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Nov 08 2005

Chemo

Adriamycin
Adriamycin, the drug that induces tacophobia and, apparently, idiotic grins.

My young onions, I don’t know how to put this delicately, so I’m just going to come right out and say it. So if you are faint of heart or are one of those people who feels very deeply or anything like that, turn away now. Because what I am about to say will shock you. Possibly to your very core.

I have lost my appetite.

I know! I know! I can scarcely believe it myself. But I began chemo — which is what we cancer-riddled sophisticates call “poison” — yesterday, and, well, there it is. At dinner the horrible truth revealed itself to my astonished self and to my even more astonished companions, who had never before witnessed such a tragic spectacle. I tried, but could not eat, a crabcake. I could not eat jicama slaw. I could not eat an olive.

Enquiries were anxiously made. Would I, perhaps, prefer a taco?

If you are new to I Blame The Patriarchy, The Patriarchy-Blaming Blog That Never Misses Dinner, you may be unaware that I harbor feelings of unsurpassed warmth, reverence, and admiration for the taco. In fact, I consider the taco, more so than the Friend to whom the poet alluded, to be nature’s masterpiece (Emerson, I am pretty sure, died taco-less).

So perhaps you will understand the depth of my wretchedness when I tell you that I had to pop off and puke in the middle of writing the above paragraph, so suddenly and indefatigably horrific to my newly toxified innards is the very concept of the taco.

Holy fuckin moly!

Today I also received what friends and family have been trying to convince me is good news, which is that a test ordered by my highly trained obstreperologist to determine the extent to which the disease has invaded other key bodily organs has come back negative. Meaning that I am expected to survive.

Which, on the surface, sounds pretty good. But think about it. A taco-less future. What, I ask you, is the point?

And I ask this as not as an oilier-than-thou food critic or a glib gourmand, but as a spinster aunt who has spent the past weeks looking long into the abyss, and noting –if I may be permitted to mix my dead male philosophers–with no little fear and loathing, that the abyss has looked back.

71 comments

  1. Joolya

    Try eating some non-oily, non-spicy, but carbolicious foods like pasta and bread-based delicacies. My godmother wound up gaining weight on chemo because she ate so much bread and spaghetti. It’s not a taco, sure, but better than nothing. Hang in there – prognosis sounds really good. You rock.

  2. Sara

    Oh, dear, not to worry: a taco-less future does not loom, well, not permanently. For the nonce, perhaps. But everyone I know who has been down a path similar to yours and survived to tell the tale is right back to eating with the same gusto as ever before.

    Meanwhile, chances are good that there will still be tacos in the world when your lust returns. It’s not The Abyss you’re seeing right now, just a bit of a dirty ditch.

    And hey — congratulations on not metastasizing! That’s great, great news!

  3. tisha

    Woman, I am sooooo with you now that I’m fucking having flashbacks.

    My bad time: Hyperemesis gravidarum (uncontrolled puking) while I was pregnant. My weight dropped under 100 pounds, I practically lived at the hospital and by the time I gave (preterm, high-risk) birth the nurses were running out of places to put my IV. (I am also, for totally unrelated medical reasons, bald.) So no, I’ve never had cancer, but . . . fuck! Fucking hospitals! Fucking pain! Fucking bald head! Fucking can’t eat ANYTHING! FUCK!!!!!

    I don’t know if you’re feeling like it’s forever (because you’re in the middle of it – at least, it’s how I felt during my bad time) but (as of course you know) your appetite WILL come back, you WILL get better, and your hair WILL grow again . . . hopefully knowing this on an intellectual level helps. (?)

    That, and if perhaps you have a loved one who can make you laugh?

    My greatest blessing during my hard time: unconscious SLEEP!

  4. Tammy

    The Siren song of the taco will lure you again, I promise! During the sick time though try hummus and pita bread. Sneaks a little protein and carbs into you. It was the only thing my mother in law could eat for the entire time she was having her chemo. Everyone is a bit different though, you might have to quest about to find your none puke food.

  5. Sylvanite

    Pity that medical marijuana is illegal. I’ve heard that stuff does wonders for maintaining the appetites of folks on chemo.

    This too shall pass, fortunately. Glad to hear your tests came back negative!

