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Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jul 30, 2020 10:34 am

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Eating well can be a challenge when you have cancer. And everyone is affected differently depending on cancer type and treatment. Some people find their eating habits change only slightly, while others find that eating well is really hard. Many people are somewhere in-between.
  • Did you experience weight gain or weight loss during treatment? If you’re a caregiver what did your loved one experience?
  • What was your go-to snack or meal during treatment?
  • Any tips for others?

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Laika57 on Jul 30, 2020 11:00 am

As common with pancreatic cancer, it all started with losing weight. Hubby was so proud to get below 200 lbs, then down to 190, at which point he was diagnosed.
he's now 8 months into this journey, 4 of which were chemo, then surgery. Apparently he just weighed in at 150. And that is while retaining boatloads of water in arms and legs.
his eating didn't change much but his ability to digest took a hit.
go to snacks were granola bars and jello. Some boost and ensure.
he really developed a sweet tooth, buying pastries every day, ice cream, pies... i didn't object, at the rate he was losing weight, i figured any calories would be good.
i gained 10 lbs only partially eating along with him. Have lost 15lbs in the 8 weeks he's been in hospital post op. I subside mostly on sandwiches and juice. Should add veggie juice to keep the vitamins up i guess.
Have you hugged your dog today?

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Brighty on Jul 30, 2020 11:15 am

Well Dan was on a feeding  tube  so he couldn't eat at all.  He went down to 97 pounds!!!!  It was awful.    I couldn't  eat either.. I was constantly  stressed .   I snacked on muffins and ice cream bars at the hospital  cafeteria.    I went down to skin and bones too.    I didn't have the mental energy  to prepare meals, not even KD.. and didnt care to eat much    I would suggest  that if it's possible  maybe  buy  things that are ready for when you get home from  long days of treatment. .. freeze a bunch of things so just have to heat it up... . .. have healthy  snacks ready  ahead of time... ask people  for help to drop healthy  meals off if you don't have the energy  to make anything.    If you can't have large meals.. have small snacks throughout  the day to keep blood sugar  up.   Have Boost and Ensure on hand  for back up.... I actually  even  had baby food on hand incase Dan could eat that. He couldn't and didn't  want to...but  It's nutitious and I ended up having some too when I didn't  have it in me to prepare  anything.      
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Peterpatch on Jul 30, 2020 11:17 am

I have lost 12 pounds since February. This may be a result of stress re IDC surgery and radiation. I continued to lose after radiation and I was eating meals and snacking. I have added milkshakes chocolate, cookies and crap snacks plus making myself eat more at meals. I am finally gaining weight. I was told to have some Ensure if I continue to lose weight and my oncologist app't would be moved forward. People often gain weight on Tamoxifen so I will go with the flow for now.

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Danae on Jul 30, 2020 11:18 am

Hi Lacey_adminCCS‍ , 
I lost around 6kg during my 2 weeks admission and surgery at the hospital. After going home and before radiation started, I gained back 3kg and I'm on good weight. During radiation, had 5 days in a row, I was a kilo down, a kilo up. Appetite was not great, so I was having ensure as a snack. 
During immunotherapy, my weight is the same. But have to try not to get empty calories, yes I have a sweet tooth! My cancer centre snacks are usually some crackers, cookies, fruits and water. What ever is easy to eat without me making a mess. 
When I'm on steroids that's a different story. I'm hungry most of the time and gain a kilo or two, that I lose after. 
In general I would say that treatment has not effected my weight, however, I have to think about eating well, and not skipping meals.

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by supersu on Jul 30, 2020 11:25 am

Greetings from hot/steamy Edmonton!

RE: weight gain/loss during treatment

Thank you for this discussion point, in hind site, I wish I had prepared much differently for my nutrition needs thru my treatments.

I had 2 surgeries and radiation for L Breast CA, just finished a couple of weeks ago.

I was diagnosed at the beginning of COVID, so basically it went like this: 'sorry to tell you that you have breast cancer', and I said: 'time to order a pizza and drink all the cocktails'
ha ha ha
I love any/everything carby & cheesy---I really 'self medicated' with not so great for me foods, and because I was isolated and alone, my portion control was non-existent.

During radiation I found my seemingly insatiable appetite subsided, and as I started taking Arimidex I experienced additional appetite suppression.  This is all good....

