Whenever I watch TV throughout the day, there are an incessant amount of weight-loss advertisements. Whether Nutrisystems and Marie Osmond, Jenny Craig, or whatever, all trying to get the average viewer to sign up for their weight-loss system. I’m sure some are successful, or they all are. No one seems happy with they way they look on a daily basis.

For about the past 3-4 months I have been developing my own weight-loss system. Not that I need to lose any weight at all. In fact, I need to find a way to add some pounds.

Getting ready for the paracentesis with my fashionable blue cap.

Getting ready for the paracentesis with my fashionable blue cap.

Anyway, from a health perspective, I am back on chemo every other week. I get my gemcitabine and abraxane. Very little side effects.

But several months ago, I noticed that I was experiencing a very, very extended stomach/abdomen. From the breastbone up, I looked like a victim from Auschwitz. From the breastbone down, I looked like an 8-months pregnant woman.

Well, my oncologist, Dr. Jerry, told me that what I was experiencing was an accumulation of fluids that normally the liver processes and disperses throughout the body for release into the atmosphere. It doesn’t pass through urination. But, as the body accumulates the fluid, there is a weight associated with that buildup of fluids.

Hey, I'm losing weight just lying here. Good ole paracentesis

Hey, I’m losing weight just lying here. Good ole paracentesis

Dr. Jerry told me there is a process called paracentesis that helps to remove these fluids. The individual goes to the hospital. Nurses and a doc or two there will hook you up to an ultrasound and on the screen they can see about how much fluid has accumulated and where it is resting. They will then decide whether to access the fluids from the left side of a patient’s lower abdomen or the right.

I have been to 2 hospitals to have paracentesis. I have had 5 so far. At each hospital, the nurses and doc will tell me the worst case of someone carrying fluid. The common number for the 2 hospitals was 32 liters. Could not freakin’ believe it. The individual would have to be carrying around the weight of 32 liters of fluid before they withdraw it.

I was amazed. During my 5 times, I have roughly given off 3.5 liters of fluid on more than one occasion. That’s roughly 5 pounds of weight. I also dispersed 4.5 liters once and we figured it was worth 6.5 pounds.

So the day after I have a paracentesis, I feel like I can climb Everest — or at least watch someone on TV do it.. There really aren’t any side effects, except the pain of the puncture for the needle they use to withdraw the fluid. That can be a bit painful.

Some people go in weekly to have these fluids removed. My schedule tends to run either every two weeks or every three weeks. Still, I can always tell when I need to get a paracentesis. I feel heavy, my stomach looks more and more like a beer belly and I don’t eat.

So maybe this isn’t like those weight-loss programs. With them. the individual hopes the weight goes away and never returns. My weight comes and goes every time I have this procedure done.

So, maybe the paracentesis is a lot more like these weight-loss programs than I thought.