  6. Dr. Virago of Quod She

    What everyone else says. This too shall pass and tacos will be there waiting for you. Plus, the two people I know who’ve been through this — my sister and my best friend — both said that the appetite *during* chemo ebbs and flows. Some things they could eat again after a few days, but not immediately after the chemo. My sister always said the worst day was actually two days after chemo. Everyone’s different. You’ll find your rhythm.

    And that’s excellent news about it not spreading!!! Yay!!!

  7. Nora

    When my mom was on carboplatin every 28 days for ovarian cancer, we learned a couple of “tricks” that seemed to ease her back into eating — one was to use plastic utensils to eat with. The chemo gave her a metallic taste in her mouth anyway, and stainless flatware only made it worse. Sporks were a godsend! The other trick was to only give her teensy portions of whatever it was that sounded like something she’d want to eat (we also didn’t edit her food choices — if she thought she wanted it, even a taste, we got it for her). This seemed to help not overwhelm her burgeoning appetite.

    Not sure where you’re getting your chemo, but if the facility has a compounding pharmacy and you find yourself needing medication to stave off the nausea, she took a miraculous drug compound called ABH, blended for cancer patients at MD Anderson — it’s a mix of ativan, benadryl, and haldol. Yes, you will be on your ass, but it works like no one’s business. And, needless to say, you will sleep, which as has been mentioned can be healing as well as comforting in its own way. With my mom, just having the prescription filled and the bottle within eye sight helped her feel less desperate and out of control and like if she needed additional support, it was there.

    I’m thinking of you.

  8. norbizness

    Don’t you mean “Holy Mole Negro Oaxaqueno“?

    Alas, I have no advice, as I have never been legally poisoned.

  9. leslie

    What Nora said. Both of my parents went through chemo a number of times and appetite came and went. Hopefully you’ll avoid needing the lovely boost/ensure stuff (adult “formula”) but any way you can tolerate calories in the thick of it is good. Depending on what chemo you’re getting you may also enjoy the fun of sore mouth and throat. My mother relied on tapioca pudding in those times – soft and comforting even if disgustingly bland at all other times!

    So glad to hear of no metastases!

  10. Chris Clarke

    I hope you’ll forgive me, Twisty, for skipping right on over your lovely comedo-bathetic taco fugue and getting straight to this part:

    Meaning that I am expected to survive.

    YEEEEEEEEEE
    HAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!11!!eleventy-one!

    Also, I’ll be heading down to Austin post haste to hold Norbizness’s arms back as you puke on him.

  11. kcb

    I second the congrats on your non-metastasization! My brother had hella nausea during his year of chemo, but the one thing that he could get down most of the time was homemade ginger snaps. And no, the nausea won’t last forever.

    BTW, be checking with your postal friend for the most offensive ad copy I’ve seen in a mainstream publication. I think you’ll like it.

  12. tisha

    I knew I was getting better when I started jonesing for McDonalds french fries. I know, it’s McDonalds, so politically incorrect, but sometimes you gotta thank the Goddess for the small favors.

    I tried the “bread method” and the “soothing dairy method” to keep food down to no avail (I discovered years later I was allergic to both). WATER didn’t even stay down. In the end, nothing worked except Time!

    During my second pregnancy I took a prescription med (not Tigan) to keep my food down, and it worked a little. I don’t remember the name of the drug but it was horrifically expensive, even with insurance.

  13. tisha

    Oh, forgot to mention – - the med was developed for folks on chemo. Sometimes almost any price is okay to pay, just to be able to eat . . .

  14. nina

    It looks like both congratulations and condolences are in order. Am damn happy the prognosis is good, and know that in the meantime it just sucks.

  15. nicky

    Ah yes, the days of dancing with the Red Devil. I remember them now. (Memories fade with time of course, but never entirely.) Suddenly my beloved white wine tasted like turpentine and I couldn’t look a pizza in the face. But I’m here to report that only a couple of weeks after my last “treatment” I was, happily, back to my old customary wine-imbibing and pizza-gobbling lifstyle. Which some tried to link to my breast-cancer acquisition in the first place, and fuck them very much.

    The non-metastasis news is wonderful indeed! So awfully glad to hear that. And ditto to the advice to demand your medical minions up your antinausea meds.

