Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Did you make a resolution this year?

Do you want to lose weight?

Did you clean out your fridge, throw away the cookies and cupcakes, stock up on vegetables, buy yourself a juicer? Did you get a motivational diet book or three?  Are you planning on joining a gym or taking healthy, invigorating walks around the neighborhood?  Have you recruited folks at work to help you? "Please don't let me near the candy jar!" "Want to walk with me at lunch?"

Did you order exercise equipment off Amazon?

Millions of people have the goal of losing weight for the New Year.  Millions have done all the things I wrote about above. You are not alone.

I am.

I'll bet you wish you had my New Year's Resolution.

Don't hate me but......

I have to gain ten pounds.

According to my oncologist, I weighed 105 in mid-November.  Thin, yes, but I like myself at 100.  Like all women, when we do go over our ideal weight, it goes to places we don't want it to go - for me, it's the belly and thin as I was, I had a muffin-top.  If it would go in my arms, legs, butt, calves, then I would be happy.  But any pound over 100 only goes into my belly, so I have chicken legs and a roll overflowing my jeans.  Anything over 100 and I resemble a spider.

I know, I know,  I get no sympathy.

I weigh 90 pounds now, after C-Diff got me.  No muffin top.  Maybe a bit of sympathy now?  15 pounds is a huge percentage of my total weight.

Yesterday, I was feeling better enough so I could actually leave the house. The major stabbing pain in my colon is slowly dissipating, and I'm left with vague belly aches.  It's time to go somewhere, anywhere but a doctor's office.

Leaving home presents its own problems - like what to wear?  I was skinny before I lost 15 pounds, and now that I look like a Holocaust victim, getting dressed is hard. Nothing fits.

Should I buy a few things to tide me over?  Who weighs 90 pounds?  11 year old girls, that's who.  So no, I can't shop unless I want to wear jeans with rainbows on them and shirts with kittens.  Kitten shirts may be darling on an 11 year old, and possibly an irony-filled 20 year old with a rockin' spiky pitch black hairstyle with a streak of red -  but they are not so attractive on a 53 year old grey-haired suburbanite.

My coccyx now sticks out farther than my buttocks does, which is very unsightly.  Come on, even if you are anorexic you have to think that's going too far.  On the plus side, I don't have to make that pursed face to add blush to my cheekbones anymore.

The frozen shoulder and chest and abdominal surgeries have left me with a forward pull to my upper body - a faux hunchback, if you will.  Finding clothes, especially pants, that fit and don't make me look a very sick cancer patient with too-big clothes hanging off her- it's not that easy these days.  My jeans sag, my leggings look weird, the flowy tunics show my "hump" and a shirt with a collar requires jeans that don't sag........sigh......

Having zero body fat, aside from causing worry about bed sores, makes sitting hard.  I have no cushion and I can feel my butt bones digging into chairs.  Even padded ones.

So, I bought one of these:
This is a "Booty Pop" Butt Enhancer

You know, just for the interim, when I gain what little ass I had back.  Trust me, I'm long past the point of worrying about fake enhancers in clothing.

But, you know what?  It doesn't fit.  The smallest size is way too big.  You see that ruched part that is supposed to go where your butt crack goes?  Well, in me the parts next to it are inches long and the padding starts in the middle of my butt check.    It doesn't pop my booty at all.  It may pop my hips a little but that wasn't what I was going for, because that makes my butt look even flatter.   It makes me look like I stuffed uneven socks in my butt that slid over to the sides, and it adds no padding when I sit.

With the unevenness that is going on in my shirt, it may be a match, but it does not add to the Ann "for her age" Hotness Factor, which was about a 6 before cancer and has hovered around a 3 since then (which is only in clothes, and is if I try real hard and put on makeup and do my hair and make my boobs look even).  Now, post c-diff, I'm worried I'm going to be in the negative numbers, and I don't want to get to the point where little children think I'm the witch of the neighborhood.

In this neighborhood, where at 53 I'm one of the youngest homeowners,  that would be quite an accomplishment.

Anyway, I'm disappointed that my fake booty won't pop and that I don't have comfortable padding to sit down in.  I'm going to have to start carrying one of those stadium pillows with me everywhere - you know, the kind old ladies carry around when they go see the 49ers?

I hate football but it was this or kittens

My last hope is that heroin chic comes back in style, and the fashion includes a port, too.  (Why didn't junkies ever think of getting a port put in?  Wouldn't that make their lives much easier?  If they can scam drugs from doctors, they should be able to scam central lines too, don't you think?)

As of two days ago,  I am able to eat almost a normal diet so in theory I should be able to gain weight back.  I tested half a grilled cheese sandwich made with a processed cheese food-like substance with no negative consequences, so  I am definitely on the road to recovery. The bad news:  Too much anything leaves me queasy, even grilled chicken and rice.  My stomach does not want to be full, or it doesn't know what to do with it - it's quite confused about this digestion thing.  It thinks the colon is just a tube with no job, and I have to remind it that it has a function.  Currently, there isn't a lot of digestion going on, it just seems to speed through me and knocks on the door at the other end when it's ready.  And, like with your best friend, sometimes the knocking comes at inconvenient times.

