August 11, 2013

Cat and the Shat: The Painful Realities of a Foodie on Chemo

Here I sit at 3am… awake again. I am partially to blame, maybe like 25%. The other 75% is chemotherapy's fault. You see, I'm a big time foodie. I love really good food. I love to critique food, I even had a food blog for brief moment in time (Chomping at the Bit). I most definitely LOVE to take pictures of pretty food! Last night was no exception. I took my man out for what I guess would be our anniversary, 8.12.2010. The actual day is Monday, but that is my chemo day. We're not married so I celebrate the day I first emailed him after 25 years apart, the stars aligned and out lives congealed into the spectacular jello mold of love. See, I can't even write without thinking of food. And I'm not even sure that Greg would notice if the day came and went without celebration. Me, on the other hand, I love any reason to go out an celebrate our love over good food.  
honey shrimp lettuce wraps ~ Grouper cheeks Piccata ~ dessert: we split the Mounds Jar
We had dinner at Marlin Darlin', a local Key West style dinner establishment. We hit the joint right at 4PM when they opened. No, I'm not an early bird with my AARP card (yet!), it's a trick I like to use to try and keep myself out of big crowds. The fewer people I'm around and the more I hand sanitize the better! That way I lower the risk of catching a bug that would set my chemo back a few weeks. Anyway … I ordered Grouper Cheeks Piccata, a linguine with a lemony caper sauce and tiny grape tomatoes. The grouper was broiled perfectly. It wasn't spicy and I thought it was something my stomach could handle. Guess what? I was wrong. So here I sit at 3am, literally running to the bathroom every 10 minutes like an Olympic sprinter, trying not to shat my pants! Don't laugh, it's a true fact and has happened to me a few times! It's just one of the many ugly truths that a lot of chemo patients deal with on a regular basis.

As I sit here, waiting to make another mad dash to the latrine, I can't help but imagine that this is a spell from a wicked foodie witch somewhere! She hates my love for food so much that she has placed a curse on me! Actually, the witch is a bitch and her name is chemo! I hate these harsh realities and the army of side effects that come along with them. It's more fun to make up stories in my head about wicked witches.

I have chemo cycle number 8 on Monday. I'm dreading the horrible week ahead, yet relishing the fact that I'll be done after four more cycles (that's 2 months), barring any unforeseen circumstances such as low blood counts or getting sick. Its far better to be on the downward slope of chemotherapy than the other side. If you're on the up hill climb, don't fret, just take it day by day, it really is the ONLY thing you can do. Try to occupy that chemo brain with something. I know books are hard to read right now for me. Even watching TV for more than an hour is difficult. Personally I occupy myself with writing, which is very cathartic or I just sit on my back porch, watching the birds at the feeder, gazing at my healing garden or enjoying an afternoon rain shower. Chemo makes you slow waaaaaay down, so do just that. Relax and relish the slow pace of life right now. 

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