    P.S. — If there are individuals of the male persuasion in the fun-time chemo room with you, tell me — do they hog the remote control there, too, just like in ordinary life? I remember my and the nurses’ snorting and laughing about it. And, as if the Adriamyacin wasn’t horrid enough, they always wanted to watch Fox News.

  16. alex

    Better a cranky, puking Twisty than no Twisty at all. (Of course, I am not the one having to do the puking.) My mother’s appetite returned after both her rounds with the big C. Yours will too.

    Is there any literature you are feeling a particular shortage of? I have two boxes of stuff to sell/donate, and there’s anything you have an interest in…

  17. Ron Sullivan

    Skip this graf if you’re in a chow-aversive state of mind: A couple of friends who’ve gone through drug courses like this swear by sweet potatoes, though one of them also confided that the bacon-floss bao we brought him gave him the will to live. OK, end of graf.

    I have nothing to add except my profound relief that your metastasis test came out OK and my offkey offering to the chorus of the ole “This Too Shall Pass” hymn. Just so it passes in the usual direction of peristalsis, that’s my hope.

  18. darkymac

    Nauseating clerihew follows

    Twisty Spinster Aunt Faster
    Saw the abyss and escaped disaster
    Then declared more odious
    A future taco-less.

    finished now

    This is a celebrating reader here.
    And don’t they have hash in Texas.

  19. chessie

    It’s some scary shit waiting for the test results. I never cried until I knew I would be ok. 1 year survivor.

    Get the anti-nausea meds for home. There is a cumulative effect on the chemo treatments and you need to keep up your strength by eating. Fuck ENSURE it’s all corn syrup.

    I’m so happy for you, now go get an good nights sleep you’ve earned it.

  20. manxome

    Condoloences on your loss of appetite. This is why you are being administered hospital jello through such a scary contraption, of course.

  21. Stephanie

    I’m so glad to hear about your test results!
    Also, funny cigarettes are supposed to help immensely with the taco tragedy you’re suffering. There’s even a legal med that’s chemically similar, called Marinol, designed for folks in your situation. Not as fun as the real stuff, I hear, but supposed to be effective for many people.

  22. Stephanie

    I’m so glad to hear about your test results!
    Also, funny cigarettes are supposed to help immensely with the taco tragedy you’re suffering. There’s even a legal med that’s chemically similar, called Marinol, designed for folks in your situation. Not as fun as the real stuff, I hear, but supposed to be effective for many people.

  23. laughingmuse

    Very, very, very happy to hear about the OK-ness of the rest of your Twisty bod. Losing your (one’s) appetite sucks ass. Hopefully some of the suggestions people have here will help you to regain the Taco Experience.

  24. Nancy

    But the taco aversion is only temporary, right?

    I also cast my vote for cannabis to help recover your appetite.

    Here’s to taco munchies.

  25. Twisty

    Hey Norbiz, thanks a million–yerrrk– for the–yyurrp– link to the–gauggk– food channel! Is that my punishment for flipping off plucky cancer survivor Lance Armstrong that time?

    You are, by the way, being legally poisoned every day. There’s a little Monsanto in all of us!

  26. Corrine

    Maybe…bad poetry about tacos to get you through the months ahead?? I’m new around here, but I like your insights, your writing style, and the different topics you cover. So, being self-centered twit I am, I’m glad you’re going to be around to bring us more!!

  27. Corrine

    Maybe…bad poetry about tacos to get you through the months ahead?? I’m new around here, but I like your insights, your writing style, and the different topics you cover. So, being self-centered twit I am, I’m glad you’re going to be around to bring us more!!

  28. CafeSiren

    Twisty,

    Glad to hear your evil little buddies haven’t done their version of suburban sprawl. Like many of the patriarchs we love to blame, your cancer is apparently not interested in anything but boobs.

    I went through a mercifully short bout with clinical depression once during grad school, and completely lost my appetite. Like you, I was alarmed at the very idea — a sort of feeling that the universe had turned topsy-turvy, if my food-lover had given out on me.

  29. CafeSiren

    Twisty,

    Glad to hear your evil little buddies haven’t done their version of suburban sprawl. Like many of the patriarchs we love to blame, your cancer is apparently not interested in anything but boobs.

