CSN Login
Members Online: 22

You are here

did you gain /lose weight during chemo?

Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

Yesterday I met my doctor before chemo #1 and he talked about things to expect including how some people gain weight during chemo treatment. He said he knew of no metabolic changes directly caused by chemo, however the lowered blood count / energy level, causing a sedentary lifestlye, might be a reason for weight gain.

Do you have any ideas or thoughts - did you gain or lose during chemo? Any suggestions as to one or the other? I can see having cravings especially if I'm feeling down, wanting sweets to cheer me up, then not getting much exercise if I'm so tired.

So far my taste hasn't been affected; even had my beloved java this morning! Thanks,


Giant Poodles's picture
Giant Poodles
Posts: 79
Joined: Mar 2010

I gained from 120 to about 135. I think it was the steroids and the water weight from taxotere. But it did come off about 4 months after I finished chemo. It is important not to try to lose weight during chemo. I ate whatever I felt like just because your tastes change during chemo and you deserve treats. The steroids made me eat constantaly. But it does go away after chemo. Being on the tamoxifen, I do not eat that much, I usually make to make myself eat. Just take care of yourself right now and do what you have to do to get through it.

Posts: 63
Joined: May 2009

I lost weight, but I really wasn't eating the way I used too.
You do lose your taste buds, but in a way it helped because I was
overweight and now my medical doctors wants me to watch what I eat
because of high colestrol and high blood pressure,which are both
normal now...
But you have to take care of yourself and do whats right for you.


jendrey's picture
Posts: 377
Joined: Sep 2009

Went from 108 to 143.

DebbyM's picture
Posts: 3293
Joined: Oct 2009

I didn't have chemo, but, want to wish you good luck with it.

Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

I lost 45 lb on the 2 batches (4 A/C and 12 Taxol) of Chemo and Rads. I lost all sense of taste and appetite. I'd have lost more IF Hubby hadn't called me several times a day to remind me to eat. (Hubby and I were married during my Mom's last days - she was anorexic - so me not eating scared the "humph" out of him.)

I've been told that - Steroid can make you eat more.


mariam_11_09's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Nov 2009

I gained about 5 lbs on the AC portion of the chemo. I couldn't exercise regularly because for the week after chemo I felt so bad. I didn't think I ate that much that I would gain. The TH (taxol/herceptin) I gained about 20lbs even though I exercised daily and ate very well (plenty of fruit, veg and protein and no junk). However I did very quickly loose the weight, I was back to my prechemo weight within 5 months.

I think it might be a combination of things - the steroids, water weight and for many women their ovaries shut down which apparently results in metabolic changes and oftentimes weight gain.

I watched my weight go up and up and I just focused on feeling good about myself. I did go out and buy some more clothes (not much), one size bigger as I gained so I could at least feel comfortable and not be reminded by what I don't fit into.

My taste buds were only affected when I started the Taxol and only for a couple of days after chemo.

good luck with your chemo and don't worry about weight gain, you can always loose if afterwards.

Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2011

I gained about 15 pounds and I was told by the onc nurses that it was very common most likely from the prednisone (steroids) which made my appetite insatiable! I'm sure the fact that I was less active and craved the quick fix of sweets didn't help. After I completed my treatments I went on the Nutrisystem diet and lost 27 pounds and felt fantastic..got my energy back too. Best of luck with your future treatments. Love, Karen

jessiesmom1's picture
Posts: 874
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Lin,

I had 4 rounds of A/C and 12 rounds of Taxotere. I lost about 45 lbs during the Taxotere rounds. There is something to be said for being overweight to start with. The problem was that I had absolutely no desire to eat along with dramatic changes in my taste buds. I couldn't stand creamy things and most other things just tasted like paste once they were chewed. I really didn't have much desire to drink liquids either, but forced myself to do so. Besides that, I vomited several times a day and also had diarrhea. I called myself
"The Incredible Shrinking Woman." Funny thing was that I could watch and enjoy programs on the Food Network and even think "Well that looks good." 3 weeks after my last chemo I had a dramatic turn around and began eating/drinking again. Everyone is very different when it comes to the food and tastebud issues.

