I have been a member of this site since May but have just mustered the courage to share my story. I’m 51, slender, physically active, healthy diet, have no signs or diagnoses of chronic illness (heart disease, diabetes, etc). Imagine my surprise when in April 2019 after a routine mammogram, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Triple Negative breast cancer! Historically speaking, I am the picture of health, I rarely even catch a cold. Frankly I was shocked and confused when I was diagnosed with cancer. Because I had just turned 50, my oncologist recommended genetic testing (I have two teenage daughters), and naturally, I wanted to dive into my family history of breast cancer. I began asking lots of questions of my family. I will spare you all the sordid details but suffice it to say that I learned that the man I thought was my biological father wasn’t! In an effort to learn more about my family history, I took the 23&Me in May, and learned of my increased risk for AD (I’m 4/4). I have since learned (via 23&Me relatives) that my biological father died in 1979 of his 3rd HEART ATTACK at the age of 36. My mother (76yo), was diagnosed last year with MCI and is progressing into dementia. Mind you, all of this while undergoing treatment for breast cancer (lumpectomy, chemo, radiation). The trauma of learning of my 4/4 status was absolutely devastating; I had no idea where to focus my prevention attention (CANCER? A.D? BOTH?!). I am just now beginning to emerge from the fog (emotionally speaking) so I can take hold of some things and not live in fear.
Here’s what’s happening now: I was cancer-free when my tumor was removed in May—we monitor things every three months. I tightened up an already healthy diet (I follow Bredesen, Greger, Med diet). I eat mostly plants, fruits, veges, beans, nuts/seeds, salmon, shrimp, sardines, and some chicken. I don’t eat anything processed and stay away from sugar. I’ve started to sort through supplements (I take D3, bacopa, B-Complex & Methyl B12, a multi-vitamin, CoQ10, and fish oil). I know Bredesen recommends a bunch of things, and I’m trying to pace myself and not be completely obsessed with all of the recommendations.
I’m very grateful for this group—I seriously didn’t even have a category for any of this before May. I’ve bounced around the Primer and am wading through the Wiki pages (it’s A LOT of info and can be very overwhelming). Here are some high-level questions for the group:
I have engaged a Bredesen-trained practitioner in my area (Denver area, USA). She’s wonderful but testing and a customized program would cost around $7K. My regular insurance company will (and has) covered the basic tests like glucose, lipid panel, cholesterol, vitamin D, triglyceride levels. Honestly, it seems like an emotional, frenzied decision right now to fork over $7000—I’m committed to lifestyle changes and have zero cognitive symptoms or other signs of inflammation, etc. I would greatly appreciate your insight, knowing that you understand the gravity of a 4/4 status. Secondly, it seems to me that Bredesen’s recommended dosages of key supplements are MEGA dosages. Are these necessary for those in prevention mode of AD and are symptom-free? Finally, one BIG conceptual question that I still don’t really understand: are markers like insulin resistance, hypertension, diabetes, precursors to AD? In other words, if I adopt a lifestyle that follows the Bredesen Protocol (and other plant-based whole food models, paying close attention to exercise and sleep) can I still develop AD without these other elevated markers? Or do these things generally occur in tandem? I’m also VERY concerned that none of this matters, given my genetic predisposition. I’m having a really hard time getting past the feeling that I’m going to develop AD no matter what I do
. Thank you all for taking the time to read my story (sorry for the length!).