April 23, 2013

What Will Your T-Shirt Say?

I believe I eat pretty healthy overall, although I’m not going to turn down an occasional indulgence. I have always tried to avoid high fructose corn syrup, treats overloaded with refined sugar, heavily fried foods and fatty foods. However, my weakness is homemade mac & cheese and bacon in, on or with just about anything.

Since the cancer diagnosis I’m more conscious about the food I put in my mouth. I also have a BF who needs to address his high blood pressure, so I’m equally as conscious about what food I bring into the house.

Recently Trader Joe’s opened a store in Sarasota. If you’re not familiar with Trader Joes, it’s amazing! It’s like a discount Whole Foods store (a.k.a Whole Paycheck). Next time you’re near a TJ’s, go in and check it out, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Anyway, the one here is only an hour drive and I’m all about making the trek once a month to stock up on healthier food items, especially when the price is right! It doesn’t hurt that our favorite breakfast place is on the way either!

Since I’m still on the mend, I bribe my daughter into driving me down to TJ’s. Her payment is breakfast at The Breakfast House. It makes for a nice outing; I get my daily walking done while stocking up on some healthy food.

While we’re shopping at Trader Joe's I notice a woman wearing a baseball cap to cover her bald head. She is gaunt, yet appears fairly strong as she maneuvers around the store. I’m certain she is a cancer patient.  I can’t stop watching her. I’m curious to see what she is buying. She browses through the fresh herbs, carefully picking up and smelling the fresh basil and then the thyme. I lose her in the cereal aisle but see her again by the nuts and dried fruits. I feel sad for her because she is shopping all alone. Is she married? Does she have a family? Is she getting healthier? Or is she dying?

I divert my focus back to my shopping list. I’ve already had just about all I can handle for the day and I’m ready to go home and get horizontal for a while. I search the check out lines and I spot cancer lady on lane two. I pull my cart up right behind her. I notice her beautiful British accent as she makes small talk with the check out clerk. I see she’s stocking up on wine. My kind of gal! I try to work up the courage to ask her if wine is appealing during chemotherapy, but I chicken out. Even though I feel a twisted kinship with this stranger, I still feel its wrong for me to ask or more so, assume I understand her physical ailment. Hell, for all I know her bratty grandkids stole mom’s bottle of Nair while Grandma was napping and now she’s is bald!

Driving home I wonder what people think of me when they see the band aids on my chest and the port budging up under my skin. Maybe we all need t-shirts made, then others will know our struggle. “I just had my Chemo Port installed and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!” … “I have cancer, what’s your excuse?” … “I’m gonna kick Colon Cancer’s BUTT” …  and a special t-shirt for my British friend at Trader Joe’s, “It’s not cancer! My daughter’s bratty kids Naired me during a nap!” 

One of my favorite Trader Joe delicacies!! 

No comments:

Post a Comment