    I went through a mercifully short bout with clinical depression once during grad school, and completely lost my appetite. Like you, I was alarmed at the very idea — a sort of feeling that the universe had turned topsy-turvy, if my food-lover had given out on me.

  30. norbizness

    Sorry about the pun and the link; it was mainly for the benefit of non-mole-eating visitors. I guess the whole experience is like little Alex’s post-brainwashing reaction to the Ludwig Van.

    A little Monsanto in all of us? That reminds me of Mojo Nixon’s theory that there’s a little Elvis in all of us, but that he’s trying to get out of Vanilla Ice or something.

    ANd I like Cafesiren’s idea of cancer spread = suburban sprawl. Nobody needs their healthy kidney cells gentrified by yuppie cancer cells! Smart growth, my healthy ass cells!

  31. norbizness

    Sorry about the pun and the link; it was mainly for the benefit of non-mole-eating visitors. I guess the whole experience is like little Alex’s post-brainwashing reaction to the Ludwig Van.

    A little Monsanto in all of us? That reminds me of Mojo Nixon’s theory that there’s a little Elvis in all of us, but that he’s trying to get out of Vanilla Ice or something.

    ANd I like Cafesiren’s idea of cancer spread = suburban sprawl. Nobody needs their healthy kidney cells gentrified by yuppie cancer cells! Smart growth, my healthy ass cells!

    P.S. Typepad comments are teh suck!!1!

  32. norbizness

    Sorry about the pun and the link; it was mainly for the benefit of non-mole-eating visitors. I guess the whole experience is like little Alex’s post-brainwashing reaction to the Ludwig Van.

    A little Monsanto in all of us? That reminds me of Mojo Nixon’s theory that there’s a little Elvis in all of us, but that he’s trying to get out of Vanilla Ice or something.

    ANd I like Cafesiren’s idea of cancer spread = suburban sprawl. Nobody needs their healthy kidney cells gentrified by yuppie cancer cells! Smart growth, my healthy ass cells!

    P.S. Typepad comments are teh suck!!1!

  33. norbizness

    I’m really sorry about that latest thing. I swear I’m not pushing ‘post’ like it’s an elevator button.

  34. jayann

    That (non-spreading) is such great news. Anti-emetics: yes. But try to avoid the one that’s an antipsychotic (!), it made me feel terrible. It was worth it, but only just.. (It’s called prochlorperazine. Metoclopramide was better for me.)

  35. jayann

    That (non-spreading) is such great news. Anti-emetics: yes. But try to avoid the one that’s an antipsychotic (!), it made me feel terrible. It was worth it, but only just.. (It’s called prochlorperazine. Metoclopramide was better for me.)

  36. wordgirl

    I doubt there is a context in which a bummer word like “negative” has ever sounded better to the ear. Melodic, even.

    Just like the hair that grows back after chemo,I predict your desire for the taco will return three-fold…and then some!

    Oh, Joy! Oh, Rapture! Oh, cold beer!

  37. Sam

    Now that I have that Elvis song on my head (thanks Norbiz), I remember that it was Joan Rivers Elvis wants out of, and I’m gonna keep remembering it all day because Elvis Is Everywhere hangs on the mind like a brain infection.

    I’ve been in Oregon’s medical marijuana program for three years and can report much happiness with the increased appetite. You know you want to move to Oregon.

  38. SneakySnu

    I would like to associate myself with all those here who are thrilled to hear about your test results. Many happy taco-munching years to come, and a bottle of champagne to your obstreperologist for keeping those lobes in excellent working order!

  39. TimT

    Micro-tacos, perhaps? Give any normal sized taco a few rounds in the washing machine, and it should shrink it down to digestible size.

    I’ve always wondered, how does one eat a taco properly? Hold it in your hand and it’s likely to crack and run all over your arm.

  40. Rene

    When my mother-in-law (now cured) was going through chemo, she would often develop cravings for certain foods only to discover that they didn’t taste right once she bit into them. That was the case with oranges, which sounded good to her but never tasted the way she remembered. We offered to get her some marijuana, but she declined. Her appetite came right back once she ended the chemo. I’m glad that you’re going to be OK; that’s the important thing. The chemo will suck, but it won’t last forever.

    Rene

  41. Shannon

    Dang…now I, too, have “Elvis Is Everywhere” stuck in my head. The only person on earth with no Elvis in him, according to Mojo Nixon, is Michael J. Fox. Yup, probably.