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I lost weight, about 25 lbs with chemo and another 10 with surgery. I didn't worry about what I ate at all, just ate what tasted good at the moment. And since, like others, I had the extra weight, I didn't worry about it coming off.

Of course, I may put it all back on with rads. I started this week, and the last two days I have been eating almost non-stop! And I've been wanting crunchy, salty foods. I have not been making good choices....now I'm going to get some carrots and celery.



Marcia527's picture
Posts: 2749
Joined: Jul 2006

I gained 20 pounds. I was nauseous the whole time and the nurse told me to eat. I felt better with something in my stomach so I ate all the time.

pinkflutterby's picture
Posts: 615
Joined: Jun 2009

when I was on tomixifen (sp??) I lost but when they switched me I gained like CRAZY and still havent lost any of it!!!! Drives me nuts!!!

Posts: 234
Joined: Mar 2010

Remember everyone reacts differently! I started losing weight right after my initial diagnosis from the stress of it all...Then after chemo started nausea set in and nothing tasted good except pizza[weird huh]....I still can't stand the smell of certain foods..But I lost about 20 pounds...So fast forward a full yearon tamoxifen and now all I want to do is eat...So working to keep it off since my onco doc gets on my case for just a 2 pound gain..Now I try to be more mindful of what I eat ....Wishing you all the best....

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2809
Joined: Jun 2010

About 15 lbs. on chemo. I lost about 10 lbs. prior, so a total of 25 and it's still off, and I need to lose 20 more. I was pretty conscious of eating enough until the last 2 cycles when I developed that horrible metal taste and breakthrough nausea. Nonetheless, I did my best to eat healthy and enough calories. The only thing that consistently tasted good to me was ice cream, milkshakes and smoothies.

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I lost 80 have gained about 10 of it back. Just lost 1.5 want to lose at least 7 pounds. Its been hard lately and I have been stressed. sometimes i take comfort in food. particularly since i am not sick anymore. but I am trying hard., Still dont have much energy

linpsu's picture
Posts: 747
Joined: Mar 2010

I lost about 30 pounds, due to extreme diarrhea for the 4 months I had chemo, plus I had no appetite at all and everything tasted really bad. I had dose-dense chemo - 4 A/C then 4 Taxol.

Hippiechick58's picture
Posts: 320
Joined: Feb 2011

My weight always fluctuates. One day it's up, the next it's down. I was excited when I lost 8 lbs, but the next day at the clinic I gained it all back(from the Decadron) Now I don't care one way or the other. I'll weigh what I'll weigh no matter what I do. Once This cancer thing is all over, then I'll put together a weight loss/exercise plan.

Keep in mind that everyone is different. Focus of being the healthiest you can be!

Be Well,

Posts: 176
Joined: Oct 2010

I lost 20 lbs on the AC treatments. Didn't really want to eat during treatment week. Then on Taxol I gained 10 lbs. I didn't eat much on treatment week but the second week I was hungry all the time and ate like a mad woman! I think the steroids and being tired and unable to push myself to exercise did it. Prior to chemo I was exercising daily...doing cardio 45-50 mins per day and 3 days of strength training. My metabolism requires that much activity to keep weight off. But I was so tired during treaments that I could barely get myself into the shower to go to work so not much exercise. On the bright side, my last chemo was 3 1/2 wks ago and my energy level is almost back to normal so keep the faith!

patti anne's picture
patti anne
Posts: 101
Joined: Oct 2009

Definitely gained on chemo and now on tamoxifen and having a very hard time losing. I lost 3lbs this past month and my husband lost about 15. Makes me so mad. haha Oh well, I'll keep hitting the gym on my quest.

Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

Your stories are so interesting! Amazing no two are alike. Seems more people lost but it's almost a tie. I have 4 AC then 12 weekly Taxol. Seems like an eternity...
What I did get is -
Don't diet during chemo;
Just take what comes (don't stress over it, there is enough to stress about),
and, ITS GONNA BE OVER ... at some point!!!!!!

xo. L

camul's picture
Posts: 2541
Joined: Dec 2010

I gained about 17 pounds with the rads, chemo, and tamoxifen. Found out my body wasn't absorbing thyroid meds. I am hypo again! Onco said not to worry about it, and they are trying to figure out how to get this body to absorb! I don't like it, but I can certainly live with it!

cahjah75's picture
Posts: 2631
Joined: Jun 2010

I gained about 20 lbs. Too tired to exercise, swelling issues and ate a lot after steroids. I'm postmenopause and during menopause gained 80 lbs and have been struggling losing 35 lbs last year only to gain some of it back.

dbhadra's picture
Posts: 344
Joined: Jan 2011

in 8 weeks of Taxol; still have 4 more to go.

Cut down to half steroids this week as I was CONSTANTLY hungry and not sleeping that well either; think my steroids were too high.

It;s hard for me not to stress about the weight gain as the past year (starting Jan 2010) I worked really hard to lose 25 pounds by making healthy lifestyle changes. On Dec 16 I was diagnosed with breast cancer!

Now that I;m gaining back so quickly, feels like all that work to lose was not worth it.

I;m happy I can eat well and am not vomiting, but frustrated because the clothes that had just gotten loose are getting tight again!

I do try to exercise and walk almost every day that I'm not working - on the days I'm working I usually don;t have the energy to walk.

I try to remind myself that I need to stay strong and do what I need to do to get through this treatment...and can worry about the weight later. But it is frustrating as I feel like getting chemo AND gaining weight is like adding insult to injury!


pinkkari09's picture
Posts: 878
Joined: Sep 2009

Lin, you got it! You summed that up nicely. I had your same cocktail 4A/C and 11 (couldn't do the 12th, neuropathy) Taxol. My weight went up and down through it all, only about 5 pounds gained during chemo. I ate what tasted good and dealt with the weight later. I weighed 147 at the end of chemo, now I weigh 120 (think it's the bone mets). Anyhow, best of luck to you and eat whatever you like. Be good to yourself!
Miles of Love,

Margot Greer's picture
Margot Greer
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2011

I did 12 weeks of taxol and i'm on my fourth and last week of A/C. I went from 148 to about 158 but have nooo idea why! i don't think i over eat, i guess it the steroids or maybe water weight but now that A/C's got me naseaus all the time i hardly eat at all..but by the sound of many posts i've been reading it looks as though i might lose it when this is all over.

aysemari's picture
Posts: 1596
Joined: Dec 2009

I am still donning my chunkey-flage, do I need to say more?
I put on about 25 lbs (ouch). It was really fast too. Within the first
month of chemo I had gained 10lbs. And I was pushing myself to
work out, had my nordic track at home. I walked at least 20 min
per day. STILL!!!

Unfortunately, I still (there's that darned word again) feel wiped
after a proper walk or they gym. As a matter of fact I was down
for 4 days now... Doc had no idea what was wrong, blood tests
came back fine but I really could not wake up.. so exhausted
after 6 or more trys of leaving my bed I decided to call in sick.
But hated that I had to do it. I literally slept for nearly 4 days.
You'd think I can now keep up with the energizer bunny but no
still kinda tired.. can you believe it??

Now still is also a magnificent word, since I am STILL here posting
and bugging you all (:


Posts: 177
Joined: Mar 2010

I love your use of the word "still". I finished chemo Nov.2009 & rads is 2010. I had diep flap reconstruction in July 2010. Since then, fatigue & joint pain have been my constant companions. I sleep most of the weekend to prepare for the next work week. I have chemo induced anemia and couldn't tolerate the iron supplements. I go next week to have more blood work and if it isn't improved, they will go the infusion route.

I am tired "all the time"!


Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2009

Gained. Each treatment scale climed.. Total of 30 lbs...Harder to lose

Subscribe to Comments for "did you gain /lose weight during chemo?"