Weird Wednesday – January 24, 2018 – Chemo Issues – Taste

They told me before I began chemo treatments that it may make foods taste bad, funky, different, etc.  I wasn’t too upset about this.  I have a near infinite capacity for food types I will eat.  Just about the only thing I do not enjoy is liver and mince meat pie (I don’t even know what that is.)  So, I was certain to find a lot of food that I could still enjoy without a bad taste, and I would simply weed the icky ones out – or tolerate them – until my chemo was over and my sense of taste came back.

In fact, just as in the rest of my life, I love wondrous variety when it comes to food.  I can and do eat different foods all the time.  Sometimes fish, sometimes beef, sometimes chicken, shell fish, any and all vegetables, love fruits, etc.  This was SO not going to be a problem.

My one constant is my daily Coke (sometimes more than 1 a day).  You can mix up everything else in my life, but guarantee I will have at least one Coca-Cola every day until the day I die.


Life went on and chemo began and everything seemed to taste normal.  Nothing tasted bad, funky, different, etc. — except my beloved Coke.  It tasted like dish soap!  I was so upset about that – the one constant I had in my life – a simple thing like a Coca-Cola, yet the only thing that I counted on day in and day out – now had become an abomination.

I realize being upset about a Coke seems trivial to some, but at that time – and with all that had just happened to me and all that was about to happen and with all the uncertainty to come – my one constant – my Coke – was also taken from me.

Of course my sense of taste came back, and I still enjoy a Coke (or 3) per day (yes, it’s that YOLO thing rearing its ugly head) and all is right with the world.


Dilemma Day – Indulge or Not Indulge (Food Version)


I am torn between two schools of thought on indulgence now.
Especially when it comes to food!

To eat or not to eat … that is the question.
I know my doctors tell me that sugar is bad for cancer and all the medical journals say sugar is a feeder for cancer.  Not to mention the fact that sugar obviously makes you gain weight.

I used to be skinny.
I weighed 96 lbs until my mid-30s.  I had a high metabolism and lots of energy and ate everything in sight.  I now weigh 196 lbs have a not so high metabolism and a medium low amount of energy and I still eat everything in sight.

Me – 1995-ish

I do realize that weight gain is a part of getting older.
Metabolisms slow down, menopause hits, hormones get all wacky.  I’m neither attributing 100% blame to these things; nor am I summarily dismissing these things either.


I do realize that weight and body shapes are somewhat genetic.
My nieces always called my mother an Oompa Loompa because of her short stature and large derriere.  The apple-bottom obviously hasn’t fallen far from that tree.

I do realize that weight is heavily dependent on what you eat.
If you eat Taco Bell and bread and chocolate chip cookies and drink 3 Cokes a day – like I do – you’re going to gain weight.

I do realize that weight is heavily dependent on your level of activity.
If you don’t get any exercise and live a sedentary lifestyle – like I do – you’re going to gain weight.

I’ve always been lazy.
That has never been a secret in any factor of my life – except work.  I’m not lazy at work.  At home, I would much rather watch TV, work on some craft, take a nap, read a book, or some other activity I can participate in from either my living room or my bedroom.

That’s not to say I don’t EVER exercise.
If it is something I’m really interested in, like hiking in Tennessee, riding horses, bowling, dancing, mall walking (i.e., shopping!), etc., I’m all about it and can muster the necessary energy.  I can say with certainty that I get absolutely NO formal exercise, and these ad hoc activities occur few and far between.

A lot of it is mindset, I believe.
If I can trick myself into doing something active, but not really exercising, I’m okay.  I will play with a hoola hoop, chase my dog or horse around the yard, play miniature golf, go bird watching on the trails at the local park or dig around in the crick (sorry, creek for you non-Ohioans).

As with EVERY idea that is in my head, there are always two warring factions – one on either side.  In this battle, I have the one side that KNOWS I should be eating right and exercising and getting enough sleep, etc.  On the other side, I have the “You’ve cheated death three times (breast cancer twice, and one roll-over car accident), so live life the way you want to” faction.  The latter is winning by 98%.

Hence, the tennis match in my head.
One day I’m irritated at my weight, the next day it doesn’t bother me in the least.  One day I’m worried about all the sugar I eat and how it may be fueling a new bout with cancer; the next day I can’t shove a Tim Horton’s Boston Cream donut in my face fast enough.

What’s a girl to do?


My Cancer – 1st and 2nd Diagnoses

1st Diagnosis v. 2nd Diagnosis

The first time:
Right breast in 2006 (42 years old):
Stage 4 ductal invasive carcinoma [1].
Triple Negative [2] .
Treatment: Chemotherapy, lumpectomy, radiation.

The second time:
Same breast in 2015 (51 years old):
Ductal carcinoma in situ [3].
Triple Negative.
Treatment: Mastectomy removal of my breast tissue then used tissue from my lower abdomen as living material for reconstruction of my breast. No chemotherapy, no radiation.

[1] Started in a milk duct, invaded into the surrounding tissue.
[2] Negative for estrogen receptors (ER-), progesterone receptors (PR-), and HER2 (HER2-)
[3] There, but hadn’t invaded the surrounding tissue yet.