Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Maybe, a reason

When you get diagnosed with breast cancer, you can't help but wonder what caused it, why me, is it genetic...  In my case the BRCA testing didn't reveal anything genetic.  But this article got me thinking...I may have been given DES during my second pregnancy.


 Some of you know that my first pregnancy ended at 6 1/2 months and resulted in the birth of a premature little girl who died three weeks after birth.  That was a troubled pregnancy and I am sure I was given something to prevent early labor, as I had bleeding and cramps.  When I got pregnant again several months later, I clearly remember being given a prescription for "hormones to make sure it doesn't happen again."  It would be almost impossible to go back 43 years and find a record of my prescriptions.  And I doubt the OB/GYN would even be alive at this point.

Fortunately, only one of my children was probably exposed to DES...my oldest son.  Unless...we all got it in our beef:


I'm not going to fret over it because what's done is done.  But it does show, once again, that we never REALLY know about long-term consequences of drugs until millions have been exposed and the harm starts to appear. 

 One word of advice - keep track of the drugs you've taken...forever.


  1. I remember the DES issue. To think that so many women and their daughters may have been put at risk by use of this drug is unthinkable. I think the only thing I don't remember is what kind of birth control pills I took in the 70s. And to know that DES was also in our beef ... ugh!

  2. Beef is so expensive these days - perhaps better not to eat it anyway . Back in those days, most patients did not question what their doctors prescribed-we just had it filled. What are GMO foods going to do to our children and grandchildren?


  3. Michelle, this is so interesting and maddening! To think you were given something to help, yet it possibly made you sick years later is unthinkable. Now I'm thinking of the extra hormone shots I got when I was bleeding from a not yet diagnosed benign tumor, the size of a grapefruit, on my ovary. Who will know what those drugs will bring down the road? Who will know what years of eating a lot of beef will bring, or the every day use of plastic I ingested from my bottled water and soda, Lean Cuisine and other "diet" lunch and dinners I had for many years. sigh...Who knows!!! This must make you want to scream reading this about DES! Thanks for the article and information.

  4. Michelle,
    I hadn't heard of your loss before. I am so sorry you went through something like that. We were so worried about our grandchildren when they were born premature.

    Fortunately they don't use DES now but one wonders if decades from now they will see undesirable consequences from what they are currently using.

    Thank you for sharing your positive outlook on life.


  5. Kevin - I had never mentioned the loss because, well, I was 18 and that was a long time ago. In retrospect, I should have miscarried that pregnancy - I always have felt that a miscarriage is Mother Nature's way of taking care of a mistake. They didn't do genetic testing back in the late 60's but they did an autopsy and she had several anomalies. It was sad, especially since I was so young, but I went on to have 4 healthy children for which I am very grateful.

    Elaine - this makes a strong case for grass fed beef. GMO food is so ingrained in our food supply - corn, soy, potatoes, rice, peas, dairy products. How do you avoid it all?

  6. Michelle, I am so sorry that you had to go through such a terrible ordeal. The loss of a child is devastating, no matter the reason.

    Your drug comments make me think of all the drug ads on TV. Every time I hear the machine gun speed of adverse side effects at the end, I always wonder if the drug is worse than the condition it is supposed to help.

  7. Michelle, they probably can't prove anything, but it is so probable that this may be the cause.

    My girlfriend's mother had the exact same problem as you - giving birth prematurely, miscarriages, etc. My girlfriend had the exact same problem with her first pregnancy, giving birth at 5 1/2 months. He only lived a day. So sad, but nature has it's reasons.

    My girlfriend talked with her own mom and found out that she had taken DES to prevent further miscarriages and preterm births. Janie, discovered that she had cervical and vaginal cancer after her last son was born. She explained her mother taking DES during pregnancies and the doctor said "Ah, that explains it."

    The link is definitely there between DES and cancer. Sucks big time to find this out so much later. As you said, what is done is done.

    So sorry about your loss. It had to hurt big time. In this day and age, they probably would have been able to save your baby, but now that I see you said she had anomalies, who knows if she would have survived. Again, my heart goes out to you.

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