I don't want to fire it though, we just need to retrain it.

Despite all these complications, it's time to work on my New Year's Resolution.  I don't want my oncologist to have sleepless nights over the possibility of my bedsores, so I've got to get my fat on.

Courageously, despite my clothing difficulties, I left the house and hit See's Candy.  I bought myself a pound of Nuts and Chews.  I've heard many people say they eat candy and might as well apply it directly to their hips - sounds like a plan.  Hips, here comes a pound. (Is that a pound of candy or is the box and paper wrappings included?)

I'm not new to See's Candy.  Normally, I like a little See's around for my chocolate craving and my husband is very good at providing it to me.  But, I'm very disciplined about it - I eat one piece a day.  I have willpower like that. (Actually, it's just lack of a sweet tooth; that's all the sugar I need.  Put me in front of salt - pickles, olives, sunflower seeds - and you won't see any kind of willpower because I don't really have any.)

Yesterday, in the interests of gaining weight, I ate four pieces of candy, which is about 280 calories.  Then my husband came home with a box for me, this time cremes, so I had to try one of his. 360 k-cals.

I'm on my way.

I aim to be one of those ladies who sits on the couch and watches TV and eats Bon Bons. I like Tabatha's Salon Takeover for my bon bon eating.  I totally want to do my hair like Tabatha and dress all in black; she's so chic.  (I'm already good at telling people what to do.)  Tabatha goes great with chocolate.

I broke the rules and at at midnight last night, I ate.  I got a Fage yogurt, which is more like dessert than yogurt, and that meant 140 more calories in.

Breakfast, I had a Butter Horn, 220 calories.

I'm kind of stuck though. I haven't been eating lunch.   I can eat a Progresso soup but they don't have much in the way of calories in them.  I can make another processed cheese food sandwich, but I do have cancer, I don't want to live on chemicals.  Not totally anyway.

What's in the fridge?  I have some oranges.  Some pears.  Yogurt.  Sauerkraut.  Celery.  Carrots.  Kefir.  Creme Cheese.  Eggs.

In the cabinets it's all canned things, like soups and beans and broth and pasta.

I'm not really that hungry anyway.

What do people eat to gain weight?  What do they do when they aren't hungry but know they should eat?

It's not like I can go to a fancy restaurant every day, I don't have time or money.  Just the thought of fast food makes my colon twist and I've had enough colon twisting to last two lifetimes.

Can you gain weight on four pieces of See's Candy and a yogurt a day?

This weight gaining thing is harder than I thought.

People tell me to try ice cream, but c-diff can make you lactose intolerant.  They said not to eat dairy but now that I'm handling other things I think I can try ice cream.  Except, it's 55 degrees outside and I'm cold.  I have some coffee heath bar crunch in the freezer though, I may have to break it out.

I think I'll just have some tea and an orange.  Don't hate me, ladies.  If I could take your ten pounds, I gladly would.

My REAL resolution is to scrapbook my photos.  My oldest is 25 years old and all photos taken since he was born and his little brother were born are in a variety of cardboard boxes in closets all over the house.  Then I got a digital camera and now they are on computers all over the house.  That resolution will take some work.  But, if c-diff taught me one thing, it's that I can die without warning, so I want to get those photos into books, even if the books aren't up to my artistic standards.  My scrapbooking standards are very high, and a page can cost me 2 hours and $200.00 so I really have to lower my standards and "get 'er done."

Sigh.  I think I'll go have a piece of See's.


  1. You are wonderful woman with great sense of humor. Wish you get better in no time. We always miss your posts.

  2. Ann,

    I remember when a very thin friend started attending the Citadel military college here. He was required to gain substantial weight so every night and every morning he had to eat a peanut butter sandwich (with or without jelly or honey) after his regular meal. Don't know if it would help but it's a thought.


  3. Where have you been shopping for eleven year olds? Not in the same place I shop for mine. I would love cute kitties and rainbows instead of shorts with 'booty' written across them. We tend to stick to generic stuff.

    I've been fattening up my father who had 4 months in ICU due to bowel issues after surgery in 2011. We use things like salami, bread, butter and chocolate shortbread biscuits. Banana bread has also been a big hit with mr fussy and he will have a piece a day. At 500 calories it's helping to fill out his cheeks again. I hide the wrapping. He has always been weight conscious and would not eat it if he saw how much energy it had. Petra xxx

  4. Peanut butter, avocado, bread with olive oil...any of those healthy fats that are delicious and have the added benefit of being good for you? If all else fails, I like Petra's suggestions! :) Butter = Heaven.

    Ann, feel better! I hope the New Year brings you lots of good things.

  5. It might not work because of lactose, but when one of my sister's kids had to gain weight, she was instructed to add cream to foods. I also know from backpacking that nuts are about the highest calories per weight and bulk that you can get. You could try a peanut butter sandwich instead of the processed cheese. Trader Joes has cashew butter and almond butter if you prefer.

