Sunday, 5 May 2013

Food, How I missed it.

One of the hardest parts about having chemo and feeling gross all the time, is it really effects your ability to eat.

I love food. A good meal is probably one of my favorite things around. The problem with when you get chemo (or radiation around your neck/mouth) is it really effects your ability to eat.

A lot of people assume that this is mostly because of nausea.  And for some people that really is true. I had pretty good nausea meds so it wasn't that bad. Only the day I got chemo and the next were particularly bad. It was all the other side effects that I really didn't know about. 

Chemotherapy targets all parts of your body, and all fast reproducing cells. Many of these live in your mouth, next and intestines. This was probably one of the hardest parts for me. My mouth was in pieces because of chemo. I had a badly blistered mouth, and a badly swollen tongue. Many days this made not only eating, but talking nearly impossible, and extremely painful. Similarly, when I could eat, it was often painful as my body processed it (as you can imagine, not an ideal system). I ended up losing quite a bit of weight (as you do) and eating was a necessary chore.

My taste buds were also heavily effected. Food that I liked, I didn't anymore, and many foods were too "harsh" for my system to be able to handle. I really missed food during this time. One of the worst things was I had to give up coffee. Just couldn't deal with it, and to be honest, coffee is one of my favorite things.

Losing your ability to eat is one of the hardest parts I had during chemo. I wanted to eat. Desperately. But it was physically painful. As I mentioned sometimes so painful that I physically couldn't do it, even with pain killers.

Now those days are behind me. And if my luck holds out, I will never have this problem again. I missed food. I love every meal. I love every smell. I love being able to eat. I eat healthy and I love the process of cooking, and enjoying a meal with friends. I won't ever forget that part of my life. I won't take for granted any meal I eat.

I still can't eat everything. Spicy foods aren't great in particular. But hey, I eat what I can, as with all cancer side effects, I let my body tell me what I can do and what I can't do. At the end of the day, I am happy to be alive, and happy to be doing okay. And I will eat to that.

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