Clare on diabetes and cancer

A woman sits in an armchair.
A woman sits in an armchair.

Clare was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes just before she found out she had womb cancer. When she began cancer treatment, she found that it became a lot harder to manage her diabetes. 

Clare's story

I focused on treating the cancer first, as I didn’t really think the diabetes was that serious. It became harder to manage my diabetes when cancer treatment started. I control my diabetes with tablets, not insulin. So when I needed surgery for a hysterectomy, managing my blood sugar level got more complicated and I had to be put on a drip. 

I couldn’t manage much exercise when I was having cancer treatment. I did put on quite a bit of weight so decided to make some lifestyle changes when treatment was over. I live on my own and I don’t always have the energy to cook because of my fatigue. But I can’t have ready-made stuff because it has a lot of sugar in. So I often do a veggie stir-fry, it’s healthy, cheap and quite easy to do. Eating healthily helps keep my blood sugar stable.

I also joined a gym and started swimming. I’d recommend it to anyone – it’s become a way of life for me. But it’s not just about keeping fit and managing my diabetes, it’s a way of meeting people, especially when you’re not working. It gets you out and being sociable. It also helps with stress. Getting active has helped me mentally, physically and emotionally. You’ve got to look after yourself, it’s so important.

My advice to others managing cancer and diabetes would be to ask your doctor for more information. I didn’t have a lot of support from my GP at first and wasn’t given any information. That’s why I’ve helped Macmillan produce their new information on diabetes and cancer treatment so that people like me can get support at the time they need it.