I have always had issues with self control, and my weight has suffered as a consequence of that. For as long as I can remember, I have always been a heffer. I am less of a heffer than I was once, but a heffer I still am. Worst still, I am an immobile heffer. They are the worst.
Since last August, as well as the other stuff that I have had to come to grips with, I have dealt with fluctuations in my weight as a result of whatever treatment I am on. In the grand scheme of things, my weight is far, far, down on my list of where I should be directing my attention and concern, but I worry about my appearance and when I am in a position where my weight has increased as well as the diameter of my thighs, it cannot help but sit heavily on my thoughts. I am waddling.
As somebody who never weighed themselves, the constant stepping on the scales I get in the hospital, means that as well as feeling losses and gains on my jeans, I see it on a screen. Before I had cancer, my image of people with cancer, the stereotype I mean, was a pale, bald headed person who looked a little malnourished. I never associated ‘fat’ with cancer. I get the impression, that a lot of people think like this too, regardless of whether they admit to it, because I am constantly being told how well I look, and I think my girth goes someway towards this impression (and hair growth). In the clinic, I see many people who fit my old stereotype and I always wonder why I do not look like that.
I suppose, I did have more to lose in the first place.
In the initial stages of my treatment, it would be fair to say that I lost my appetite. I was not interested in food. Eating became something that I had to do, rather than something I wanted to do. Others would have to remind me that I had to eat, for I did indeed, have to eat. Not feeling hungry was alien to me. Never in my life had I ever experienced that sensation, and as a result, as one would expect, I lost weight. I lost two stones, though the majority of this was in the first month and two weeks of hospital, may explain some it. I appreciated the side effect.
On PADIMAC, I couldn’t really understand the concept of steroid cravings, I had them occasionally, but because my appetite was suppressed, I assume by the doxorubicin, it did not make that much difference. If I gorged one day, the next day I would forget, unintentionally, to have a meal or two. I remember in the lead up to Christmas, I decided to give in to all my glutinous desires, for my transplant was scheduled in February, and anticipating some weight loss there, I literally, stuffed by face. I know I did because I wrote a blog about it. My want of sweet goods and meat fat, did not do too much damage however, because come February’s dose of cyclophosphamide, I managed to lose some of those pounds I had gained.
How things have changed…
And then, I did not have a transplant and instead, I started VDT/VTD, with its steroids, thalidomide and fatigue. You put those three factors together and what you get in return is a 10kg weight gain in four months. It may be even more, for my short term memory is questionable. I am not surprised by the gain. I am lazy, mostly be default, and I am almost always hungry, which, I am afraid, I give in to. When I am not hungry, I am tired and if I do not want to be tired, something sweet will carry me for an extra few hours. In short, my inner self is always telling me to eat. I suppose, because I have been so focused on my treatment, I thought that it really didn’t matter if I had full fat milk or cream or cheesecake or tin of corned beef as a snack. I really have been a gluttonous pig. A dirty, fat, gluttonous pig.
Clearly, I am somewhat fixated on my weight gain, well, as much as I can be given my current circumstance. I probably could have exercised some more self control. My fixation has grown after the person trained in ladies’ bits and pieces made reference to it on Wednesday. She shamed me because I was right to be shamed.
As I have discovered thus far, a change in treatment, means a change in appetite. I figure, if I am going to shit out my immune system, I might as well push out a few pounds as well. It is wrong to think of a transplant as an ‘easy’ way to lose weight. I do not think anybody can say it is easy. A transplant is not a diet, I have been told that by the Medically Trained People. I did not purchase clothes in March anticipating the transplant diet and then get annoyed that I have not yet been able to wear them. I am not worried that I will now not lose any weight. No way. Not even. I would never be that vain.
In three weeks time, I may wish that I did not have the poopy side effects, but right now, if I have to have a transplant and I have to have cancer, my self esteem may as well benefit from it. Right? Surely? It’s only fair. My soon-to-be-bald head demands it.
P.S. And yes, I have made full use of my hospital waiting time today and a train journey.