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Weight

JGE
Posts: 50
Joined: Mar 2009

I am curious about other peoples experience with weight gain post treatment. I lost about 42 pounds during 7 weeks of treatment (radiation and chemo). I was eating by mouth (with pain)about 2 weeks after treatment and had the PEG tube removed 4 weeks after because I HATED that thing. I forced myself to eat and gained about 10 pounds back within about 6 weeks of treatment. Since then (about 5 months) I have returned to basically normal eating but for changes I have made to try and be more healthy. Problem is, I can't gain any more weight! I don't want to necessarily get back to my old weight, but I would like to get about 10 lbs on my bones so I look healthier and fit my clothes!

I have talked to a couple of survivors I know and one is having the same problem and the other said he couldn't gain weight and then all of a sudden at the 1 year mark he suddenly went back to his old weight.

Anyone out there have this same issue?

SIRENAF42's picture
SIRENAF42
Posts: 204
Joined: Oct 2008

As a woman Id say... who wants to gain weight??? I lost 50 pounds during radiation treatments, did not have the tube, and toward the end I wished I had. Couldnt eat, barily swallow and lost 10 pounds in one week. 6 months later, I have not gained any back, and am eating healthy, so I just accept that that is where my body needs to be. If you are feeling tired, or under nourished, Id talk to your doctor, maybe add some protein drinks to your diet will help add some pounds.

jkinobay's picture
jkinobay
Posts: 245
Joined: May 2007

My Rad Oncol team warned me that for the first year or two I would gain rather slowly if at all. But they warned that after that the pendulum frequently swings the other direction with rapid weight gain. I am currently 18 mo. out from treatment and have gained back about 2/3 of what I lost. Not sure the percentage of we survivors with similar experience but of those I have talked to in Support Group and elsewhere, I think this is pretty common.

Best of luck................and Congratulations as a Survivor. JK

Sheilarhc's picture
Sheilarhc
Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 2007

I have had the same issue. I'm two yrs out of treatment and although I don't post very often, I do read posting weekly. I've found a lot of comfort and support here.
I lost 50lbs during my 7 weeks of radiation. The most I lost in one week was 7 pounds.
I didn't have the weight to lose (well, maybe the first 20)and I didn't have a feeding tube.
I struggled very much after my treatments to gain the weight back. I actually continued to lose weight 3 months after treatments finished. About 8 months after treatments I began to SLOWLY gain weight. I finally gained back 25lbs and have maintained that weight for almost a year. I struggled so much with the weight, I found myself depressed and unmotivated. I allowed my soul time to heal, then I picked my pathetic butt up off the floor and forced protein shakes down my throat. In time things will get better and trust me, easier. Your body has been through so much, but you will get better and the weight will come back. You just have to keep pushing. I was told to try to eat or drink something every two hours. Your body has to realize that you're going to feed it again. Your body has been starved for so long that everything you eat will be stored as fat. I ate more frequently and the weight came back slowly and I feel soooooo much better. I wish you the best of luck...KEEP EATING!!!

JGE
Posts: 50
Joined: Mar 2009

Two years! Wow, I wasn't expecting that. I feel frail because I was used to having some meat on my bones. Not to mention the expense of buying new clothes that I will (might) grow out of. This cancer is getting expensive. Food that is good for you is expensive too. I am tempted to hit the dollar menu to try and put on the pounds, but then I am too afraid to eat that stuff since NOBODY will tell me what caused my Squamous so I am left to just make up explainations. No kidding though, I eat a ton everyday. If I had eaten this much before I would have gained a pound a day.

The people who see me every day are used to the "new me" and I look somewhat like myself. But the people who heard I had cancer but haven't seen me since treatments ALWAYS comment on my weight. I just want to gain enough back to not have that look. It is hard enough to not think about cancer multiple times every day without someone commenting on your weight and making you feel like you still look sick. People associate losing weight with cancer almost like it is a symptom of the cancer, not the treatment. The darn treatment is what made me look like I had cancer! I think it would be helpful to healing to gain some weight.

A new girl at the radiation Oncologists office had just finished treatments and was asking me questions. She "elected" to not have the Chemo and hasn't lost any weight! That darn Chemo makes people look like cancer patients! I would have been too nervous about reoccurance to skip chemo though.

Sheilarhc's picture
Sheilarhc
Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 2007

I can totally sympathize with the way you feel. I never thought I looked sick until the treatments made me sick. It's really hard to muster up the strength to get better when the person you once were somehow got kidnapped by cancer. I used to stare at myself in the mirror and have no motivation to heal the stranger starring back at me. Who is this woman and where did she come from? Why do I have to fix her? I don't even like her.
I was diagnosed less then a year after my divorce. Now a single of mother of two, how do I handle this? I underestimated the effects of radiation. I think on some level I thought it would be easy.
People that hadn't seen me for awhile would always comment on my weight. Even if they didn't say it, I could see the look of horror when they saw how thin I was. Trust me, I knew how thin I was, no one actually had to tell me. My whole body hurt and I felt weak all the time. I went everywhere and saw anyone that I thought could help me gain the weight back. Now, I'm at a healthy weight and I pray I don't have to keep replacing my wardrobe. You're right....cancer is expensive!
Sounds like you're doing great and things will get better.

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