Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer] Field notes from cancerland, further observations

Note the first.

A number of people in my immediate circle of family and friends have commented on how lousy my day was yesterday. (See the post immediately previously to this.) I have to say that minor procedural errors in the medical process don't even rise to the level of annoying any more. Bad days are the GI problems I was recently having, which have finally settled. Bad days are any day on the chemo pump. Bad days are the cognitive and emotional meltdowns brought on by a combination of chemobrain, stress, fear and guilt. Misplaced paperwork and dry hole pokes in the chest? That's just the cost of doing business.

Note the second.

Stories like this are all over the news cycle right now: Being Overweight Is Linked to Lower Risk of Mortality.

Speaking as a fat guy, I say 'hmmm'. I've weighed almost 300 pounds at one time in my life. My 'lazy' maintenance weight these days is 240, my 'work hard at it' maintenance weight is 225. Except for chemo, I don't seem to be able to get below 220 without radical diet and more exercise than I have time for — which in good health is up to an hour a day, with longer bursts of activity on the weekends.

At my current height (2" less than when I graduated high school), my ideal weight is 149 - 183 pounds, according to the charts. With my build, at 183 pounds I'd look like a skull on a stick, with surely a slight pot belly even then.

Yet my weight has allowed me to sustain drops of 20 pounds and more on chemo without seeing new medical problems from the weight loss. If I did weigh 183 pounds, the chemo weight loss, either in absolute or proportional terms, would be a serious health risk. I was slightly under 240 pounds when this series started, now I'm hovering just over 210 pounds. (Which, incidentally, is what I weighed when I graduated high school.) My lowest weight since childhood was 205 pounds around the end of chemo series two in December of 2011.

So fat? Yes. Not so socially acceptable, though so much more so for men than for women. (Don't even get me started on the genderism of weight.) Healthy in a large scale sense? No. Not unless I like the idea of eventually adding diabetes and hypertension to my list of medical hobbies. Keeping me alive and relatively healthy through the extreme weight loss of chemo? Hell yes.

Fat for the win?

Note the third.

I have been preoccupied with a combination of physical, emotional and mental stress since mid-December, thanks to chemo infusion number six, the Late Unplesantness, and the New Unpleasantness all happening back to back over a period of about 20 days. That has been a profoundly distracting series of events. This has led to a significant fall off in my blogging on topics other than my personal hell. At this point, assuming no new crisis emerges over the weekend, I expect to get back to blogging about publishing, politics and culture by the beginning of next week. Among other things, I have a quite a bit to say about guns that I need all my faculties in order to express with the appropriate combination of nuance and outrage. I am certain we are all relieved.

Tags: cancer, family, friends, health, healthcare, personal

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened