What is it about eating and cancer?
As long as Leroy had an appetite I figured he was in a good place with his cancer. Dinner was a fun time around our house. We both cooked, although once his cancer returned, he didn’t do much in the kitchen, but that didn’t mean he stopped looking forward to dinnertime.
We ate a lot of salmon, halibut and sea bass during his chemo time because it agreed with him, gave him a lot of protein and I could sneak in a few veggies if I carefully announced we would be having a salmon Caesar salad for dinner. And he’d always go for or a side dish of brown rice as long as he could add a little butter on top. I figured the fish outweighed any of the bad stuff.
He was a long standing member of the ‘clean plate club’ and I could gage how he felt by how quickly the food on the plate disappeared.
A friend who has a spouse in a serious battle with cancer right now, is measuring her status the exact same way. His main job as ‘care giver’ at the moment is getting as many calories as possible into her. His reports are not filled with many details of her activities, except to say what and how much she is eating. It’s his barometer; how he calculates her progress against this very tough cancer. He’s delighted to report the results of her ‘intake.’
Eating equals’ living’ in cancer world.
Breakfast was a non-starter for Leroy, except for his venti-mocha-non-fat iced latte. It was a daily order, so much so, that when I walked through the door at our local Starbucks, my order was called out automatically. I can’t tell you how many stained T-shirts I still have from failing to notice the extra drops of coffee on the lid of those daily drinks.
Cancer has so many ‘markers’ as we move through its different phases, especially when our loved ones are fighting a metastatic diagnosis. Eating is a big marker.
I will always remember the morning when I told Leroy I was off to get his daily coffee fix and he looked up and he said “Not today, thanks.”
That was the beginning of a very hard next phase.