Having Crohns Disease and now Colon Cancer has definitely not allowed me to gain weight like a normal human being.
Things started out pretty good...I was a sophomore in high school playing football at 132 lbs (I was 5'4" or 5'5" at that time). I was pretty strong, too. Pound for pound I was the 2nd strongest on the team. Of course, a 215 lbs fullback didn't need too much strength to knock me into tomorrow on a sweep play where I was the cornerback.
During my junior year, I contracted Crohns and dropped to 96 lbs. Football was pretty much over, but the tennis coach convinced me to pick up a racket for the first time ever at the tryout. (I made the team and during the course of the season moved from #20 on the team to #12. I'm a quick learner.) :-)
The doctors put me on steroids to gain weight. That was lovely...I had this phobia about swallowing pills, so I had to crush the steroids in chocolate ice cream. Talk about gag-reflex! But, the steroids worked...somewhat. I graduated high school and started college around 110 lbs. Throughout college I weighed somewhere around 115-120 lbs. I looked like I was a sickly 12 yr old. That's just what the college girls wanted. (Did I mention I only had two dates in college?)
From the time I was 22 until I was 32 I weighed a constant 122-125 lbs. (Need I say that I didn't date a lot then, either?) Then when I was 33, the doctors found "weird cell formations" in my colon. These weird cells could cause cancer, so I had a few inches of my colon removed. The operation caused my Crohns Disease to flare up and I started losing weight again.
Over the next 6 weeks or so, I tried a different medication every week. Nothing worked. Finally, when I had dropped to 108 lbs, we found a miracle drug called Remicade. Remicade is administered via IV infusion. I got better THAT week. Not to be gross...but I went from 12 or so bowel movements a day to one every other day. I was finally able to put on weight.
During the next year, I bulked up to 140+ lbs. My one softball coach told me that some players were asking if I was on human growth hormones. (This came after I hit the fence on a few of my softball hits.) Nope! Just a well-working colon for the first time in 15 years!
Over the next couple of years, I reached a max of 148 lbs. Unfortunately over those years I had two hernia surgeries that caused me to drop weight each time. I could not seem to win!
This past winter, I reached that peak of 148 lbs again, but then the cancer was diagnosed and chemotherapy came. Ugh! I dropped to 128 lbs in seven weeks. Can a guy catch a break???
My chemo nurse, Marion, is a life-saver. She convinced me to try Ensure milk shakes (350 calories in an 8-ounce bottle.) For four weeks leading up to my most-recent surgery, I supplemented my diet with two of those a day. I also lifted weights like crazy. I gained 10 lbs in a month and went into surgery at 138. Three days after surgery I was at 126 lbs. (All together now...UGH!!!)
Anyhoo...today I was at the hospital and got weighed. Its been four weeks since surgery and I have not been allowed to lift weights during my recovery, so I wasn't looking forward to the scale. Drum roll please...136 lbs! Not great, but a good start!
Now if I could just quit having surgeries, I might be able to look normal. Oh...will you look at that...I have a dying, tumor-filled lobe of my liver that needs to be removed in the near future. Isn't that special? :-)