    When a family member couldn't eat due to colitis and was too dangerously thin to get the surgery she needed, they gave her some kind of IV nutrition for some weeks. Perhaps a last resort but something you could ask your doctor about.

    I hope your digestive track gets things figured out soon. I had what my doctor called "fast transit" for a while - as little as a half hour between eating food and elimination so I know that's not fun at all.

    Love your writing.

  6. Hi Ann - well, you actually mentioned something you should eat:

    "Put me in front of salt - pickles, olives, sunflower seeds - and you won't see any kind of willpower because I don't really have any."

    So, get yourself all kinds of olives... and sunflower seeds. Do you like nut butters? With a dash of salt? Spread that on a thin cracker or slice of bread... Olives and seeds and nuts are nutrient and calorie dense... Pickles are great just because they are great and should be eaten whenever desired....

    Just a thought.

    Another thought. Do you like bread with olive oil plus a dash of salt and pepper (maybe no pepper right now)?

    Anytime you have some food that could be drizzled with some olive oil... or another yummy oil - DO IT!

    When I first started my chemo regimen, I really really struggle with weight. I'm managing to maintain right now. But, it's not very easy. I'm not nearly as thin as you are right now... but I know this struggle.

    So - try this mantra: nutrient and calorie dense foods that make me happy plus anything else I feel like eating (like an orange).

    As for clothes... I actually went to the thrift store and bought a handful of things ... I don't mind my clothes fitting this way... but sometimes I like to wear things that actually fit. Again, I'm not as small as you... but hte size 0 and size 2 racks might have some things for you....

    HUGS!!!! Great to see you posting.... You're amazing and funny, and I sincerely thank you for sharing your story....

  7. Have you tried ensure? Like the milkshake drink? They are very yummy, come in several flavors (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry), aren't necessarily filled with lactose and are given to people to gain weight who don't eat a lot. They are nutritionally dense and have a lot of protein. You can get them at the grocery store or drug store. Good luck!

  8. Nuts are very high in calories, and so yummy. Get some salted nuts. For peanut butter and the like, if you wanna go the healthier, more natural route without all the chemicals and such, get it made fresh at Whole Foods. Then just slather it on some bread.

    Also try coconut oil. So very healthy (research it; it's in a unique class of "good fats" that's metabolized differently than even olive oil and avocados) and deep fry veggies in it, like sweet potatoes or make any other type of tempura with it. I also put a few teaspoons of it in my tea, daily. Adds a light hint of coconut. And then there's always good ole creamy pasta (with or without cheese)!

    I weight 90 lbs. How tall are you? American eagle outfitters has some nice, simple jeans in 00 (short, regular, tall) that fit great on my frame, and they aren't pricey at all.

    Good luck Ann, always thinking about you!


  9. Ann,

    My daughter has the same problem! She had the flu last month and lost 15 pounds also. She eats pasta to put weight on. Really any kind of carbs would work.

    She also gets her clothes at Old Navy. They have size "0" and "00". Depending on how tall you are you might try chinatown too...

    Wishing you well this year!

    Dianne Duffy

  10. Have been reading your blog for awhile and I'm so glad you're feeling well enough to talk about things like clothes! I think you would look really cute in a jumper or A-line dress with tights (they're very 'in' right now).

    Can you talk to a dietician about how to eat after C-diff? I would think high protein and high calorie would be the way to go but you'd have to careful to avoid things that would irritate your already traumatized colon (hence the dietician, or maybe your gastroenterologist could advise you?) If you decide to go the Ensure route, you can make your own shakes to circumvent the additives/artificially engineered stuff those products are made of.

    Good luck and add me to those who are pulling hard for you!

  11. O how I wish I needed to gain weight! I have the other problem. During chemo I gained sixty pounds I guess from steroids and I had a huge tummy. I starve myself and workout at curves everyday and have only been able to lose 10 pounds in three months. It just won't budge. If only there was a way to give you some I surly would share. :) If I needed to gain weight I would eat banana splits! Banana, ice cream, choc, whip cream, nuts and don't forget the cherry!

  12. My kids photos and school papers are in boxes next to my bed...and every day I think..."I need to do THIS" ...just in case......I definitely can relate....There are so many things that will never get done - all at one time. As far as eating,,,,,,EAT MEAT, Cheese, butter, vegetables, healthy things (I know I know ...I hate salad too)
    Want you to know that I don't want you to ever
    Give Up. Keep up the good work. As I said before, "I wish I was your next door neighbor".
    K in Oregon

  13. Have you considered drinking whey protein?? It's the powdered drink mix that body builders and hard core gym rats drink to help them put on muscle. Drinking that and not working out, in addition to the things mentioned in the above comments, should help you put on weight in no time!!

  14. MetRx was developed originally for post surgery and cancer patients before being marketed to body builders. It is good made with whole milk, coconut milk, etc with berries or a santana. It gets thick like a milk shake in the blender. It is good ingredients unlike Boost and that ilk. It is at GNC among other places. It works but don't get the chocolate, only the vanilla. You can add chocolate to the vanilla and a scoop of ice cream if you crave it. I second the coconut oil. It has something like 120 kcal in a teaspoon.

