Monday, September 13, 2010

What To Eat

Three years (almost) after chemo, radiation and surgeries, I'm not having to worry about my weight. Or should I say, "other" people can stop worrying about my weight.

In talking with my friend, Stephanie, the subject of eating after head & neck cancer has come up--which it quite often does with people I talk to nowadays. And that's more than cool by me. Because while eating can still be a chore, I actually look forward to having something to eat without having to dissect the food before it goes into my mouth. You see, it's like this in the simplest way I can put it: I had head & neck cancer, which is NOT throat cancer but is still in the same region. The radiation was adjusted each and every time--35 times but who's counting--so that the damage to my insides was somewhat mitigated. Which means I have about 25-30% of my normal capacity to produce saliva since the radiation AND chemo did some damage. I can't gulp down a 40 anymore. Opening wide is not an option, as my jaw still hurts. My taste buds have been compromised as well, so things to this day still taste different and can change from meal to meal--for example, I can now taste the ingredients of ketchup--and often do. Add to that the total change in my eating habits--no red meat, no white bread/flour (when I can help it), no pork, no acidic foods--and I pretty much need to know the menu before I eat anything. That's the short story.

Long term? Today is the long term. That's all we really have. I lost sight of that MAIN point at my last job so I left for another job. I'm taking control of my life back because after all, I'm the one who had to live with a feeding tube in my stomach, go through the pure hell of treatments and push through the lack of energy, lack of strength and constant attacks on my body these last 3 years. So what I put into my body is taking care of me today and hopefully into a long lifetime of tomorrows. And will allow Teresa and I to be just ourselves after all these years of being Mom & Dad.(Which, of course, we love and always will). So now what?

It's almost lunchtime. Time to figure out what I'm going to eat.

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