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weightgainaftertreatment

ramona41's picture
ramona41
Posts: 72
Joined: Jul 2004

okay am I the only one that has gained weight after having chemo and radiation? one thing I was looking forward to..hell mabe the only thing..was the ahem *weight loss* from having cancer..but instead I have gained about twenty pounds after it was all said and done. just got done with my 5fu and radiation about march this year.. I was inactive I know..but I didnt eat a lot well not too much. just wondering if anyone else had this? My first yearly colonoscopy is coming due in july... dreading that..had this month of june without one single doctor appt..almost felt normal..ha whatever that is.. dreading the procedure cause its always please dont let them find anything else..I had stage 2b tumor on my lower rectum.. with no lymph nodes infected.. but like all of you out there..I hold my breath till they say all clear.. hey thanks for letting me vent..this place saved me last year when my world came to a halt.. keeping you all in my prayers.. love ya like the step brothers and sisters I never wanted...ha!!! love ramona...peace

tkd3g
Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Morning Ramona.

I beat you. I gained 30 lbs. UGH!!!!!!!!!!

The last few chemo appointments, the nurses said' " You gained 5 lbs. this week?!"

What did I do differently, nothing. Just all of the sudden, BAM!

I have to admit, I did martial arts 3-4 days a week ( I was 1 month away from testing for my black belt when they found my lovely tumor), I tried to eat right before my diagnosis. I wasn't skinny, but I was a good weight for me.

I lost weight initially. After surgery. Then on came the weight. Slowly at first. What I think it was, was the loss of hormones. The instant menopause. I am fighting the scale going up every day. And, it doesn't seem to want to come down. I am very active, but not "formally exercising" yet. I'm back at the gym 2 times a week. So far, nothing.

So, you are not alone. I wish I had some advice for you. If you find a solution, let me know.

Barb ( who hates bathing suits !!!!!!!)

crazylady
Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Ramona,
Unfortunately, I've gained back all the weight that I lost when I was sick so you are not alone. I looked at the weight loss as the one good thing that came out of having cancer. I'm really frustrated! If anyone has any good ideas for taking the weight off, please share them.
Jamie

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi Ramona,

With the nature of chemo, I am wondering if there is a single answer. I think we will all have to think outside the box and mix ideas. It isn;t just calories and it won't be just hormones or weight training. But I think if we bring in a lot of ideas, it will shed better light.

Cheers,
Maura

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi Ramona!

Add my name to the list of post chemo tubbies! I gained about 30 lbs after recovering from surgery. I even gained while taking chemo - nausea and all. I blame the steriods and anti-nausea drugs......

I'm having a hard time taking it off too.

Kerry

tkd3g
Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi all.

I can tell you what you could do to get the weight off. It's just doing it that will actually get it off. I know exactly what to do, but can't seem to do it on any regular basis.

Cut out or at least down on sugar. I'm talking the added sugars.

Try to get rid of your whites ( sugar), white bread, white flour...

Drink at least 8 8oz. glasses of water.

Take Green Tea Extract

Take a multivitamin

Get some sort of exercise 4-5 times a week. Even in 15 minutes spurts a couple times a day.

Get some weight training going. This is a double whammy. You'll get stronger and lose weight at the same time. ( your body need calories to feed all those new muscles)

Breathe. Deep breathing. It oxygenates your blood, calms your nerves and soothes your soul.

Think positive. Always think positive.

Smile.

There you have it. We have no excuses. Speaking for myself, I'm lazy. I obviously know what to do.

With that said, I know how hard it is to get going. I've battled it for about 15 years now.

If you can make that first step and start eating better or moving on a regular basis, you'll see how good it makes you feel. Then, you'll want to keep it up. It's just getting over all the stuff in our way and staying the course that is difficult.

I've done silly things that have worked:

If I really want something to eat, I do 20 push ups or 50 sit ups or run in place for 5 minutes. If I still want the food after that, I have it ( usually don't want it)

I tell myself that sugar is poison ( which it really is ). That works too.

What ever thing you can do to get you on the right path, do it.

If you don't like spinning or kickboxing, then dance. Throw on some disco and boogy on down. Walk your dog. Walk your neighbors dog. Let your dog walk you. ( mine is 110lbs. now :) )

Best of luck ladies.

