Saturday, February 20, 2016


Genetics are a mixed bag. You inherit some good things, and some not so good things. There are many traits I'm grateful to have inherited from my parents and grandparents. First of all, my musical talent. I can't take any credit for that. Nobody can. News flash: If you tell someone how talented they are, that's not a compliment. You may mean it that way, but it shouldn't be taken that way. I can't take credit for my musical talent any more than I can take credit for my curly hair or brown eyes. I was born with it.

Another trait I'm glad to have inherited from my ancestors is youthful appearance. People always seem surprised when they find out how old I am. Personally, I think Sharon and I look young for our age because we never had any kids, but both my sisters had kids, and they look younger than their real age too. So apparently we have our genetics to thank for that.

Of course, I also inherited prostate cancer. That runs in my family. It's nobody's fault. I'm not sick because of any poor lifestyle choice I made, nor any my father or grandfather made. It's just genetics. Aside from that hurdle, my family tends to live into their 90's.

But the trait I want to talk about today is one that many have been jealous of me for all my life. My whole family is naturally thin. I've always been skinny, though as we get older, the shape of our bodies changes, and we tend to gain a few pounds and inches around our waist. I was no exception, but never gained a whole lot of weight. In high school, my waist was around 27 or 28 inches, and my weight hovered around 125. As an adult, it settled around 130, with a 30 inch waist. In my 50's my weight got as high as 139, but I don't think I've ever hit 140.

I can hear you saying how lucky I am, and see you rolling your eyes. STOP IT. Yes, being thin has been a great advantage for me for most of my life, but now, not so much.

Unlike most people, it's always been very easy for me to lose weight, and very difficult to gain it. Once, in the 80's, I went on a four day fast to try to deepen my spiritual life. I lost 14 pounds in four days, and it took me 6 months to gain it back.

One trait I've always had that I've always been grateful for is that I seem to have an internal "governor" that prevents me from overindulging. I've heard many people talk about how they could eat a whole bag of chips in one sitting. There's absolutely no way I could do that. I get "maxed out" very easily, so I can't take too much of any one thing at a time. Which is great, because it forces moderation, and keeps me from gaining weight or becoming an addict. But now that tendency is becoming a problem.

Deanna Griffiths once jokingly asked Sharon if I eat. Sharon said, yes, I eat, but I stop when I'm full. Deanna was incredulous! What a concept! I eat when I'm hungry, and I stop when I'm full! But that's the way I've always been. I can't overeat. If I do, I feel miserable. All-you-can-eat buffets do me no good. I can't eat enough to get my money's worth.

I've said all of that to say this. I'm losing weight. I'm finding it difficult to finish meals. I don't seem to have as much of an appetite as I used to, even though I'm not on chemo. That's usually what makes people lose their appetite and get thin during cancer treatment. The only cause I can think of is the Lupron. It must be part of this numbness and general loss of sensation I've been feeling. I suppose it makes sense that the feeling of numbness in my abdomen that I've been experiencing would also curb my hunger pangs. There have been times lately when I didn't feel hungry until I actually heard my stomach growl.

Since this original post, I have learned that unexplained weight loss is a symptom of metastatic cancer. I still battle with this now, and probably always will.

So I've started weighing myself every day now, which I never used to do. The only times I used to weigh myself was if I needed to weigh a piece of luggage so I wouldn't get charged extra on a plane. Over the last couple of years, I've been back around 130. I think that's because I started standing at my desk instead of sitting a little over a year ago. If you wanna lose weight, being on your feet all day is a great way to do it.

A couple of weeks ago, I stepped on the scale, and I was down to 127. Haven't been there for a while, maybe my 20's. Yesterday I weighed 125. So I made sure to eat lots of pasta yesterday, and today I'm up to 126. I need to wear a belt to keep my 30 inch waist pants up. For me, this is a cause of concern. I don't wanna be Gaunt Cancer Guy. I don't have very far to go to get there, either. How far am I from gaunt? 15 pounds? 20? And like I say, I'm not even on chemo yet. If I ever am, I might waste away to nothing.

So I need to find a good weight gain supplement. Maybe a protein shake or something. I'd want something natural, not processed. Any ideas?

Please pray that I'll be able to keep my weight up, and that my appetite will be good.

Thanks again for checking in! God bless you!

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