    I will eat an honorary taco for you at Taco Tuesday tonight ($1 tacos! $1 Mexican beers!), and will buy you all the tacos you can stand if you are ever in my neck of the woods someday…it’s just brilliant you’re going to be fine even if things aren’t very fun right now.

    Although not medically indicated, I can say from experience that Percoset is a really good time if you want to just knock yourself out! :)

  42. Hattie

    You will enjoy many a taco in the future.

  43. TMo

    Could they make that Adriamycin look any more like poison? Can’t they at least hide the syringe under a mini blanket covered with cute puppies or something?

    So glad to hear you will survive this. I know it’s tough not have an appetite right now. At least every round of chemo is one less to go through. You will get through this and we will all be thrilled to hear about your path back to taco heaven.

  44. kathy a

    woo hoooooo! so glad to hear the test results are good! [*she does the secret happy dance*]

    and bleaaaah, twisty — chemo sucks. my dad and nephew both went through it. their reactions varied — sometimes uck and sometimes not bad. soup was the wonder-food for my dad. nephew went with milkshakes, or a little of whatever sounded good — and those nice nausea meds.

    can you take your own movies to chemo? dad took his old classic favorites on tape and inflicted them on everyone, but apparently he made friends anyway. or maybe, a dvd on a laptop?

    may tacos soon be on your menu!

  45. Jen

    Excellent news on your test results!

    Now, on to chemo:

    Lemon drops, oyster crackers, and popsicles were pretty much my entire food pyramid the day of chemo straight through day 4-5 afterwards. I had to suck on the lemon drops, with quelled the nausea long enough for me to manage a popsicle, which got enough something into my stomach for me to nibble 10 – 12 oyster crackers. Lather, rinse repeat. My appetite would creep back just enough by the end of day 4 to make it possible to get applesauce down. On day 5 or 6, it was like someone toggled a switch and BAM my appetite came back with a vengeance. Every single freakin’ time it came back, I had to drop everything and head to Chili’s and inhale nachos.

    If you’re having trouble keeping enough liquids down, I recommend popsicles — homemade is best, because you may need a more bland popsicle to keep from gagging. Grape pedialyte type stuff makes a good ‘sicle, as does half water/half blueberry juice.

    Smelling a fresh lemon was weirdly helpful, too. And not having anything too hot or too cold.

  46. ae

    Oh, thank god, Twisty. Jesus.

    Re: current appetites and their loss, the dead, white, abyss-mentioning guy also said: Necessity is not an established fact, but an interpretation.

    In 3 months you’ll be back at the tacos! The rule for now is to eat what you can when you can. None of this “should” shit; don’t stress yourself out w/ that crap. Do remind your bodyguard, though, that a little gentle reminding may be necessary when you’re too nauseated to nosh. You do need the calories. I’ve had those Ensure drinks before, and they’re actually good. It’s a relatively easy way to get your vitamins/calories.

    My pal who went through this recently ate grapes when she couldn’t eat anything else, and I’ll bet anything we could come up w/ a long list of cyberpals who would come down and peel them for you. =)

  47. Octopod

    Does ginger help with chemo-related nausea? ‘Cause for all other kinds, it seems to be an amazingly effective treatment…anyone tried?

  48. madwoman in the attic

    You’d think that after all this time the fucking patriarchy could cobble together some potential cancer killing combination that wouldn’t make people sick, lose their appetites or their hair, wouldn’t you?

    Good news about the test results, Twisty. Hang in there.

  49. The G&J Show

    Adriamycin? Been there, done that. What else they giving you?

    Look, the nurses are supposed to infuse you with anti-nausea premeds in your IV drip. PLUS you should take some oral anti-nausea meds BEFORE the infusion, then every day on schedule for FIVE DAYS AFTER the infusion. NEVER wait until you feel green.

    The best anti-nausea meds are expensive as hell: Kytril, Emend, Anzemet. We got them for free from the chemo nurses. Ask. Better yet, demand them. Do it right, and you’ll be able to keep your tacos down. Compazine is cheap and okay for “in-between” doses, but definitely not enough on its own. You should have an rx for Compazine, too. And Ativan at night — settles the stomach and the mind.