I existed on 'easy' food: wish I  would had some freezer meals prepared for quick access - most days I was just too tired to cook, so toast and cheese became an easy go to.  Thanks to friends & neighbours I did get some home cooked meals delivered, but they were really the exception and a nice change from my pathetic menu.

During radiation I made huge pot of bone broth and sipped on that when I was relaxing at home....LOTS of nutrients and tasted great.....and making it was a breeze--highly recommend.  I had never eaten/made it previously, but saw on a post somewhere that a cancer patient basically lived on it.  When its not so hot, I will try chicken version too!  

I hope my case is the exception and others are eating nutritious and healthy foods prepared with some love.

cheers
su

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by robegree71 on Jul 30, 2020 11:34 am

I hug my dogs everyday !
I had half my lung removed for Adenocarcinoma in April, in Mexico because we couldn’t get back to Canada. I went from 92 kg. to 68 kg. Really scary as I also lost my sense of smell an$ taste from all the drugs I took. Not a pleasant experience at all. The only thing that saved me was eating sweets and Campbell’s soups. Food tasted like metal and carbs tasted like eating cardboard.

I got treated by an ENT doctor who had me flush my sinuses 3 times a day with normal saline, gargle with Maalox/Benadryl and an antibiotic nasal spray. Took 5 weeks to get my tastes back. I talked to others who experienced the same thing and it took about a month for them with no medication.
And now I am eating as much as I can and working out at home . I have been able to gain 10 kg. in 2 months but it is slow, I am 71 and have always been in good shape. I don’t know what I would have done without the soups and sweets. Granola bars were great for me as well.

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Catlover on Jul 30, 2020 12:02 pm

I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer at the beginning of April so during COVID. My surgery, was a hysterectomy, and included removal of cancerous lymph nodes in my pelvis and other abdominal areas.  It was a 7 hour surgery.   I lost 15 pounds during the first 4 weeks after the surgery. I had a family team at home that prepared my meals fortunately so what I did eat mostly had nutrition in the calories.  I wished I had learned how to burp, because I had so much gas in the upper areas of my abdomen.  Ginger ale was my go to to help with that. It was nice when my appetite came back.  I am a chocoholic but didn’t have any until 6 weeks in and no alcohol.  Those are the 2 major things that cause me to gain weight so even with an improved appetite, but smaller portions over 5 meals/snacks has caused me to lose an additional 7 pounds over the 5 following  weeks.  I am happy to lose the weight because I am healthier for it going forward.  However, Oreo ice cream was a staple from the start 🙂
58 with Endometrial Cancer

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by OreTimber on Jul 30, 2020 12:10 pm

My journey was difficult.  Cancer of the tongue, 7 weeks of radiation to the throat area destroyed my ability to eat and hold food.  I dropped 60 lbs in about 3 weeks.  Unbelievable- 236 to 178 in.a few short weeks.  Ended up in the hospital on a stomach tube.  Some people just don't tolerate radiation and I was one of them.  Now about 2 years later I'm back to 210 and feeling more myself.  Radiation of the throat area destroyed saliva glands, thyroid and made the jaw brittle.  But I'm alive and doing well.  An unusual and unexpected result is that I can taste vegetables and fruit and eat them often.  I don't taste sweets like I used to.  Silver lining!  Enjoying life to the max now.  Prayers and thoughts to all of you who are or have been on this journey of life.  God Bless.  

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by prairiemom on Jul 30, 2020 12:21 pm

Hey hey Lacey_adminCCS‍ , 

so with my warped sense of humour, when I was first diagnosed (stage 2 triple neg breast cancer), I though, hmmm, maybe I'll finally shift those stubborn pounds, everyone loses weight with cancer, right? yeah....that went well, lol!!! I totally got the steroid munchies during chemo, and honestly, I ate what tasted good, ie what I could actually taste, as my taste buds were pretty fried, and I got thrush in my mouth each cycle too, from the antibiotics prescribed to counteract chemo-induced UTIs. The night before each chemo session, we would have a favourite meal, as I knew i wouldn't feel much like eating the next few days. Add in instant full menopause in my then mid-40s, and let's just say I'm still fluffy. It's hard to focus on doing everything right when you're fighting for your life, sometimes, and we're only human. 


So, in the perfect world, my tops tips would be as follows.