  15. I am glad to see you are doing better. I have lots of sympathy for you - being underweight can be just as unhealthy as being overweight. Have you considered talking to a nutritionist who can help you gain weight in the right ways and work around your digestive issues? What about some exercise - like walks or something - to increase your appetite? Sending good thoughts!

  16. Drinking Boost or Ensure between meals will help. A lot of smoothie places have something called the weight gainer smoothie -- I think similar to the body builder stuff mentioned above.

  17. So glad you're doing better enough to post and (wow) leave the house! I know someone who had half her liver removed this summer - she's also a bc survivor but the liver tumor was not mets. Her recovery was slower than docs predicted, probably just due to all her body had already been thru (bc/tx plus a gastro tumor surgery) & age, meds she's on - but 4-5 mos after surgery she was back to her normal, so hoping you are over the hump soon. My elderly dad has had cdiff a couple of times, scary enough on its own!

    Great suggestions above for almond or other nut-of-choice butter (TJ's has fab almond butter w/ added flaxseed in addition to plain), avocados, nuts/oils (a T of oil can be added to veggies - you can get nut oils, avocado oil, whatever tastes best, use nuts to top fruit or yogurt) and protein shakes/drinks - suggest making your own if you can manage tho maybe start w/premixed till you're up to it. If making yourself can use unsweetened almond, rice or coconut milk if lactose intolerant (tho I can manage Muscle Milk premixed and whey protein and am really LI, can't even eat yogurt). You can get whey, rice, pea or hemp protein, lots of flavors. Weight gain formulas avail at GNC (bodybuilders use). Smoothies are a way to get in fruit, veggies and protein powder too. Coconut "manna" is a lovely addition to toast/waffles, topping sweet potatoes (almond butter good there too), berries, bananas - heat a bit (in jar in micro) for spreadability. It does have a smidge of fiber if you're tracking that. (there's even one blended w/ chocolate by Nutiva I think - check online or Whole Foods - like candy in a jar!) If you're a salt person, what about Kettle baked salt/vinegar chips. Bread is a nice high cal thing - w/jam, nut butter, agave/honey. Try adding a small piece of bread at each meal or snack. Dried fruit packs a lot of calories in a small amount (check fiber if concern) - e.g. a mini box of raisins is ~130cals and online you can get almost any dried fruit/nut (try nutsonline). Are you eating small amounts every few hours (may work best for twitchy digestion that doesn't remember how to work).

    Sending good thoughts your way, hoping to hear soon that things are improving.

  18. A couple I forgots - hot cereal (oatmeal, quinoa flakes, rice, buckwheat) can be made (micro) with liquid of your choice - juice, "milk" and protein powder (NOT egg protein powder tho) added to it, topped w/ jam or honey, nuts/fruit, nut butter/choc chips, whatever! If you're doing cold smoothies and can stand the taste, could try adding liquid egg whites. Scrambles, omelets and frittatas would be easy for family to cook for you, and you can add cheese or meat to increase cals. Eggs would be a good option too - hardboiled w/ salt might appeal to you, alone or in a sandwich. Also, cold cereal - granola esp high cal but higher fiber - buy boxes of whatever appeals to you and eat it by hand as a snack. Grab a handful every time you walk through the kitchen or put in a ziploc and munch while reading in bed.

  19. I love your writing, Ann. Relieved to see that you are able to manage some "normal" eating of late. I know it's been a long, hard road. Sending weight-gain vibes your way. Best wishes.

  20. How do I gain weight? Cheesecake. Key Lime Pie. Potatoes. Bacon. Cheeseburgers. Onion Rings.

    Basically, if it has sugar and fat in it, or if it's fried, I'm in. :)

    I'm glad you're feeling well enough to blog. That's so great!

  21. This may sound nuts, but when my dog had melanoma, I kept his weight on by feeding him ground beef - the full fat kind, with rice mixed together. And quite frankly, it was tasty. My girls were 5 at the time and asked me to make them "dog food" as they referred to it. High fat, high carb, and easily digested.

  22. I'm so glad to read that you're feeling a little better again. I don't have any real advice for gaining weight, as all food packs the pounds on me. But if you're looking for calorie-laden bland-ish food ideas, I'd start with boxed Mac-N-Cheese (or even the easy mac if the milk is too much for you), flour tortillas with butter and honey, mashed potatoes with lots of butter, and peanut butter sandwiches. I'm not sure if you can tolerate much of this, but I know these are my go-to foods when I don't feel well. They seem easy to eat, tasty, and they are calorie-rich.

  23. Glad you are getting back to your humorous self. You are missed when you don't write. My doctor recommended donuts. The plain old fashioned glazed donut kind. Seriously. She had to then take away my donut eating priveleges as I managed to gain way to much, but I have heard many movie stars (Tom Hanks, Russell Crow and Charlize Theron) swear by the donut diet to gain weight for their meatier roles. Give it a try even if it is sweet. Totally worthless calories, but you may end up with a sweet tooth yet! Best of luck!

