weight gain

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jphilpo
jphilpo Member Posts: 177
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I know this topic comes up every now and then, so I thought I would vent a little. I am 1 year past all surgeries, chemo, radiation and diep flap reconstruction. I have never had a weight problem but have gained almost 30 lbs in the last year. I am on tamoxifen . I had to get off femara due to side effects.

I am really depressed about the weight gain. Nothing I do seems to help. My husband is so supportive and reminds me of all the poisin and toxins in my body and to give myself time. My Reach to Recovery friend told me it took her almost 2 years to see a weight change.

Any advice out there? I am a walker and before all this started, my goal was 10,000 steps a day. I can't do that yet.I walk , but not 10,000steps. My onc. says for me to lose the weight. He says breast cancer patients all have the same complaint and weight gain could cause a recurrence. It doesn't help when he says that. I am a vegetarian and I truly don't eat that much. It's just so sad to deal with the cancer and then have this battle after.

Thanks for any info,
Jean

Comments

  • joannstar
    joannstar Member Posts: 403 Member
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    I'm right there with you
    I'm right there with you only I'm not through with treatment yet.
    Before being dx in June I had been "celebrating" my wedding starting before Valentine's Day and had gained back about 30 of the 60 pounds I had lost pre-wedding. After finding out I had bc, I indulged myself in anything I wanted (food was always my "drug of choice" for comfort or celebration) and gained back the other 30 pounds.
    I had told my onc that weight-loss was the only side effect I was looking forward to until he said that I would probably gain more weight during chemo...ugh...
    I'm only half-way through chemo (3 more to go) and one of the side effects has been that my soles of my feet burn so walking has been difficult. I'm not sure how to start losing the weight knowing that my onc wants me to also.
    I feel that until I lose the 60 pounds and get my hair back, I won't feel anywhere near normal. At times, the weight gain makes me more upset than the treatment or dx.
    I wish you luck with your weight battle--I don't think mine will start until January when I start my 33 rads.
    So much to deal with...
    Hugs to you,
    JoAnn
  • ms.sunshine
    ms.sunshine Member Posts: 707 Member
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    joannstar said:

    I'm right there with you
    I'm right there with you only I'm not through with treatment yet.
    Before being dx in June I had been "celebrating" my wedding starting before Valentine's Day and had gained back about 30 of the 60 pounds I had lost pre-wedding. After finding out I had bc, I indulged myself in anything I wanted (food was always my "drug of choice" for comfort or celebration) and gained back the other 30 pounds.
    I had told my onc that weight-loss was the only side effect I was looking forward to until he said that I would probably gain more weight during chemo...ugh...
    I'm only half-way through chemo (3 more to go) and one of the side effects has been that my soles of my feet burn so walking has been difficult. I'm not sure how to start losing the weight knowing that my onc wants me to also.
    I feel that until I lose the 60 pounds and get my hair back, I won't feel anywhere near normal. At times, the weight gain makes me more upset than the treatment or dx.
    I wish you luck with your weight battle--I don't think mine will start until January when I start my 33 rads.
    So much to deal with...
    Hugs to you,
    JoAnn

    I'm right in the same boat as you two
    I've gained 30 lbs. since the cancer journey began 13 months ago. At first I lost 17 lbs. then put it back on + 11 more. And now the holidays are here = more food. I've got to loose this weight.
  • roseann4
    roseann4 Member Posts: 992 Member
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    I'm right in the same boat as you two
    I've gained 30 lbs. since the cancer journey began 13 months ago. At first I lost 17 lbs. then put it back on + 11 more. And now the holidays are here = more food. I've got to loose this weight.

    How's your thyroid?
    I went to a naturopathic md and my bloodwork showed that even though it appeared that my thyroid was functioning, I was low in a nutrient necessary for proper thyroid function. She put me on 5 micrograms of selenium twice a day and what a difference. I'm actually starting to have more energy and lose weight. She said my body had been altered due to all the cancer treatments.

    Roseann
  • disneyfan2008
    disneyfan2008 Member Posts: 6,583 Member
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    radiation and tamoxifen
    I too gained 25 lbs with no changes in my eating habits. I must say I was on steriods during treatments for my U.C. was at it's all time worse in 17 yrs. I have very very slowly lost 10 lbs recently! very frustrating when not eating to gain...
  • jphilpo
    jphilpo Member Posts: 177
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    roseann4 said:

    How's your thyroid?
    I went to a naturopathic md and my bloodwork showed that even though it appeared that my thyroid was functioning, I was low in a nutrient necessary for proper thyroid function. She put me on 5 micrograms of selenium twice a day and what a difference. I'm actually starting to have more energy and lose weight. She said my body had been altered due to all the cancer treatments.

