A recipe for living with cancer.


This last chemo treatment kicked my butt. The weekend was tough I was ridiculously tired, my mouth hurt, it was dry and cracked and no matter what i drank i could not quench my thirst. My tastebuds are shot and everything I ate tasted bland or like sawdust.

I kept thinking of things I really wanted to eat…lox and bagels for Saturday breakfast yum. I went out and bought some, made myself a beautiful sandwich and took a bite. Three weeks ago it tasted good but not now. The only flavor that came through was a fishy slimy sensation and after three bites the lox ended up in the trash and I was disappointed.

Lunch came around and I still had sandwich on the brain, this time a bagel with humus, tomato avocado and maybe some fake bacon. Two bites and I lost the avocado, third bite lost the fake bacon, fourth bite scrape off the humus. Why who knows it just all tasted weird and tastes that ordinarily I would have loved blended together now were just disparate flavors that clashed and didn’t work. Dinner was not much better and Sunday held the same tasteless meals. I panicked and started to think what if I don’t get my Tastebuds back, what if food becomes foreign, what if I just eat to live and not live to eat. I was down in the dumps, dejected, depressed and talked to Tom about my frustration, concerns and feeling lousy in general.

Then Tom brought out the “P” word perspective. He reminded me how after his accident he could not eat anything by mouth for almost 10 months and i fed him through a feeding tube in his stomach. for months after the tube was removed he had to eat slowly, choked and coughed throughout the meal, and still today cannot eat certain foods and still coughs and chokes through much of every meal. I worry constantly he will choke or aspirate food which would not be good. I felt so guilty for about a minute then reminded him that although I may be not going through what he had I still had the right to complain, bitch, moan and worry about what I was going through. He agreed completely but reminded me just to keep everything in perspective!

Funny note: after Tom ‘s accident before we knew he had a tear in his esophagus we kept trying to get him to eat by mouth. Food just did not work so we tried Ensure in every flavor. When the feeding tube was finally inserted I was still in a food by mouth and taste mindset and one day I was filling the feeding bag with a dark chocolate Ensure and said something about it tasting good. Tom said, you do realize Barb that I can’t taste this stuff no matter what flavor it is!!!! We laughed and cried at the same time, everything in perspective.

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