That tumor, plus some major post-operative bed rest sent my weight plummeting to numbers I don't think I'd seen since the 7th grade. I even found myself wearing shorts in a size and length you should only see on a 7th grader. By the time I started treatment, I was rather underweight. Fortunately it was winter, and I was able to hide a lot of it under coats and sweatshirts and puffy snow bunny vest until I could start packing some pounds back on.
By the end of treatment, I was at a nice, 20-something year old weight and looked normal. Because in my mind, I am still a 20-something -- 24 to be exact.
I started treatment this time at pretty much the same weight, knowing I'd lose a few over the days I laid in bed. But as last time, I expected to rebound and get back to eating and working out after a few days. I didn't know I'd be knocked down so hard this time around. How much sicker could chemo possibly make me compared to last time?
I'd read on various message boards that people didn't get as sick with this treatment (FOLFURI) verse the last treatment (FOLFOX), and I'd have to agree. Though I am in bed, battling nausea and naps for several days, I'm not spooning my yellow puke bucket like last time. In fact, I don't think I've even touched the bowl I stuck in the night stand on the night before my first round. With that said, I still battle chronic nausea that is far more chronic indeed.
Though I'm not as intensely sick, I'm generally sick for a longer period of time. For 9 out of every 14 days,
Though I wouldn't describe it as severe or debilitating to my lifestyle, it's still a little surprise that likes to show up without calling first. And it usually waits until I've gotten some of my appetite back and am actually eating enough to gain a pound. I get very defeated when I think I'm finally putting enough in, only to see it all drain out.
With this next round of treatment, I know my weight will officially drop me into "underweight" on that outdated BMI chart. Just as I'm not sure how much longer what hair I have left will hang on, I'm not sure how many more rounds my weight will hang on. I don't know what medical protocol will be if I have another 6 rounds or more ahead of me, but I am actively taking donations of gluten-free pot brownies if it keeps the cans of Ensure away!
So should you see me, my ribs, my breast bone and my medi-port hanging out at the beach this summer, just smile and pretend it looks normal.