Oh by the way, I believe what Susane Somers says about hormones whacking out your whole body. ( including the inability to lose weight) But, until I can find a good bio-identical doctor, I'll keep on trying to get this weight off.

Barb (who is always light in spirit)

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Barb,

Hello! What an awesome post!! It is funny because I left the site and then this discussion has beeing baffling me...
'cuz i just finished chemo and am thinkin' hey - don't want and can't afford another closet full of clothes.

I was really thinking that chemo may have really messed with hormones and metabolism.....Do you think that is part of it? Could it also be an emotional portion of survivorship that isn't brought or dealt with much?

Your ideas are wonderful. And the white sugar/white flour indications for cancer are really important as well. You know.....that dreaded Alkaline diet that we have been touting is really great - super healthy and probably so good at regulating blood sugar as well.

Getting out and moving is such good medicine. And the breathing exercises clear our lymph system. (Swimming seems to be the best for that......it forces deep lung-work, so do find your bathing suit!)

I like the dancing idea....all of the ideas (weight-training as well).

Aagin, thanks for such a positive post!

Cheers,
Maura

tkd3g
Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi Maura.

I went into instant menopause, so definately chemo messed up my hormones. Metabolic, could be.
Emotional, definately

I know I'm an emotional eater. They always tell you to reduce your stress, get rid of that which causes stress...ya right. I have my share of stressors, as does everyone, that aren't going anywhere. I get mad, I go to the kitchen.

I tell myself ( as do others), relax, you are too hard on yourself, don't worry about the weight.

I even convinced myself that it was ok to eat whatever I wanted to...because I deserved it. Well, look at me know. I deserved myself into 30 lbs. of fat!! :)

Now, I deserve to be HEALTHY, not overweight.

I believe in small changes. Try one thing at a time. If you can cut out white sugar that you add to your food ( coffee, iced tea), that is one positive thing you have done. If you can add a 15 minute walk 2 times a week, there, you are moving.

Before you know it, you'll have incorporated a bunch of life style changes into your everyday living.

( I guess I should listen to myself more often!)

Baby steps, thats what they say. Which is really hard for me because I'm an all or nothing kind of gal. That's what gets me in trouble. I need instant results. Even though I know it doesn't work that way.

Good luck to all.

Maybe we could come up with a tip a day or a tip a week to better ourselves.

Em could contribute a alternative medical tip.

I could toss out a weight loss tip ( believe it or not, I'm an ACE certified personal trainer. Or at least I was, before all this garbage it me.)

Sponge could pass us his words of wisdom on pretty much anything.

Kanga could hit us with some Australian health tips.

What do you think?

Or we could do it another way:

Make Monday weight loss tips - everyone contributes

Tuesday - Alternative Medical tips

Wed. - New advances in cancer treatments ( Bud? )

And go on like that.

I'd be happy to start it off tomorrow.

Input?

Barb ( who knows too much about weight loss to look the way I do :)

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Great Idea! I'm all for it. You are the second person who has finally mention the "deserving it" portion. And you are right, we deserve and freakin' NEED to become and stay healthy.

I am going to email our divine miss Em right now!! Let's get this party started!

Cheers,
Maura

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Hey there lay-deeez....

I subscribe to a Bally's list-server so I get these every day:

Nutrition Tip
Of The Day
Brought to you by Bally Total Fitness
http://www.ballynutrition.com

How much you eat is equally as important as how often you eat. Most people find a more realistic approach to portion control helpful. We call it the "eyeball method". Compare your food portion size to the size of something you're already familiar with. For example, an average bagel should be the size of a hockey puck and a medium potato should be the size of a computer mouse.

I'd be happy to pass them along.

- SB

tkd3g
Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Keep them coming, Sponge. ( the tips that is) ( nutrition tips that is)

Maybe each day, one person can start the tip thread. That way we can keep them altogether and not hog the board up.

Cool. Thanks Sponge. Got to go cook my man some Fathers Day dinner.

