Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

Just Call Me Stump

Multiple Choice Question The above image depicts the following: a. an elephant's skin b. rolls of dough c. Jen's legs from the cumulative effect of her chemo drugs Unfortunately the answer is "C". While I am happy to be able to "blame" my bloatedness on something other than indulging too much over the holiday season, it is extremely depressing and frustrating to be retaining this much water. My pants don't the end of the day, my legs are twice the size as they were in the morning. In fact, it is hard to differentiate the top of my legs from the bottom of my legs. I have taken to calling myself "stump". I have been experiencing a lot of odd side effects over the past few weeks (bloatedness, inability to sweat during workouts, dehydration, soreness of my arms and legs and rapid heart beats). The good news is that when I visited Dr. Maki this past week for my chemo appointment, he explained that this all made sense to him and he was not alarmed. Apparently, one of my drugs is known to cause weight gain and bloatedness over time. The drug makes you dehydrated and makes you retain a great deal of water. You have a hard time sweating it out because you are dehydrated but the more you drink, the more bloated you become! My rapid heart rate is just my body working harder to pump blood since my cells are so dehydrated. It looks like he will take me off this 2nd drug and just continue with the one chemo drug for the next few months. At first I was alarmed that we would be stopping the 2nd chemo drug. Although I am vain and being "heavy" really bothers me, I told him that I am willing to continue if he thinks it is in my best interest. What he explained is that, in fact, it is dangerous to continue once you get swollen because I could also be retaining water in my lungs. Most people last on this 2nd drug for 4-5 months and I have been able to make it to about 10 months. So, he feels fairly confident that I have made it pretty far. Unfortunately it make take 2-3 months for me to get rid of this swelling. I think I will wear a sign on my head that says "from chemo, not cookies" :) I told Dr. Maki 3 years ago when we started this journey that I would accept being BALD or FAT but not both :) Hopefully, in a few months, I will just go back to being bald again. Have a great week!