Monday, April 27, 2009

Chemo weight gain

As if nausea and fatigue aren’t enough!

I read online that 96% of women in a study of 237 on chemo for breast cancer gained weight. I’m not surprised. While I have met a few who have lost weight during their treatment, the majority of women I know gained. I was up 17 lbs after first round of treatments and I decided not to weigh myself this time. I would guess that I gained well over 10 lbs during this last round.

One doctor I asked thought that some people’s bodies interrupt mild nausea as hunger pains. I used food as a way to control my nausea, feeling best with a full tummy. Also, there are the steroids. To use one of my Mom’s sayings, I could have “eaten a horse and chased the rider” on the steroids days. And of course, for those of us who eat to self-medicate, it’s a time when we turn to food for comfort.

So, when the Taxotere ended, I was left with unwanted weight and a closet full of clothes I couldn’t fit into. My wardrobe consisted of stretch pants and baggy sweatshirts. Unless I wanted to go shopping for spring muu-muus, I had to do something.

I’m happy to report that, since the beginning of February, I took off the chemo lbs and a few more to boot. I’ve been counting Weight Watchers points, which ensures that I am eating lots of vegetables. Raw veggies help me stay within points without being too hungry. More importantly, they are giving my body the nutrients it needs to stay strong and fight the cancer.

A friend suggested I post some tips I’ve been learning about eating healthy and staying on my plan. I made a list and it’s long, so I’ll try and post it in pieces over the next few days. Because it’s an ongoing struggle and I have more lbs to go, I’m a bit embarrassed to be giving anyone weight-loss advice. But maybe writing about it will not only help someone else, but will help to keep me on track too.

So here it is, tip #1.

A friend and I have been writing down everything we eat since the beginning of February and send the list to one another in an email every day. It makes me accountable to someone else and keeps me on the plan. I know if I go on a binge, I have to answer to my conscience (aka Anka).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Although I do not have "chemo weight gain", I have been struggling to loss "the last ten lbs" for as long as I can remember! Writing what I eat and sending it to you everyday has also kept me on the straight and narrow. I have not been as successful as you. Thank you!