A lovely balanced post Charys. Like you I admire Winnerwinner for her upbeat approach to her diagnosis and treatment and wish her well, AND I subscribe to the "Moderation in all things" philosophy, or "A little of what you fancy does you good," (sung suggestively in true music-hall fashion!)
Like many others on here i made some lifestyle changes after my diagnosis which i hope will ensure a long and healthy life, but there are no guarantees - all sorts of people get cancer, and recurrences, whether they are fat or thin; fit or couch potatoes; veggie, vegan or carnivore; tea-total or tipplers; so the key thing is for people to feel OK about how they are living their lives and not feel they did anything to cause it if they get cancer, or a recurrence, and for them to BE HAPPY as much as possible. x
Hi there winnerwinner and welcome to BCC forums,
I am very pleased for you that you have found many avenues in life which, after your cancer diagnosis, have made you feel great. Its fantastic that you are only a year after diagnosis and bouncing with health! There is no doubting that your yoga, weight monitoring and healthy diet are clearly doing you good. Your confidence is high, as is your positivity (which are always welcome here) and you are certainly taking control of some of the factors in life that can make you feel good in body and mind. However, although your intent is good, and you are sharing some helpful ideas, I feel I must take issue with a few concepts that come through in your post. Please don't misunderstand me, having fought against gaining weight and having had such success is great, but I also don't want other people here to feel guilt or concern that they can't adhere to the extreme regime you follow.
Sounds drastic. You ask, is it worth it? I think staying alive and cancer-free and healthy is worth it, ladies. You think that piece of chocolate is going to make you feel better, it won't. You think you deserve a "little treat" after the hardships that you went through, but ladies, precisely because of the hardships, we must treat out bodies better.
Everything in moderation is the saying, and that couldn't be more true after dealing with cancer. Diet, food intake, exercise are all important parts of feeling well, but taking worries about them too far is not healthy either. I don't know many people who could do yoga every day, people can't (and shouldn't have to) watch every single bite or deny themselves treats. That's not living, those could be seen as obsession driven actions. I also feel that you are giving the impression that these changes in your life are what will keep people cancer-free and alive, as if it was something they did before cancer which precipitated them getting it, by not looking after themselves. Many women feel guilt about, and analyse if it was something they did to cause breast cancer, and nobody should think or feel that way. Of course, we should all try to stay as healthy as we can, but also as we have been given or are currently being given (in active treatment) the gift of our futures back, we also need to live in a way that makes each of us happy. Also for many, personal limits of ability need to be borne in mind and family/work/life committements.
I suspect this reponse I've made might draw some controversial additional posts, but I can't walk past and let other women feel they are failing if they a) have breast cancer or b) have a recurrence and it might be their fault for not living a healthy enough life c) are finding it tough to keep their weight down.There are plenty of examples on this forum of women who are/were perfect BMI, exercised a lot, ate healthily and still had a diagnosis. If I want a glass of wine and some chocolate, I go for it, as I personally have no intention of denying myself nice things, because I don't think it will make difference to bc returning or not returning.
Please do stick around and please don't feel offended by what I've written, as I do genuinely feel pleased that you have found something that works for you, and feel so well. I appreciate that it was your aim to be encouraging and helpful. I just wanted to counteract your post with some other thoughts.
Yes! This is exactly what I wanted to hear Poobrains. Just picked up my prescription, hesitating taking it... I’ve put on 5/6 lbs since my diagnosis, I’m a size 10/12 currently and don’t want to put on more weight, which honestly would really get me down. Your post has given me hope that when I get back to exercising properly and not eating medicinal cake, I’ll be able to get back to my ideal weight and won’t feel all the hard work I’ll be putting in will be futile because of the tamoxifen - thanks!
