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Joined: Jan 2015
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OP Offline
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 15
Hello All,

My head and neck surgeon Doctor told me that no matter how much food I consume following Radiations, I will not be able to gain fat for up to 1 year post-treatment. So far his statement is true, as the last 3 months I've been stuck at 132.7. I finished Rads 11-4-14, Peg tube placed on 10-21-14 and taken out 1-9-15. I've been eating 3 meals by mouth since mid December and I can't pack on a single pound. I know I must be eating little snacks in between my meals but I don't feel like this will make me put on weight

So if this problem persists, I'm wondering if anyone on this forum has gained muscle mass in the year following Radiation Treatments. I started lifting weights 3 days ago and I'm very curious to know if I can develop a solid build of muscle without the help of gaining Fat (unfortunately since I'm so skinny.)

My previous weight pre-cancer was 152 at 5'8, with only 8% body fat and about 45 lbs of muscle. Please let me know your experiences with weight gaining if you've went through Radiation. Thank you very much!
Brandon


Male, 23 year old�Dx 6/17/14 with SCC R Lateral tongue
CT scan clear lymph nodes 6/20/14
HPV-, form-smoker, casual drinker
Right Hemiglossectomy Surgery 6/24/14
(Not reccurrence but went to NCCC instead)
Right neck diss., trach, radial free flap, right tongue diss. surg 8/11/14
PT1N2B..3 positive lymph nodes out of 13
Extranodal extension present
9-15-14 IMRT (35x) and Cisplatin (2x) begun
10-21-14 peg in. 11-4-14 IMRT rx comp. 1-9-15 peg out
3-27-15 Recurrent tumor in lymph node, Left neck diss.
10-29-15 passed away
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Brandon you still have a long way to go with your recovery. It takes 2 full years for a patient to completely recover from what you have been thru. For at least the first year post rads, push the calories. Right now taking in 4000 a day isnt too much, nor is 5000. I know it sounds like an astronomical amount, but its not. If you are working out during your recovery phase you need to account for those lost calories by pushing even more daily. Adding protein will help rebuild your muscles.

The YMCA has a free program for cancer survivors thru Livestrong. There might be some experts there who could help you develop a routine to help build muscle mass. I know some forum members are really good at this type of thing, hopefully Uptown will reply soon. He works out and is very knowledgeable. I think he told me some days he takes in 6000 or 7000 calories and still cant gain weight. His situation is different (just like everyone's) he has been thru the war many times and somehow survived.

Good luck smile



Christine
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07
-65 lbs in 2 mo, no caregvr
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo xtended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line IV antibx 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3x in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 33
CWB Offline
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Posts: 33
Brandon,

It has been one year Jan 8th for me and within the last month I have started gaining. For the last 10 years I have been close to 200 lbs even when running half marathons. I dropped down to 180 and started freaking out. I felt weak with the weight loss and started lifting weights. Nothing worked until recently and all of a sudden I gained ten pounds. I don't think it was anything that I did. I believe it just took time.


Curt

Age 43, nonsmoking, social drinker
Left tonsil cancer
SCC HPV+16
Stage IV
tonsillectomy, robotic radical tonsillectomy and neck dissection
4 of the nodes removed had cancer. 2 had extra capsular spread.
3x cisplatin 33x rad 11/18/13
Completed treatment 01/08/14


Joined: Jan 2015
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Posts: 15
Yeah it seems like the 1 year non-weight gaining was a correct theory in your case CWB, I'm still going to continue lifting weights. I know it's going to be more difficult to gain muscle mass because of radiation, but I'm going to push my hardest to build a stronger frame. And my lifetime membership is $77 a month. Being a normally active unemployed 22 year old, I'm going to make full use out of the gym almost everyday (lifting, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, shower.)

And thank you ChristineB, I'm going intake as many calories as I can from here on out and keep everyone updated on any weight or muscle gains!


Male, 23 year old�Dx 6/17/14 with SCC R Lateral tongue
CT scan clear lymph nodes 6/20/14
HPV-, form-smoker, casual drinker
Right Hemiglossectomy Surgery 6/24/14
(Not reccurrence but went to NCCC instead)
Right neck diss., trach, radial free flap, right tongue diss. surg 8/11/14
PT1N2B..3 positive lymph nodes out of 13
Extranodal extension present
9-15-14 IMRT (35x) and Cisplatin (2x) begun
10-21-14 peg in. 11-4-14 IMRT rx comp. 1-9-15 peg out
3-27-15 Recurrent tumor in lymph node, Left neck diss.
10-29-15 passed away
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Posts: 4,841
Likes: 23
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Please have testosterone levels checked. I've talked about this here before, but that hormone could be trashed from scatter radiation to the master and commander gland the pituitary. Low T means it makes it even harder to put on muscle mass. Your milage may vary, as they say. but the test is simple and the solution does work for many


Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 134
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I handled treatment pretty well and wasn't gaining weight at the 3 month mark either. If you were to make a pie chart of how your calories are being used almost the entire pie would be "repair". Weight is gained (in simple terms) by taking in more calories than you use. Even 3 months out that is a tough equation. My weight gain started right after I returned to the gym. My first visit back was horrible as I had lost a great deal of muscle mass and had no energy at all. I might not have ever gone back but my wife pretty much made me go 3 times that week. I gained 4 pounds. It's almost as if my body needed some sort of signal that things were returning somewhat to normal. My pie chart was still mostly "repair" with an ever increasing slice called "building muscle".

