For those of us with BMI over 35

Having a BMI over 40, and dealing with recurrence and family history of breast cancer makes me feel isolated. Out of my family members with BC, mom, and two sisters and a cousin, I am the only one in my family with BMI over 30. I feel those of us who are plus size don't fit in to many of the discussions here, especially the ones about depression. Perhaps I just didn't read the right threads? Anyway, I started a new thread in hopes of connecting with others like myself.

I have dealt with being over weight all my life. I was once within 10 pounds of normal, but that was over 35 years ago and with my second pregnancy I gained the weight back and some. I also lost 56 pounds 5 years ago, but again, I couldn't keep the weight off. I lost that weight via Weight Watchers, but WW isn't really set up for people on tight budgets who need to lose 80+ pounds! I had to give up because I couldn't afford to keep going to meetings. I thought I could continue myself, which I did for awhile, but then I saw how the skin was just hanging off of me, my thighs, my stomach, and honestly, I freaked out. I still tried to eat healthy but I didn't want to lose anymore weight. Then I slowly started to gain it back and I gained back 45 of it. After the DIEP surgery in January I put on 20 pounds, but luckily most was fluid and I lost 15 of it since then.

Normal weight or overweight women really have no idea how humiliating it is for those of us categorized as obese to go through the process for DIEP surgery. I had to stand naked in front of my husband, doctor, and two 20 something male medical students while the plastic surgeon described what he was going to do. That humiliation will live with me for the rest of my life, as will the humiliation of having a young male PA stand inches from my naked standing body, drawing on the abdomen before the surgery.

But they are medical people, supposedly used to seeing naked people of all sizes. The hurt from family is so much deeper.

I don't know any obese person who is happy being obese. Most, like me are in a constant battle with their weight. Breast cancer is hard to deal with emotionally, but add obesity to it and it adds to the depression over body image. I hate my body more now than ever. I never thought I could look worse than I did prior to this second time with breast cancer, but I was wrong.

Yesterday, my sister, who is normal weight and my only sister who didn't have BC really hurt my feelings. I expressed concerns, via text, that the reason I haven't had side effects yet from the Letrozole (been on for two months) is because it isn't working. I explained that I think that because I am so fat, my estrogen levels may not have fallen enough to prevent another recurrence of metastasis. I also said I didn't think there was any way to know for sure if it was working. I told her that the paper I signed at my MO's office which stated all the possible side effects also said that I was aware that this drug may not work for me. I added that on the up side, I was glad that so far I haven't had any SE's from the drug.

Her response. "Only you could find something positive to say about being overweight!" I responded that I didn't say it as a positive for being overweight, that there is nothing good about being overweight. She never responded. My feelings are still hurt. I assume she said that because no normal weight person would see anything good about being overweight? Not sure.

Anyway, I would love to connect with anyone with BMI over 35 to listen to and support our mental and physical health. We have a unique set of hurdles to deal with.



  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,357

    I wanted to respond since no one else has, I am not in the obese category but I am in the BMI 26 category. I was BMI about 22 when I had my DIEP surgery. I was not treated as badly as you were but I did feel some embarrassment, not during the drawing on my body but with pre photos.

    Since starting menopause the weight came on, I did weight watchers lost about 5 pounds. There were good ideas for cooking and eating to cut out fat but eating out was my problem. Now I go to restaurants that post the calories and try to always carry some food home. Exercising 1hr on the treadmill everyday helped control and get my weight down. Eating smaller meals and often so I never felt hungry helped. One thing I did that helped was only drink water save tge calories for my food.

    I would consult a specialist you may have other issues causing the weight. I gained on anastrozole and exemestane ugh! It is slowing coming off I need to really push myself to stay on the treadmill. As soon as I start taking a day off my habit gets broken.

    Sounds like you had some weightloss success but not in a habit that was sustainable. Good luck.

  • Fairydragonfly
    Fairydragonfly Member Posts: 132

    While I can't relate to your experience (I had a lumpectomy), I do struggle with being "morbidly" obese. On Thursday I agreed to chemo after getting my oncotype results, so I went out with a group of friends Friday as my last hurrah before chemo. Then I saw the pictures and wanted to puke. I have battled my weight for decades, and weight loss has been difficult when coupled with polycystic ovary syndrome, depression, prediabetes, medication side effects, etc.

    Of course we want to lose the weight. Of course we're well aware that it increases our risk for various health issues.