    Eat oatmeal. Gets rid of the weird taste in the mouth. We swear.

    We love you. We’re glad to tears to hear your scan was clean. Take your meds and listen to the Mindfulness tape when you’re not barfing, hear?

  50. Buffalo Gal

    Yeah, ginger is worth a try in the it-can’t-hurt mode. Tea made with a couple of slices of fresh ginger, a little sweetening if you like, may settle your innards a bit. If it doesn’t, well, don’t do it again. The chemo effects will be temporary – you just have to find ways to keep up your strength in the meantime.

  51. Betsy

    Twisty, I’m very sorry to hear about the side effects of your chemo and very happy to learn about the non-obstreperousness of the cancer with regard to all other organs. Hoping for the very best outcomes for you as your treatment goes forward. Regards & FTP, Betsy

  52. Hissy Cat

    Poor Twisty!

    I’m so sorry about the tacos.

  53. ursa

    The good prognosis must be a weight of your shoulders. As Octopod above says, my friend used fresh ginger in a little hot water and sipped or inhaled. I have looked it up in Bartrams herbal and it does say it’s used for nausea during chemo so maybe its worth a try. Hope you sleep well to keep strong

    best wishes
    ursa

  54. misspinkerton

    nihil desperandum, Twisty. Though the taco days seem far off, I can assure you that you’ll be devouring Austin’s finest before you know it.

    In the meantime, might I suggest the pathetically bland sustenance of applesauce? I know it seems more fitting for an octogenerian, but it was all my mother could stomach in the worst of her chemo days.

  55. Twisty

    Much as it pains me to think about ingesting anything at all, I am pleased for the ginger suggestions,and also the freezerpops sound like a pretty good idea. The soups everyone has been bringing by are kind, but kee-rist, they have texture, and viscosity, and flavor, and temperature! No can do!

  56. bitchphd

    Survival = good. Very good indeed. Thank you, and congratulations.

    Sorry about the chemo. I prescribe marijuana. And I’m a doctor. Of sorts. Those anti-pot laws are a tool of the patriarchy. Fuck ‘em.

  57. bitchphd

    Oh, and re. food recommendations. Never did chemo, but I did do pregnancy, with 7 months of “morning” sickness. In addition to ginger and frozen foods (which conveniently lack any scent), I also found that sugary crap like jellybeans were sometimes palatable–again, they lack scent and they’re primarily sugar so they don’t really hit the stomach much.

  58. bitchphd

    And finally, I know you’re a dog person, but I find this extremely soothing.

  59. FlippyO

    Yeah, I’d go for the pot too. Whatever helps – screw the patriarchy.

    By the way, just by chance, a couple of weeks ago I found your blog entry about the Medrol Dosepak. Weird, it was on the first page of search results and I’d just been to your blog earlier that day. Anyway, I was checking out the side-effects, not wanting to end up with “psychic derangements”. I didn’t, but I did end up with a temporary dislike of chocolate. Chocolate, my all-time favorite thing ever. I was stunned. I even tried to force it, sure I would enjoy it once it was in my mouth. I had to eat crackers to get the taste of chocolate out of my mouth. Horrid.

    Anyway, I wish you good luck in the return of your appetite, even if someone happens to slip you some naturally growing weeds that they’ve gently picked from their backyard.

  60. Katy

    So sorry about the nausea.
    My husband had chemo many years ago (before I knew him) but he had high accolades for some “very expensive” anti-nausea drug.
    Fifteen years later, he eats (vegetarian) tacos w/o problem. I wish you the same fate (carnivorous or otherwise).

  61. tisha

    About the ginger: Chewing on real ginger root seemed to help me, a little bit . . . it’s spicy and stringy, but for some reason the flavor and texture never made me retch, which is more than I could say for everything else. Go figure. It’s worth a try!

  62. Joanna

    wow, Twisty, I’m so glad your tests came back with good news. And so many after chemo stories-soon you’ll be telling us yours.

  63. tisha

    Oh, and about compazines: Twisty, they might want you to try compazines (Tigan is a compazine), but watch out for a “distonic reaction” (your body locking up like it’s frozen) if you do try it.

    Some people can’t handle compazines (I found this out the hard way). If you try it and this happens to you, take several OTC Benadryl and head to the emergency room! More needles will be involved, but by then you just won’t care . . .

