When you have cancer, save your pants. Mostly.

Cancer is not a diet program I’d recommend to anyone. But you will lose weight.

When you do, save those pants. OK, maybe not the very biggest ones. But after that, hang onto them. You may regain some weight as your health improves. When you do, you’ll grow back into your previous pants.

And if you’re taking certain medications, you may experience swelling, edema, and temporary water retention. You may lose weight, regain it, and then lose it again.

Although shirts and blouses can still work over a wider range of sizes, you may need to make some adjustments there, too. But pants are definitely the most problematic.

I know little about women’s pant sizes and how they change as one loses weight. But unfortunate experience tells me that a men’s size 40 can cover a wide range of weights—probably around 200 to 240. This is due to something I call the Variable Cantilevered Overhang Effect (VCOE). I’m not going back there, and I’d rather not discuss it further.

But once you get below that range, you’ll need new pants more frequently. When they arrive on your doorstep, save the old ones. Just in case.

Author: alcambronne

Retired photographer, author, and cancer survivor living in northwest Wisconsin.