Dieting with Obstacles - Anyone else on chemo?

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01-04-2010, 10:42 AM
Hi, I have breast cancer and I'm undergoing chemo - I'm on my 2nd round. I am gaining weight instead of losing weight! I do not like being fat & bald! Anyway, I was wondering if there is anyone else out there going through or having gone through chemo with any tips on how to turn this trend around. I am craving foods I normally never touch - like KFC - and I have an aversion to some of my healthy faves or otherwise can't eat them because it burns my stomach (tomatoes, for example). I want to come out of chemo with a yoga body, because I lost my hair and my breasts and I deserve something nice for a change.

01-04-2010, 11:14 AM
Hey Shrinkingviolet! So sorry to hear about your breast cancer and having to undergo chemo......I take methotrexate which is in pill form for my rheumatoid arthritis and it is chemo. I wonder if they are giving you a steroid through your IV also? Or do you take steroids by pill form. Sometimes I have to take prednisone for RA flares and that leaves me craving all of those bad foods! yuck!!!!!! I gained 40 pounds last year cause I was on prednisone daily for about six months.

I'm asking this because I know that some cancer patients have to take steroids for inflammation and also to help counteract other meds. When I have to take them now...i keep healthy snacks on hand and write down everything I put in my mouth so I dont gain even more weight.

Yes, you DO deserve something nice for a change having to go through all you have! Are you able to wear a wig or some cute trendy head wrap?

Hopefully, you wont have to be on chemo much longer and your hair can grow back and you can get your strength back and lose the weight! I wish you the best! It sounds like you are a fighter! :cheer:

01-04-2010, 11:23 AM
Hi LeslieLou! Yes, they do give me steroids. I have the quirkiest cravings and aversions. I hate my wig and feel unnatural in it. I do have cute beanies, etc. , but nothing really covers up the fact that I'm overweight and bald :( I'm going to try harder today to make good choices and I'm going to go take a walk. I haven't walked since October sice my bilateral masectomy. I'm really squishy. Thanks so much, Leslielou! I have 4 more infusions to go - until April.

01-04-2010, 11:28 AM
shrinkingviolet ,.I, too have breast cancer, it has spread to my bones. I am able to take an oral medication although my oncologist has not ruled out chemo entirely.I do have infusion for my bones. I have had surgery (twice) and radiation. Have you had radiation ? I wish you well.

01-04-2010, 11:36 AM
Hi bargoo! I'm so, so sorry about the mets. I haven't had radiation. The onc is waiting to see if that is necessary. I have Stage 2b IDC triple negative w/ one positive lymph node. Last year I had endocervical cancer Stage 1B1 and that was treated with a radical hysterectomy. How long ago were you dxed? I wish you all the best.

01-04-2010, 11:58 AM
shrinking violet, yes cancer sucks, I have had it twice. and frankly, think that is enough for anybody, BUT in the meantime I plan on getting up every morning and getting dressed and doing something that day. 95% of the time I am able to do that. Don't you just love it when someone complains that they have a headache, or bunions or falling arches. I wonder if they would like to trade with you and me !I had breast cancer years ago and thought I was home free. It was just over a year ago that it was discovered that it had spread. No one knows why this happens.And yes I am Stage 4 and strangely enough I am OK with that. I guess it is all a matter of remaining positive.And that is what I choose to do.I see we both live in California, I am in Northern California , where are you ?

01-05-2010, 02:00 AM
Hello ladies, I am new here. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February. Stage I, no lymphs. It was my 2nd cancer as well, when I was 20 I was treated for stage IV Ewings Sarcoma. Cancer sucks that's for sure!

Shrinkingviolet, I had the strangest cravings too. I think I lived off Top Ramen and mac & cheese. Everything I ate tasted metallic. I hate being fat, bald, mutilated, sluggish, etc. Now my hair is growing back and I am ready to shake these 30 lbs.

Have you tried drinking Kombucha? My sister introduced me to it and I really enjoy it. There are a bunch of different flavors, some I couldn't stand.

