December 9, 2020

I’m in chemo now. They took me off Irinotecan because I’ve been so sick on it (I’ve been in bed for about 10 days straight after each session with severe nausea, hot flashes and no energy/ability to move, severe headaches, itchy points on skin, confusion, pink urine, runny nose, more hair loss than usual, horrible taste that seemed to pour out of me into my mouth). I did not complain about the side effects. I was asked about them and I only thought to tell him about the length of time in bed and inability to move – we had not planned to speak and I was very nervous, for the first time, about the chemo session because of the effects of this drug. I will get a scan in the next 30 days.

The doctor and I talked – he is wonderful – but I cannot be cured of this disease – it’s too late. He is not the only doctor who has told me that. They can, however, extend my life.

When I finished talking to the doctor, I cried (he was gone). For anyone who has been reading this blog you know that I don’t cry often or easily. I have held out the hope that the cancer will shrink and they’ll cut it out of me and I’ll go into remission. I still have that hope but I need to accept just controlling the cancer for as long as possible and having a good quality of life.

I shouldn’t be as sick again this week given the change in the chemo regimen so maybe I’ll be up for taking a walk. I want to enjoy my days.

I thought I’d share a few food tips for people with cancer – this is just what I like but it may point you in a good direction.

When you’re nauseous but can eat a little, chicken broth (with or without noodles/chicken) and potatoes are good bets. Of course, toast with jam.

When you can eat, protein is very important – chicken and salmon are your best bests. I’ve been eating red meat too because I’ve craved it and I believe in giving your body what it tells you it needs (as long as it’s not bad for you). Red meat, though, is supposed to be limited. (I made cabbage rolls filled with ground beef in a tomato/cranberry sauce – cook very low in the oven for several hours and it becomes sweet, jammy and delicious. I also made sloppy joes – a childhood favorite – saute chopped garlic, onion and green pepper until soft, mix in the meat until browned, add homemade ketchup which you can make in two seconds with 1 6oz can of tomato paste, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp maple syrup. These dishes allowed me to combine veggies with the meat – all simple and healthy dishes.).

I tried Wild Planet canned salmon which was superb (it’s wild caught and about $3.99 a can – makes two meals). Of course, there’s fresh wild salmon too. I buy chicken thighs and cook up big batches made simply with balsamic vinegar & oil or Worcestershire sauce or oil with dried herbs or coated in egg & breadcrumbs.

Vegetables and fruits (especially citrus if you don’t have mouth sores) are crucial. Avocados (creamy smooth and delicious), roasted squash (plain, with milk/butter, sprinkled with a cheese, or with cranberries on top), broccoli, greens, etc., all vitamin packed. I’ve been eating a bag of oranges a week plus whatever other fruits I can get my hands on including cranberries, a super food, which I make into a tart jam for my morning toast (takes just a few minutes – heat with a little orange juice until the cranberries pop, let simmer for a few minutes, and then remove from the heat and chill. Add a little sugar if too tart).

Eggs. Bananas. Plain yogurt. Oatmeal. You get the idea – easy on the stomach, good for you.

I feel sick right now. I’m still hooked up. Need to go.

Love, Molly

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