    I'm here for and with you. ❤️

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,081

    An ortho told me over a year ago it’s time to replace both knees. That was before stage 4 happened. My PCP told me absolutely not, I was too heavy, no dr or hospital around here would do it. Incentive to loose it, right? Wrong. I flat out like to eat too much. Trying to make something DH and I agree on for dinner is impossible. I won’t cook two meals. I was 110# when we got married 51 years ago.

    I have accepted my weight, if I loose some more, yay me. I lost about 10# when I got the stage 4 dx. I’m not going to change anything for anybody.

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 961

    Meow, thank you!!!! Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

    Fairydragon, thank you for responding! I will be here for you too! I hear you about pictures. I only have mirrors in my bathrooms (only shows above breast and up) and one narrow full length mirror in my bedroom behind the door. Suffice to say, I don't see myself much and I often wondered if I got more mirrors if it would encourage me to lose weight again? I have always had a "virtual" picture of myself in my brain and I am always shocked at how bad I look in pictures because the image I have is not nearly as overweight! It isn't that the photos add two pounds either!

    I am a walking ball of inflammation, lymphedema in my left arm since 2003 when I had the entire fat pad removed with 24 nodes and it spread to my former left breast, side and left leg. Both of my shoulders were replaced due to completely torn rotator cuffs. My orthopedic doctor told me in 2010 that I have lymphedema in my right arm as well. My right ankle swells, but the swelling will go down by morning, so I don't consider that lymphedema. It is not an excuse for the weight, just another issue that adds to the frustration of trying to lose weight. I can easily gain 5 or more pounds in a day, especially in the summer, that is all excess fluid. It is gone in the morning.

    I thought about joining a gym near my home, and I might do it this summer. I wish I had room for a treadmill at home but I don't. My biggest problem is that when I work (I work in a school) I am exhausted and I don't think I could get myself to the gym.

    To say I hate my body now more than before the DIEP surgery is an understatement. I have a flat stomach with tennis balls on either side of my hips and a huge muffin top so I had to buy a lot of new clothes because nothing stays at my waist. I know the hip thing the PS will need to adjust, but the muffin top is all on me Something in my head keeps saying "so what are you going to do about it?"

    I am going on vacation next week, but I must do something about my weight when I get home. I have never been a quitter, but after a lifetime of battling weight, it would be easier to quit trying. On the upside, if I focus on diet and exercise again, perhaps it will take my mind off of breast cancer? I think I have to try. But this time, I want to do it differently. I don't want to tell any of my friends or family what I am doing. (of course my husband will know) I don't want it thrown in my face if I don't lose weight. You can expect to see posts from me here.

    I feel we need a place to talk about weight in the company of others who really understand what it is like to be obese for decades/lifetime. It is kind of like breast cancer. I feel better talking about it with others here who have/had it because you really understand. It is so hard to take diet/exercise advice with someone who has never been more than 10 pounds over their ideal weight.

    Spookiesmom, I assume that is a picture of Spookie, who is soooo cute! I am a bit jealous because I want a dog so badly. We always had dogs and when our last one passed away over two years ago, my heart broke! The biggest reason is the expense as I am 65 and nearing retirement and our nest egg isn't huge.

    I was this weight when I had both of my shoulders replaced, 6 years apart. Also, my DIEP surgery was 8 1/2 hours. I know my BS was concerned about the anesthesia, but the PS wasn't. All went well in that respect. Still, only a fool would think obesity doesn't have an effect on us during surgery. That said I agree when you said it should be an incentive but it isn't. I am really going to TRY to use correctional plastic surgery next summer as an added incentive, but I know it isn't enough by itself. I need a lift on my real breast, but I am still having healing issues due to radiation from 2003 cancer so it can't be anytime soon.

    I totally hear you about making meals for two. I guess in that respect I am lucky my tall, thin, husband is diabetic so he is supposed to eat the same food I am supposed to eat. We don't have much junk food, occasional ice cream, in our house. Rarely I get chips or make French fries. Sweets are limited too, for special occasions and usually without keeping any left overs. So really, while I too like food and whole heartedly believe in comfort food, I really can't use that as an excuse. I know I really need MORE exercise.

    I hope I hear from you again.

    Thank you all for replying.