  24. Ann, so great to see you writing again, just love your style. Seriously, you should self publish on Lulu or Amazon :-)

    I don't know if you like ice cream, but I recently read about a star who needed to gain weight for a role and started making milkshakes out of Hagaan Daas and that seemed to do the trick. Probably 1,000 calories in one of those, and maybe easy to sip and tasty, too.

    I wasn't able to check in over the holidays but I was sending you healing thoughts and strength from afar!

    Hugs from CarpeDiem1965 on BCO

  25. Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions! There are definitely some there I'll try. The problem is not knowing what my body can handle - it's trial and error and I don't want to take a step backwards. I did talk to a nutritionist when I left the hospital - she said "no dairy" and gave me a list of things not to eat, which is pretty much everything. According to her, I'm allowed applesauce, bananas, sourdough bread, and water. There wasn't a lot on there about what I could eat. I have googled "colitis recipes" and came up with a lot of books people want to sell me, not so much information. I think it's just trial and error at this point. So far, it seems that I can handle most things just not in large quantities. A bite or two is all I can take. But, I'll get there! At least the pain is down to a 3 now. :)

  26. Nibble all day. I'm built just like you and have the same salt craving thing!!! During chemo I lost weight like no tomorrow. Everyone else gained weight.. I can lose weight on steroids, antidepressants, you name it. It's very hard to gain weight on no dairy, cause I don't like meat. Sees butter creme candies are delicious and not enough butter to mattter. The peanut brittle is to die for but I broke a tooth on it once.

  27. White breads stick pretty well and are "binding". There's such a big range, from baguettes to frozen naan. Candy with nuts and caramel can be way up there too. Milk chocolate can contain lactose though. Also plain cookies like vanilla wafers, animal crackers, anything that you really like.

  28. May I suggest oatmeal? Very tolerable for most guts, and so good for you.

  29. I can't imagine trying to get well from cancer by stuffing myself with crap-food... full of man-made preservative-laden junk that probably helped you to get cancer in the first place. Forget how you look, girl! Give your body some organic whole foods to help it heal & get well again. Fresh organic green leafy vegetable juices... fresh organic fruit juices... whole organic grains... that type of thing.

    Candy? Gawd!! Your pancreas is probably one of the only things working well in your body... so let's overload your body with sugar & destroy that too. :-(

    Throw the mirrors the hell away... and get WELL!!


  30. There is is! Blame the cancer patient. I knew somebody would have to do it.

    Andrea, I have news for you. My eating habits did not give me cancer, and the eating habits of the 400,000 women who will die of cancer this year did not play a role in their getting cancer. The truth is, I have always been a very healthy eater. Whole grain foods, vegetables - even as a kid. My mother would give me lunch meat and I'd throw a fit because of nitrates. I got cancer because getting cancer is a crapshoot. People who a marathon runners and people who are couch potatoes get it. People who are Gerson nuts and people who are Godiva nuts get it. Cancer is non-descriminatory and you won't find one real study that says lifestyle plays a role in breast cancer. It's not like I was a heavy smoker and got lung cancer.

    So, yes, I agree with the way you want me to eat. It's the way I've always eaten. However, it is exactly the wrong way to eat for colitis. No veggies, no fruits, no whole grains and no juice while your colon is in spasm and inflamed. You need to eat things that will just slide through without making it work. Mashed potatoes, applesauce, and, apparently, See's Candy.

    No high horses about what causes cancer with me. I've seen first hand and lived first hand - healthy people get cancer too.

  31. I didn't say YOU caused your cancer, Ann. YOU had nothing to do with it... unless you manufacture the poisonous crap that farmers all around our country pour on their crops every spring & summer!! YOU had nothing to do with it... unless you developed the bovine growth hormone that is injected into cows to make them adnormally produce huge amts of breast milk that we humans then consume. YOU had nothing to do with it... unless you personally own many of the factories that spew so much shit into our air that millions of people are getting cancer just by breathing every freakin' day!!

    So calm down & maybe get off your high horse for awhile. Re-read what I said & maybe do it, ok? I think your body & your healing process will thank you for it.

    Jesus, do you always jump down people's throats like this? Especially down the throats of people who are only trying to help somebody they don't even know?

    Never mind... go eat bon-bons & forget the fruits & veggies. What good are organic fruits & vegetables anyway??!!

  32. Here is your quote, "I can't imagine trying to get well from cancer by stuffing myself with crap-food... full of man-made preservative-laden junk that probably *helped you to get cancer in the first place.*"

    That is an implication that I, and everybody, who eats junk food may give themselves cancer, which is not the truth. And, you are confused - I'm not trying to "get well from cancer" as that's impossible. I'm stage IV, I'm going to die from cancer. What I'm trying to get well from is colitis.

    Many women I know personally or who have written me were on all organic or raw diets and still ended up with cancer. They are usually very shocked as they thought they were protected by diet. To date, no studies have proven diet as implicated in breast cancer.