Later

Barb

ramona41's picture
ramona41
Posts: 72
Joined: Jul 2004

thanks for all the ideas..I am 42 and after radiation I was thrown into early menopause also..didnt think about that adding to the weight gain..heck I sure dont miss it.. do any of you that had early meopause do you take any meds for it? my oncologist said he wanted to wait and see if my periods came back.. after 8 mos of not having any I doubt they will..hate the nite sweats and heat flashes.. and mabe the weight gain is from that as well.. thanks againf or you help here... peace ramona

tkd3g
Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi Ramona,

I had my ovaries and tubes taken out at the time of my cancer surgery.

I have the night sweats, hot flashes, and other non-fun things to talk about.

I don't take any medication. I am looking into these "bio-identical" hormones that are made from soy and yam extracts. ( no, eating those 2 items does not produce the same effect)

I need to find a docor specializing in this field. As of today, I haven't found one. But, I am still trying. Try reading the Susanne Somers book,THE SEXY YEARS. IT's about her struggle with cancer, menopause and finding bio-identical hormones. I fit the profile to a tee!

Wear layers, drink water. That's the best I can give ya.

Barb

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Jeez, Barb, you mean you DON'T want your whole diet to be complrised of YAMsssss??

Sent a good email to the gurus. I think this will be a great discussion.

Happy cookin' for your guy.

I have a great book about diet and nutrition written by an endocrinologist. I think I'll reread it and post from it.

Happy Day and hope all of the fathers - present and future - are treated well!

Maura

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

My chemo treatment caused horrible hot flashes all the time! Uncomfortable and embarassing! I am VERY active and exercise everyday AND walk a 75lb. black lab daily....I take Celebrex and a side effect is weight gain.....glory be...I can't win.

I have cut out all red meat, eat fish and chicken (breast only), no pastas, no white stuff and try my very best to eliminate the sugars.

I have lost 5 lbs. but I think age has something to do with it too. Ha! 52 brings on lots of changes.

Kerry

Shandle
Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

Hi all!
I lost weight when I was in the hospital for colon surgery, then I gained it back as I recovered, but remained stable while getting chemo. After chemo however, I hammered down with a strict diet, and I've actually lost weight, even while I was on prednizone! I wasn't trying to loose either. I cut out red meat, excess refined sugars, fats, a lot of processed foods, and all the junk stuff, and it has just came off naturally. Just a little at a time.. My GYN said chemo would have threw me into menapause if I hadn't of gone through it already. (I'm 52) I'm over weight by about 20 lbs. and I have some really nice clothes I'd like to get back into in my closet. I think I've gained inches more than weight because I've not exercised on a reg bases. Now as I start to feel a bit better, I can start off with baby steps and walk and maybe do some light weight lifting to peel off the inches and weight. But here's something that surprised me... when I mentioned to my Radiologist that I want to loose weight and start exercising, he just about threw a fit! "NO!" your fine! ...and then tells me that I need all my energy ??? Well.. I eat pretty healthy so my energy is at it's max for now. Also, from what I understand, the cells after a few months of eating very healthy (like I have) reprogram with new information to adapt to the new diet and will drop the excess fat and weight rather than trying to hold on to it. So... even without exercising, I'll continue to drop the weight, but not as fast. I hate the ol swimsuit regime, but you know... I really just want to feel healthy and better, and I don't try to compete with the striking blond in the bikini. I'm grateful I'm here. That doesn't mean I give up trying. But I go to the pool to have a good time, and don't worry about everyinch of me. Let your spirit show through instead! I haven't heard a word from any men on the subject of weight loss???? Hmmm... Well, I'm all for tips of the week! ~ hogs and prayers! LOL! Wanda... aka Xena!

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Ok semi-colon chicks,

I'm here to weigh in on the issue. (sorry, couldn't pass that up).

THIS PISSES ME OFF!!!

Ok now you'll hear my vent too.....Maura has already heard me ranting about it.....

So I do NOT eat whites, red meat, sugar, drink alcohol yada yada yada.

I EXERCISE -- I walk/run my dogs during the spring/summer/fall at least 10 miles a week, plus I bike at least 10-30 miles a week, plus I do yoga, plus I do pilates, (not all on the same day).

And I have gained 17 pounds in the last year. Does that make sense?? NOPE!