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,351

    Hi there, I’m here. My BMI is over 40 too and I have lost and gained the same 40 lbs more times than I can count, it’s so frustrating. Critical family members (both parents) have mostly been written off, I don’t have the time for their BS and have lost the will to make excuses for their behavior. I go to the gym and do weights, elliptical, cycling and treadmill for 1.5 hrs 4-5 days/wk but haven’t lost weight but it’s ok, I’m mainly there to get stronger and stay active. Since I was diagnosed stage IV de novo, I cared more about living and less about body image but I still eat healthy, I just don’t have much loss to show for it. My body seems to be extremely stubborn, so I’ve learned to accept being fat and appreciate being happy.

    DH and is have been using the Daily Dozen (vegan checklist) as a guide but nothing is off limits.

  • frmthahart
    frmthahart Member Posts: 58

    I can't even begin to imagine how I would react or feel if I was in the scenario you described! I had a lumpectomy and thought that modesty had gone out the window with rads...!

    I am in this BMI category and have been struggling most of my life with weight. I gained 56 lbs with my first pregnancy and never lost it all. This repeated through all my pregnancies - I had 6. I have tried just about every diet and many of the fads. Chemo has been the most effective for me - I lost 38 lbs. Some of that is slowly creeping back on now that I am through active treatment. As more people talk about diet and exercise, 10,000 daily steps and 150 active minutes etc... I almost feel a panic that my weight and what I eat is going to cause a recurrence of the cancer. I think this is a major part of the funk I find myself in - the mind game I am playing at the moment. I have been almost manical about writing down what I eat, my meds and daily water. I have a Fitbit that tracks my sleep, steps and activity. I almost feel like a hamster on the wheel! My days have become all about the steps and activity yet, still I see the scale slowly creep up. The nutritionist at my center said I needed to eat only organic, non GMO, no antibiotic mostly plant based diet. With the household I have to feed, this would become really expensive. My NP at the MO's says to not worry and just eat a well balanced diet. I feel like I am floundering and am not sure of what I will end up doing. Having a place to talk about it is a blessing!

  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,357

    Well I seem to be only maintaining I really don't like going to LA fitness the treadmills are so close together. When I was working we had a couple treadmills at work and nice ladies room showers and had a wonderful towel service. Cost me $10 a month. About the time I retired they shut that same facility down. I miss going with only 1 maybe 2 people there.

    A friend of mine used to go to the nursing facility her mother was in they let her use the gym and pool. She said it was always empty.

    With the drugs some of us are on almost impossible to lose. So glad I am off AI drugs my face puffed up on exemestane looked horrible. I feel like the last 8 years I have aged 30 years.

    I had a physical trainer for a couple months, dear GOD I could only do 10 minutes of the exercises he had for me. No more of that sticking to easier old person yoga and walking on the treadmill also swimming. Good enough.

    I don't do any weights anymore.

    I say do what you can don't give up easily.

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 961

    illimae, I am sorry your parents haven't been supportive. It is so hurtful when family fails to help lift each other up. I am super impressed with what you are doing at the gym! You are an inspiration for me! I thank you for posting and hope you will continue to post here.

    Frmthahart, I too gained weight with each pregnancy. I lost a lot after my first child was born, but gained it back and more when I got pregnant the second time and it didn't help that my doctor kept telling me not to worry about it because I lost so much after my first pregnancy. I am so glad you posted here.

    Meow, it is definitely nicer working out with a few people. I was able to use a small hospital gym once that usually had only 3-4 people exercising at a time and all were trying to recover from a health issue, so it was a comfortable, non-judgemental environment. I don't have access to that now, but there is a Planet Fitness gym near my home and I plan to go there. I used that gym for a short time years ago, but that was when my shoulder gave out and I had to quit the gym.

    All of you have lifted my spirits. I felt very alone, with an obese body and breast cancer which reappeared after almost 16 years after my first diagnosis.

    I really hope we created a safe place to share our specific issues and that we will all benefit from each other on this message board. I am still amazed that you all responded and that I am not alone!

    I also echo what many here said, I always try, but the weight doesn't easily come off, and getting stronger via exercise does count for something!

    ((((((Sending Cyber hugs to all of you)))))

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,351

    Mavericksmom, I started slow at the gym using my cancer centers healthy heart program as a guide for the weights and my first time on the elliptical I only lasted 2 minutes but each week I increased it until I got to 15, same with the cycling. I also quit working, so I made the gym my new job. Now, I totally enjoy the time to myself, it’s therapeutic.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,081

    Yes, that’s my girl, Spookie. I got her when I was 60 and still working. I retired a few months later, she will be 10 on Halloween. Lots of pups in shelters needing a home. She has a rescued Poodle brother too

    I’m diabetic too, on a pump. Best thing ever. The thing with us is, I don’t like this, he doesn’t like that. In summer, I’d be happy with a salad for dinner. Not him. I don’t go for all the organic, non gmo, hoopla some people push. How can that help weight loss? Makes your wallet lighter for sure!

