Orange slices for chemo

This deserves its own quick post. Here’s a tip for chemotherapy: It can be a nerve racking process, so if you need an outlet for your energy may I kindly suggest orange slices?

The idea was developed by my scientist husband in our kitchen lab while I was going through my vomiting spree. I couldn’t drink my Avemar without throwing it all back up; the taste becomes quite unpleasant (terrible) after hard core chemo.  BUT it’s been shown to help, so what’s to be done?

Zsolt’s answer: Slice oranges.

After drinking the Avemar I immediately bite into an orange (think tequilla shot but orange instead of lemon) and gargle/spit the juice. This really helps with the aftertaste.

Also, the chemo was causing me to have superhuman smelling power – making trips to the hospital really difficult. How to cope: open that bag of oranges and start chewing. So what if the juice runs down my chin? So what if I smile at everyone with the peel in my mouth?

So what?

They probably call me the Orange Girl, because whenever it’s blood or chemo time I’m always in the waiting room chewing on the orange slices – I see them staring! And oranges smell too, only good. Citrusy. Hopefully I’m not making anyone nauseas.

Therefore, I’d like to award a gold star to Zsolt for his ingenious solution to my problem. Orange slices. Give them a try. (Bring tissues for the juice!)

Taste buds changing

Good Goulash. Oh, how my taste buds are changing.

Yesterday evening, while watching Location, Location, Location with Zsolt and dreaming of our own prospective-possible-future house buying options, I opened a bag of crisps (potatoes chips, but since I’m in England, let’s go with crisps). Tyrrells’ chips are certainly tasty, and their Cider Vinegar and Sea Salt has a sharpness that I love in a good salt and vinegar crisp/chip.

Anyhow, happy and enjoying the show – we dig in. Stacy and Phil are selling a couple on a house that is priced £50,000 over their max budget, and I’m curious whether they can secure a deal. But that’s not the only interesting thing. Once my hunger subsides and I actually start enjoying my snack, I realize I’m not fully enjoying it. There’s no freaking taste! Zsolt is all ‘vinegar lips’ with the sour face, and I can hardly sense the salt. Honestly, it was like eating a plain baked potatoe – hold all dressing.

This isn’t the first time my taste buds took a vacation. Last chemo cycle I had an unfortunate incidence with some scones, which led to a break out of mouth sores, followed by an extremely bland meal of homemade sushi (couldn’t taste the side sauces), however during that last occurrence the taste came back.

Here is the question: will my taste return? Here is another question: will bread ever be delicious again? Right now, without the taste, it’s really quite dull.

But I guess all food is dull without flavour. Fortunately I can still taste goulash. It may be that my diet will be amended to all things Hungarian (peppers, sausage, kolbasz, sour cream and Eros Pista) and no things tasteless.

Anyhow, thank goodness for paprika.

This round of chemo has been different. It may be related to the Zolodex and menopausal symptoms, but oh-my-word it’s been emotional. How do people cope? It’s no fun to be sad; the mental barriers grow exponentially.

Thankfully I have support. Mom and Zsolt have been so good to me – Zsolt dances and encourages me to relax, Mom monitors my routine (which frankly is so easy to neglect when feeling weak, so without her I’d be nowhere near doing/taking everything to help recovery). Also, a nod to my Dad who has been a great help with this car insurance annoyance. Because of their help my mood has lifted over the past two days, and it feels good to feel good.

But this is all from something I realized during my last post. While biking up that mountain I was too embarrassed to ask for help. Yes, yes, there was triumph in biking up – but wow, getting a ride would have been nice.  After writing that blog I asked my mother to check on me more often, because I was slipping. She has been helping since – the support has been such a boost.

From taste buds to energy to emotions to treatment – this ride is long from over. For the time being, ‘help’ is the most important word in my vocabulary.  Thank goodness for the people who surround me. Gold stars for them all. 😉