We went for your second week of radiation. On Mondays we meet with Dr. Lee, the radiologist. We both left this meeting frustrated. You were unable to gain any weight and had, in fact, lost another pound. We were disappointed in this finding, as you have been doing everything you can to gain weight.
When we met with Dr. Lee…
he stressed how imperative it is for you to gain or maintain your weight for healing and such. I felt so bad for you because I know how hard you are working at making sure you eat as much as you can with only a third of your stomach. You are hungry, and you are eating high-calorie, high-fat foods to make sure you get the caloric intake.
I finally couldn’t let Dr. Lee go on anymore. I told him, “He is doing all you are asking and more. You don’t realize, before all of this cancer Mitch could eat a bowl of ice cream, a peanut butter sandwich, and cereal every night before bed and not gain a pound!”
Dr. Lee thought about that for a moment…
then dropped this bomb: “That’s interesting. Normally, you should have gained weight with that. It makes me wonder if the added calories were not going to feeding the cancer cells. That is why you didn’t gain weight, you maintained.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean you had the cancer in your system for fifteen to twenty years, the last time you gained weight, but it could. That sent our heads reeling! Here we thought you just had a high metabolism. This sneaky devil called cancer! No wonder so many people who are diagnosed with stomach cancer end up being in the late stages. Maintaining weight does not send you to the doctor; you think it is a good thing. Losing weight without reason—a stomach cancer symptom—would have had you going to the doctor to see what was up.
I wonder how many more surprises are in store for us yet. Whatever they might be, I will be right here by your side.
Love you with all my heart –
PS This was written prior to Mitch’s passing.