    I lost 34# the first time around with chemo. Some of that found me again. I don’t recommend that diet. I’ll be starting ibrance and letrozole on 2 weeks. Hope I can tolerate it.

  • missouricatlady
    missouricatlady Member Posts: 894

    I don't want to know what my BMI is, I try not to know. I stepped on the scale this morning and am over 230 again. I did get down to 225 on that chemo diet some of you ladies unfortunately know about, I think my weight was somewhere around 260 when I was diagnosed, highest I've been in my life. Back then, I wondered how hard it was for thin women, who didn't have the weight to lose.

    Let me share this link with you, because some YMCA's offer a free program for cancer survivors: We have three YMCAs around where I live, and only one offers this, so not all of them do it.

    When I saw my family doctor for my OBGYN appointment, we talked about weight and breast cancer, and she encouraged me to use a goal of 20 pounds. Maybe setting small goals is easier for us. I'm on anastrazole now for the past 3 months or so, but I have not tried to lose weight yet, although this morning, I told my husband, let's see if we can lose one pound this week (we both need to go on a diet). And I also told him we are going to walk down the street and back tonight, from what I've read on these boards, just a little exercise can help with side effects, and I'm going to try (I don't sleep well and have hot flashes and a tiny bit of bone aches, but I am 55 and think maybe I am achy anyway). Now, you watch him lose 20 pounds, men have an easier time of it.


    I come from a family of people who enjoy alcohol as well, and sit and think about recurrence, thinking about not drinking at all, and then thinking about my weight, which is also a factor - try and not overwhelm yourself with all these thoughts.

    Just know, you are not alone, Mavericksmom. I think what Illimae said is important - acceptance and be happy. Hugs, Lisa

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 961

    illimae, Thank you for your post! I am glad you pointed out that you could only do 2 minutes on the elliptical because I forgot that I had the same experience many years ago. Now when I do go to the gym, I will have that in mind which will help me greatly not to be discouraged. I will take it slow and not push myself. I also think that was a mistake I made years ago, I pushed myself so hard from the start that I ended up hurting my knee and needing surgery. I really can't thank you enough for reminding me to take it slow and increase gradually!

    Missouricatlady, I'm in between your 230 and 260. The lowest I have been in 5 years was 198. That was when I was on Weight Watchers. I agree that using small goals is easier. I think I am setting my first goal at 10 pounds because if I lose 10 pounds I will know for sure I am doing something right and it isn't just water weight. Then my next goal I will set at 20 pounds. I found my pipe cleaners with beads yesterday. When I went to weight watchers I received a bead for every pound lost. I also had ribbons for every 10 pounds. I had lost a total of 56 pounds but failed to keep them off. A reminder of what I could and can do!

    I also want to thank you for the link!

    I am putting my failures behind me. When I return from vacation I will put all my energy into diet and exercise. I decided to hit the gym around 3 PM because that is when I would go once the new school year begins and it would keep it more routine. I am a list maker and scheduler type of person so routine is important for me. The only time I "fly by the seat of my pants" with no real schedule is on vacation. My goal with vacation is to enjoy my family and relax. We are going out to the mid-west to visit our son and family. We haven't met our newest granddaughter who was born last fall. We facetime with them but I can't wait to see and spoil our two precious granddaughters in person!

    I almost never gain any weight on vacations because I don't eat a lot of high calorie foods and I tend to get more exercise. That said, I also don't talk or worry about calories on vacation.

    As for alcohol, I drink very infrequently, which I guess is good because I had ILC and someone posted a link to research showing alcohol increasing ILC, but not IDC which they found interesting and are going to research further. When I drink it is wine, sangria (which adds to the sugar content, ugh) and in winter, Bailey's Irish Cream. I never liked beer and as a young adult friends would tell me "you have to acquire a taste for it." I would respond with, "why would I want to do that? Do I look like I need more calories?" My husband and I had season tickets to both hockey and baseball and I always thought that beer looked so good, but I couldn't get past the taste. There is a very short list of foods and drink that have high calorie content that I don't like and beer is on that list!

