, cheering for you.

  12. Barbara Campbell
    Barbara Campbell June 4, 2011 at 2:50 am | | Reply

    Thank you to all of you! Your kind words and encouragement are appreciated. I am honored to be able to participate in this project and would like to thank for posting my story.

    When I was first diagnosed, I had a difficult time finding others who had managed both diabetes and cancer treatments. Having this venue to share my story and hear from others is priceless.

    We were never meant to face adversity alone. . we are community creatures. I appreciate everyone who has stepped up beside me, grabbed on to my arms and said, Let’s do this together. From the man who offered to spray my lawn, those offering to provide meals, and those who cheer me on and let me know I’m not alone, I’m loved. . Thank you.

  13. Joy James
    Joy James May 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm | | Reply

    Hi Babs

    It was a blessing for me to have the opportunity to read your story, a big thank you. I have been a type 1 diabetic for 4 yrs and just been diagnosed with breast cancer- stage 2, infiltrating ductal, Her2-. I have had 2 surgeries (the 2nd due to margins) with lymph node removal (1 cancerous out of 19).
    Now I awaiting results from my 2nd surgery and scheduling Oncology appointment (Chemo & Radiation). Your story has given me some helpful tips for what is coming up. Bless you.
    Like yourself I have a husband who is amazing through it all. I am gonna show him your pic of you with Jon (with the same stylist) as my husband plans to do the same for support. Lastly all the best for the future. Lotsa love Joy.

  14. Babs Campbell
    Babs Campbell May 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm | | Reply

    Hi Joy!
    Thanks for your comments! I’d love to chat with you on twitter or email. A lot has happened since we posted this story and I’ve learned a lot since last June. If you’re interested, send me a tweet at @babssoup. You can also find more of my story at

    Good luck to you!!! Remember, you’re an Amazon Warrior! Fight like a Girl!!

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