Well, a few months in to the meetings for breast cancer survivors and a new eating regime which takes a lot to get your head around . It’s called The Keto diet . Everything we have been trying to do on healthy eating plans and this one goes the opposite. I can hardly believe that on this eating regime my husband and I have each lost a stone in weight and feel so much better. Basically it’s no carbs, no sugar ( or as little as you can manage)and full fat. Sounds horrific but it’s working. We only do it Monday - Friday as I love pasta but don’t miss potatoes or bread at all . Worth looking into . I was also taken off the Tamoxifen and back on letrozole . It’s certainly a journey . Good luck and good health to everyone for 2018 and beyond .🤗🏴
I agree. I too, gained some weight after diagnosis and through treatment, but I also could not exercise normally and well meaning friends brought me tons of carb laden deliciousness. I am now back to my normal routine and Cross Fit gym and have returned to my same basic build with my same old issues. Limiting carbs and sugar is the key for me. I did not have chemo and maybe that is possibly a factor. We all have different experiences, but I do think it's important to stay positive and know that you have the ability to make changes and feel better by eating better and moving. I hope this helps someone! Lol
Hi everybody , my oncologist has said it is definitely the Tamoxifen which makes some women ,especially post menopausal woman gain weight. My health board has now started a monthly meeting in the hospital for women like me and there will be a talk on what and what not to eat. It's all very well saying do exercise but some of us have suffered peripheral neuropathy due to the chemo. and can't do lots of exercise. I try with a few exercises but suffer a lot. If , like me , the chemo had ruined your taste buds then there are lots of foods you just can't taste or taste yucky. It's six years now since I was diagnosed . Partial mastectomy , six months , chemo and two months of radiotherapy. Five years on Letrozole and I've had one year of Tamoxifen . I hate the Tamoxifen and have taken myself off it for three months to see if there are any changes. I have weighed up the advantages /disadvantages and if I get some kind of life back without pain, flushes ,dry skin and the fear of cancer that Tamoxifen can start, it will be well worth trying this for a few months.
Its a journey we all go on with different side effects but I have never been so overweight in all my life. I don't eat an awful lot because of my taste buds so I'll keep you all posted on the meeting and how I am after three months.
I am also on Tamoxifen and yes, I put a bit of weight on following my breast cancer diagnosis (half a stone), but that's because I wallowed in my misery, as well as my mortality and ate like an ejit!
Two years on I've got my head round it all and I'm finally back to CrossFit (but unable to do some movements I was easily doing before my op). As ridiculous as this might sound, one thing I found out when I joined my new gym a couple of weeks ago, is that both Tamoxifen (Nolvadex), and Letrozole (Femara), are the most abused drugs in the body-building world - they are used for the same reasons we have to use them - to inhibit estrogen production, which enables the "hard" look you so often see in body-builders. I was both shocked and fascinated at the same time! Both female and male body-builders take it - and they dont get fat!
I was also "warned" that Taxoxifen would make me fat - but it hasn't - putting too much comfort into my mouth did! So, the advice I would give is embrace it, get into the gym and start lifting some weights - which will only do you a world of good anyway!
I too struggled with weight gain, I put on a stone and a half in just a few months. I joined Slimming World and I've lost a stone and a half in nine weeks. I've only got a few more pounds to go. Hopefully it stays off. I would definitely recommend SW. Good luck.
I have been on Tamoxifen since March 17. Weight gain has definitely been an issue. I seemed to be putting on a pound every week. I joined Slimming World in July and it's been the best thing I've done. So far I've lost a stone and a half, which has taken me about 9 weeks. I've only got five pound still to lose. Hopefully I'll manage to keep it off.
I was given
Tamoxifen for 5 years - I had nausea, hot flashes and I gained 30 pounds. It has been 1 year since I have not taken Tamoxifen & I am having so much difficulty loosing this weight... Help....
Hi, have been reading about weight gain posted here and have been on tamoxifen for a year after lumpectomy and radiotherapy. Have never been thin but watched my weight. Had lost 5 kilos before treatment and now 10 kilos more. Hate it as it is affecting my health and confidence. Have fibromyalgia with fatigue and some days do not function very well and am getting depressed with it all. Feel that I should be lucky given all those people who are fighting more than me but don't feel that. Glad to be able to talk about this with like minded people. X
Hello Ladies, I have been on Tamoxifen for 4 years and have put on 3+ stones. Previously was wearing tops at size 12 and bottoms size 10 and was active in exercises and took care of my calorie intake. My sizes went to 18 and 16. Also stopped exercising because of my joints were stiff / hurting and didn't have any mood to do anything as I was feeling tired most times plus with the low moods / anxiety were also not helping.
This year, my doctor sternly told me to try to lose some weight as my glucose and cholesterol levels were not healthy. On top of taking Tamoxifen, I have to take meds to lower the glucose & cholesterol.
So I started eating more healthier...... try to cut off carbs and eating half the normal portions. I start my day with rolled oats, lunch and dinner, mostly fish and veg, sometimes, once a week, chicken or meat. One thing, I totally cut out was juicing .... used to do juicing of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis and my doctor advised me to instead eat my vegs and fruits.
