Home » Lung Cancer » Weighing In (Reluctantly)

Weighing In (Reluctantly)

I hoped it wouldn’t happen.  But it did.

I stepped on the bathroom scale, and my weight was higher than “that number.”  You know, that number all women have in their heads (even if we say we don’t), the one I can’t possibly weigh because it absolutely, positively, undeniably means I’ve hit an unhealthy benchmark.

I’ve tried to be patient with myself.  I know much of the sixty pounds I’ve gained since my cancer diagnosis can be blamed on chemo-induced menopause, metabolic changes, reduced activity due to side effects of lung cancer treatment, a year of steroids, and edema caused by my current targeted therapy, crizotinib.  (Notice I’m not mentioning my fondness for chocolate—allow me the comfort of a small rationalization.)

Yet the scale kept creeping upward until it hit “that number” a week ago.  I suppose I subconsciously acknowledged the possibility when I donated all my large-sized clothes a couple of months ago, when I had to buy 2X jeans to be comfortable.

I had hoped I could ignore it, that I could just say I’m happy that I’m still alive three years after my cancer went metastatic, that I could settle for being “that number.”  But BMI doesn’t lie.  My every-8-week PET scans consistently show fatty liver.  I am not just overweight.  I am OBESE, and putting myself at risk for lots of nasty health conditions. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, given I’ve worked so hard to beat the lung cancer odds.  All my cancer doctors say it’s OK if I want to lose weight intentionally, in a reasonable manner.

Over a decade ago, I lost 50# and kept most of it off until I got cancer.  However, I’ve not had much success with moderate measures since my cancer diagnosis.  I’m going to have to be strict with myself, and keep it going for months.  I’m not looking forward to it, but that’s how it is.

So into the weight loss trenches I go.  Tossing out the tempting goodies and hiding the Halloween treats.  Aiming to eliminate simple carbohydrates.  Saying no to some foods I prepare for my family.  Tracking my fat, carbs and protein with the LoseIt app on my phone.  Tracking my steps and calories burned with my Fitbit band (good thing the two devices talk to each other).  Keeping my calorie deficit above 500 calories per day.  Exercising at a moderate pace over 30 minutes per day.

You’d think my body would appreciate this.  You’d think it would reward me by showing at least a little weight loss after the first few days of self-discipline.  Instead, I gained.  But I have a legitimate excuse, honest:

Fat piggies (2014-09-30)

Apparently my edema doesn’t agree with my new diet.  Sigh.

11 thoughts on “Weighing In (Reluctantly)

  1. Oh, I hear you! And exercise is hard when chemo has sapped all my energy. I have to weigh-in every week when I go to my onc doc, and my PA keeps telling me not to worry about the extra weight. But I cringe every time I step on the scale.


  2. Seems like a good portion of that could be edema fluid. FWIW, I’m about to cross my line, too — only tall people are supposed to be the weight I’m about to reach. (I’ve gained 30 lbs on Xalkori so far, though polite people say they don’t notice it.) My plan is to switch start hitting the gym most days once the home fix-ups are done, but a this point I’m hoping that’ll be by the end of this year.

    Best hopes,



  3. hi, its Kathy in Florida….have you ever tried juicing with the nutribullet? Just do veggies and fruit and protien powder. maybe this will help you lose weight. Wish my toe nails looked as good as yours. A kid slammed my big toe in the car door and it has never been the same..hate it LOL….Ok keeping you in my prayers. xo


  4. Many of us struggle with weight issues our entire adult life. Thank you for being brave and honest about this problem. I think weight loss has to be a life change. Portion control.We should never deprive ourselves..All the best♥



  5. The edema is a nasty hanger on-er (is “on-er” a word?). My adrenal glands went kaput, and I can’t keep the replacement med down, so suddenly my feet, ankles and legs are filling up with puddles of water. Uh, and where does it come from? I don’t know. What I do know is I have had to move most of my clothes to another closet and go buy some fat lady skirts. The inner thigh chafing when I walk is a dead giveaway. But, until the hormones and such can be aligned, here we are, elevating everything we can to drain our edema. 🙂 You are in good company. Yay for being well, and be sure to give yourself at least one bit of chocolate a week for getting on that scale. ❤


  6. For me, it was only 15-20 pounds, but I reached a weight way beyond what I’d ever been before. And, we all hear going into this journey that the concern is loss of weight. Few ever talk about weight gain as a side effect.


  7. I gained 30 pounds by the time I finished chemo the first time. Lost 15 on weight watchers for my daughters wedding. Then I recurred 5 months later and put on 30 again during chemo. Started to exercise regularly and eating more fruits and fish and less junk food but still struggling to loose weight – college football tailgating food is tough to pass up.


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