"You've Lost A Lot of Weight"

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I will acknowledge up front that it's a nice problem to have and I'm fortunate to have come out of the worst year of my life relatively unscathed. But I'm curious what other people do in this scenario . . .

I run into a co-worker/acquaintance who I don't really see that much. They comment "Gosh, you've really lost a lot of weight. You look great."

I'm never really sure what my reaction should be. At this point, I'm not ready to disown the fact that I've lost a lot of weight because I've been pretty sick. OTOH, it seems strange to cast a pall on a friendly comment by saying, "Thanks. I've had some health challenges that have resulted in a weight loss." I don't always want to have "the conversation" with everyone.

The reality is that I look really healthy (knock on wood, hopefully I am). I've lost about 65 pounds which is the lowest I've weighed since college. Because I was heavy before, I do look pretty great. Losing facial hair actually makes me look younger and thinner. I don't LOOK like someone who has cancer and had four surgeries, two rounds of chemotherapy and two rounds of radiation in the past year.

But I also want to OWN the fact that I have cancer and that the reason I look "good" is that I went through a hellish 12 months which took a physical toll . . . but I just look a lot better in clothes. I have been able to get back to work, do mostly normal things, have a social life, etc. Yet, I have some pain every day, eating and talking are a challenge, and I'm tired pretty much all the time.

How have others handled this.

Comments

  • nwasen
    nwasen Member Posts: 235 Member
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    lost weight
    How bout "hey, I tried the cancer diet"? I inherited my dad's warped sense of humor.
    On a more serious note: I went to high school with a gal who was obsessed with everyone's weight. Before I got sick I was a tad chubby. I am under 5'2" and was tiny until about 50 years old. I was up to 134 and she told me she thought I was fat.
    Anyway, after home from treatment and weighing a grand total of 92, I ran into her. She too was elated how much I had lost (I looked like a skelton I think). She asked how I lost it and I just commented cancer and walked away......
  • longtermsurvivor
    longtermsurvivor Member Posts: 1,842 Member
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    I just say
    thank you. Sometimes simple is better.
  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    I lost weight
    Marty36,

    This diet will not catch on; the fun ones don’t catch on. I think the health challenges answer is fine, maybe a little more or less information depending on the sincerity or closeness of the asker

    I have a less than sincere sister-in-law who mentioned “how tired” I looked. I wanted to say I just had the s___ kicked out of me (pardon my French), instead I said “yes I am tired”. I don’t think she really cared if I was tired or not. Of course, the subject of cancer does make some people nervous and it shows in their face and their questions.

    I’ve been surprised by some friends and family that stand up and provide support and by others that do not give a darn. Beware, this cancer is a truth serum, we see all.

    Oh well, losing weight and looking better are some of the only pluses I have seen from this temporary buddy of mine (I am down around 35lbs total).

    Keep smiling,

    Matt
  • KTeacher
    KTeacher Member Posts: 1,103
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    I wonder
    I wonder what I looked like before 'c!' I get the you look great all of the time, I smile and say that I don't recommend the diet!
  • dsantor
    dsantor Member Posts: 19
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    I weighed 120 when I started
    I weighed 120 when I started radiation for base of tongue cancer- after all of the weight loss I ended up at 96 lbs-- One person said to me, you are so skinny I wish I could lose some weight, "I'm jealous" I just replied, "you, too, can be on the Boost diet if you wish".
  • BrianKrashpad
    BrianKrashpad Member Posts: 188
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    nwasen said:

    lost weight
    How bout "hey, I tried the cancer diet"? I inherited my dad's warped sense of humor.
    On a more serious note: I went to high school with a gal who was obsessed with everyone's weight. Before I got sick I was a tad chubby. I am under 5'2" and was tiny until about 50 years old. I was up to 134 and she told me she thought I was fat.
    Anyway, after home from treatment and weighing a grand total of 92, I ran into her. She too was elated how much I had lost (I looked like a skelton I think). She asked how I lost it and I just commented cancer and walked away......

    The cancer diet
    That's exactly the line I've actually used. Usually followed with "I don't recommend it, but it sure works!" I don't mean to belittle it, because we all know what this stuff can do. But I think it can be fought with humor as well as concern.
  • nwasen
    nwasen Member Posts: 235 Member
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    dsantor said:

    I weighed 120 when I started
    I weighed 120 when I started radiation for base of tongue cancer- after all of the weight loss I ended up at 96 lbs-- One person said to me, you are so skinny I wish I could lose some weight, "I'm jealous" I just replied, "you, too, can be on the Boost diet if you wish".

    You've Lost alot of weight
    I find myself talking with anyone and everyone about head and neck cancer. This ain't the 50's anymore and people need to be aware. I guess maybe I need a filter sometimes.....lol
    One of my best friends said if she ever got diagnosed she would be private and not tell anymore...
    we all have our own views on how to handle the beast. I want to help educate but also not be too damn serious except when the conversation needs to be.
    I also think there are many people who get nervous around us, whether they are friends or not. They just aren't sure what to say..and sometimes they say really dumb things...I think I used to be one of "those people".
    nancy aka toughcookie
    BTW Dsantor...love your dog!
  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
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    Weight lost program

    I am 6’ 1” and before C I was 230lbs a lot of muscle and little brains. Now I am 6’ ½ don’t know where I lost the ½ inch at but it is gone and I am 144lbs no muscle and still no brains. Total lost of weight is right at 86lbs, my insurance spent so far to date on my treatment about $700,000.00 in Chemo, Radiation and PET Scans. If I do the math right that is about $8,139.53 a pound, no wonder the doctors love me.