Also, started taking daily walks and just started on yoga. Till date, have lost about 1 half stones and it does feel a lot better. Hopefully I could lose the rest......
Wishing everyone good luck in weight control. Best wishes xxx
I had my yearly visit to my consultant and she said it's the Tamoxifen which puts on weight plus makes the flushes worse. My hospital is starting to invite women like myself who have reached five years ,on Tamoxifen to a talk on what we should be eating as we need to change diets. Going on a diet doesn't work nor does excessive exercise. I told her I've started doing the plank and she said that's the best exercise to do. I can't do much exercise as I have neuropathy in my feet due to chemo and my taste buds are totally wonky.
As you say we are still here and that's the main thing .
I've just been to see my consultant for the yearly check up and now await the mammogram . I am 6 years post diagnosis and have been on Tamoxifen for 9 months . The flushes are awful as is the weight gain. The consultant said that it's the Tamoxifen that is causing this and they have done a study of women , like me who are past the five year mark and nearly every one has weight issues . They are now starting at my hospital a meeting for us to talk to a nutritionist / dietician as our diet needs to change. I await this invititation with hope that they will give me something positive to work on. I also do the plank every day and although I am still a beginner I'm determined to keep going. Nothing can be done for the flushes until I finish on the Tamoxifen in 2021. It's a journey I get fed up with but rather this than the alternative . My friend is finished with the hospital having reached five years but my health board are saying ten years now .
I feel so sorry for you ,it must be really hard with 7 children to care for. I'm 63 but life has changed so much . The nerve damage I have is in my feet which the chemo caused despite the oncologist disagreeing but once I had shown him my research he agreed . I didn't have many side effects with the Letrozole but I wouldn't have stopped taking it as I felt it was a back up . In my area it's now 10 years before completely finished which is why I was put on Tamoxifen . I'll give it a four month trial just to see if it is the drug causing the weight gain. Fed up with it. I know how you feel about how you look too but you have to keep telling yourself that you are still here and it's better than the alternative. I'm sure your husband feels the same , talk to him and I bet he is just glad to still have you .
Thankyou Poppy3, I'm still going to give myself time off from the Tamoxifen just to see if it's the drug. I have never been overweight , could eat anything and everything until cancer came calling. I've had five years of Letrozole so hopefully having a break won't harm me. Fingers crossed .
I was diagnosed in April 2011, two lumpectomies, 6 rounds of chemo , 19 of radiotherapy. I was on Letrozole for five years and had no problems then last October it was changed to Tamoxifen . Since then I have gained 2stones and the hot flushes are awful plus I think there is an odour from my skin although my husband and daughter can't smell anything untoward. I have decided to stop the Tamoxifen for a trial period as I just can't go on like this and I don't eat a great deal. When I had finished the chemo my taste buds didn't come back and everything tasted awful , I was given food in drink form which kept me alive. The chemo also killed the nerve endings in my feet and left with peripheral neuropathy . These two things my oncologist wouldn't agree that the chemo had done until after I did my own research and he then agreed . So , if I was to ask him about weight gain and Tamoxifen I doubt if he would agree so that is why I'm going to have a trial for a month just to see. Anybody out there have the same problem ? My taste buds have come back , took four years and some food still tastes yucky. What I would give for toast and marmalade 😉 Still here which is the main thing .
Hi. I have been taking tamoxifen for nearly 3 years. During that time my weight gradually crept up almost without me realising it. I blamed the tablets as I know one of the side effects is weight gain. I got to the point where I felt chunky and knew I had to try something. I joined weight watchers to see if it would help. I did go with an open mind and was convinced i was wasting my time. The first 3 weeks I lost nothing, even though I had stuck to the suggested menus. I wanted to cry. But I kept going (not sure how!) Very slowly I started to lose a couple of Ibs every week. Over 9 months months I lost two half stone. Before I also suffered with fatigue. What I have noticed since changing my diet I have a lot more energy and I am not suffering with it as much as before which is a bonus! Hope this helps? Xx
My weight has remained stable since starting tamoxifen, but I did make a conscious effort to increase my activity levels, as well as watching what I ate, but not dieting.
Unlike you, however, I did not have the additional issue of recovering from chemo, so could pretty much carry on as normal.
As far as the reason for weight gain, this does tend to happen with the menopause anyway & hormone treatment throws us into it if we're not already going through it. I know now that I cannot get away with eating as much as I may have done when younger.
Riverside what wonderful news! You must feel amazing & very encouraging for those of us still on it. Thanks for posting & stay healthy xx