09 June 2006

The Incredible Shrinking GH

My husband is a pretty big guy. He's about 5'10" and weighs in around 225. Or did. In the pre-cancer days.

Cancer in general and pancreatic cancer in particular tend to cause weight loss. This happens for a host of reasons. For starters, many cancer treatments make you lose your interest in food. You're either nauseous, fighting diarrhea, have gas, get pain from spicy food, or food just doesn't taste as good as it used to. GH has often reported that things "just taste funny." Some drugs cause food to taste metallic. In any case, chemo has a direct negative impact on many a patient's interest in eating.

Then there's the "wasting," or cachexia. Basically, the cancer changes your metabolism and you lose muscle and fat even though you're eating reasonably well. There are studies that show that fish oil supplements can help prevent/slow this syndrome. GH is a big consumer of fish oil, yum.

Until recently, GH had pretty much maintained his weight. With the recent diarrhea developments, he's starting to lose ground. He's down to about 200, a decent weight, but with his clothes starting to hang off of him he looks sickly in a way that hasn't been true before. And I feel like the wasting has set in. His arms and legs are shadows of their former selves. It's scary. And sad. In all this time, he's never really looked sick before, and now he does, although probably not to the casual observer. But I see the difference. And it makes me very, very nervous.

8 comments:

Badger said...

...sigh...

Much love to you, Snick.

Leggy said...

Damn blogger- I've been trying to comment for 3 days. Finally got to go back and post quicker comments than I intended, but at least its something.

It makes me angry that at a time that should be joyous for you, you are to tired, worn out, and emotionally exhausted from dealing with so much crap to be able to be excited. Your life right now is the very definition of bittersweet.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, it is so very hard to was someone you love so much go through pain.
God bless all of you. Cindy

KristinC said...

Oh sweetie, I can't imagine how you must feel. Trying to enjoy this miraculous pregnancy while taking care of your hubby too. You are one amazingly strong woman. I hope your husband is doing as well as can be other than the weight loss. God bless.

OTRgirl said...

Weight loss is a very freaky element of the cancer battle. I remember my Mom coming to greet me at the door once. She'd forgotten her wig and had a few wisps of hair on top of her bald head, her sleeves swung down along her emaciated arms as she held them up in excitement to see me and all I could think was, "My mother is an alien!"

I'm glad GH isn't at that point yet, but any weight loss is scary, I'm sure.

Sigh.

weigook saram said...

It must be so scary to see your husband losing weight. Hugs to you.

I remember when we first saw my husband's dad after her was diagnosed, it was really shocking to see how thin he was. I think that was when it really hit me.

Yankee T said...

AAAAW, Snick, I'm so, so sorry. Thinking of you, all four of you, with great love.

Menita said...

I am so sorry. I wish you didn't have to worry, that the two of you could just enjoy this time waiting for your babies.