My son the athlete, bless his heart, reminded me that I am making muscle and that could explain some of it. Ok, I'll take that, but I have also had to buy bigger clothes. That SUCKS!

I know how it happened.....7 pounds crept on last year when we were moving and it was harder to exercise and eat consistently. And the STRESS of moving was a doozie. Art had already moved up here and we were apart for 5 months seeing him only on the weekends.

Then this past winter I added coconut oil to my diet b/c I learned that it can help regulate your thyroid (I was dx'ed with sluggish thyroid) and boost your metabolism. Well it did just the opposite for me. And because at the time Iw as not weighing myself (not giving power to the scale) I did not know the weight was adding up as fast as it was.....in 2 months I had gained 10 pounds. Now I am working like a mad woman AND I MEAN >MAD< to get it off. Being paramenopausal I am sure does not help.

When I did a liver cleanse this spring I lost about 8 pounds but as soon as I started back eating regularly it came back for the most part. I have lost 2 pounds recently I think cuz I have upped my biking routine and am juicing more than I was before..... breakfast and most lunches. I am trying to make the juice my main meal and then augment with fish and veggies.

Also this winter I stopped the pilates and started x-country skiing in the morning instead. In the afternoon I mushed my sled dogs. So I figure the pilates was doing much more than I knew in keeping me in shape.

Anyway......ALL this to say that I didn't even DO the chemo and I am dealing with weight gain which is SOOOOO disheartening because as you know I live on veggies and grains mostly.

I am thinking tho that the grains may be giving me some trouble. Eventhough they are WHOLE. When I did the liver cleanse I only ate veggies, fish (some poultry), and blueberry smoothies with protein powder and flax oil.

So my plan is to combine that liver cleanse diet with my carrot juicing and cut out grains to a minimum and we'll see how that goes. I also like legumes alot and beans! Ok I love carbs. Give me a bean burrito with soy cheese any time any place! yum. And hummus! Don't even get me started on my hummus, walnut, pita, spinach sandwiches. :-)

I would like to realistically lose 30 pounds.

That sounds like a lot but I still have baby weight to lose after #5 that I was working on when the cancer dx struck. I did lose 20 pounds after my dx when I was only juicing and eating macro, tons of veggies and getting weekly massages and walking every single day at least 3 miles and built up to 5.

Ok, I know this is long but I wanted to lay it all out with y'all so we can keep eachother going and spur each other on. ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER!

So if anyone wants to share their goal and their plan I would LOVE to hear it.

peace, emily who wants to fit into all her cute clothes from last summer!! ARGH!

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Uh... is it safe to enter here? I mean the string seems to be domintade by pissed-off, moody, para-menopausal women; definitely dangerous territory for a (man) to tread...

Em, have you considered picking up a weight routine 3 days a week? I'm not suggesting an Ah-Nahld tooodal bodeee verrrk out, but relatively light weights to build some lean muscle mass. It sounds like you're doing a lot of aerobic exercise which is wonderful, but studies have shown the aerobic exercise only ups the metabolic rate and burns body fat for two or so hours after exertion whereas a weight routine that build lean muscle mass will raise your metabolic set point and can continue to burn body fat for up to 48 hours after exertion.

Women don't typically get the bulky muscles we guys do, you tend to firm and tone.

Just a thought...

By the way, I don't think those ski pants make your butt look big at all...

;-)

- SB

tkd3g
Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Right you are Sponge. Weights are the way to go. My 74 yr.old mom does light weights ( bone mass)

As for bulking up...forget about it. I am, what you would call "big boned" Love that word, not.

Anyway, when I was lean and mean and a trim fighting weight of 125, I was lifting like no tomorrow. I was curling 40 lbs. dumbbells no sweat. Leg presses, squats, presses, kickbacks, whatever. Never "bulked up". My girlfriend who is a size 2 ( UGH), couldn't believe how strong I was. (Now get those Amazon Woman pictures out of your head).

My Point: Don't be afraid of weights. You'd have to do steroids ( oops, I guess some of us have done them), to bulk up.

Go for the weights. I'm inspired. I'm going to the gym tomorrow.

