Contributors

3 April - Weight gain

Had a shock when I stood on the bathroom scales this morning. My weight was more than 96 kilos! That's the heaviest I've even been. No wonder walking seems such an effort these days.

Before I started the cancer treatment my weight was around 88 kilos. Even that was a couple of kilos more than I'd really like it to be. But it has slowly increased over the ensuing months. "It's the steroids" says everyone, offering the hope that my weight (and other treatment side effects) will eventually get back to normal once the treatment is over. My oncologist has already said that we can start reducing the dose and eventually stop the dexamethazone. I'm half way there but success depends on not experiencing any headaches or other symptoms - if I do then I have to go back to 4mg a day.

I became concerned about my weight after looking at my feet and noticing that they were puffy and my ankles were swollen. Olga examined them and concluded that it is water retention. I did some Googling and "swollen ankles after chemotherapy" appeared to be a not uncommon search term. The consensus seemed to be that it is not something to worry too much about and that it will eventually clear up of its own accord. But one woman's oncologist had prescribed a diuretic. I wasn't keen on another trip to the doctor's surgery nor on taking yet another tablet so we have decided to try spilanthes - a herbal remedy that has diuretic properties which Olga already has in her medicine cabinet. We'll see how that goes.