1. hydration is key. drink all the water you can, especially during the chemo sessions themselves. one time i turned up for chemo clutching my travel mug of tea, and the nurse told me to drink water instead (she said it nicely). soup, milkshakes, all good things. 

2. if you are able, or have some amazing support, prep and freeze meals ahead of time, that can be reheated easily. I'm lucky in that my husband is a better cook than me. And i had the amazing gift of friends in our life too - unknown to us, a bunch of school mums / friends from our kids school had set up a secret facebook group and organized a meal train for us. During my 4 cycles of chemo, people would turn up 2 or 3 nights a week with meals prepped for us. they would leave them on the doorstep and text me "dinner is on the step, don't stand on it", as they knew i wasn't really up to visiting sometimes. It was amazing, we'll never forget their kindness. 

3. eat as well as you can, but be kind to yourself too. do not beat yourself up over a donut, if that's what you feel like eating. 

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Nadian on Jul 30, 2020 12:24 pm

Ian has lost about 15 pounds since starting chemotherapy three months ago. The worst of it has been in the last two weeks since he started Taxol (paclitaxel).  Taxol has really been hard, causing him nausea, diarrhea and loss of appetite. His oncologist want to do IV nutrition next chemo session. 

As a caregiver, I have gained about 20 pounds due to stress eating -- and that is not good. 

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by DonJP on Jul 30, 2020 12:56 pm

In 2017 I was diagnosed with acute diffuse large B cell non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had 6 rounds of CHOP-R chemo, 2 hospital stays. I lost about 30lbs. My taste buds were all haywire and also the texture of foods bothered me. It was really hard on my wife trying to figure out meals. I finally found out that chocolate or strawberry flavoured Ensure was good also the small yogurt cups with fruit that you mix in. Gradually the taste buds started to get back to normal. Unfortunately most of the weight has come back but I sure wouldn’t recommend chemo as a weight loss program. It was however effective in getting rid of the cancer. 

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Mammabear on Jul 30, 2020 1:03 pm

Certainly not the weight loss plan any of us recommend but it does make me think about what I put into my mouth. After cancer 1.0 I went refined sugar free - only natural sugars. Also did a month of no alcohol but do now drink on the weekends now that my liver function is back to normal. With Cancer 2.0 my sister gave me the book The Living Kitchen by  Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman. Healing recipes to support your body during cancer treatment and recovery.  It has recipes that target specific chemo/radiation side effects. They are nutritious, easy and delicious. The Tahini Cookie is a favourite :) I wish i had the book for Cancer 1.0 and I have given copies to several friends dealing with cancer. 
https://livingkitchenwellness.com/the-cookbook/

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Hazewind on Jul 30, 2020 1:19 pm

Hello everyone! 
my first thoughts on this topic hit me when i was first diagnosed with cancer. I try to find the positive aspects (something my father taught me).  In my pesrpective, cancer runs in my family so it was NOT a matter of questioning "why me?" But why not me. We are all going to die at some point in our lives and i certainly did Not want to hurry things along. I put on a "stiff upper lip" and trudged through it all with of course my husband's support. I was already overweight, considered obese by 75lbs..
During chemo i thought would be a great help to get down some weight. However the nurses and the oncology team told me "Now Was Not the Time to Loose Weight".  Due to the preparation meds needed to prevent upchucking from chemo meds. So to help take meds with food, I took rice pudding as a tiny tummy coating snack when i had to take those meds that would upset the stomach. I only lost about 5lbs from the onset of diagnoses to the end of chemo. While on chemo i had lots of opportunity to investigate healthier eating habits. I also was diagnosed before chemo began, with Prediabetes. So keeping that in mind, i also found out that sugar feeds cancer. OCTOBER 2019 I WENT KETO.!  and lost 15lbs so far and Im no longer prediabetic. To this day, I am still on Keto, love the food. Staying off of all sugar, honey, syrups and also keeping away from all starches. I feel pretty good so far except for the neuropathy from Arimidex and residual effects from the chemo. My Doctors all know what im doing and have their support.  I certainly don't  want to do anything to cause the cancer to return. By the way, I don't eat anymore protien than I normally would before going keto.  Also, I probably have reduced inflammatory symptoms by my going keto. So any pain reducing natural ways is a plus as far as Im concerned.
Hope my input helps some of you too.  

