Monday, November 5, 2012

When Life Hands You Lemons, Candy Them

These days my staple foods are ginger, lemons, smoothies and mashed potatoes. I haven't cooked a full meal in over two months. And for now I can only wait patiently to eat a nice dinner out.

The truth is is this: after a complicated few years I was positive that my sons and were finally settling down as we moved into our cozy new home (which I wrote about here and here and here.)  But then I found a lump. And for the last two months I have shifted from FoodieMommy to Mommy with Cancer.  I will spend this year in treatment which entails chemo, surgery, radiation and even more surgery. The good news is this: there is a chance that after one incredibly difficult year, I may be okay. While the chances I am cured are almost minimal, the chances are very good that I will be around to write more FoodieMommy posts for many more years.

From the first week I found out, Tammy of Food on the Food was one of my inspirations. I remembered that she, too, was diagnosed at a young age and with two young children. I also recalled how she handled the experience with her typical wit and honesty.  And I knew that at some point, I too, would be ready to share the news with my readers.

The "Foodie" part of me lurks since each day.  In my first treatment I was so ill that I had to force myself to drink. An individual smoothie maker did and still helps me to get protein and liquid simultaneously.  At that point mashed potatoes, tapioca pudding, raspberry sorbet, and glass upon glass of homemade lemonade were my staples.  I continue to struggle with the fact that water tastes awful-one of the weird quirks of chemo. So I am still trying out everything from apricot nectar to pomegranate syrup.

Luckily, my amazing doctors figured out how to manage my nausea, so now I am constantly hungry but often queazy, making for an odd combination.  I perpetually crave Japanese food, though I am banned from eating raw fish. So I take out ebi and tamago and inhale bowls of warm sushi rice from Oga's, Oishii and Oishii, Too.  My Foodie self is trying to come up with creative smoothies and low maintenance meals.  I have finally introduced myself to the plethora of mixes (love the King Arthur muffin and scone mixes!) and prepared meals.  Although I have temporarily lost my taste for coffee, I am becoming reacquainted with the world of tea.  When I am not at my doctors, I am typically resting at home, exhausted, longing to cook. But my energy level rarely provides enough to both cook, clean and care for my two sons. So instead I am fed by an amazing community who provide my family meals 3 days a week.  I am deeply appreciative, though the loss of control over food is just one more adjustment I need to make.

My kitchen, which I intended to renovate, frustrates me more than ever.  Each caretaker for me and the kids has to knock around the low cabinets, the tearing floor, the minimal counter space. I enter each sweepstakes and contest hoping I can get a chance to create the heart of my home. At least I have time to gaze at kitchens on Pinterest.

FoodieMommy, then, is on a detour for now. But I promise, she will be back. She has to be-for me and my sons.