The best advice I can give you is to become active. Please do not compare active now to what active was before treatment. Just do what you can, especially when you don't feel like it. It will start positive momentum that can carry you through. I am actually a better runner now than before treatment because of the discipline I was forced to learn during my fight.

Godspeed!


Dx March 2011 via FNA (49 yrs old)
SCC BoT
HPV+ exact strain unknown
Stage IVa T3N2cM0
Cisplatin x 3, IMRT x 40 (7267 cGy)
One node removed post-treatment (rad dmg)
Clean PET 10/28/11
Swallow therapy
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 134
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Posts: 134
Just read the original post (should have read it first). I was lifting heavy (for me at least) before Dx and weighed about 210. No PEG during Tx and ended up losing 40 lbs before turning the tide. Not sure exactly when I started lifting again. I am 3 years out now and work out 3+ times a week. I am no where near where I used to be max-wise and really don't care. I am leaner and more defined than ever at 53 yrs. Gained ALL the weight back and decided I felt best around 185 so I dropped 15 and have been here 5 months or so.


Dx March 2011 via FNA (49 yrs old)
SCC BoT
HPV+ exact strain unknown
Stage IVa T3N2cM0
Cisplatin x 3, IMRT x 40 (7267 cGy)
One node removed post-treatment (rad dmg)
Clean PET 10/28/11
Swallow therapy
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 23
MAK Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 23
My husband is 2 months post treatment and still losing. In fact he has lost more now than either after surgery and radiation. He's 6'5" and is typically 200 lbs, now he's 170. We just got Scandishake to help add calories. 580 calories in each packet when you add it to 8 oz of whole milk. He likes the taste and it's easier to do 3 of those that 6 ensures. I bought them online through Amazon. Im hoping this works! Good luck to you.


Maura
Working caregiver of husband Don ,56yrs, non smoker, casual drinker
6/14 DX squamous cell carcinoma on base of tongue, HPV positive
8/28 Radical neck dissection w/ removal of 31 lymph nodes and partial pharyngectomy T2 w/ MET to lymph node
8/30 emergency surgery to cauterize bleeders in throat
10/1 Began 1st of 30 tomotherapy
11/14 end of radiation
Joined: Jun 2007
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MAK, try getting a 4th Scandishake into your husband every day. If you are really lucky 5 would be even better. I know how difficult it is to eat when you arent hungry and are in the recovery phase. But every single day your husband should be taking in at least 2500 calories and 48-64 oz of water. Taking in 3000, 3500 or even 5000 calories daily during recovery isnt too much. His body has been thru the war, when showing a weight loss that means he isnt taking in enough and recovery is even harder. He should continue this high an intake at the least until he hits the first year post rads. Adding some high protein whey powder helps speed healing also.


Christine
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07
-65 lbs in 2 mo, no caregvr
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo xtended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line IV antibx 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3x in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,606
Likes: 1
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)
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Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,606
Likes: 1
I weigh 145-150, have been consuming about 4,000 calories a day for over 2 years and am biking 30 miles 3 times a week and lifting total weight of around 100,000 lbs a session after biking. Read up on the theracycle therapy. Without biking, I cannot lift much weight. There is no one thing affected and no magic bullet. It is beyond normal analysis and reasoning and no medical doctor has yet to understand or comprehend what is going on. It is common for me to lose 4-6 lbs over night. I went through this during treatment and it lasted almost a full year, got back from 137 to 220 for 4 years, down to 115 year 9, back to 145 year 11.

I have had almost a dozen medical doctors spent countless hours on this, including hematologists, neurologists, neuromuscular specialists, endocrinologists, hospitalists, even doctors specialized in the After Care Experience that track only cancer survivors.


SCC Stage IV
BOT primary
T2N2bM0
Cisplatin/5FU x 3
40 days radiation at 4 sites
Diagnosis 07/21/03 tx completed 10/08/03
Post Radiation Lower Motor Neuron Syndrome 3/08.
Cervical Spinal Stenosis 01/11
Cervical Myelitis 09/12
Thoracic Paraplegia 10/12
Dysautonomia 11/12
Hospice care 09/12-01/13.
PLS 02/13
COPD 01/14
Intermittent CHF 6/15
Feeding tube NPO 03/16
VFI 12/2016
ORN 12/
Osteoporosis 01/2018
Heart attack 06_2018

Living life LARGE with no quit in this guy!
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