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Peanut123 on Jul 30, 2020 1:20 pm

I lost 15 lbs. before, during and after treatment.  I am still in treatment for stage 4 Lung Cancer NSCLC (in partial remission) and my weight goes up a pound or two and then goes down a pound or two.  Went from 135 to 120.  Before being diagnosed with cancer, I lost my appetite and food had no taste so I was not eating very much.   After diagnosis, had less of an appetite and food tasted like sawdust, water tasted like it had metal in it.  Things are almost back to normal now as far as taste and the amount I eat.  Never been a big eater anyhow.  I do keep Boost on hand and have it when I think of it.  LOL  I am not very imaginative when it comes to preparing meals.  Thank goodness, hubby is the cook in our house.  I am feeling quite well but still have down days when I start thinking too much.  Just have to take it a day at a time.  The COVID-19 has put everything on hold for now for everyone.  That too shall pass. 
Jeanne

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Hazewind on Jul 30, 2020 1:27 pm

Hello everyone! 
my first thoughts on this topic hit me when i was first diagnosed with cancer. I try to find the positive aspects (something my father taught me).  In my pesrpective, cancer runs in my family so it was NOT a matter of questioning "why me?" But why not me. We are all going to die at some point in our lives and i certainly did Not want to hurry things along. I put on a "stiff upper lip" and trudged through it all with of course my husband's support. I was already overweight, considered obese by 75lbs..
During chemo i thought would be a great help to get down some weight. However the nurses and the oncology team told me "Now Was Not the Time to Loose Weight".  Due to the preparation meds needed to prevent upchucking from chemo meds. So to help take meds with food, I took rice pudding as a tiny tummy coating snack when i had to take those meds that would upset the stomach. I only lost about 5lbs from the onset of diagnoses to the end of chemo. While on chemo i had lots of opportunity to investigate healthier eating habits. I also was diagnosed before chemo began, with Prediabetes. So keeping that in mind, i also found out that sugar feeds cancer. OCTOBER 2019 I WENT KETO.!  and lost 15lbs so far and Im no longer prediabetic. To this day, I am still on Keto, love the food. Staying off of all sugar, honey, syrups and also keeping away from all starches. I feel pretty good so far except for the neuropathy from Arimidex and residual effects from the chemo. My Doctors all know what im doing and have their support.  I certainly don't  want to do anything to cause the cancer to return. By the way, I don't eat anymore protien than I normally would before going keto.  Also, I probably have reduced inflammatory symptoms by my going keto. So any pain reducing natural ways is a plus as far as Im concerned.
Hope my input helps some of you too.  

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Fuelledbycoffee on Jul 30, 2020 2:02 pm

prairiemom:
Hey hey Lacey_adminCCS‍ , 

so with my warped sense of humour, when I was first diagnosed (stage 2 triple neg breast cancer), I though, hmmm, maybe I'll finally shift those stubborn pounds, everyone loses weight with cancer, right? yeah....that went well, lol!!! I totally got the steroid munchies during chemo, and honestly, I ate what tasted good, ie what I could actually taste, as my taste buds were pretty fried, and I got thrush in my mouth each cycle too, from the antibiotics prescribed to counteract chemo-induced UTIs. The night before each chemo session, we would have a favourite meal, as I knew i wouldn't feel much like eating the next few days. Add in instant full menopause in my then mid-40s, and let's just say I'm still fluffy. It's hard to focus on doing everything right when you're fighting for your life, sometimes, and we're only human. 

You took the thoughts right out of my  mind lol!  I was the person who secretly revelled in the thought, after I processed the 'bad news' of cancer, that I might actually lose the extra 25 pounds that had been hanging around since & turned 45.  Boy was I wrong!  Had the breast removed, did the chemo, the radiation, the ovaries out & the full on menopause.  Now I'm up 50 pounds & totally well, but feeling miserable in my own skin.  I don't know if the loss of interest in sex comes from having to deal with the excess weight, my mental health or just the GD vaginally atrophy!

Your post was very relatable! prairiemom‍ 

So, in the perfect world, my tops tips would be as follows.

1. hydration is key. drink all the water you can, especially during the chemo sessions themselves. one time i turned up for chemo clutching my travel mug of tea, and the nurse told me to drink water instead (she said it nicely). soup, milkshakes, all good things. 

