I’m gaining weight. It’s not a big deal. It’s only a few pounds (7!) but I think the steroids and the fact that the chemo is putting me into menopause are to blame. Plus I can’t be as active as I was before chemo because I’m so tired … and ARGGGHH!!
It’s messing with my head.
I’m really struggling to feel comfortable in my body at this weight. I’m a petite 5 foot 1 lady and a few extra pounds on me (especially 7) feels uncomfortable.
This isn’t a post about fat-shaming or about how I’m not fitting into a cookie cutter mold… It’s about how I feel in my body in this moment.
The last 6 months I’ve had to deal with some radical changes to my body. Having the mastectomy has been a total mind shift and I am slowly starting to accept my scar. But it’s not easy to love something that’s brought you so much anguish.
Then I lost my hair. Ok. Deal with that.
Then my skin and nails started to get weird with the chemo. Skin discoloration, dryness and now this stupid weight gain is making me feel crazy self conscious.
I’ve maintained a pretty steady weight for most of my adult life. I feel like it’s a healthy weight for me and it feels like the weight I should be.
Truth be told … I never weigh myself. I had a bit of an obsessive/compulsive issue with the scale. In high school my parents got a digital scale (oooh fancy) and I started weighing myself 8-10 times a day. It became a bit of a problem … so I stopped weighing myself.
I weigh myself once or twice a year (when I visit my parents and their dastardly digital scale) and I’m always about the same. I feel like if I can fit into my pants and I feel comfortable in them … I feel like that’s the weight I should be.
Here’s the problem. Every-time I go to the cancer center for a check-up they weigh me. I ask them not to tell me what I weigh but then my high school compulsion kicks in and I cheat and look. The scale is steadily on the rise and it’s freaking me out!
I can’t change my eating habits because I’m finding it difficult to eat. That Red Devil chemo killed my appetite/desire for food so I have to make sure that when I do have an appetite that I’m putting quality food in my body … and the occasional perogie. Ha ha.
I’m trying to increase my activity not just because of the weight but also because it makes me feel better. Pre-Cancer I used to walk from work and back home every day (3 km) plus we’d go hiking on the weekends, etc etc … now I’m lucky if I have the energy to walk 5 blocks. I have managed to do yoga every day for the last 2 weeks so that’s exciting for me. My body is so happy to stretch.
I know that weight is the last thing I should be worried about but I can’t stop thinking about it. That scale has triggered my 1980′s body issues and I’m feeling yucky about myself but it’s not just about the weight. My eyebrows are falling out. My eyelashes are almost gone.
I bumped into a neighbour from my building in the hall the other day. She said “Is that you Sarah? You don’t look like yourself.”
And she’s right …
So now I don’t leave the house without putting on a make-up mask. I don’t want anyone to see what I really look like because I look like someone who’s really sick from chemo (yes I know I sound crazy).
I caught a glimpse of my un-made up face in the mirror last night and gasped. I look like a ghost. My face is slowly disappearing and I don’t recognize who’s looking back at me anymore.
The person I feel like on the inside is not the person I see on the outside and it’s freaking me out.
I know this is only temporary. That once the chemo is over and I can start moving/exercising/hiking/eating/living my normal active life again that this phase of my chemo will seem like a tiny blip.
But here. Now? It feels just awful.
BLARGH! I’m losing my mind. I feel like a dink of even writing about any of this … it’s such a minor issue in the grand scheme of things but it’s bothering me. Anyone out there have this experience? I’d love to hear from you.