I’m almost 8 weeks out of active treatment. This means that I’m further away from treatment than I spent in treatment. While my emotions are still reeling, other aspects of me have settled back into what I consider normal. I was an absolute freak about some things, and the awesome part is that I couldn’t have cared less what people thought in regards to said freakiness. My utter distaste for and disapproval of certain things was made vocal without hesitation and with complete lack of anything resembling tact. It was a matter of life or death that these things be removed from my immediate presence… pronto.
Here are a few of those things:
– Meat, especially large chunks of it. I was a tad more tolerant of tiny pieces of meat if it was hidden in a casserole or something, but that was mostly because my nutritionist insisted that I eat as much protein as possible. Otherwise, I would’ve preferred meat be as far away from me as humanly possible (except that for several weeks all I wanted was a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s, but I was too afraid that the spice would hurt my mouth… more on that in a few…).
– My water bottle– I had just gotten it shortly before treatment started. I even put a LIVESTRONG band around it as inspiration to stay strong. But something about the signature Camelback mouth piece grossed me out. That thing lived hidden in a cabinet for two months. I wouldn’t use it. I drank out of plastic water bottles and wouldn’t reuse those either… Bleh.
– Soup. Ugh, gag me. I tried it at the beginning because ordinarily I’m a soup fan. And my thinking was that it would be easy to eat and would help with hydration. Nope. All that food swimming around together- even now as I remember my feelings about soup back then my face is twisted with disapproval.
– Eggs, prepared any way you can think of. Initially I was fine with them, and I was excited that I had a source of protein that didn’t totally repulse me. Then one day, I set the egg sandwich down and walked away. Away. I think I told my dad that “I just can’t do it anymore.” That was the end of eggs. I would actually say that next to the ‘large chunks of meat’ thing, eggs were the most disgusting thing imaginable. And to add to it:
– The smell of eggs cooking. My dad is an avid egg eater. I had to be in my room with the door closed if he was going to cook them. That smell made me want to pick up my skinny butt and haul it across town.
– The smell of almost any other food cooking, especially meats.
– The smell of all things fragranced… including lotions, body washes, air fresheners, and candles burning. I actually took the air freshener out of my car in repulsion and laid it on the driveway as I was heading out one day. I got it on the way back in several hours later and hid it in the basement (months later, the basement still smells delightful).
– Sort of related, but not really, I couldn’t eat anything salty because the chemo caused small sores to develop on my tongue. Everything’s saltiness was amplified by about 450%. I learned this one day when I had a craving for tortilla chips… it was a sad, sad day.
OK, I didn’t actually think I was going to die from any of those things, but I did get panicky if they were around me, and I would literally leave the table if a slab of meat was anywhere on it (this made going out to eat an adventure for us all).
On the other hand, there were things that I ate during treatment that I hadn’t eaten in years- either because my tastes had changed or because I knew better… you’ll understand what I mean in a minute…
– Kraft Mac & Cheese… yes, the stuff in the blue box with the cheese powder packet
– Canned peaches
– Baked potatoes with cheese
– Any kids cereal… this is one of two things I can say with certainty that I would eat an abundance of. I would easily take down 3 bowls in a sitting (in sharp contrast to the measly two and a half ravioli I had to force down my throat).
Other things I either craved or tolerated well:
– Apple Sauce, this is the other food I could’ve eaten all day every day.
– Soy yogurt
– Soy milk, in my sugary cereal
– Grapes, although towards the end of chemo I had a hard time with these… the acid was too much for my tongue
As far as I can tell, things are back to normal (I’ve even gained 6 pounds!), though I haven’t had soup since then. And I dug out my water bottle- it is my constant companion.