    Roseann

    weight
    I know my thyroid is out of wack! I will definitely ask my onc. to check this, thanks!
  • patti anne
    patti anne Member Posts: 101
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    radiation and tamoxifen
    I too gained 25 lbs with no changes in my eating habits. I must say I was on steriods during treatments for my U.C. was at it's all time worse in 17 yrs. I have very very slowly lost 10 lbs recently! very frustrating when not eating to gain...

    me too
    I am over a year out of treatments and just did stage 2 of my diep in September. I have gained about 25 lbs as well. It is depressing and wish I had words of encouragement for you. Just know you are not alone.
  • cahjah75
    cahjah75 Member Posts: 2,631
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    Jean
    Last fall I lost 25#s because I needed to. I kept most of it off until I was dx with bc. After bilateral mastectomy I weighed myself and I had gained 7 lbs! Since treatment started in August I've steadily gained and not been able to lose. I've had 5 chemo treatments and #6 and final one is next week. I noticed that my feet, ankles and lower legs were swollen to the point that they hurt. My pcp gave me Lasix to relieve the swelling. Problem is you can't leave the house because you pee constantly. lol I haven't been great about watching what I eat and really plan on going back to Weight Watchers in December to get a handle on this weight. (I gained 80+ lbs. during menopause!) Now that I'm 11 years past M and have zero energy to even ride my recumbent bike I don't know how I'm going to lose even half of that weight! I hope to at least lose the 25 lbs I gained back. The rest will take a lot of effort. I don't know if Arimidex has any effect on weight. I start that soon.......
    Char
  • jendrey
    jendrey Member Posts: 377
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    Always weighed 105
    until being treated. I've gained about 30 pounds with absolutely no change in eating habits. It's not like anybody even mentioned weight gain as a possibility. If anything I was worried that I might lose weight! I find it very, very, bewildering to say the least.
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
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    Hi Jean, I know exactly how
    Hi Jean, I know exactly how you feel. I was always light then came tamoxifen and bang..10 lbs. Went off that and went on Arimidex and there was another 5-10. Couldn't lose it. I've never had problems with my weight so I was pretty upset. Now I'm on Aromasin and I at least feel like I can keep it at a reasonable spot. I was also dx with osteoporosis and being under 130lbs didn't help, so I make sure I've got some extra to help fight the osteo.The only other thing I can think of with Tamoxifen is retaining water. Perhaps look at it from that angle and see what happens. I wish I could help you more, I know it's frustrating!
    jan
  • Chickadee1955
    Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 356 Member
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    Hi Jean, I know exactly how
    Hi Jean, I know exactly how you feel. I was always light then came tamoxifen and bang..10 lbs. Went off that and went on Arimidex and there was another 5-10. Couldn't lose it. I've never had problems with my weight so I was pretty upset. Now I'm on Aromasin and I at least feel like I can keep it at a reasonable spot. I was also dx with osteoporosis and being under 130lbs didn't help, so I make sure I've got some extra to help fight the osteo.The only other thing I can think of with Tamoxifen is retaining water. Perhaps look at it from that angle and see what happens. I wish I could help you more, I know it's frustrating!
    jan

    I'm right there with you
    I'm right there with you ladies. It appears 20-30# is pretty normal from your posts. I have gained about 20#. Weight has always been a struggle for me.

    My family says 'its temporary' and that being alive is more important, and I agree.....BUT I think we American women have been so conditioned to feel required to be a certain size/weight that this particular side effect of BC is, at least for me, the worst.

    I can put on a wig for the hair loss, I can pencil in my thinning eyebrows, but I can't hide this suddenly enormous belly. The weight I have put on is all over, but the most noticeable (maybe because I can see it better without breasts in the way) is the belly. I can't hold it in, I feel like I'm walking like Alfred Hitchcock (if you're old enough to remember him). And this has been the hardest thing for me. I had to buy all new jeans, most of my shirts don't fit and my wedding rings are too tight.

    I feel very superficial, but I absolutely hate this.
  • missrenee
    missrenee Member Posts: 2,136 Member
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    I'm right there with you
    I'm right there with you ladies. It appears 20-30# is pretty normal from your posts. I have gained about 20#. Weight has always been a struggle for me.

    My family says 'its temporary' and that being alive is more important, and I agree.....BUT I think we American women have been so conditioned to feel required to be a certain size/weight that this particular side effect of BC is, at least for me, the worst.