01-05-2010, 11:52 AM
bargoo, I am in San Diego. I know you probably hear survivor stories all the time, but my friend's step-mother was Stage 4 - 14 years ago - and she was told there was nothing left to do for her, she'd had chemo and they were done. She just prepared for death and went on with her life and she is still alive and NED today. I hear you about hearing people complain about little things holding them back. I try to do as much as possible, too. I'm a bit fatigued with the chemo, but I have stuff I need to do, nonetheless. Have you read "Anti-Cancer" or "Love Medicine Miracles"? They are both wonderful books. Hi r8chel! What is it about the noodles? That's my primary craving too. Mac'n'cheese, ramen, and any sort of dumpling, actually. Gnocchi. Matzo balls. Random lumps of dough. It's hard to make good choices when some things you normally like make your stomach turn and all you can stomach is mashed potatoes. And then sometimes this insna primal hunger arises and I can't be satisfied. I wonder if it is chemical. I'm fat, bald , and mutalared right there with you. How long ago did you complete chemo? Will you do reconstruction? I plan on it later. I love Kombucha! I'm not drinking it during chemo for two reasons, though: I don't want it to turn on me forever and I am steering clear of raw products for now. I need to lose about 30 lbs. too. I'm off to take the kids to school and get my walk in.

01-05-2010, 08:46 PM
shrinkingviolet, I have been to San Diego many times as my son lived there until recently. Now my free hotel is gone !
Have you or r8chel ever logged into any of the cancer forums? I have and found them too depressing. I get much more inspiration from 3FC. There are couple of ladies with MS who are very inspiring. I don't know if either of you are Christians or are guided by faith. If so there are two great forums one is called Christian Encouragers and the other is Prayer Warriors. For people of faith, no particular religion. This has been very helpful to me.shriningviolet, thank's for the story of your friend's step-mother.Cancer is truly a baffling disease.

The question of the day is "Are you tough enough to wear pink ?"

01-05-2010, 11:05 PM
Sending up prayers for all you brave ladies ... :hug:

01-06-2010, 11:48 AM
Rosebud, You are a very brave lady, too, and an inspiration. Thanks for the prayers.

01-06-2010, 01:08 PM
Thank you for the prayers, Rosebud, I love prayers. Bargoo, I'm not Christian, I'm very spiritual, though, and believe that there is truth in all religions that are essentially non-judgemental and loving. I find myself drawn to the path of Buddhism most strongly lately. I'll check out Prayer Warriors. I do go on a breast cancer forum and I do find it somewhat helpful - not for dieting, though, because the girs tend to encourage you to just eat whatever and diet later. And I know they mean well, but I can not bear it if I come out of this ordeal fatter. One thing I do find funny about the forum is the devisiveness between the Stages - as though they are football teams. (Stage 2b, with sentinel lymph node, IDC triple negative, by the way) The girls tend to deride the Stage 0s and 1s as not REALLY having cancer and the 4s don't even want to hear from anyone less than another 4, even if they popped in on their thread to wish everyone well. It's the oddest thing to me. Last year when I had cervical cancer I was on a board for gyn cancers and everyone despite their type or stage was supportive of one another. It's baffling, because today's Stage 1 could be tomorrow's Stage 4, and today's Stage 4 might get 14 years down the road and find themselves so bored with it all. Frankly, I'm finding my interest dwindling and I'm looking forward to reconstructing my life. I'm looking forward to slimming down at last and becoming fit. What sort of exercising do you do, bargoo? How did you achieve your goal (congrats!)?

01-09-2010, 03:38 PM
Hi! shrinking violet. I love your comments on the different stages of cancer from others' It's like my cancer is worse than your cancer. Really!! My exercise has been limited, I was going to the gym 3 times a week until I broke my shoulder. I cannot do upper body exercises. I do some exercises that my physical therapist has given me, but they are only to strenghten my shoulder and don't do anything for the rest of my body. I do a lot of walking. That's about the only exercise I do right now. I am interested in finding a DVD program that will work for me. I lost weight by doing a variety of programs and finally decided I didn't want to pay somone to tell me wat to eat . I now do calorie counting and it works well for me.

01-09-2010, 04:48 PM
Yup. Calorie counting is the classic. The past few days Ive really watched what I've eaten in terms of not eating the junk that has crept into my life while on chemo. I'm eating like I did before chemo the past few days - whole, organic foods - but, I'm afraid, too much food. I soothe myself with food. I love bowls of veggie soup, for example, but I overeat it and other whole foods. I need to get that under control. My next chemo infusion is on Thursday and I hope to get a little weight, if only just water weight, off by then. I don't know what it is - the steroids or the other chemicals - but I know I'm going to crave mac'n'cheese and mashed potatoes again, and I'm going to want to keep coating my stomach with them because they settle the nausea momentarily. I've been walking again too. I hope you have a quick recovery with your shoulder. I've read that 60 % of people doing chemo these days gain weight and 40 % lose weight. So far, I'm in that blasted 60% catagory :( I'm going to really watch my portions.