    Of course, people should eat healthy. And, I always have eaten healthy, although I admit to an indulgence of a piece of See's candy now and then. Most of my diet is vegetables and whole grains. But, everything in moderation.

    If you are so militant you can't see the humor in my posts, and know that exaggeration plays a part in what I write, than my blog may not be the one for you. I am open to suggestions and appreciate yours. What I won't tolerate from anybody is the thought that women caused their own cancer. Period. We do not play the blame game on my blog. I don't care if somebody ate McDonald's hamburgers 3 times a day. I won't blame her as there is nothing saying she gave herself cancer.

    As for recovering for colitis, (not cancer) while I appreciate your advice, it is wrong:

    Here is advice from my nutritionist "Foods that are high in fiber, like whole grains or raw leafy vegetables, dairy products, seeds and nuts are considered hard to digest and should be avoided."

    I am slowly adding them back in to see how my colon handles it. If I ate the way you suggested, I would no doubt suffer for days.

  33. You go gurl! So good to see you back in the fray...
    How about bruschetta hot & crispy topped w/melted non-dairy mozzarella (available from health food aisle)? Olive oil=yummy healthy calories and hopefully well tolerated by even the most sensitive of colons. And maybe a whey protein shake made with lactose-free milk? Let us know how it goes!

  34. I have enjoyed your blog, and I hope you are on the road to recovery. I agree with the suggestion of nuts. You could eat a few of them often throughout the day, and they have protein and a lot of calories. (And you could buy the salted kind if you crave salt.) Good luck! Bananas are also high in calories, I think, and I note they are on your list of approved foods.

  35. Ann, I am sorry that you can't have dairy, so much for my Haagen Daas idea, darn! I am sure it is hard to eat food laden in calories, I hope you can find something that your crave and can tolerate.

    As for dare you hijack someone's blog that way? You have no class. Anne is allowed to be on her "high horse" if she wants to be - in my opinion, she's earned the right to do and say whatever she wants and again - this is HER blog.

    Please show some respect and go somewhere else with your sanctimonious pontification. We're here to support and show kindness and love to our cyber friend.

  36. This blog entry had me laughing and laughing. It's obvious you're getting better, cuz your humor is SOooo back.

    From me to Andrea: Don't be so convinced that you know what all causes C, and what Ann SHOULD be eating. It's easy to judge Ann as being 'too defensive' rather than seeing your own offense.

    Andrea, if someone you love has cancer, I recommend you 'get off your high horse,' by loving them rather than telling them how (you think) they got their cancer.

    -- Cheryl H. from Pleasanton

  37. Thanks all. If Andrea is who I suspect she is, than I know here elsewhere and she's a very nice person. Just very blunt and I don't think she thought out her words very carefully. Bottom line, is I have been on the cancer forums and seen the posts from women wondering what they did to deserve it, and have heard vegetarians blame the meat they ate in 1984 and anguish over it - it makes me sad. Nobody does anything to cause it. Our cells mutate wrong. Maybe someday they will figure out why it happens - and why you and I can have the exact same diet and I'll die of cancer and you'll live to 90, but so far, nobody knows that. So, even the hint of blame - I won't tolerate it. I guess I should write up a post on that topic, if I haven't already! :)

  38. Hi Ann,
    What about trying Ensure Plus? It think it contains 320 calories per drink. A cheaper alternative is Walmart's meal replacement drink.

  39. You helped me so much Ann, by reassuring me in no uncertain terms that I did not play a role in causing my cancer. When I first read that on your blog... (It was in a post telling others what not to say to people facing cancer, I think)... I felt a burden I didn't realize I was carrying, lift and float away.
    I love your tenacity, your compassion, your straightforwardness and your sarcastic wit! I'm so happy to see you recovering. Now, with the helpful advice of these lovely ladies -- gain a few pounds:)
    xo Gayle

  40. Hi Ann,

    First, and most importantly, I am so happy to see you are on the mend. I have been following you on (and missing you) and your blog. I have been thinking and praying for a quick recovery from c-diff. Life's a bitch. Like we don't have enough to deal with in the BC treatment arena; then we get infections that further set us back. Where's the justice?

    So, disregard the "Andrea's" off the world. They cannot fathom our world until they step into it themselves. There will always be some well-meaning folks who think they can figure out how to cure us. I had someone recommend yoga to me. I just smiled.

    As far as weight-gain, I can profess to be an "expert" in this area! LOL. Forget Ensure and those drinks. Good old-fashioned pasta with any semi-fattening sauce (butter, Bolognese, Alfredo, Carbonara, oil and garlic, etc.). And, be sure to eat them late at night! :) Since you have to go easy on the roughage, you could also try any egg/cheese/carb combo (breakfast burrito, egg sandwich, egg bagel, etc. Plus, eating as much protein as you can get right now is probably a good thing for healing purposes.

    Wishing you good health and happiness in the New Year!


  41. Ok, I've been giving this some thought. I would stick with healthy fats as much as possible, if only for your cholesterol levels. Healthy fats are easier on your liver, too.

