Monday, March 28, 2016

Still Not Zero.... Yet

I thought my weight had stabilized, but apparently not. For the past two days, my weight has been 120, and I really don't want to drop into the one-teens if I can avoid it. It seems I spoke a little too soon about my weight when I wrote my post Not Zero, only ten days ago.

Before I continue, I want to thank all of you for your kind responses to my Holy Week posts. If you don't share my beliefs, and these posts were not your cup of tea, thanks for bearing with me. I wear my heart on my sleeve these days, in case you hadn't noticed. That includes my faith. I can't help it. The same impulse that drives me to tell you how much I love you also drives me to tell you how much I love Jesus. I'm not trying to persuade you, I'm just excited about it.

I'm living on love, as I keep saying. But I guess I need more than that if I don't want to weigh zero.

When I had my appointment with the radiation oncologist on the 18th, they had me fill out a form noting any recent symptoms. Three of these were:

1. Unintentional weight loss of over two percent body weight in one month. Check.
2. Unintentional weight loss of over two percent body weight in six months. Double check.
3. Decreased weight in the last two weeks. Check yet again.

A few days after my appointment, I received something in the mail from them saying I "may be at increased risk for further health complications from compromised nutrition." They wanted me to see a nutritionist. But at the time, I thought I had my weight under control. So I ignored it.

Wednesday of last week, as you may remember, we had a blizzard here in Colorado. You may have seen the picture of my lilac bush that I posted on Facebook.

Don't worry, it seems to still be OK. If we don't get another hard freeze, I should still have lilacs this year. I lost them to frost the last two years. :-(

My wife stayed home from work that day, and we had a snow day. Since we didn't follow our normal routine, my eating routine was disrupted. I just ate when I felt like eating. I had a bowl of chili at about 2:30 PM, and just snacked after that, watching movies.

My wife's on a low carb diet now, so most days, we each cook for ourselves. There were no sit down meals that day. When I went to bed that night, I didn't feel hungry, even though I had not had a meal since mid-afternoon. I was tired, so I went straight to bed without eating. It was only when I was in bed, drifting off to sleep, that I felt my stomach growl. But I was not gonna get up to eat. I just went to sleep.

The next morning, I got up and attempted to work out on an empty stomach. Dumb idea. I got weak really fast. That's the first time I've had rubber legs that soon after I got up in the morning. I couldn't even clean up the kitchen before breakfast, which I always do. I had to sit down immediately and eat a bowl of cereal, just to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I think the combination of going to bed hungry and working out the next morning on an empty stomach set me back, and I haven't been able to gain ground since.

Since then, it's been a losing battle for me to get back up to 123-124, where I had pretty much stayed for months, with a few notable exceptions. I weighed 120 the morning after the Reunion concert on February 21st, but gained three pounds back easily over the next couple of days, just from rehydrating.

After Good Friday service last Friday night, for the first time, someone told me I look thin, and I need to gain weight. When people start noticing, it's time to pay attention.

So I started drinking protein shakes again for lunch. This past weekend, I ate normally on Friday and Saturday, adding the shakes to my diet. Sunday morning, I still weighed 120.

Yesterday, we had a huge Easter feast at the home of some good friends. It was an wonderful time, and we were very honored to be included in their family Easter. I stuffed myself like you wouldn't believe. I had seconds and dessert. I ate until I couldn't eat anymore. Once we got home, I managed to eat a cookie before bed after we got home, and could barely get it down my throat, I was so full.

This morning, I still weighed 120. So I decided it was time to make an appointment with the nutritionist. The appointment is this Wednesday afternoon. I wonder what she'll tell me I need to do.

One problem I've run into stems from the fact that I'm stuck on one level of our house for my dog until the end of this month, while she recovers from knee surgery. So there have been times when I've been up during the night recently, working on this blog because I can't sleep, and felt hungry, but had nothing to eat on this level, and nothing that was quick and easy. I'm not gonna cook for myself at 2:30 AM. So now I have some energy bars and microwave popcorn down here for situations like that.

I'm interested in hearing what the nutritionist says, but I wonder how much of it will work for me. I couldn't hardly gain weight when I was well. How can I gain pounds during cancer treatment? The things that have always made you gain weight have never worked for me. The only thing that seems to help is inactivity, but I need to exercise so I don't get so weak.

Again, please don't joke about how you wish you had my problem. I have very little right now in the way of filters, and you might get an angry response. I know you don't mean anything by it, but it's not funny.

As I said in my post, Bye Bye Winchell's, I'm not going to start eating badly in an effort to gain weight. I won't be filling our cabinets with junk food. I won't be eating drive-thru burgers and putting gravy on everything. That won't work for me. When I wrote that post, I weighed 124-125.

Since this process started, many have had advice for me on how to gain weight, but none of those people are naturally thin, like me. If eating lots of big meals would do it, I would have been heavy a long time ago. I've always had a high metabolism. How do you slow that down?

Hopefully this nutritionist will be able to help me. I enjoy hearing people say that I look good. Doesn't everybody? I may be a cancer patient, but I don't want to look like one.

But while I'm physically weak, I'm stronger spiritually than I've ever been before. The two may go hand in hand. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I can't work like I used to, but I can pray like nobody's business. If I have to choose between physical strength and spiritual strength, I'll take what I have right now. It seems like a good deal to me. God's power is being made perfect in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I know I don't need to ask you to pray. I feel your prayers and your love 24/7. I told Nicki Morgan last week that I feel like I'm resting on a bed of love. She laughed and called me a hippie. Guilty as charged. She can say whatever she wants to me. But that is how I feel. I know I won't fall, because I'll be caught safely by this bed of love that supports me, and it comes from all of you. You made this bed, and I'm lying in it. I'll never be able to thank you enough.


  1. I'm coming late to this conversation, but I believe in you, Mark. And in the Jesus who is carrying you. Power on!

  2. I'm coming late to this conversation, but I believe in you, Mark. And, in the Jesus that carries you. Power on!

    1. Thanks, Chuck! It's good to hear from you.

  3. Hey Mark....I have to say I have quite the opposite problem as far as metabolism is concerned.....mine is very slow and therefore I can tell you the items I have to stay away from that may be good for you! Peanut butter and banana sandwiches, frankly anything peanut butter....carbs of course are a given, bacon and eggs and sausage,Potatoes things like that that were considered "homestyle and hardy" I have to keep my diet Mediterainean (sp brain fog at the moment and cant spell!) Anyway....I would definitely recommend seeking a professional opinion at this point to help you with selection. I know it took me a professional to eat right for my type of metabolism. I will continue in prayer for you, and I loved the series. It was awesome!

    1. Interesting handle, Huckleberry! I eat all of those things, except I can't have bananas and stay regular.