    Some day I will need to discuss cat ownership with those of you with cats. I know there is a "Cats, cats, cats" thread on here. I have always been a dog person. I used to be allergic to some cats, but I was a veterinary technician for a number of years and never had any serious issues working with them. Even though I was a vet. tech. I never owned a cat. I don't know how to keep a cat off my table and kitchen counters. I am assuming that a cat would be cheaper than a dog (inside cat, we have a busy road in the back of our house). I also don't know if that is true. I really miss my sweet chihuahua mix, who we always said acted like a cat, and would love to have a pet again. Perhaps a reward for meeting a weight loss goal? Anyway, that is a topic for another time.

    ((((cyber hugs to all)))) We are our own caring support group! I am so thankful to be part of the BC community!

  • Spoonie77
    Spoonie77 Member Posts: 532

    Hi ladies - I just wanted to join in and say thanks for starting this thread.

    I have no idea what my BMI is but I do know I'm overweight by at least 50 pounds or so. I used to weigh 170, looked amazing, and then in 2010, had a relapse in my other chronic illnesses, which sent my metabolism into a tail spin. It's been a losing battle ever since. Gaining slowly, no matter what I tried. No matter what I ate or how I got moving, nothing would come off, it just slowed the gradual gain. Even Keto wouldn't help me lose. Par for the course. Just my body and its Spoonie Life. Le Sigh.

    Anyway, had learned to accept it for the most part. Honestly, since I wear my weight well I guess, many people couldn't imagine I weighed what I did. So, before I was dxd last summer with BC I was up to 220, after putting on 10 pounds to soothe my heart, with wine and chocolate, over a rough break up. Was devastating. Enter BC. More pounds added. In all, considering the harsh SEs that have happened and affected my QOL over the past year of treatment, I'm up to 240ish range, the most I've ever weighed in my life.

    Soooo long story short I guess is that I completely understand and sympathize with y'all. I'm here and with ya. <3

    FYI -- > Learned about Intermittent Fasting here on the boards recently and have incorporated that into my daily regimen. I basically do not eat anything after 9 pm to 11 am the next day. Am working to increase that to a 16 hr range. I'm hopeful this will help somehow with my metabolism as this was never brought up by any of my dieticians in the past who were stumped. We shall see. Intermittent Fasting & Health Benefits (including lowering risk of BC RR and decreasing inflammation) Those factors, plus a possible metabolism and insulin resistance change, spurred me on in this new venture. I could definitely use all 4 of those, plus any of the other benefits studies show it can provide. It can't hurt and I know I won't fail at this as I kind of was already doing a version of this prior but just need to extend it by a few hours. Time will tell.

    Prolonged Nightly Fasting and Breast Cancer Prognosis

    "The cohort of 2413 women (mean [SD] age, 52.4 [8.9] years) reported a mean (SD) fasting duration of 12.5 (1.7) hours per night. In repeated-measures Cox proportional hazards regression models, fasting less than 13 hours per night (lower 2 tertiles of nightly fasting distribution) was associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer recurrence compared with fasting 13 or more hours per night (hazard ratio, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.05-1.76). Nightly fasting less than 13 hours was not associated with a statistically significant higher risk of breast cancer mortality (hazard ratio, 1.21; 95% CI, 0.91-1.60) or a statistically significant higher risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.95-1.56). In multivariable linear regression models, each 2-hour increase in the nightly fasting duration was associated with significantly lower hemoglobin A1c levels (β = −0.37; 95% CI, −0.72 to −0.01) and a longer duration of nighttime sleep (β = 0.20; 95% CI, 0.14-0.26)."

    Can Fasting 13 Hours or More at Night Reduce Recurrence Risk?

    "The researchers also looked to see how many breast cancer recurrences and diagnoses of new breast cancers there were during about 7 years of follow up. The researchers also looked to see how many women died from breast cancer or any other cause during about 11.5 years of surveillance.

    Overall, half the women fasted for more than 12.5 hours per night and half the women fasted for less than 12.5 hours per night.

    The researchers reported that fasting for fewer than 13 hours per night was associated with a 36% higher risk of breast cancer recurrence compared to fasting 13 or more hours per night. This difference was statistically significant, which means that it was likely due to the difference in fasting and not just because of chance."

    Cancer And Fasting

    "Risk Reduction and Tumor Regression
    In 2014, Longo and colleagues demonstrated that fasting caused "old" immune cells to die in mice, which were replaced by stem cells as soon as the subjects recommenced eating. They concluded that a 3-day fast could help regenerate a strong immune system.9 They also demonstrated that a 48-hour fast in mice slowed the growth and spread of five out of the eight cancers studied. They showed that the combination of fasting cycles with chemotherapy was more effective than chemotherapy alone in all cancers studied.6 As these were all animal studies, and it is unknown if humans would have the same benefit; however, several active clinical trials are studying the effect of calorie restriction or fasting on cancer."

