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15 months post-chemo .. Still cannot gain weight! + Other things

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  • 15 months post-chemo .. Still cannot gain weight! + Other things

    Hello everyone,

    I hope you are all doing good .. and everything is going better!

    I am a 24-year-old male. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in April 2012. I did the surgery and received 3xBEP. I finished the chemotherapy by the end of October 2012. No concerns about the cancer so far and everything is going very good. I just have a couple of problems.

    I gained some weight after finishing the treatment but I have been trying very hard to gain more weight during the past 7 months and no results!! Now I am on a new diet and I have almost 4000 calories everyday and it seems like it is not working!

    My weight before I start the chemotherapy was 150 pounds and now it is 143 .. even though it is just 7 bounds difference, I look like I lost a lot of weight. Someone told me today I look like I lost 25 pounds not only 7! My face doesn't have fat like before.

    I also have problems with my facial hair and the hair in the pubic area. My facial hair looks thinner sometimes and sometimes it gets thicker! and the hair in the pubic area sometimes grows fast and sometimes doesn't grow for weeks.

    My testosterone is 475 which is normal .. but isn't it low for someone in my age? could it be the problem?

    It sounds like my doctors are not concern with my weight as far as I don't lose weight for no reason. I do not like to be skinny! My height is 184 cm and I do not look really good when my weight is 143 lbs. The maximum weight during the past 7 months was 147 which didn't last for long .. maybe a couple of weeks before it went back to 140-145

    I started drinking half-gallon of Milk everyday to try to get some weight. it has been just 4 days since I started and so far no results .. and I think it is not gonna work.

    as I said now I have almost 4000 calories everyday .. 1280 of them come from milk.

    1) At least 90g of Protein/day.
    2) At least 64g of Fat/day.
    3) At least 100g of Cabs/day.
    4) I drink Protein Shakes.
    5) I go to the gym to get some muscles.


    The question is .. is there something wrong with me? What could be the reason ?

    I know it is a long post It is just I feel frustrated! I want to gain some weight .. I will be more than satisfied if I see 155 lbs on the screen of the weight scale

  • #2
    Hey bud, I can totally relate on the weight thing :P

    I, like you, had chemo in 2012 (completed it a year and a half ago), and I've stayed the same weight ever since. I am underweight (6 feet tall and 130 pounds), however, I figured it was because of my diet (I'm a low fat Vegan). I'll be on the lower of end of the healthy BMI scale if I gain roughly 10-15 pounds. But I would eat 4 very large meals plus snacks per day, and still gain nothing. Some days I'll eat an entire load of bread, with no effect. I get my calories from carbohydrates (grains, legumes) as well as nuts and seeds, and I can stuff my face all day and barely get 1500 - 1800 calories per day. So I figured my stagnant weight was just because of my diet. However, maybe you're onto something. Maybe us cancer patients just struggle with weight from now on. Hopefully others can comment on their experiences.

    I do find it funny, though, watching all of the weight loss ads on TV -- no ads about trying to GAIN weight, ha.
    _________________
    Fall 2010 - Dx: Stage I 100% Seminoma: Left I/O, Remission, Surveillance
    September - October 2011 Relapse: Radiation Tx, Remission, Surveillance
    May - August 2012 Relapse: 3xBEP Chemotherapy (changed to 4xEP after slight lung scarring)
    March 2013 - LDH 400-700s; WBC 39,000; Bone Marrow Biopsy
    March 2013 - Dx: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia; Tx: 100mg/ Sprycel daily: Surveillance
    August 2013: 1-Year Remission Milestone!

    Comment


    • #3
      Well for me once chemo wore off I went on a bit of an eating rampage and there for a good 6 months I just ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I'm talking lots of cheeseburgers, got dessert every time I went out, pizzas, whatever the hell I wanted. For those 6 months I really didn't gain any weight. Then suddenly I started packing on weight quite quickly, so I had to cut down on my eating rampage. Now I'm more or less back to how I ate previously, and my ability to gain or lose weight seems identical to how it was pre-chemo. You could maybe see a nutritionist to assess your diet and make recommendations. I would guess if you want to put on weight, eat high fat foods. If you're looking to build muscle though, that's different.

      As for the hair I'm not so sure. My hair came back curly after chemo (though went back to normal about ~1 year), and a bit darker and a bit thicker. My hairs always grown fast and continues to. My beard also grew back a bit darker and thicker. Haven't noticed any difference in the pubic region though, but I never did lose that hair or leg hair or anything during chemo. I know there are at least a couple of threads on here about guys who have problems with growing hair post-chemo, I guess I just got lucky.

      In regards to RockNRoll, I do think it's probably your diet. If you don't get more than 1500-1800 calories per day you probably won't gain, depending on how active you are.

      I also found it funny how everyone is always obsessed with losing weight while I was trying to gain and couldn't while eating cheeseburgers and brownies. Also sort of strange how most people are commented when they've lost weight, but when I lost weight due to cancer nobody did but then when I gained weight afterward everybody remarked how much "better I looked". Strange double standards in society.
      Jan. 3rd 2011 - Right I/O. May 2011, recurrence; RPLND, 2xBEP.

