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Weight loss

Posts: 8
Joined: Jul 2007

Hello everyone,

I weighted 127 lbs before the cancer, June 2007 and now I weight 107. Kind of weird because lots of people are trying to loose the weight. During the chemo I have not appetite at all. I can only stand soups and light fruits like watermelon.

Any word of advise or comment with be grately appreciated.

Much love,


msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I have a friend I was just speaking today that is having a hard time with weight loss as well. I, however, am at the LARGEST I could ever imagine being. I had gotten so thin during my reoccurrence in 2006 that you could see my spinal cord from across the room. It pained my daughters to see me when they needed to help bathe me. Now, you MIGHT be able to find my hip bones if i was laying just right and you pressed REALLY hard! LOL! It's not quite that bad, but i really put on some weight. When I kept losing 2 lbs a day when I returned from the hospital I spoke with a friend at church who is an RN. She told me I had to add CALORIES. She suggested adding nutritional shakes (the kind for weight loss as supplements), but don't use them as meal replacements, use them as ADDITIONAL meals. I would drink a shake, then when my stomach emptied I would eat a full meal. That first day i was able to stop the weight loss and within 2 weeks I was putting weight back on. Once I started chemo, I am such a determined eater, knowing I needed to eat to keep up my strength, and with the Decadron, I just packed on the pounds! Now I have such damage to my joints it's been difficult maintaining enough exercise to lose the weight, but I am meeting with my PCP to get that straightened out. I am determined to at least get some of it off, but i am just as determined to not let my weight be the most important thing. I am here and I have a wonderful network of family and friends. God is awesome and with Him I can accomplish anything!

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Maritza,

I have encountered this problem -- although not quite as seriously as you. I know it is difficult, but I think you have to make a conscious effort to eat more and gain weight. As Mary said, try to focus on putting on calories. Also, try to snack/nibble/small meals frequently throughout the day. If soups are easiest for you, can you eat 'heartier' soups? (Dollop of cream in that soup, ma'am?). Also, what is your chemo schedule like? When I was on a 2 week regime, I found I lost about 4 lbs in the first week (and I had 12 cycles!), but I put about 3 lbs on during the second week. Maybe this kind of approach would work for you. I don't like to eat 'junk food' or sugary foods, but I honestly ate everything I could stand during those periods. I ended up down about 4-5 lbs after 12 weeks, which was OK. (After chemo ended, I gained 10 lbs in 6 mos, but that is another story!). Good luck to you.

Posts: 529
Joined: Nov 2007

I dropped about 45 pounds from surgery to the end of treatment. I started at 164 and ended at 118. My ideal weight - I am 5'8" is about 150, so I was really thin. I just ate whatever I could and did drink ensure - to help. I ate lots of carbs - they were easy to digest etc. I have since returned to 148 - and would happily stay there. I had to give up my ice cream and cake diet.

I would say eat what you can and what sits well. Try the supplement drinks. Even the nutitionist I saw said - eat what you want and what you can. She did encourage me to try to get protein to avoid muscle loss.

It worked out all right.


Madre's picture
Posts: 124
Joined: Apr 2008

I started at 135 before surgery and after round 1 of chemo my lowest weight was 117. I too couldn't eat anything or had an appetite. I found mashed potatos went down good, string cheese, and believe it or not chicken sandwiches from burger king. I got boost supplement drinks because my energy levels were low too. Then my docs put me on emend and decadron (nausea med and steroid) now I weigh 148! My oncologly center offers a nutritionist support so I talke with her nearly every chemo treatment. She gave me a list of foods to avoid when diareah is bad, and what foods to eat for protien and energy. Fruit juices are supposed to be good but I drank them so much at the beginning i can't stomach them now. Good luck to you.

jenjerandkatesmom's picture
Posts: 37
Joined: Sep 2008

I lost 30 pounds while going through chemo. I was not that upset because 20 of those pounds came from menopause so I wasn't unhappy about losing it. I don't think weight loss is that unusual since chemo definitely affected my appetite. During chemo, there were days when broth and yogurt were all that I could tolerate. I too enjoyed mashed potatoes. My chemo nurses gave me different samples of Ensure and Boost so that I could find a preference. Very helpful since that stuff is expensive. Within 6 months of finishing chemo, I had gained back 13 of those lost pounds and am now at my ideal weight. I grew up in a family that instilled a sense of a healthy weight rather than promoting the skin and bones look that we see in far too many fashion magazines these days. My Dad, (so wise) always said it's OK to have a few extra pounds just in case you ever get sick. Boy, did that advice come in handy when I needed it!

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

This is normal, especially if your oncologist is limiting the steroids (anti-nausea)like mine did. This is one of the few times in your life that you can, if you are like me, eat ANYTHING that tastes good and stays down!!!

I ate ALOT of scalloped potatoes. And foods low in spices. Also, Bryers ice cream. I tried to drink Boost, but it stopped me up...(blush). Rice dishes (my FAV was Thai fried rice, mild spice).

I gained it all back after treatment. Sigh...I was used to eating everything, so I needed to, once again, modify my diet. But don't worry, it's doable...I have shed 10 pounds so far!
And have 5 to go.

Hugs, Kathi

Posts: 47
Joined: Jul 2006

I have one piece of advice- avocado. If you like them (my husband loves them), a nutritionist suggested this to my husband who could not gain weight. You can cut them up in a salad or on a sandwich. You can make guacamole etc. They are high is the good type of fat and full of nutrients- so that you're not eating empty calories. They did the trick for him in a few weeks. Good luck


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

And guacamole! And margaritas! And Antonio Banderas!!!!!

Oh, sorry, I got sooooo excited....

Yes, Carol, this is a wonderful fruit....AND, even if you don't like to eat them 'au naturale', the taste is so bland, you can mix them into anything....GREAT idea!

Hugs, Kathi

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