Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Eating for two

The world conspires against you when you're trying to eat well on chemo.

When you're feeling vulnerable and trapped in the recliner of death, some asshole is eating stinky soup next to you because his cocktail comes with extra steroids, which means extra hungry. When you're trying to be all diligent and antioxidant, China Green Tips gives you wicked indigestion. I'm somewhere between the two right now, with a smattering of heartburn, loss of appetite in general and energy loss thrown in for good measure.

When you leave round one, the nurses wrap it all up with the bow that is their "concerns" spiel: who to call if your fever goes above 38 C (there's a special medical oncologist on call), what to do if you get the shits (basically rubber sheets and good luck to ya), and what to eat if you're feeling like the inside of a Gravitron. This is a snippet from the actual list for that last one:

  • crumpet
  • potato chips
  • plain cake

I get the starch aspect, but if I needed something to smack me in the face again with "you've got something old people get", the nausea control tips did it for me. Thank you, cancer.

The thing they do get right for the ages is "avoid eating your favourite foods". Even when the chemo doesn't make you nauseous (which it hasn't with me so far), it strips your digestive tract down to the studs, including your tongue. It's hard to describe the feeling, but it's closest to drinking several cups of a scalding beverage for a few days until everything feels raw going in and there's nothing stopping the mildest of lunches from splashing back up. Lovely food eventually tastes like nothing and you get a bit pissed off about it.

I'm trying hard to eat clean and eliminate meat and anything bought, sold or processed from my diet, but with round two scheduled for later today, I know salads, legumes and whole grain anything will soon become my enemies and I'll be reaching for pickles, consomme soup and flavoured water. Because yeah, even the most gloriously filtered artisan water, hand-bottled by the bastard children of Mongolian kings from the frigid lakes of Tibet takes on a tin-like taste that makes you want to hurt kittens.

I'm still drinking green juice in the mornings, though. I can snip parsley from my garden now.

And I still get excited seeing all those veggies laid out before me in the seconds before they're killed for my pleasure.

El Cancro will have to put me in a headlock before I give up the liquid gold.

Here's the recipe if you want to be cool (this makes two big glasses):

6 kale leaves
3 celery sticks
2 apples
2 cucumbers
1 small bunch of parsley
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 small knob of ginger, peeled

1 comment:

  1. If you run out of kale we have lots, lots, lots in our yard. And other veggies too - parsley, lettuce (a few kinds), etc.