    Do you like olive oil? I'd add a few tablespoons to your dinner. (Careful, though. It could have a laxative effect if you eat too much.) I'd also have a few tablespoons of plain almond butter every day, straight from the spoon. It's really good. Trust me! Between the olive oil and almond butter, you'd be consuming at least an extra 300 calories.

    Dairy-free frozen desserts made from almond milk are high calorie, and very yummy. The ones made from coconut milk are even more fattening, but coconut milk has a high fiber content. Not sure if you'd be able to tolerate it. If you have a pint of Almond Dream frozen dessert every day, you'd add an extra 600 calories at least.

    I'd stay away from soy milk and soy products as my oncologist said they might contribute to estrogen-receptor-positive tumor growth. I don't remember whether yours was ER+, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

    Graze throughout the day, too, since you can't eat big portions. Buy lots of crackers, potato chips, etc. Starches and carbs are your friends.

    Good luck, Ann!


  42. Ann, My daughter s in the same boat as you regarding weight gain. She is 15 years old, 5'4" and 72 lb.

    I know exactly what you mean about having no butt and leggings looking really weird.

    The only thing you can do to gain weight is to re-educate your body into having a sweet tooth.

    We tried all sorts to get our daughter to put on weight, she didn't have a sweet tooth either.

    Since 2009 she has put on 2 pounds by eating junk food and a diet destined to give her an heart attack when she gets older. We figure that if we hadn't re-educated her into having somewhat of a sweet tooth she would have lost weight rather than simply stayed the same.

    Good luck in gaining some weight. If you come up with anything that works please let me know.

    Everything on the t'internet deals with losing weight, never with gaining weight, have you noticed that?


  43. Ann, Don't you just HATE IT when fat people are the purported experts on how to gain weight?? I know exactly how you feel, and recall weighting in at 76 lbs. not able to gain an ounce. I went to the hospital (now that is NO place to gain weight) and my doctor actually spent the night -- afraid he would not see me alive again if he left. I found out the night after that the other patients (mostly fat) had placed bets on how long I would live. Now THAT IS A REAL INCENTIVE TO DO SOMETHING. I was determined to beat their odds, and I don't give up easily. Well, for a person who spent most of their life trying to lose even 1 ounce successfully, this was new territory for me too. I was the STAR patient, the nurses did everything except push the food down my throat, and I was required to drink AT LEAST 4 Ensure's each day (at the nurse's station, of course) and they had a. Party. The day I reached 90 pounds.

  44. You think you know Andrea from somewhere else? I hope not. I checked out her blog in which she writes an entry about you and your dietary issues. I'm mean really? You have Stage IV cancer, nutrition is not your problem. And I wouldn't put much crede in the advice of someone who loves organic food and get this - whiskey!

  45. You are right, that is clearly not the Andrea I know - the one I know is blunt but would never be mean, and she can take criticism.

    That woman actually called me stupid for following my nutritionist's advice! She also doesn't understand what I'm trying to recover from and that you never eat whole grains and "green leafy vegetables" when recovering from pseudomembraneous colitis. But, apparently, her calling me names is all okay because she "knows people with cancer." That seems to give people licence to be cruel, I've noticed it several times. She doesn't allow comments on her blog which is a good thing as it's a bunch of meanspirited rants with no higher thinking behind them. She called me "stupid" and other names, but then she says she believes all beings should be free of abuse. :) LOL. Maybe she wrote that while drinking the whiskey she loves so much. :)

    Anyway, I'm up to 95 pounds now, which should make my oncologist happy. Bedsores are less likely with weight, even weight put on by, as sweet-natured Andrea would say, "processed crap." Unfortunately, I seem to be having more nausea and I am fearful still that it might return.

    Seriously, I hope she never gets cancer or any serious disease, as she is going to have to face some very unpleasant facts that she so far has been able to avoid. And, if her real personality is anything like her online persona, she is not going to get the support that she will need.

    And, that said, again, I thank you all for your support. You have been amazing. I am going to do a video taping of tips to get through cancer so you'll all get to see me soon! I'll post it as soon as I get it.

  46. Hey Ann, have you thought about or are you allowed supplements like Complan or Build Up, the powdered extra calories to help gain weight? I've used them on a lot of patients with success. I don't know if you can do it with your recent bought of colitis but it's an idea.
    As for causing cancer by eating bad foods I don't think these people are exposed to a big enough community of cancer patients to see the big picture that eating some cheetos isn't going to make a difference. I'm early 20s with stage IV breast cancer, my mom never smoked or worked around smokers and she died of lung cancer. I say with what we have eat on with your chemical filled foods, all the leafy greens in the world isn't going to heal me now. <3 Miss you over at the boards.

  47. Ann, I have been reading your blog for a while and really appreciate your self deprecating humor. What a talent!! I don't know who Andrea is....but she clearly does not know what she is taking about and does not know how health conscious you are. People just need to be honest about what they know and what they don't.