    Hondo
  • Ingrid K
    Ingrid K Member Posts: 813
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    Hondo said:

    Weight lost program

    I am 6’ 1” and before C I was 230lbs a lot of muscle and little brains. Now I am 6’ ½ don’t know where I lost the ½ inch at but it is gone and I am 144lbs no muscle and still no brains. Total lost of weight is right at 86lbs, my insurance spent so far to date on my treatment about $700,000.00 in Chemo, Radiation and PET Scans. If I do the math right that is about $8,139.53 a pound, no wonder the doctors love me.

    Hondo

    More Expensive than Jenny Craig, for sure
    WOW, Hondo love the math....if you look at it that way it must certainly be the world's most expensive diet.

    By the way, glad you got your PEG. I saw the pics on your expressions page...yup, you're a bit on the thin side, so I hope you can pack the pounds on and feel stronger every day.
  • George_Baltimore
    George_Baltimore Member Posts: 303
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    Ingrid K said:

    More Expensive than Jenny Craig, for sure
    WOW, Hondo love the math....if you look at it that way it must certainly be the world's most expensive diet.

    By the way, glad you got your PEG. I saw the pics on your expressions page...yup, you're a bit on the thin side, so I hope you can pack the pounds on and feel stronger every day.

    Weight loss
    LOL, after going from 220 pounds to 129 and then gaining back about 15 pounds, I used BrianKrashpad's response exactly word for word. It seems to make people a little more comfortable if you make a joke out of it.
  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    I finally got hit with stupid....
    An aquaitance who doesn't know I've been sick bumped into me at the grocery store, and did one of those kind of loud numbers on me..."OMG, you're SO SKINNY....what happened? Your face is almost skeletal!"....It was embarrassing....not to mention, it embarrassed the clerk who knows what I'm going thru. I'm used to going to chemo and rads where people are always telling me I look so good....I'm used to what I look like when I look into the mirror, and my family and friends must be too....

    It changed what I see when I look into the mirror...now I can see how thin my face is...before I thought I looked a little like Twiggy...kinda skinny and cute with my short hair and all...LOL.

    Won't get me down, cuz weight I can gain here soon enough....but I can sure live a long time without drama queens...

    p
  • Ingrid K
    Ingrid K Member Posts: 813
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    I finally got hit with stupid....
    An aquaitance who doesn't know I've been sick bumped into me at the grocery store, and did one of those kind of loud numbers on me..."OMG, you're SO SKINNY....what happened? Your face is almost skeletal!"....It was embarrassing....not to mention, it embarrassed the clerk who knows what I'm going thru. I'm used to going to chemo and rads where people are always telling me I look so good....I'm used to what I look like when I look into the mirror, and my family and friends must be too....

    It changed what I see when I look into the mirror...now I can see how thin my face is...before I thought I looked a little like Twiggy...kinda skinny and cute with my short hair and all...LOL.

    Won't get me down, cuz weight I can gain here soon enough....but I can sure live a long time without drama queens...

    p

    who cares about stupid ?
    Hi P51, well at least you got the stupid comment out of the way. There are always a few folks who put their foot in their mouths.

    Sorry that it changed what you see when you look in the mirror now. FAGETABOUTIT.
    you are a SURVIVOR and if you want to be Twiggy, then you're Twiggy ! I like that, and I think you can pull it off for sure.

    It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks...(maybe just Greg and the dog)
  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    Ingrid K said:

    who cares about stupid ?
    Hi P51, well at least you got the stupid comment out of the way. There are always a few folks who put their foot in their mouths.

    Sorry that it changed what you see when you look in the mirror now. FAGETABOUTIT.
    you are a SURVIVOR and if you want to be Twiggy, then you're Twiggy ! I like that, and I think you can pull it off for sure.

    It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks...(maybe just Greg and the dog)

    Thank you AGAIN Ingrid....
    I swear I must have known you in a former life! You're always so GOOD for me!! :)

    What I did was decide to get my hair cut shorter...more Twiggy'ish, and now that I can go a few days without the port paraphenalia, I'm going to get dressed in some cute clothes and flaunt the "skinny"....LOL. If I feel REAL frisky, I might paint some lashes on my bottom eyelid....now THAT would be Twiggy....ha.

    Greg said my face looks thin, but healthy from all the hydration...impish, is what he called it...

    p
  • tommyodavey
    tommyodavey Member Posts: 727 Member
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    Thank you AGAIN Ingrid....
    I swear I must have known you in a former life! You're always so GOOD for me!! :)

    What I did was decide to get my hair cut shorter...more Twiggy'ish, and now that I can go a few days without the port paraphenalia, I'm going to get dressed in some cute clothes and flaunt the "skinny"....LOL. If I feel REAL frisky, I might paint some lashes on my bottom eyelid....now THAT would be Twiggy....ha.

    Greg said my face looks thin, but healthy from all the hydration...impish, is what he called it...

    p

    New Career
    Phrannie,

    Just tell them you are in training for a new career as a runway model!

    T