2. if you are able, or have some amazing support, prep and freeze meals ahead of time, that can be reheated easily. I'm lucky in that my husband is a better cook than me. And i had the amazing gift of friends in our life too - unknown to us, a bunch of school mums / friends from our kids school had set up a secret facebook group and organized a meal train for us. During my 4 cycles of chemo, people would turn up 2 or 3 nights a week with meals prepped for us. they would leave them on the doorstep and text me "dinner is on the step, don't stand on it", as they knew i wasn't really up to visiting sometimes. It was amazing, we'll never forget their kindness. 

3. eat as well as you can, but be kind to yourself too. do not beat yourself up over a donut, if that's what you feel like eating. 

 

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jul 30, 2020 2:31 pm

Hazewind:
Hello everyone! 
my first thoughts on this topic hit me when i was first diagnosed with cancer. I try to find the positive aspects (something my father taught me).  In my pesrpective, cancer runs in my family so it was NOT a matter of questioning "why me?" But why not me. We are all going to die at some point in our lives and i certainly did Not want to hurry things along. I put on a "stiff upper lip" and trudged through it all with of course my husband's support. I was already overweight, considered obese by 75lbs..
During chemo i thought would be a great help to get down some weight. However the nurses and the oncology team told me "Now Was Not the Time to Loose Weight".  Due to the preparation meds needed to prevent upchucking from chemo meds. So to help take meds with food, I took rice pudding as a tiny tummy coating snack when i had to take those meds that would upset the stomach. I only lost about 5lbs from the onset of diagnoses to the end of chemo. While on chemo i had lots of opportunity to investigate healthier eating habits. I also was diagnosed before chemo began, with Prediabetes. So keeping that in mind, i also found out that sugar feeds cancer. OCTOBER 2019 I WENT KETO.!  and lost 15lbs so far and Im no longer prediabetic. To this day, I am still on Keto, love the food. Staying off of all sugar, honey, syrups and also keeping away from all starches. I feel pretty good so far except for the neuropathy from Arimidex and residual effects from the chemo. My Doctors all know what im doing and have their support.  I certainly don't  want to do anything to cause the cancer to return. By the way, I don't eat anymore protien than I normally would before going keto.  Also, I probably have reduced inflammatory symptoms by my going keto. So any pain reducing natural ways is a plus as far as Im concerned.
Hope my input helps some of you too.  

Hazewind‍  So glad you found an eating plan that works for you.

Just a note about 'sugar feeding cancer' I wanted to share this info from Cancer.ca. 

What’s the link between sugar and cancer?


The claim

Sugar feeds cancer – and it makes cancer grow faster.

The truth

Your body’s cells consume sugar as they grow and divide, but eating sugar does not make cancer cells grow faster.

All cells require sugar (glucose) for energy. Your body can also store sugar to use as energy later. Your body needs this sugar to function normally. Canadians consume thousands of dietary components every day, so it’s hard to pinpoint precise links between diet and cancer.

When sugar can increase your risk of cancer

Eating lots of foods that contain sugar means you’re more likely to gain weight. Research shows that obesity increases your cancer risk. Obesity may cause changes in hormone levels which may also put you at a greater risk of developing cancer. A healthy body weight will be different for everyone, so talk to your doctor about yours.

The Canadian Cancer Society is committed to sharing important information about cancer risk to Canadians and will continue to monitor research in this area.

Learn more about the health costs of a sweet tooth.
Get tips on having a healthy body weight.

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by SpeedyStill on Jul 30, 2020 2:32 pm

One of the idicators of Cancer is weight lose, so it wasn't a surprise to my wife that I had lost weight even before I was diagnosed. My separated wife is a Nurse and had some experience working with the top Cancer Doctor at the City Hospital.

