Friday, February 15, 2013

Eating to Live, Not Living to Eat.

I am planning that the NEXT post will have a picture of me on it.  Right now, I don't have anyone to take the picture, my "office", in which resides the computer my photos are on (I am not going to put them on this laptop) is being occupied by a very special lady.  I also have a very special reason for waiting, and you all will just have to wait, too.  

So, the new news in the recovery process, is that Tuesday, we went to Omaha to meet with the swallow therapist to see how things are going.  I wrote down some of the things I have eaten.and told her about them, too.  It's pretty exciting to be able to say I've eaten cake and pie (smooshed up with ice cream) and that I've tried ham, and chicken, and meatloaf, and shrimp.  Soup is a life saver, because I can get it down when I don't feel like eating.

Because, sometimes I don't feel like eating.  It is boring.  Things don't taste bad, they just don't have much taste.  I used to LOVE eating, things always tasted so good.  I loved eating to the extent that I weighed more pounds that I care to admit before surgery.  I started to lose some of that before surgery because it was getting harder to eat.  I couldn't breathe through my nose very well.  I've lost more learning to eat again, and I'm down to my limit.  I set myself a certain amount to eat on my plate and make myself eat it.  I drink a glass of milk with every meal, for the extra calories.  Some meals I don't want to face food at all and drink an ensure.  But, I'm being careful.  I have to eat to have stamina, I have to eat to keep alive. I need some Culver's custard to help with that, too.  

For lunch we had beef and noodles.  They were a little drier than some food I've eaten, but with drinking milk after every bite, very doable.  I felt like I was eating "real" food, food that everybody else was eating, not some I made especially for me.    The upside to this, is that I found it ready made in the freezer, so it was easy to heat and eat, since we have company.  '

 The therapist was very pleased with my progress.  I've met all my goals, swallowing, chewing, eating out, and eating in front of other people.  She planned I would meet my goals in March, and I was done a month early.  I'm am finished with therapy!!  YAY!!  In fact, she was so pleased she called the doctor in to show me off.   (We hadn't planned to see him that day.)  So, we had a little celebration all together.   And then, Jim and I went out to eat at Valentino's.

I had big ideas last spring to go all through the house and tidy and de-clutter and throw away.  Instead I took a trip down Cancer Way.  So, I'm slowly working on some things now.  The bathroom that was full of medicine and other medical paraphernalia (did you know that word has two "r's" in it, I didn't) is now pared down to only the stuff that is being used now.  
I've started on my bedroom, which has been a dumping ground for stuff for too long.  I hung up lying around clothes and sorted out our dresser.  Jim helped me clean the bathroom closet, and we took bags of stuff to the good will that had been there for months.  It is starting to fill up again as I sort.  I won't wait as long for taking them away as I did before. 

I use my sitting down, resting time to knit and crochet.  What fun it is to make things again.


The J's said...

Shelley, it makes me SO happy to read this!
Wonderful, just wonderful! (and I so appreciated Dorothy's comment on your last (I think?) post!

Renee said...

This post brought happy happy smiles. To think of you knitting again is perfectly splendid!

Anita said...

Your comment about loving food really hit home with me. Food is such a special thing...I can't imagine what it's like for you now- to have to eat to live but not really getting pleasure out of your food.
And- congrats on successfully completing your therapy. That's one more step on the road to leaving cancer behind you!
Our friend and co-worker here was diagnosed this winter with cancer and it hit us (me, at any rate) quite hard. We've had a lot of cancer conversations since then but the one that I remember best is someone quoting another breast cancer survivor who said: In retrospect, my cancer was nothing more than a speed bump.
I found it hard to comprehend that she could look at it like that...but it was also quite encouraging (thinking of my friend here). I hope that the day comes for you, too, when you'll back on what amounts to a speed bump! xo