Sunday, April 20, 2014
Dealing with Weight Gain during Remission from APL while on ATRA/Tretenoin
When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I was immediately subjected to tons of antibiotics, medications, and chemotherapy. I lost a lot of weight. I traveled everywhere with Zofran, my new best friend. I lost 28 pounds in five weeks. I was expecting the weight loss, everyone I knew that suffered from cancer (of any type) would look so sickly and swimming in their skin at some point.
Now, I’m in remission and undergoing maintenance therapy. I take lots of pills daily for the first year of remission. Ah, I just love that word: remission. Well, I have packed on the pounds. I gained back all I lost and an additional 30 lbs. I weight 180 today. I have weighed 180 (give or take 5-10 lbs) since November. I started my maintenance therapy in October. Yes, that last 20 lbs I gained happened in ONE MONTH!
I am trying to be more active. Sure, I am still fatigued. I am tired all the damn time. I get tired at the drop of a hat and then take a 2 hour nap like its nothing. I wake around 5 pm and decide to take a shower and start my day. And then there are moments like this, when I’m up at 4 am and can’t fall back asleep (and I wonder why?)
My new favorite apps are Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal. I have them on my phone and use them all the time. I log my food in a diary that tracks my calories in MyFitnessPal. Runkeeper tracks how far I walked (like a gps & pedometer combined) and calculates calories burned based on my distance, time, and weight. I should be losing weight. Should be…yet I’m not. I’ve been on these since December, and I have noticed one trend: as long as I’m active and not eating just junk food, I lose weight on my non-ATRA weeks. ATRA is my main maintenance drug. I take 8 pills each day every other week. So, last week I was not taking ATRA. I lost 5 lbs by Sunday. This week is an ATRA week. I am back at 180 as of yesterday. Thank goodness today is Saturday. ATRA is almost over. Next week, the 5-10 lbs will drop and I will go through the process again.
Is anyone else having taking meds and having problems losing weight? I am constantly focusing on the weight gain, and I know I shouldn’t. It’s hard, though. It’s hard to look at myself in the mirror and be okay with how I look. I am uncomfortable being this big. I use to average 150 lbs. In my best shape, I would be 135…and looking pretty good with my curves. It depresses me. I try, but then I also let food get the best of me. It feels wonderful to taste food, and it is amazing to appreciate food and something as simple as flavor again.