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seaturtle
Posts: 41
Joined: Aug 2012

I have been recently diagnosed with uterine cancer. I come here looking for support, as there are no support groups in this area.

I've not yet started treatment, have an appointment at Dartmouth for a consultation on the 10th. This is the first major illness I have ever had.

I could use some help with this: my weight is extremely low, and they want me to gain to prepare for surgery and perhaps chemo/radiation. I also have anorexia (chronic - I am 65, ill with that from 13 years on). Has anyone had to put on weight before treatment, and if so, how?

I hope I can find and give support here. Thank you.

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Sorry you are joining us here. "Cancer" is a tough thing to cope with but we are here for you and each other.

Yes, you will need alot of strength and a healthy body to deal with the rigors of treatment.

You should have access to a nutritionist or at least some guidance from your oncologist or nurse. I strongly recommend a licensed social worker or other therapist to help you with the anxiety of all this - both the anorexia and cancer.

I'm glad you found us here. Please continue to post and let us know how you are doing.

Hugs, Mary Ann

seaturtle
Posts: 41
Joined: Aug 2012

I can't say how much your posts helped me, thank you so much. The local hospital has no dieticians or nutritionists left. They were all fired because of lack of funds.

My social worker/therapist of 18 years retired two months ago, and the local mental health agency is overwhelmed with cases and underfunded, and at the moment does not have space for me. I hope I can find more help at Dartmouth. It is, however a good 3-4 hour drive from here, and I do not drive. The Red Cross takes me there and back, require prior approval for this long trip, and they, too, are struggling to fill the needs of their clients. This is a very poor area of VT.

Having no family at all and no friends I feel I can confide in right now feels so alone. Your support is invaluable, and I hope I can help support others, too.

I don't know what treatment I will require.

Thanking you again and hope for us all.

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 626
Joined: Jun 2012

I did a search under "weight gain" on this forum and a couple of entries came up. Have you tried that? I am not very tech savy but assume there must be a way to do a search on that subject under all the boards since it would be an issue for all kinds of cancer. If not I guess you could check them one by one.

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 626
Joined: Jun 2012

I am glad you found this site so soon after your diagnosis. It took me a month or so and I now consider it an essential part of my treatment plan. I haven't posted often yet feel a strong kinship with the courageous and generous women here. I don't have anything specific to offer re weight gain since I lost weight during my chemo, mostly because of lack of appetite and food appeal. You have quite a challenge with your anorexia. I live 2 states over from Dartmouth (NE tip of New York state) and know people who have gone for treatment at that facility and have done very well. I wonder if you could arrange for a consultation with a dietician when you go who could help create a personalized eating plan for you? Good luck and I will be waiting to hear how things go.

Connie

sedonafree's picture
sedonafree
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi, so sorry about your diagnosis. I also couldn't believe good people were let go due to lack of funds...so hard to hear.

About the fact they want you to gain weight...what the dietician told me was eat half your body weight in protien. Try to eat stuff like chicken, greek yogurt, whole milk, cheese, (dairy has a lot of calories). You could also supplement with a good whey powder (I got it in Whole Foods.) Just try to eat all day long, but high calorie things.

Not only do they want you to gain weight now, but when you do go through chemo, you need all that protien for repair of your cells. If you don't nourish, you can't repair. If you repair, you will feel better during your chemo.

I was so afraid of the chemo side effects, but actually experienced very little of them. No mouth sores, no nausea, it was all so much better than I thought it would be. I also had uterine, and received carboplatin/paclitaxol.

Maybe you could get some Ensure or Boost. With Boost, the chocolate was better than the vanilla (someone told me that and they were right!)

Hope this gives you some ideas, but remember, lots of protien.

seaturtle
Posts: 41
Joined: Aug 2012

This is so helpful. I have been a vegetarian for 40 years and always got adequate protein, but hearing your advice, I am adding fish and eggs.

Something happened with the forum and I was unable to use or change my password since I was last here. I hope it doesn't happen again - this forum is extremely valuable to me.

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 626
Joined: Jun 2012

I hope things go well at your appt at Dartmouth tomorrow and you get some answers and a plan. Be sure to take a notebook with all your questions listed and room to write down the things they tell you. It is so hard to remember it all. I was fortunate to have my daughter doing the note taking as my husband and I absorbed the news that my treatment would involve much more than just the surgery that we had been originally led to expect. We'll be waiting for your update. Good luck.

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