Everyone's Journey with Cancer is Unique Even if it is the Exact Same Type of Cancer

I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma B-Cell and given 6 Chemotherapy Treatments.
Like DonJP‍  I experienced all the same issues as he did. Along with some more I won't mention here.
My wife was in charge of my meals, pills and everything else. I do remember that she did make sure I was eating regularly and properly. She said you have to rebuild all those cells that were affected by the treatments and get my Blood Count up so that I will be able to continue with treatments and also not be too weak after treatments.
This was not easy because sometimes I would not feel like eating and prefer to skip it all together. She always incouraged me to eat some of it.
I had a major problem with consipation even though I was drinking a lot of water. This was another thing she insisted on, hydration.
I am thankful that my wife Susan was there for me during this difficult time for both of us. The time would have been so much more difficult without her. She is a wonderful person and the only Love of my life.
We are now separated, as two people who have lost there way.
Speedystill 

 

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by Buffythevampire on Jul 30, 2020 2:41 pm

At one of my early appointments with my Plastic Surgeon I was discussing types of Breast Reconstruction and one of them involved was basically a tummy tuck at the same time. He told me (in a nice way) that I needed to lose 10 to 15 lbs before that was an option. So, I thought I had an incentive to lose some weight. But then I was told that I needed chemo but I didn't lose weight I gained. My taste buds were altered and I found I wanted to eat the fattening foods or at least that's what tasted good to me. Especially fries and gravy. And now that I am done my chemo, I am still a little heavy but I think it's because of the Letrozole that I am taking. At least that's what I am telling my self. I still have a chemically taste in my mouth but it doesn't affect the taste of food or drink. Soon, I will be more conscious of my food intake and exercise some more. But right now I am recovering from a surgery and giving myself a break.

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by EdwardTrishSmith on Jul 30, 2020 2:51 pm

With My wife, i found that during treatments she ate very well. She had no issues with her appetite during treatments. Is was only once treatments had stopped that I found her appetite wane.I can remember that after August of 2019, not knowing that she was brewing a massive kidney infection, that her appetite slowly began to drop off. slowly she began to lose weight, a little bit here and there. After February of 2020, that changed. That is when we discovered that she had a very massive kidney infection. But, once again she began to eat very well for 3 weeks. Then C. Diff entered our lives, I watched her rapidly lose weight. I took everything in me to get her to drink a boost or have a fruit cup. In Late may and Early June, just prior to her death, she wouldn't even have the fruit cup. My beautiful wife went from 136 lbs, to just 72 lbs at her death. It was hard to watch someone die in slow motion. 
Ed

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by princessmaura on Jul 31, 2020 8:04 am

Thanks everyone for sharing.   I  gained weight back to a more normal weight from my previous emaciated state.  Diet was difficult during radiation when I  could not eat a lot of fruit and vegetables .  Today it takes a lot of discipline to eat right and not backslide.

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by D1955 on Jul 31, 2020 11:28 am

Hi to all.
Good topic. I am caregiver for my husband. His CLL progressed into his lymph nodes in his neck last August is when we noticed swelling. By November 2019 they decided to try radiation to see if it would help. It did not last long. By February 2020 his neck was so swollen he could not eat let alone swallow water. He underwent heavy dose radiation this time but the swelling and effects had almost closed his throat. He lost a total of 55 pounds and was put on IV fluids at home until he could start drinking and eating again. The radiation destroyed his saliva glands so that made eating an new learning process. He is eating now but always needs a glass of water beside him to help swallow. He is just coming up to his 6th and last chemo so we are hoping that the lymph nodes don't swell again.
Time will tell.

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by reklr on Jul 31, 2020 1:22 pm

I have not gained or lost weight per se, at least not lost enough to jump for joy.

My healthy snack is a banana with a spoonful of almond butter spread on it. I sprinkle hemp hearts and goji berries on it and then slice the banana into rounds I like to call banana sushi. Love it!

Re: Let's discuss...weight gain or weight loss during treatment

Posted by law on Jul 31, 2020 2:47 pm

Hi All,
Following the end of my radiation, I had lost about 40 lbs. because I was in too much mouth and tongue pain for eating, swallowing, or breathing and speaking, actually. Opiates killed my appetite as well.
I had tongue cancer and was very blistered in my mouth for about the first 9 months of my recovery. When I began to eat ice cream, whipped cream on everything, mushy potatoes and omelets...swallowing was very painful but I had to gain back at least 15 lbs...which I did after 2 years.I now am at the weight I feel comfortable, still no taste, smell, or saliva.... and I have to be careful not to eat too many mushy carbs or maple syrup on everything, or I will gain more weight and most likely become diabetic! Maple syrup is a very functional (tho' unhealthy) substitute for saliva.
I do miss Greek salads, but begin choking on the veggies when I attempt to eat even tiny bites 🤔
law