Barb ( George, you are always safe here with us)

Shandle
Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

OK.... I'm getting out my light weight bells (if I can find them.. and if they didn't get sold at my last garage sell.) As fatigued as I feel...I'm going to give this some effort. But don't tell my Radiologist. Sorry bout yur frustrations Em... and Sponge... You are one brave dude! ... well lets keep working on our goals and share them! Time to look for the 3 pounders..LOL ~ Xena ...who needs to fight the scale a little harder!

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Dude!

I totally want to be buff and ripped!!

So, I need some more info on this though. Are you talking free weights and machines or can I do this with my little 3 pounder hand weights? During my pilates routine we do 3 pound weights. I am working with a shoulder impingement at the moment so I am not supposed to lift over my head.

I did a Women's Weight Training class over the late winter this year but it was only once/week and I didn't see much improvement. I know in the past when I went to the "Y" and worked on the Eagle System I saw huge results. Of course that was 14 years ago and I was turning 30 not 44!

So please advise. This gets confusing cuz my massage therapist (who was a World Class Speed Skater and on the women's US Biking Team) has told me not to work on weights but to increase cardio workouts. ??????

All I know is that I want my butt looking HOT in those ski pants! haha

peace, emily who is in a personal war with cellulite

tkd3g
Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Short term goal 1. Lose 10 lbs of fat by July 19th.

#2 - gain muscle strength

Long Term goal- Get fit enough to take my black belt test in October of 2005.

Lose 50 lbs. (yeah 50) by December 2005.

Gain muscle.

Fit back into my size 8 Gaps.

PLAN:Gym ( weights 3 times a week. Split routine working the body for life pyramid)

TKD 2 times a week (1 hour)

Kickboxing 2 times a week ( 1 hour )

Walk 6 times a week. Increasing time and distance each week.

Weigh in each Monday starting tomorrow 6/20/05

Wish me luck.

Barb

Shandle
Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

WOW!!!!! That's a BIG goal! Geezzz...how lucky you are just to be able to go to the GYM and work out! I'm still fighting the lung issue a bit, so I'll start with some walks & weights, and take it a bit slower, but I'm here to cheer you on Barb! You go lady!... and I want to hear you tell us when you can get into those size 8 gaps! ..or do a black-belt move without break-dancing to the floor! Yaaack!! (ouch!) Xeeena salutes you with her sword!

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Okay...my goals...to be worked on again as a regular part of my life....
dates are sort of iffy - but after three months - I hope to pretty darn fit again.....

#1 goal - to remember that my mind, body and spirit have been afftected by chemo....
Patience, Persistence and Love will be my mission statement.

Weights - 3Xper week
Swimming - at least 1Xper week
indoor cardio - at least 3Xper week - and mix it up
walking 1 and 1/2 hour minimum 2Xperweek
stretch often

keep up with liver detox and supplements
don't skip any meals
continue to drink up to 1gallon of H20 per day

I don't need to lose weight (please don't hate me)
#2goal - remember goal #1.....and try to live each day well.
#3 goal - swim like a dolphin in the hottest bikini around......yeah, it is time to enjoy myself again.

Wish me luck too!
Maura

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Barb! You ninja!!

Just be careful not to set your goals at an unreasonable level! 10 lbs in a month is pretty robust!

Em... you don't need to lift anything over your head. Squats, curls, and flys with 5-15 lb dumbbells should get you going. The three pounders would probably be OK for flys. I know that Men's Fitness has a really good personal workout site that you can subscribe to for a couple dollars a month. It has little demos of the exercises imbedded in it. I don't know of any women's sites - I never really had a need for them - but perhaps the Men's Health site might work for you. Try this URL: http://menshealth.genesant.com

That should get you to the sign in for it. Let me know if that doesn't work.

- SB

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

So right about not lifting the weights above one's head. especially if starting down by waist or thighs - it is hard on the shoulder and on the neck. Bringing something up level or just under the shoulder works well and puts less stresson other muscle groups.

Shape magazine has good stuff too.....there may be a website - never noticed. But, hey, Em - Men's health m=might be more entertaining...
Hey Mr. Squarepants, can you offer me any suggestions?? I know I could use a few....

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