      Comment


      • #4
        The double standards are definitely interesting. And I think you're right, my diet probably does have a lot to do with my weight. Although before I went low-fat vegan and before I got cancer, I was one of those guys that could eat anything I want and never gain any substantial weight (although my arteries probably hated me). I wish I didn't have such an efficient metabolism... Although I may rethink that when I get older, ha.
        _________________
        Fall 2010 - Dx: Stage I 100% Seminoma: Left I/O, Remission, Surveillance
        September - October 2011 Relapse: Radiation Tx, Remission, Surveillance
        May - August 2012 Relapse: 3xBEP Chemotherapy (changed to 4xEP after slight lung scarring)
        March 2013 - LDH 400-700s; WBC 39,000; Bone Marrow Biopsy
        March 2013 - Dx: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia; Tx: 100mg/ Sprycel daily: Surveillance
        August 2013: 1-Year Remission Milestone!

        Comment


        • #5
          LOL I sure do wish I had your guys problem!

          I've struggled with weight my whole life, as in keeping it down and losing it!

          Before cancer I was in about the best shape of my life at 6'3" (250 lbs), and had made a decent diet and regular exercise a part of my life for many years. I have a large frame and most people think I surely used to have played [American] football or was in Special Forces, so at that weight I still look pretty normal. After chemo though, being laid up for so long and unable to exercise, having to eat more food than I wanted to just to keep the huge amount of stomach acid under control, and then getting the RPLND done and being pumped full of fluids like crazy, I swelled all the way up to 300 lbs. I managed to lose about 20-30 lbs of that and stay in the 275 lb range now, but still want to get back to 250ish where I was before. I have to both work out HARD, and watch my diet and keep it to 1200-1500 calories per day if I want to make any real progress on weight loss. If I ate 4000 calories per day I would balloon up to 300+ pounds in a matter of weeks. LOL

          Facial/pubic hair irregularity, yes can be related to T-level dropouts I think. I've experienced that too, but I don't think that has anything to do with weight gain/loss issues. Maybe consult your primary care physician or a dietitian.
          Young Adult Cancer Survivorship by Steve Pake
          www.stevepake.com
          https://www.facebook.com/yacancerbysteve/
          Feb 2011, Stage IIB, 4xEP, RPLND, PTSD
          My Survivorship Thread | All of my Blogs
          C
          ONTACT ME ANYTIME!

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not sure it's a post chemo thing. When I was 24 I couldn't gain weight either. Now at 40 it's the other way.
            8/5/2013 - right I/O 8/20/2013 - classic seminoma (tumor size 5.5 cm confined to testis. No spermatic cord involvement. Lymph vascular invasion present.) 9/04/2013 - CT scan results - All clear http://www.tc-cancer.com/forum/core/...lies/smile.png 9/23/2013 - met with 2nd oncologist - stage 1B 9/26/2013 - dose 1 of 2 of carboplatin 10/17/2013 - dose 2 of 2 of carboplatin 11/15/2013 - follow up. Still anemic 11/27/2013 - thyroid ultrasound for pain in throat - all clear http://www.tc-cancer.com/forum/core/...lies/smile.png 12/2013 - throat pain dx as intubation injury and stomatitis

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by eg518937eg View Post
              I'm not sure it's a post chemo thing. When I was 24 I couldn't gain weight either. Now at 40 it's the other way.
              I was fat as a kid, I had a 32" waist in the forth grade (~9 years old ) I kept that waist size until I was mid 30's, so I guess I grew into it. Somewhere in my mid 30's I started gaining weight & nothing I did seemed to slow it down. I weighed 205 (5'8") when I started chemo & kind of hpoed to lose 15 pounds during chemo, bujt I *gained* 15 pounds that I lost pretty quickly post chemo & have gone on to lose the 15 I was hoping to lose, but can't seem to get much below 190. I don't even understand why anyone wants to*gain* weight, outside of pro body-builders.....
              Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
              Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Davepet View Post
                I was fat as a kid, I had a 32" waist in the forth grade (~9 years old ) I kept that waist size until I was mid 30's, so I guess I grew into it. Somewhere in my mid 30's I started gaining weight & nothing I did seemed to slow it down. I weighed 205 (5'8") when I started chemo & kind of hpoed to lose 15 pounds during chemo, bujt I *gained* 15 pounds that I lost pretty quickly post chemo & have gone on to lose the 15 I was hoping to lose, but can't seem to get much below 190. I don't even understand why anyone wants to*gain* weight, outside of pro body-builders.....
                Well I did need to gain weight after chemo, after the RPLND/2xBEP I dropped below 120 pounds. I'm a smaller guy at 5"5' but still I looked way too skinny - emaciated, really.
                Jan. 3rd 2011 - Right I/O. May 2011, recurrence; RPLND, 2xBEP.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've gained my weight back in the last two months, but I've kind of gone on a rampage of eating though. I eat two bowls of cereal, a couple belvita bars, and a can of pop in the morning. On top of eating everything I can once I get home from work. I also sit at a desk all day at work so I don't get much exercise.
                  My newer blog. I'll be using the one below from now on.
                  http://jefflilland.blogspot.com/


                  Initial Diagnosis 04/15/2013 Stage 1b Non-Seminoma
                  I/O 04/08/2013
                  Second Diagnosis 09/19/2013 Stage 3 Non-Seminoma in the left lung
                  3x BEP 09/25/2013-11/19/2013
                  All Clear 11/26/2013

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you guys!

                    I also see the commercials for losing weight .. and I go like " why the heck do you want to lose weight! if you insist, I can take some! "

                    Now here is the good news. It looks like my new diet with the milk thing is working good! I also workout like 5 days a week to put on some muscle mass .. and I can tell the results! I gained 4 lbs within 10 days today when I checked it was 146 lbs. I guess it is pretty good for 10 days! I'll keep doing the same things and I hope I will see 150 lbs soon! if I see those 3 digits (in the same order!) on the weight scale, dinner will be on me guys

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Made it!

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