People I have talked with who have been through cancer treatment always talk about the importance of staying positive. I see what they mean. When you have setbacks, it is so easy to get frustrated and discouraged.
One thing I am struggling with is food. Peggy and I love food. We are “foodies”. We love all kinds of ethnic food. We love fresh garden veggies. We love fresh fish cooked on the day I catcht it. We love grilling. We just love food. And, we eat relatively healthy. Ironically, back at the beginning of this year I committed to an even healthier diet – cutting out most empty carbs (white bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.). And I had succeeded in losing about 12 pounds, while still enjoying great food.
I was warned early on that one of the side effects of the treatments is losing your sense of taste, and your appetite. In the early weeks of treatments, I worked hard on continuing to eat as much food as I could. Then I started having digestive problems, and started losing my sense of taste. Sweetness was the first casualty. I can’t taste anything sweet. Add to this pain when I swallow, and suddenly I find myself losing weight more quickly. Counting the 12 pounds I had already lost, I have now lost about 25 pounds. Luckily, I had it to lose. Dr. Mattern, my chemo guy said I had “bear hibernation pounds” I could stand to lose anyway.
Now, I may get a small portion of real food in a day. Everything else is protein shakes, ensure, and cans of stuff through my feeding tube. Add in nausea from the treatments, and a general loss of energy. It is easy to get discouraged.
I so look forward to wanting food again! And, I feel bad for Peggy who feels guilty eating around me. I tell her not to worry. I don’t even feel hungry so it doesn’t bother me.
On the up-side, I am fitting into clothes that haven’t fit in years. I’m one of those people who has a hard time getting rid of clothes I really like that are too small. I always live with the hope that I will lose those pounds. Well, now I have. Peggy and I went to a U2 concert several years ago. We both bought t-shirts. Mine never fit, even though it was the largest size they had. Apparently you have to be thin to be hip. Well, I was digging through some old t-shirts this morning and there it was. It fits perfect! So, you can always find a bright side even in a bad situation.