  • nleerussell
    nleerussell Member Posts: 1

    I feel your pain and the struggle! I am glad someone brought up fasting. I am in the over 35 BMI category also. But I have lost 40 pounds slowly and pretty steadily (a bit of a set back at Christmas and then again recently with my diagnosis) intermittent and alternate day fasting over the past year. I like to eat and drink too much wine and hate exercise! I emotionally/stress eat as well, with fasting it makes me recognize and listen to my body and brain. If you really want to eat that - eat it when your eating window opens. I have a 12 year old and a dog so they FORCE me to walk daily so that helps too. One of the best things about fasting is it's free - no gimicks, pills, teas or any of that. Read the links that Spoonie posted - good info on healing the body with fasting as well. I am pulling for you - for all of us. Sending positive energy your way Smile

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 961

    Welcome Spoonie! Happy to have you join our group! I'm still amazed that I am not alone with BC and obesity!

    I'm not into fasting other than not eating after dinner, but it ws very interesting to read about. If it works for you or others here that would be awesome. Whenever I read about studies like these, I wonder what made someone decide to do research on it. I wonder what it was that caught the attention of the researchers.

    We are all proof that nothing is “one size fits all," no pun intended. Thank you for sharing!

  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,357

    I hate watching tv and the food commercials come on. I wasn't even thinking about food till I see the commercial. Night time is the worse. Also social events always revolve around food and drink.

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 961

    Sooo true on both counts! I hate that our society is food/drink oriented! The first question people seem to ask before every social gathering is “what kind of food are they serving?” I also hate the commercials at night although lately they don’t bother me because for some reason I am getting very bloated after dinner. My “muffin” top from the DIEP surgery gets tight and hard. By the next morning it’s better. I don’t think it’s lymphedema but Iam going to mention it to my MO later this week.

  • Runrcrb
    Runrcrb Member Posts: 202


    I want to recognize that your experience of standing naked before 4+ men (or anyone) to discuss your surgery is horrible and unacceptable. Regardless of one’s weight or physique that is an awful experience. Shame on your PS for this approach. I’m sure my PS has seen me naked but if/when it has happened, I was under anesthesia. Even at my follow ups, I’ve always been in a robe and underpants. No one should have experienced what you did.

  • Artista964
    Artista964 Member Posts: 376

    I'm bmi 37. It bothers me but its not enough for me to diet to lose weight for long. It probably helps I'm alone and the fam i see on occasion like 2 x year doesn't say anything or they'd be cut off. I had a left knee replacement march 19, 19 at the only place I would, where i used to work. Dr. Alexander Sah here in Fremont is an outstanding surgeon with an outstanding bedside manner. Of course they always advise to lose weight before joint replacement surgery so recovery rehab may be easier but I went in bmi 37. Since I'm alone I got lucky that the skilled nursing and rehab facility across the street from Washington Hospital was a great clean non smelly place where I got OT and PT m-f which really helped me since motivating myself is non existent. It was painful and hard work but best decision now that my knee is stable and pain free.

  • tadover
    tadover Member Posts: 31

    Mavricksmon, You are definitely are not alone. I fall into this category also. I've always been overweight, as long as I can remember. I've tried different diets over the years and lost weight, but always gained it back eventually. And I remember my dismay when I walked into radiation treatments and there was a 20 something male tech that I was going to have to see every freaking day for 5 weeks! but before all of my treatments were done and over with I was over it, lol. I just thought to my self, they've seen every shape, size, color or whatever and at that point everybody else has seen my boobs, why not them too!

    On the weight loss front, I'm doing Keto. I've come to the conclusion that I just gain weight if I even look at a carb or sugar. I've lost about 30 pounds so far. It's coming off slow. but that's okay, as long as I'm losing. I'm going to try the intermittent fasting that someone mentioned above. I know that any weight I can lose should help my chances of no reoccurrence, especially when I come off the Femara next spring.


  • edj3
    edj3 Member Posts: 1,579

    Mavericksmom, I have cats and honestly they go where they want. I had a consult w/ my asthma & allergy specialist and his questionnaire asked where the cats slept. He laughed b/c I wrote "anywhere they want" but it's true.

