Saturday, August 7, 2010

October 2008: chemotherapy side effects - weight gain?!? things the doctors don't tell you about...

I always thought – thanks to TV and movies – that people going through chemotherapy lose weight. Well, when I started to gain weight after starting chemo I asked my doctor why and she explained that with most cancers, yes, patients lose weight, but not with breast cancer. Great! I was finally starting to lose some of the “baby weight” that I was still carrying two years after having my last baby and was still about 10 pounds overweight. Suddenly I was 30 pounds heavier and had no clothes that fit me and a huge disgust for me and my appearance! 

Apparently the weight gain is from 1) steroids that they pump into you with the chemo and 2) chemo makes your body basically go into menopause – or “chemopause” as some call it – which involves a slowing of the metabolism, and, thus, weight gain! Now I have body image issues on top of everything else!

I don’t know what I would have done, or could have done, differently had I known, but I find it ridiculous that this is not told to patients beforehand. Do the doctors and nurses think that we’d consider not having chemotherapy if we were told ahead of time that it will make us gain weight?

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