    I can put on a wig for the hair loss, I can pencil in my thinning eyebrows, but I can't hide this suddenly enormous belly. The weight I have put on is all over, but the most noticeable (maybe because I can see it better without breasts in the way) is the belly. I can't hold it in, I feel like I'm walking like Alfred Hitchcock (if you're old enough to remember him). And this has been the hardest thing for me. I had to buy all new jeans, most of my shirts don't fit and my wedding rings are too tight.

    I feel very superficial, but I absolutely hate this.

    Sounds like we are all in the same boat
    and we're over the weight limit!!! I am glad to be through with treatment and glad to be alive. The hair loss didn't phase me much, but I am hating this weight gain. I'm on Arimidex and have gained at least 10 pounds so far.

    Not only that--I have this spare tire around my middle that I never had before. I'm trying to cover it with big tops--but I don't think I'm fooling anyone (not even me).

    Oh well, if we have to dump some of us out of the boat, at least I'll float with my natural inner tube in place.

    Think I'll go have a cookie.

    Hugs, Renee
  • mariam_11_09
    mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
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    Here is something I would

    Here is something I would like to share. I gained 27 1/2 lbs while on chemo, some of it in the weeks following chemo. My weight was getting up there and I got concerned. So I decided to do something about it.

    It has not been easy but I have lost 18 lbs since the end of September. The weight loss is slowing down but I am still loosing. It might take 6 months to loose the rest but that is fine so long as I eventually loose it.

    Here is what I did. I signed up with www.mydailyplate.com. It is free and allows you track your calorie input and output(burned). You plug in your current weight, height and age and select how many pounds a week you want to loose (2 being the max) and it will tell you how many calories to consume a day. Despite my diet been very healthy I was surprised by how some high in calories some healthy food items are and how quickly a salad can become high calorie with the additional of walnuts, cheese and cranberries. So it has been an education. I also execise daily whether it be walk (2 or 3.5 miles) or dance or zumba or aerobics. Sometimes I exercise twice a day particularly if I know we are going to eat out or cake or pie will be served in order to burn off the extra I will be inputting.

    I never thought I would calorie count EVER! However it has been a education made me more conscious of portion size and increased my level of activity to a place where I do enjoy it. I don't deprive myself, I do have that little piece of dark chocolate, or a little desert or whatever still gives me pleasure.

    I do also take an amino acid supplement along with milk thistle (okayed by Onc). Both help liver function. From what I understand if the liver is overloaded with toxins (and is fatty) then it is hard for fat metabolism to happen.

    The weight gain is disconcerting so hang in there. I would also suggest as others did to get your thyroid checked.

    take care
  • Chefrox
    Chefrox Member Posts: 32
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    missrenee said:

    Sounds like we are all in the same boat
    and we're over the weight limit!!! I am glad to be through with treatment and glad to be alive. The hair loss didn't phase me much, but I am hating this weight gain. I'm on Arimidex and have gained at least 10 pounds so far.

    Not only that--I have this spare tire around my middle that I never had before. I'm trying to cover it with big tops--but I don't think I'm fooling anyone (not even me).

    Oh well, if we have to dump some of us out of the boat, at least I'll float with my natural inner tube in place.

    Think I'll go have a cookie.

    Hugs, Renee

    Water Walking
    Sisters....
    I have always had a weight problem but recently it's I don't give a darn attitude.

    What is the absolute best excercise is water aerobics...especially for middle aged women. Here in my little town we have two hotels you can pay $25 a month and go in their pool whenever you want. No biggie if you dono more than just walk in the water.

    Working out in the water opposed to on land is 66% better at burning calories. If you feel like it jog in place, do jumping jacks. My husband is almost 80 and suffers from bad Neuropothy and for almost 3 yrs he has been going on his own, created his own routine and does 1 1/2 a day 5-6 days a week.

    You'll be amazed how how good you feel.

    Huggs
    Chef Rox
  • sal314
    sal314 Member Posts: 599 Member
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    Losing Weight on Tamoxifen is HARD!
    I just ended my 5-year relationship wit Tamoxifen at the end of Aug. I didn't gain that much, about 10 pounds since my treatment...which was 9 years ago. I didn't gain the 10 pounds until after I started Tamoxifen. I tried forever to lose it, but my weight didn't budge!

    SInce I stopped it, I've lost 7 pounds without even trying. ANd I don't feel as "puffy" as I did. All this is to say that the whole estrogen thing does something to your metabolism! What exactly, I don't know, but it makes it a lot harder to lose! Just keep moving and watching what you eat. It will come off eventually, but it may take a lot longer than you'd like.

