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  • Writer's pictureChrisCutler

Straddling Treatments 1 and 2

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

"So, if I'm cooking, I'll be steaming vegetables..." ~Paul McCartney

I have made it through two weeks of post-chemo treatment, 12 days of which I have no desire to repeat. The other two days have been relatively mild, and for that I am so grateful. I still have no appetite for most things, although I have very weird cravings.

Because I ended up having to go in for more hydration last week, I've been trying to drink more. For some reason, though, I have been craving watermelon. After I left the doctor last Thursday, I asked Mike if we could stop and get a container of watermelon. We had to go to two stores to find it, and we were barely in the house before I tore into it.

"It's good to see you eating something," Mike laughed. He was trying to put the other groceries away as I was inhaling that poor red fruit. I probably responded, but I was so lost in the experience that I couldn't tell you what I said.

The interesting thing is that, while I like watermelon, I don't love it. Excuse me. I *didn't* love it. It has quickly become one of my favorite fruits. In the past four-and-a-half days, I have eaten two large containers of cut watermelon, bought a mini melon, and consumed about half of it. We need to head to Sprouts soon as I don't expect this to last long.

It's not just the melon, though. I am craving fresh vegetables, apples, and pears, too. Instead of eating salad at night, I've made an apple cheese salad (recipe below) and braised plain vegetables (asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, spinach, beans, and tomatoes) and thrown a handful of cooked pasta on it. Yesterday, I made lentil soup. I've eaten a little meat, but meat just bothers me.

I bring this up because I think my body is telling me something. I'm experiencing altered sensory perception—my taste is off, and certain smells make me want to run down the street screaming. Luckily for me, the vegetables are pretty tame. The oncologist has not spoken to me about nutrition, which is a bit surprising (NOT, considering his past behavior with me). I've researched a lot about diet and foods when going through chemo, and I'm on the right path. I probably need a bit more protein, but I can get that through some of the veggies.

The fact that I have an appetite—weird as it is—has made the beginning of this week positive for me. I'm trying to take time each day, as Ebony (nurse practitioner) suggested, to do something even as exhausted as I am. "When you need to sleep, sleep," she advised. "If you can get out and move, though, get out and move." It also makes me so very grateful that I don't have to stay in all the time.

Let's be honest about it. It's done wonders for my frame of mind over the past few days.....

.......which is good because hunks of my hair are starting to come out.

To be continued.....

Apple Cheese Salad

Clean and dry one apple. (I like to use Honeycrisps, Granny Smiths, Macintosh, or a nice flavorful apple. You can also use a mix.)

Slice the apple in thin pieces, and then slice them again to make matchsticks.

Slice cheese (cheddar, manchego, provolone, iberico, etc) into matchsticks, too.

Combine the apple sticks and cheese sticks. Drizzle with vinegar (You can use any kind of vinegar that you like. I usually use a flavored white balsamic like orange or pineapple, but even wine vinegar will work.).

Serve cold.

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