    I also wanted to say I'm incensed on your behalf at how you were treated with the surgeon. That is beyond not acceptable.

  • Spoonie77
    Spoonie77 Member Posts: 532

    Tadover & MavericksMom - The only reason I'm even trying the intermittent fasting is because with all the trouble I'm having finding a endocrine treatment for me that doesn't disable me further, I'll add whatever I can into the mix at this point. With the evidence that simply by not eating for 12.5 hours or more (for me from 9pm till 11am) I can reduce my risk of recurrence, well count me in. My current risk is 28-35% and at 42 well that's a bit scary to say the least. Anyway,I hope I'll lose weight too. I've tried everything else short of bypass to lose weight, and since nothing works, this seems like a good next step. Maverick, I think this might have been one of those antedotal discoveries by researchers. You know, they were amassing all this info from a group of patients during follow-up and then a pattern emerges. IDK. Who knows right?

    NLeeRussell - Congrats on the weight loss. It's nice to read that someone has had some success with the IF strategy. I know I'll never be a person that can not eat for 2 days...smh...I love food WAYYYY to much. But I know I can handle just dragging out the time between supper and brunch/lunch. And I love what you point out's free! Big plus for me living on disability. Wishing you much success with your journey.

    Tadover - Congrats on Keto success! Seeing something, anything come off is a nice bit of motivation. Keep on going. :) I, like you, can't even look at a carb without it going straight to my hips. Ugggh. At least for me, since I live alone, I can choose not to bring it into the house and avoid binging on whatever it may be. I feel for others who have hubs/bfs/gfs/etc that have no dietary concerns. I've seen my mom struggle with this for years. Having to find something my Dad will eat but she can also eat too, without having to cook 2 different meals. It's a tough dance. Those that fight that on a daily basis & find success deserve a medal.

    Runurcrb - I agree with you about what happened with Maverick. Maverick, your experience with all men and you naked for PS surgery consult/planning is appalling. Even when I had my consults with my PSs, there was ALWAYS another woman in the room, and I either had a robe on even if it was open at the time, plus their scrub pants if needed. I'm soooo sorry you went through that experience. Not acceptable. I hope you've found a new team.

  • Artista964
    Artista964 Member Posts: 376

    My ps and bs are men. They have the best bedside manner and are caring. When looking at recon options, ps advised against the flaps saying I'm a higher risk for infection at my bmi. Very respectful. These 2 surgeons are my fav docs. So there are good ones out there. Hope you find kind respectful team.

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 961

    Let me clarify my experience of being naked with 4 men (my husband included) looking at my body. First, I wasn't completely naked, although I might as well have been as I stood with the front of my gown completely open, a full frontal view if that makes sense. The gown was just hanging on my shoulders, but all that was covered were my shoulders and my back.

    He went over the procedure with me while I was on the exam table which I was ok with. Then he had me stand up. First he looked at me and told me what he was going to do for the surgery, then he asked me if I would give my permission for the two medical school students to come in. So it was my own fault that I was in that position. I said yes because I felt like I was expected to say yes, for "student learning." It was one of those moments that I wasn't prepared for and never in a million years expected. I blurted out yes because I didn't know what else to do! When the two med school students came in and I was standing with a full front view, I was so nervous I remember saying "I hope you aren't traumatized by my body!" So, for me, it was extremely humiliating, but I know it was all "medical business" for my plastic surgeon. That said, I also feel, with almost 100% certainty, that the students went home and told their fellow students/friends about the fat woman they saw that day. If they didn't, I would be surprised! I could have prevented the students from seeing me, but I was too nervous or stupid to say NO when my doctor asked me. I actually feel shame admitting that I didn't say no!

    The day of my surgery, I was also in a gown, but it only covered my shoulders and I had to stand and hold it open so the PA could draw surgery marks from hip to hip and on my abdomen and breast for the surgery. He was completely professional, however there was no one else with us behind the curtains that divided the surgery patients. Again, I was humiliated. I assume this is how it is normally done for DIEP flap patients.

    I am so sorry if I wasn't clear about that.

    Rosabella, when I found out I had ILC and I saw my BS for the first time, I went to the appointment wanting a double mastectomy with no reconstruction. My breast surgeon refused to remove my healthy breast, he said it was the hospital policy. Then I said I didn't want reconstruction but he talked me into it for medical reasons like balance, which now doesn't sound like much of a reason but at the time made sense. He said an implant might be a good option and he was against flaps due to the time under anesthesia and my weight. He called the PS right then and 15 mins later the PS came and said the opposite of my BS. He pushed the DIEP flap due to previously radiated skin.

