Friday, March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014

50 Years 

  I didn't expect that my 50th birthday would find me a cancer survivor, but I'm glad it did.  I want to do a post sometime with what I have now that I didn't have then, but it will be a hard one.  In the meantime, I will enjoy what I have, and here's a glimpse of what the last couple years have  given me. 

This is going to be my last monthly hair post.  There won't be much change month by month.
It is also another yearly milestone. Last year at this time I was just learning to eat again.  My feeding tube and port were removed early in March, and my options for food were really limited.  My mouth had brand new skin and it was tender so I had to be careful what I ate. My swallowing had improved but had a long way to go. With no saliva to help in the breakdown I had to eat wet things. Many foods would hurt or scratch, so I ate soup.  Lots of soup.  I learned to enjoy it.  It was warm, comforting and easy.   I boiled pounds and pounds of vegetables flavored with chicken broth and ate gallons of it. For a long time I wouldn't try anything else.  As the months went on nothing seemed to change.  I was beginning to get bored with the same old soup all the time.  I was wondering if this would be the way it would be forever.
Then, I turned a corner.  It was another jump forward in recovery.  All of a sudden I could eat just about anything I wanted. I could eat normal supper rather than soup all the time.  I still don't do ketchup, pepper, spicy food, vinegar, breads or dry food very well, but that leaves a lot of other choices.  
I started trying different things. I noticed I was eating more real food and less soup.  If I hadn't tried it post-cancer, I took a bite, some things worked some didn't. I was eating what everyone else was eating for supper, and I was enjoying it. 

I also got some sweet taste back and began to enjoy cookies dunked in cocoa.
Eating for me is so much more about perception than taste.  If I liked it before and it's wet or can be eaten wet, most likely I will like it now.
I also like things that I wouldn't have eaten before like puddingy things and soaked bread.  
If I do pay attention to the way things taste, I look for different sensations that I used to.  Things just don't taste the same.  I try to just eat and not worry about it.   
This feels like a major milestone for me.  I feel like I'm a lot farther along the road to feeling normal again.

The recovery epiphany of today is:

Things change, maybe slower than you think, but they will change.


Renee said...

It is INCREDIBLE how far you've come. Your hair looks beautiful and I just admire you so much. I'm so glad you have shared your cancer journey with us through your blog!

MEJ said...

I'd say that turning 50 is a pretty big milestone in lots more ways than just a number!

Bonita Sue said...

Great post!

Anita said...

I like that closing line- something we do well to remember.
I wonder what things we'll look back in one year, 5, 13, etc and not know about ourselves today that we'll know then. Probably good we don't know now... as we sing about trusting the future to the Father's Hand.