  64. peacebug

    I’ve always wondered, how does one eat a taco properly? Hold it in your hand and it’s likely to crack and run all over your arm.

    timt, the taco you’re thinking of likely is the “crispy” version which can, as you note, be a tricky item. twisty talks lovingly, as do we all here in austin, of the gentle soft taco which is a tortilla wrapped around your favorite items.

    to eat, one simply picks it up and bites. rather like how some respond to the patriarchy, perhaps.

    [NOTE that I do not know twisty, but she's described the virtues of the al pastor in the past and, as I know this to be a fine and glorious specimen of the taco, too, I jump to conclude her preferences lie in the soft taco way. meaning no disrespect.]

  65. kactus

    Pity that medical marijuana is illegal. I’ve heard that stuff does wonders for maintaining the appetites of folks on chemo.

    I say forget the legality part and get some weed anyway. It’s great for nausea. I know several chemo patients who use it regularly and swear by it.

  66. Indri

    Wonderful news on your scan!

    On my dad’s first round of chemo, he was also having his throat radiated, so as the designated cook I had to allow for the pain in his throat as well as the nausea. While not letting him lose too much weight.

    I don’t know how you feel about chocolate pudding, but the great thing is that you can blend in silken tofu and that kicks up the protein tremendously, without changing the taste noticeably. Cause I know my father would have NEVER willingly eaten tofu :)

    Good luck, Twisty!

  67. Barbara Brugger

    Twisty, having done Dragon At The Gates duty for friends undergoing chemo I can assure you the appetite will return. One day you will not hate the idea of food, or people who mention it.

    A big old nod of agreement on the idea of beating anti-emetics out of your medical team. And the fact is that cannibis does help many folks.

    One of my friends was so ill with her in-patient chemo she lost too much weight. They started IV feeding, which she cheerfully referred to as Ass Inna Bag. The entire staff took up the name, and one nurse eventually slipped up and used it in the hearing of an elderly and straitlaced patient. After several minutes of muffled choking (which they mistook for an apoplexy) they figured out she was laughing. The nurse later apologised to her equally elderly and straitlaced spouse only to be reassured he didn’t mind since it had been a year since he had seen her smile.

    Good news on the test results. You don’t knw me from Adam’s off-side ox, but you have been the target of some serious Good Thoughts winging your way from Oregon.

  68. jiyin

    ach, twisty, this post makes me want to cry. i’m so sorry. i wish there was something we could do, some medical thc we could get you. i’ve heard that citrus sometimes helps.

    at any rate, i’m glad to hear about your good test results.

  69. yclepta

    Hey what amazing news – your test results I mean – feel really sorry that you are not able to celebrate the way you’d like….. and I hope you find something else to help you believe life is worth living soon.
    Sometimes I feel like everything is too shit for words, but it has always passed
    xxxx

  70. larkspur

    Yay for the test results.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how your hair will grow back. For some people, it’s different from their original hair. My aunt’s hair was very fine and thin, and grew back spikier. My friend Janet’s hair returned silvery-black and almost crimped (it’s pretty).

    I hope you are getting the very best, top-of-the-line anti-nausea drugs possible. Do you have an on-site sidekick who can assess what you’re getting? It’s too hard to do this yourself. But if there’s any possibility that the staff holds off on prescribing the most expensive stuff until a patient demands it, screaming…well, I don’t want any spinsterly stoicism working against you. I want someone to be able to scream on your behalf.

  71. Spike

    hey Twisty,

    Lots of advice from folks, I hope some of it works for you.
    I had some nausea after my first chemo but then my oncologist put me on steroids and… I did have an appetite.
    No problem there.
    I ended up with a moon face and weighing 30 pounds more than when I started, but that was okay. I dropped the weight pretty fast once I finished the chemo and got on the stairmaster again.

    And just to show that you just don’t know how it might go, I got told I would probably prefer bland foods while I did chemo, but in fact, I found I needed and wanted the food to be more and more spicy the more treatments I did. It got to the point where my partner, no longer able to eat the same salsa as me, said “Do you think you might go back to eating normally spiced food after the chemo is over?”
    I’m not sure if that happened or not.

    So, hey… maybe try some steroids.
    I am guessing medical marijuana isn’t a big hit in Texas?

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