Topic: For those of us with BMI over 35

Forum: Mental Health: Because Cancer Doesn't Just Affect Your Breasts — Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around anxiety, depression & other emotional effects.

Posted on: Jun 23, 2019 07:21AM

Posted on: Jun 23, 2019 07:21AM

mavericksmom wrote:

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.


Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 24, 2019 09:43PM meow13 wrote:

Hey 24.9 sounds really good to me. 65 pounds that is alot of weight!

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Jun 25, 2019 03:52AM mavericksmom wrote:

I agree, BMI of 24.9 and a 65 pound loss is amazing! Can you share your method for the weight loss? Right now I would be happy to have a BMI of 35 and a body weight that didn't have a “2" as the first number!

I use large clothes to hide my body. I've done that for years to hide my lymphedema too! I know the only person who thinks it works is me because at numerous doctor/therapist first visits I would say “I have lymphedema in my left arm," to which their answer was always, “yes I can see that!" I wear long sleeves all year unless I am at home with just my husband.

Today my exercise will be my favorite kind, running around after my darling 3 & 5 year old grandchildren!♥️

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 25, 2019 04:40AM Kjchico wrote:

I really don’t have a secret - I just log all my food, as I eat it, on “My Fitness Pal” - An IPhone or Android app. I eat 1200 calories a day and weigh myself weekly. I don’t exercise that much - maybe an hour a week. I still want to lose another 8 or so pounds, but don’t know if my treatments will prevent that. I’ve been yo-yo dieting for many years - up and down. I really hope I can maintain this.

Best of luck and love! 🌸🌸

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Jun 25, 2019 05:05AM spookiesmom wrote:

I can’t wear long sleeves year round, it’s too hot here for that. During our 3 weeks of winter I do. I wear shorts, and short sleeve tops. And sandals. I really don’t care.

What does bother me is being called sir. I keep my hair short, and it’s thin. Thanks chemo! So here comes this chunky woman with no boobs, short thin hair, hi sir! What can I help you with🤬🤬

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Jun 25, 2019 05:48AM missouricatlady wrote:

Runrbc - I'm sorry about your husband, and what you said helped me, cookies, bread and fries are my favorite foods! Wine or dessert, good way to think about it. Thank you.

KJchico - My Fitness Pal is a great website, thank you for that reminder, think I will go back and visit my account there today.

Spookiesmom - Your sense of humor is wonderful. My face aged 10 years with chemo, and I see it each day, if I bother to look in that mirror. I have that hair too. But we are beautiful, much more so, after all we've been through. I think you learn what is important in life having to go through this.

It is a new day, and new chance to achieve our goals. I went home last night and did not walk down the street as planned, I have another chance today. Hugs to everyone, Lisa

diagnosed at 55, DX 10/17/18 IDC Left IIB grade 3 0/2 nodes ER+PR-HER2+, 11/7/18 TCHP, 4/4/19 Left Lumpectomy, 4/29/19 anastrozole (name-brand at CVS with a GoodRX coupon), 6/3/19 Rads, HP done 1/8/20, complete response to neoadjuvant therapy Chemotherapy 7/11/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 4/28/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 25, 2019 07:49AM spookiesmom wrote:

Jimmy Buffett has a great line in one of his songs If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane. He’s right.

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Jun 25, 2019 08:12AM missouricatlady wrote:

Amen to that, sister!

diagnosed at 55, DX 10/17/18 IDC Left IIB grade 3 0/2 nodes ER+PR-HER2+, 11/7/18 TCHP, 4/4/19 Left Lumpectomy, 4/29/19 anastrozole (name-brand at CVS with a GoodRX coupon), 6/3/19 Rads, HP done 1/8/20, complete response to neoadjuvant therapy Chemotherapy 7/11/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 4/28/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 4, 2019 08:25AM castigame wrote:

Well I have been chunky all my life. I weigh about 190 which is pre BC DX weight. Yes chemo was great bc wo dieting I dropped to 162. I know I never be akinny. Right now I tried to walk 7 miles four times a week use stairs at work. Park my car farthest corner from the door at work. Thyroid, arimidex and two diff types of low dose SSRIs sure don't help. Yes and the hystrectomy. Lately I got into Ginger kick. Great benefits all around. The only side effect is being a blood thinner.

And Ginger is great appetite suppressant.


Mimi Dx 1/11/2017, IDC: Papillary/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/11/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes Surgery 2/14/2017 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Chemotherapy 3/20/2017 Radiation Therapy 7/30/2017 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 10/29/2017
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Jul 10, 2019 06:14AM mavericksmom wrote:

I'm back from vacation. Today I have an appointment with my lymphedema therapist. Dreading that, but I know it is what I should do.

Starting a more plant based diet today. I also want to start an exercise program, but that won't be for a while because I have too much to do and I am exhausted from vacation. I used to love road trips, but three days one way of long driving with high truck traffic is the pits!

Hoping my therapist says I can fly next time I visit my son and family!

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 22, 2019 05:48PM teddy88 wrote:

Hello! I am wondering whether anyone here struggles with emotional eating, and an increased BMI? For as long as I can recall, food has been a source of refuge and comfort. I would rather eat my feelings than let them out. This keeps me overweight, and multiple resources say that being overweight / obese can mean additional cancer. I have six month scans next week and am trying not to beat myself up thinking that additional cancers would be caused by my clinging to food as a life preserver and not losing weight. My fault. Would you mind offering some insights to keep me on a productive track to getting healthier, quit the blame game and picking up from here? Thank you for reading and much love and luck to all - Belle xx

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