According to the American Cancer Society, overweight increases the risk of recurrence of cancer or survival, but if you are on chemo, most likely you will gain weight. I, whose belly is more sticking out and pants don’t fit any more, have to be very careful.
ACS says that the reasons of the weight gain are:
1) Chemo’s side effects make the patients tired or sick, so they become less active.
I stopped exercising because I was easily coughing, running nose, and cramping. Also when I was on Xeloda, I could barely walk, and I changed Xeloda to Cadcyla (T-DM1), I was so sleepy, that my major activities were mostly eating and sleeping only. Though someone told me that sleeping was necessary for fighting back against headaches, I have enough reasons to gain weight.
2) Eating more often due to the stress of cancer
3) People around the patients encourage them to eat more being afraid of them losing weight and getting sicker.
The preventions are:
1) Though People tend to think the patients should rest while they are on chemo, actually exercise is good to lessen fatigue, muscle/ joint’ stiffness, constipation, or nausea. ACS recommends cancer patients to exercise for 150 min/wk.
2) Eat at least two and a half cups of fruits and vegetables. Good protein sources are legumes, yogurt, cheese, fish, chicken, and nuts. Yet, they have to watch calories intake. Fiber products are also important.
3) Take more low or non calorie liquid than usual.
It’s sad, but I guess I have to say good-bye to cookies, chocolates, and cakes, and should walk more.