loss of weight and appetite

One topic of conversation with my oncologist was my weight loss since leaving the hospital. It is ironic. I mean, my whole life I have been into fitness and nutrition, vegetarian since my early twenties, but I always had to monitor myself because I could gain weight easily despite the insane amount of activity in my schedule.

After I stopped dancing, I gained some weight. Then, with cancer treatment I gained more and could not lose it. Of course, with my reduced activity after my primary cancer in 2004, it was no surprise to me that I would have trouble even with a careful regimen of eating. Since I left the hospital in December, however, I have lost twenty pounds. I should be happy about this, and on one hand, yes, I am very glad to have lost weight. But, losing that amount in a relatively short time brings some concern. I guess it is either because of the cancer or because I am eating so little—not much more than 300 calories. Even though I am very sedentary, I guess I need a few more calories. Not much appeals to me, though, so I pick at my food and leave most of it behind. Eating leftovers is even less appealing because it seems tasteless and dry. I suppose I need to supplement my meals, with Ensure or some other similar drink.

This afternoon I had Chinese, and tomorrow we will see. I am trying to get an idea of what sounds good to eat right now, and all I can think of is a salad, which is always a favorite for me. So, salad it is.

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© 2004–2013 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

7 responses to “loss of weight and appetite

  1. Pretty sure that salad is not loaded with calories unless you use dressing like Ranch, and add cheese and chopped egg to the salad. Otherwise, pretty sure you will burn up the calories ingested just trying to digest it! What about all those wonderful things you have had to stay away from your entire life…like breads and baked potatoes with butter? Try that. It’s a fine line, but now is probably not the time to worry about losing weight unless the worry is you are depleting your reserves to fight this nasty thing. Milk shakes all around! Set ’em up, bartender! Hugs and love….

  2. Girlfriend!!!
    A salad’s not going to cut it! If nothing else, force yourself to drink Ensure… lots of them… like 6 or more a day… AND buttery mashed potatoes with avocados, etc. Your weight loss will weaken you, and you won’t remain mobile or be able to fight your cancer. This is very serious. Force yourself. I know a a salad may be all you want, but this is not about what you want. It’s about what you need.

  3. Donna, I totally understand where you are coming from with the weight. I also was a vegetarian since I was twelve and being a dancer felt I had to watch carefully about eating. I know it’s hard to eat now and if you feel like eating salad and that’s what appeals to you, eat whatever you like. You are now able to eat whatever you want whenever you want it. If it’s salad try to put some avocado in it or add extra dressing…you get the idea. Your appetite is going to come and go as a result of all of you treatment and the disease. If you can manage the Ensures, try to drink them or you can make or buy fresh smoothies putting lots of nutrition in to them. You can even have any flavor milkshake if that’s what you are craving. Just don’t be hard on yourself as it’s harder to eat now and you just have to do the best you can. Extra hugs, prayers and XoXoXo – Susan

  4. how about eating your salad that you crave THEN sip on ensure I find that if i graze I do better than 3 big meals will pray about your appetite
    hang in there peachy lady

  5. Oh, we’re giving you a hard time about your salad, aren’t we? I can’t resist suggesting you add some chickpeas or other beans to the salad, or hard boiled egg, if you eat them. As for the Ensure, you should look for the Ensure Plus, which has more calories. I would love to lose the 20 lbs my cancer has given me, but this is far too fast. Remember, calories are a measure of energy, and you want energy. ~Kate

  6. I have to say I agree with everyone. You don’t want to be too thin. This is not the time. I like some of the protein bars, not sure of brand but a good one with choc. and coconut some yummy ones easy to eat and no preparation, may have too much sugar though. Nuts I love nuts high calorie loaded with good things.
    Salads are my favorite I am a vegetarian and I love them with all the goodies, nuts, beans dried fruit, avocado, more the merrier.
    How about Pizza that always sounds good to me to.Ensure in the blender with yogurt, ice and fresh fruit. Energy you do need 300 calories you will burn up breathing and sleeping. Hugs

  7. I have to echo what everyone else is saying, Donna. I can’t eat all that many raw greens day in and day out, so my salads are often composed salads of several types of beans with hardboiled egg or tofu, other veggies, lots of sweet red pepper for sure because of vit. C content, and pre-shredded low-fat cheese–because when you’re sick, you just don’t feel like shredding anything! You can even go for the full fat cheese since you need the calories right now.
    Uncontrolled rapid weight loss was the scariest thing that happened to me during my cancer days. I turned to ice cream to boost my calories. Definitely try the Ensure. I’m surprised your doctor hasn’t made that a requirement already.
    Love you boatloads. Wish I could be out in CA with you watching the waves lap on the beach (and not just because it’s sunny and warm there and the snow is coming down steady here today–6″–ok, a little because of that) 🙂
    XOXOXO Rebecca

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