Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12, 2012 – Huh?


Every once in a while you run across a news story, and the only possible reaction to it is.... “Huh?”

That’s how I responded when I read a news article just out, that claims there’s conclusive evidence that overweight men have a better chance of surviving diffuse large B-cell lymphoma than those of more normal weight.

Like I said: Huh?

That news runs counter to every bit of medical advice I’ve been hearing for most of my life.

The article is of particular interest to me because (1) I’m a man, (2) I’m considerably overweight, and was so at the time of my lymphoma diagnosis, and (3) I have something very similar to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

OK, my grading was actually “B-cell, diffuse mixed large and small cell.”  That means I had some less-dangerous small cells – the kind present in indolent, “follicular” lymphoma – mixed in with the large ones.  It was the presence of the aggressive larger cells, as discovered by the second-opinion pathologists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering as they reviewed my biopsy slides, that put me on the chemotherapy bandwagon straightaway (do not pass GO, do not collect $200).  Otherwise, watchful waiting would have been a viable option.

The only time in my life when I’ve been of statistically normal weight was a period of time in my very late teens and early-to-mid-20s.  Both before and after that time, I’ve struggled constantly with my weight.  My failure to turn around my tendency towards obesity has been one of the greatest sources of guilt and shame in my life.

Ever since cancer has come onto the scene, it’s been even worse.  It’s hard to marshal the emotional energy to change my eating patterns when I’ve been through the sort of struggle I have.  There’s a part of me that says to the rest of me: “Why should you suffer through a diet when you’ve already suffered through so much else?  Live a little!”

Then this article comes along, suggesting that the spare tire I’ve been carrying could very possibly have been my life-preserver.  Go figure.

The article’s appropriately cautious about the study’s results.  The researchers don’t want anyone to go out and start lobbying for hot-fudge sundaes to be included in the treatment protocols.  Quite sensibly, it makes the point that obesity is a proven risk factor for all manner of very bad things that could happen to a person, medically, and that there’s every reason to lose those extra pounds.

But still, it makes you think.

And this one I’ll be thinking about for a very long time.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

WORRIED ABOUT MY WEIGHT ALL MY MARRIED LIFE [55 YEARS]. NO MORE NO MORE. IF I DIE, I DIE. SO MANY YEARS WORRYING ABOUT NOTHING. I'M STILL HERE. I HAVE HEALTH PROBLEMS. YES, I JUST POP MY PILLS AND SPEND MOST OF MY TIME LIFTING PEOPLE UP TO THE LORD FOR HEALING.I CAN'T COUNT HOW MANY TIMES I'VE LIFTED YOU UP, PLUS, TWO MEN THAT MADE COMMENTTS ON YOUR BLOG ABOUT THEIR ILLNESS MONTHS AND MONTHS AGO. I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU GUYS. I JUST HAPPEN TO COME ACROSS YOUR BLOG ONE DAY AND HAD THIS FEELING YOU ALL NEEDED PRAYER SO I WENT ON A QUEST TO LIFT YOU ALL UP. I HOPE IT HAS HELP. SOME PEOPLE ANSWER BACK TO THE FOLK THAT COMMENT ON THEIR BLOGS. THE ONES THAT DON'T OH WELL THEIR LOST. RIGHT? I PRAY THAT THAT THERE ARE FOLK PRAYING FOR ME ALSO.
HAVE A GOOD MORNING PLUS ALL DAY.

GRANNY FROM FLORIDA.

Carl said...

Thanks, Granny. The prayers are much appreciated, and prayers are offered up for you, in return.