    As for gaining weight, we had to work on helping my son gain wait when he was young. I gave him an avocado a day. He ate lots of creamy almond butter and I put olive oil in almost everything. It worked. He is still thin, but not dangerously thin.

  48. Dear Andrea,

    I'm Ann's sister. Unlike my sister, I've spent most of my 51 years eating junk food. McDonald's, Burger King, taco's from the nearest Roberto's and yes, my favorite - See's Candy. When I decide to cook, it's packaged mac & cheese, packaged cereals, salt laden canned soup and non-organic fruits and vegetables. (oh, and by the way I'm skinny too, so don't even go there)

    My sister Ann is a gourmet cook, she has always treated her family to amazing, healthy, wonderful and organic meals. She was a "foodie" before there was a Food Network and is probably one of the first to discover there was such a thing as a "Whole Foods Market".

    She got cancer. I didn't. You and the pseudoscience organic food nutjobs you believe in owe her and the entire breast cancer community an apology.

  49. Here's MY problem. How is it okay for someone to comment on THIS blog and then put a pretty scathing entry on her OWN blog and I don't see anyplace to comment on her blog. That is DISGUSTING... bully....
    Am I stupid? Or is there anywhere to comment here?
    I'm pretty fired up right now...... So, let me just say, Ann, I only began following you recently and I hope you continue on the mend.....

    I send you support and love..... and to the people who just know it all..... the only thing I can say is "karma is a bitch" ... and for that matter, so am I.


  50. Good G-d! I just read the 1/6 blog entry of earthmommablogger. Simply revolting and truly beyond belief. Ann, I'm sorry and stunned that anyone would do this. You do what you need to do and eat what you want and/ or can. if you have any extra See's send them to San Jose . A little indulgence at stage IV contributes to my QOL!
    Exbrnxgrl from bco

  51. I am so sorry that Andrea (don't know her) wrote such a horrible comment. You absolutely do not deserve it, in fact all you have ever done is to inform, relate and educate us and you do it with so much humor. Sending you big hugs and keeping you in my prayers. I do hope this person leaves you alone, I think there is a way you can report her for abuse.....:-)Hugs

  52. Andrea sucks. That is all.


  53. I love your style! n your blog! As far as your booty pop not fitting..maybe a seamstress can fix it to fit.....i sew.....if you can not find some one to fix could ship to me I could give it a go?!

  54. Hey Ann...
    Been reading your blog for about a year now, even before I was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer and thing this Andrea chick is a total bully. I read in to the samething about what we put in our bodies and that somehow we caused our own cancer. Well I went to her blog and read the total BS crap she wrote on there about you and also read where she basically bullied someone else on Facebook too regarding abortion or something to that effect.

    I know it's hard but don't let that troll get under your skin. She has nothing better to do than to bully folks to make herself feel better. Yep that's right Andrea, I'm talking about you. See the bully is too scared to let people comment on her blog so I'm pretty sure she would have quite a few people giving her an ear full.

    You take care and I'll be keeping up with your progress and know that you have a lot of followers out there that are standing behind you and would probably stand in front of you in defense to the troll Andrea.

    Lots of love....

  55. The blogger is sadly very ignorant, not just about cancer but about Cdiff as well. Working in a facility where we do deal with Cdiff, I have never heard anyone recommend the stuff that she is. You don't want hard to digest and highly fiber foods when you are fighting raging diarrhea. As for her stupidity as this is what "could" have caused cancer in the first place, she really needs to go to BCO and talk with all the wonderful women, who are organic and eat healthy likes she proposes and still have breast cancer. Sadly some people still love to blame the victims.

  56. You guys are great. Tracy, thanks so much. I love the person who said "blaming the victim" because I've noticed it in many circumstances. It's a form of self-protection. I think I will do a blog post on that subject - thanks everybody again for your support. Especially my wonderful sister, even though she looks 15 years younger and has a fantastic figure and pretty face. Junk food is good for something! :)

  57. The other blog is definitely going to die a quick death. Nothing to worry about. It's not interesting nor original. Thanks for sticking up for us who did not "cause our own cancer", Ann. That is so annoying to hear after everything else we have to go through.

  58. Thanks, Ann, for the nice comments. People always say I look like you when they see your photo, so we must both look really good for our age! You are too skinny though, and menopause is causing me to have to cut back on those See's candies - eat four - one for you and three for me!!

    Regarding Andrea, you are as astute as always. She's scared, and has the self richeousness of youth. Don't give her another thought. Life will teach her soon enough. Love you!!

  59. This blog is a great source of information which is very useful for me. Thank you very much.


  60. Hey, lady. I wanted to let you know that I have a post going live tomorrow about C. diff. where I mention your blog.

    I sympathize on the weight loss thing--my weight is down to 115-117, the lowest of my entire adult life, and I feel those bones poking out. Can't sit comfortably because there is no padding on my butt.

    I've been thinking about you as I struggled through several bouts of C. diff. back to back ... It sounds like yours is better?



Thank you for commenting. If the post is over 14 days old, the comment will be moderated and will approved later. This is a spam prevention technique - but I love to hear from you!