    Your husband is right, it does take time for your body to heal! Don't be so hard on yourself:)
    I know it's frustrating, but in the mean time, enjoy your life! :)

    Blessings,

    Sally
  • webbwife50
    webbwife50 Member Posts: 394
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    I know
    I too am very frustrated. I'm almost a year out from my last procedure (tram flap) and over this past year have been made aware, lose a little weight, get my bad colesteral down and good up, lower my bp, severe arthritis in my neck, I didn't know I had most of these problems before my dx. What's up with that! Anyway I keep you in my prayers, I keep hearing the same thing, which is, give it more time. God bless....alison
  • Miss Murphy
    Miss Murphy Member Posts: 302
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    sal314 said:

    Losing Weight on Tamoxifen is HARD!
    I just ended my 5-year relationship wit Tamoxifen at the end of Aug. I didn't gain that much, about 10 pounds since my treatment...which was 9 years ago. I didn't gain the 10 pounds until after I started Tamoxifen. I tried forever to lose it, but my weight didn't budge!

    SInce I stopped it, I've lost 7 pounds without even trying. ANd I don't feel as "puffy" as I did. All this is to say that the whole estrogen thing does something to your metabolism! What exactly, I don't know, but it makes it a lot harder to lose! Just keep moving and watching what you eat. It will come off eventually, but it may take a lot longer than you'd like.

    Your husband is right, it does take time for your body to heal! Don't be so hard on yourself:)
    I know it's frustrating, but in the mean time, enjoy your life! :)

    Blessings,

    Sally

    Me Too!!!!
    I also have gotten the dreaded weight gain with Tamox. Probably 8-10 pounds. I don't mind the gain too much as I've always been on the thin side but I do mind where it's all landed - all around my middle ( muffin top) and tummy. Before bc I'd exercise 3-4 times a week. Now it's 6-7 times. I get to a certain point, and can't go below. I was overjoyed to read your response, Sally about the 7 pound loss without trying after you went off Tamox. I can hope that in 2 1/2 more years I'll do the same!

    Hugs, Sally
  • Jean 0609
    Jean 0609 Member Posts: 2,462
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    Hi Jean (one Jean to another)
    I started Weight Watchers last November and lost 30 lbs. Then came surgery, chemo, etc. etc. etc. I have put back on 17 lbs. I am not happy about this. I know I need to get back on track, but I can't get my head back into it. Weight Watchers did work at first because I felt I needed to be accountable for my weight.
  • Punkindo
    Punkindo Member Posts: 113
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    ack!!! me too!!
    I have gained 35 lbs. I haven't been this heavy since I was pregnant. I am so uncomfortable. I want to do something, but with the holliday's coming up it would be too hard. I have been kind of thinking that I would start on some kind of program after the new year. I just have to decide what that is.......

    I'll think about it tomorow.. :)
  • sal314
    sal314 Member Posts: 599 Member
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    Me Too!!!!
    I also have gotten the dreaded weight gain with Tamox. Probably 8-10 pounds. I don't mind the gain too much as I've always been on the thin side but I do mind where it's all landed - all around my middle ( muffin top) and tummy. Before bc I'd exercise 3-4 times a week. Now it's 6-7 times. I get to a certain point, and can't go below. I was overjoyed to read your response, Sally about the 7 pound loss without trying after you went off Tamox. I can hope that in 2 1/2 more years I'll do the same!

    Hugs, Sally

    That's Where I Gained It Too!!
    It came all around my middle and tummy too Miss Murphy! Ugh! So annoying! Since I've stopped taking it, it's shrunk around the middle and it's back to it's old self! But I'm kinda bummed that it's probably a precurser to when I go into "real" menapause! At least I have a couple of years left of a flat tummy! LOL.

    Sally (#2) :)
  • lizzie17
    lizzie17 Member Posts: 548
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    feeling better
    I feel better knowing that I am not alone. After the bilateral mast., things really started adding up. Now I am type 2 diabetic, 3 nodules on my thyroid, and one on my
    larnyx. Huge tummy, sometimes my face looks bloated!, and I fight every day to maintain my weight. This week, I couldn't take the pressure/rules and now I just got weighed---gained 3 pounds. Wow, just like that.
    My endocrinologist wants me to lose 20 pounds a year.....so, by April I need to lose
    7 more. With the arimidex, tired from working full-time, and all my other meds....
    somehow I need to stay encouraged, but it has become really difficult.