    I don't really know how it what the final results will be because I am still wearing bandages on my breast from my January surgery, due to healing issues from the radiation I had years ago.

  • Runrcrb
    Runrcrb Member Posts: 202

    mavericksmom, i do hope you enjoy your vacation. The family time sounds great. At the risk of overstepping, I will offer a bit of advice as you resolve to tackle your weight. Feel free to ignore me too. Rather than diet, try to make small changes that you can maintain. I gained 15 pounds during treatment that didn’t move. “Dieting” normally just makes me obsess about food. And my MO confirmed my suspicion that our post menopausal bodies want estrogen and fat supplies it - hence why it’s so much harder to budge the scale. So rather than eliminating all sweets (for example) choose wine or dessert rather than both. (I type this as I sit in my hotel room with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate!) Ask for no bread basket at a restaurant (or only eat bread in a restaurant). I’ve recently decided that my cookies are better than any others so I’m working on only eating mine. And since I live alone (husband died from his cancer) I have to have a really good reason to make any. I do my cardio exercise before work and recently joined a yoga studio that I go to 2-3 nights after work- so not being at home grazing from 6-9pm helps. Essentially, try small sustainable changes that you can incorporate; once habit, add something more

    All the best.

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 961

    Runrcrb, please don't ever feel you might have over stepped. I actually liked what you said and it makes sense to me. Even if I didn't feel your method was for me, it may be exactly what someone else needed to hear! I think everyone should feel free to share whatever they want to here. This is a group of awesome people who have BC and obesity and from the posts so far, there have been a lot of great ideas! I read about the fasting, found it interesting but it isn't what I want to do now, although I might want to try it in the future. Several others here have been fasting or feel it is something they want to do. That is the whole purpose, to share ideas and give each other support. Your post was great! Thank you for sharing! I do have to admit, I am a bit jealous, wine and chocolate sound sooo good right now. Enjoy!

    Again, the biggest thing that helped me today was knowing I am not alone dealing with BC and obesity. Thanks everyone!

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,924

    I was so happy last year because I was finally losing weight, I thought because I was eating much healthier than usual. I'd been hovering around 210 for a few years, which for me was good compared to previous years. Suddenly I was around 190 and losing. But it seems at least most of the credit went to my two cancers, especially the kidney one. I kept dropping until the kidney surgery; I was down to about 165 by then. I thought I looked great at the time, but looking back at photos, I was a pear-shaped sack of skin with a gut.

    Good health has really packed on the pounds, unfortunately, plus I quit smoking right before the nephrectomy. I'm up higher than where I started. And there have been a few things that made me not care, like a hinky PET scan for my kidney area and subsequent biopsy - that led to a month of stress eating. So here I am back as my large self, trying to find a method that will work for me.

  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,357

    My goal is 25 pounds so far it is going ok. It takes more effort on my part. My biggest problem is keeping track of the calories consumed and expended. I was gardening today sweating like crazy, have no idea how many calories burned. I think if you can burn atleast 250 calories aerobic that is what is generally recommended for good health. I don't really plan my day and I don't like thinking about it but I know that is why I gain weight.

    I would love to be 120 pounds again! I will treat myself to a neck and maybe facelift. My husband thinks I look good and he buys cake and cookies at the grocery store, he is probably 40 pounds overweight all in his stomach. He is ok with his weight says we are not 30 years old. But knees and joints would feel so much better if we were lighter. I love cookies but when I look at that stuff I think that's 2 hrs on the treadmill or more. Ugh, I used to eat anything and everything banana splits you name it. Now I have to worry about upset stomach and acid reflux if I eat anything like that even when I just eat a very small amount.

    I admit to watching my 600 pound life and wonder could that be me if I stop the gym? I can see how quickly things can go south. Now that I am retired there are days I don't feel like doing anything. I still don't have a routine.

  • Artista964
    Artista964 Member Posts: 376

    I watch 600 lb life and that at least keeps me where I'm at.

  • Kjchico
    Kjchico Member Posts: 21

    I can identify. Last year at this time, my BMI was 36.5 Now it is 24.9. I lost over 65 pounds. I hated my body and my whole way of life. I lived in baggy clothes that I thought covered my fat. I was miserable, Now that I lost all this weight, I may put some back on because of treatment for my BC. I know it sounds superficial, but I don’t want to gain weight again. Much love and luck to you.