Saturday, February 19, 2011

I am what I eat

Before I started Round Two of chemo, I made a point of eating ev-er-y-thing in sight; my friend Jean observed that I was like a bear preparing for hibernation, piling on the calories for the time when I wouldn't feel up to chewing.

Right now, I'm coming out the other side of what I'm starting to think of as Bad Week, when mucositis hits and the best I can manage is taking tiny sips of liquid.

And I do feel like a bear, emerging from its cave cranky and ravenous (if less hirsute), ready to get back to living.

This morning I got to leave the house to get groceries.

It's amazing how a once-mundane task is now a major highlight. That's partly because 1) I don't go out much at all these days, unless it's to go to hospital, to be stuck with needles; and 2) getting to choose my own food is one of the few areas of control I have right now.

That sounds dramatic, I know.

But look at it this way: My schedule for the next few months is in the hands of my health care team. They decide where I'm supposed to be, and when. Their decisions affect how I feel from week to week, according to the chemo cycle. And their treatment plan has changed my appearance: hair loss, a little weight loss, drier skin — oh, and the new scar and alien-implant bump under my skin where my port was installed. They're pretty much in control of my body.

So as much as possible, I want to be in control of what I feed it. Which means a trip to the grocery store, odd as it sounds, becomes a way to reclaim my identity.

We arrived at the store early to avoid the crowds of germ-laden shoppers. The winds were strong enough to wrench shopping carts from their stacked line and send them rolling across the parking lot. I was glad I decided not to wear my wig; I had visions of me chasing it down the street, probably accompanied by Yakety Sax.

Naturally, once inside the store, I wanted to buy everything, especially the things I'm not quite ready for. Anything crunchy (carrots, crusty French bread, nuts) or acidic (orange juice, tomato sauce) or potentially hazardous (smoked fish, molded cheese) suddenly looked reaaally good.

But thankfully reason, in the shape of The Boy, reigned me in and coaxed me away from loading the cart with Stilton and baguettes and grapefruit.

Instead we picked up stuff to make a few meals that would sate my need for normalcy while also keeping to the high-protein mandate: turkey and black-bean chili; meatloaf (to be served with loaded potatoes); fish (to be served with, ahem, spinach with bacon dressing).

Next week is my Good Week.

I warn you now: do not leave any pic-a-nic baskets unattended.

Labels: ,


Blogger jess said...

I have this wonderful mental image of you and The Boy at the market, sort of seeing things with different eyes. It's kind of a beautiful thing.

I wanted to tell you we took The Pup to his first training class today. Us and a bunch of people with puppies just figuring things out. I really feel like this should be a new form of therapy. So much accidental cuteness it should be illegal.

10:28 PM  
Blogger LimeyG said...

I demand pup pictures!

4:46 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home