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Merry Christmas plus relatives

ekdennie's picture
Posts: 236
Joined: Aug 2010

I am very happy to be celebrating my first Christmas post diagnosis and treatment. I am healing slowly, but I am healing. I am amazed how the celebrations with each of my parents was just like the last couple of year's. a part of me was expecting something different, something more personal, more sentimental, but aside from my sister who always does something to try and make me emotional, it was the same. I gave personal gifts, but didn't get any. it seemed very odd. I am not sure what was so odd about it, but it just seemed odd somehow.
of course I know that I was a little on edge after talking to a relative who didn't seem to understand that I really can not eat much, but that what i do eat I eat as much as I can. she was worried about what to make for the holidays. I kept saying to make what you usually make and I will either eat it or not but not to worry. that all I really needed was whole milk, which I drink with every meal to make sure i get enough calories. however, she kept listing food after food that no I could not eat. then she was like, "wow, you really can not eat much can you...what about this or this?" no, no, and nope. but the foods I do eat I do not eat in large quantities. just get the stuff for my kids and I will take care of me...she didn't like that answer so I kept having to think of something she could make...I still have no clue!
then when I agreed that there is still so little I could eat and that I had lost a couple more pounds she made the one comment that makes me cring when I think of it..."aside from the cancer stuff, don't you feel so much better without all that weight on you?" to which I could only reply with the truth..."well, actually, I feel the same as before. I have actually only lost 15 pounds from the weight I was before I got pregnant with Morgan (3rd baby) and the weight I lost after my surgery was weight I had put on after my diagnosis. so yes since the day of surgery I have lost 39 lbs, but 20 of that I had gained before my surgery while eating all of my favorite foods. I was in great shape before surgery and other than the horrible headaches that I had before surgery and don't have now, I feel the same." to which she replied, "really?"
I have energy, but not as much as before treatments. I don't really notice my weight...I didn't before, I don't now, but I would feel so much better if it was discussed all the time! it is only one part of who I am, and not all that important to me.
well, enough of my ranting, I am sure I will be over it all in no time! just mixed emotions. My obturator doesn't fit right and I am a little touchy at the moment, but I intend to be over it very very very soon.

wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)

adventurebob's picture
Posts: 690
Joined: Jun 2010

And how many calories have you eaten today? Don't answer! Won't it be nice when we don't hear those questions anymore? Normalcy in all things to do with food and eating are what I long for most these days. I have been very vegan all through treatment and it has worked out nicely and I will be mostly vegan when it's all done. But the day I can taste again and swallow whole food I will be having the biggest bacon cheeseburger and plate of fries I have ever had. I think. Maybe it only sounds good now. Hopefully it comes soon.

Merry Christmas


ekdennie's picture
Posts: 236
Joined: Aug 2010

I find myself just wanting a really great steak, I was able to eat a couple of bites the other day...but it didn't taste right and it took all of my strength to get those tiny bites down! I can't wait until the day I can go to a restaurant and chose anything on the menu. where I don't have to send something back because it was too hard to chew or so dry that it brings tears to my eyes. I have actually called ahead and then asked to speak to a manager just so I could get soft food with extra sauce and water with no ice and a big glass of milk. I can drink the milk if I can't eat! I also miss vegetables...raw vegetables, broccoli, spinach, and fruit...an existence of dairy and pastas is okay, but I miss real food and being able to taste it. at one point I thought I had just lost my sense of sweet...then I realized I couldn't taste salty or sour. I can taste earthy flavors and bitter tastes...um, odd. sweet is starting to come back...especially if I eat it with a dairy product. example: red velvet cake with cream cheese icing...it used to taste way too sweet before treatment, now it tastes just sweet enough that I know I am eating something with sugar! I did a happy dance for days on that one!
I am amazed at how obsessed with my weight everyone is. Between baby #2 and Baby #3 I had lost 30 lbs...no one paid much attention, but now it is newsworthy! I can understand my mom or husband obsessing about it...they have been here when the doctors said not to lose too much weight, but the rest....well anyway...I won't go into that again!
Wishing you the most amazing bacon cheeseburger real soon!
Merry Christmas!

charles55's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: Aug 2010

Don't you think life looks just a little different than it did before treatment? And not everyone around us gets that. I just don't want to be bound up by some of the minor things that used to fill my mind. I notice now there just is way too much anger and hate and arguing and selfishness, and hurting. I give a lot more hugs than I used to, which means I get a lot more hugs, too. Hey, maybe it is going to be a merry Christmas, afterall.

And for Bob, I think that fats and proteins were the first flavors that came back for me. That cheeseburger maybe perfect.

ekdennie's picture
Posts: 236
Joined: Aug 2010

Everyone gets hugs from me! I found that I want to get to know those around me beyond a basic level. I have often been in the same room as a relative and later realized that I didn't know very much about them as a person. I knew about their kids, or about the basic things that they liked, but I didn't really know them. I found myself working harder to get to know my sister's step kids...they are older and are really amazing people. I didn't want to treat them as someone who was just there, while I was busy with my kids. I took the time to sit down and talk to the younger one...he is 16 to ask him what he wants for his future and how he plans to get what he wants. he is a bright boy with a bright future and I hope he can reach his goals. I spoke with the older girl about how college was going...she had a rough semester, but I know that she can figure things out in a way that works for her. she is hardworking (when she wants to be) and I think that if she determines what she wants that she will go get it.
as for me, I have realized that there were so many things that I kept telling myself I would do later when my kids were grown. this was a huge wakeup call. I don't want to wait. I went to school in art and I have been wanting to create, but I have been so afraid that they would come along behind and destroy what I have made. I am okay with it now...they destroy so that I can make something even more amazing. I will not be using them as an excuse to not do something. I will find a way to create the balance I need to be even more happy. they will learn that when mommy is working on a project that they have their own projects to work on.
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

nkimber's picture
Posts: 46
Joined: Oct 2010

After an awful start to my day today, I have been thinging about all of this stuff too, so reading your posts right now is so appropriate! You know I try to be as positive as possible about things, expecially in front of other people, but it's so hard sometimes! I know it is a blessing (in a huge disguise) for us that we can and WILL see things differently, but it is also so crappy at the same time! I get so angry with myself that I didn't realize this before, and also wishing that I would have done so many things differently. I know I will be a different person from now on, and I am so grateful for that... I just wish that people didn't need to go through this to get there.

That being said... Elizabeth, I know your family is SO LUCKY to have you! There are so many people who just don't get it, and never will. That usually makes me so upset, but I have been trying so hard to not let it get to me. It's kind of like the saying that in any situation, with any number of people, the only thing you can control is what YOU do. When I think about that, it helps me feel better. If we keep leading by eample, maybe others will follow. If not, so be it.

Bob, I'm sorry to say that I can still taste and eat (sorry that you can't, not that I can). I am craving meat and cheese like you would not believe!!!!!!! I'm trying my best to be vegan, at least for now, but the other night Jake and I went out to dinner. He had a very yummy-looking steak and I didn't, but I very quickly stole the mushrooms and onions from the top. I know that's cheating a little bit but I just couldn't help myself. Then, this weekend I swear every time we drove somewhere and I got out of the car, all I could smell were cheeseburgers. What is that all about? Even at 8:00 in the morning... CHEESEBURGERS. Ugh.

Lots of hugs and wishing you all the best Christmas and New Year's ever... with every year from here on out being even better than the last :)


Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2010

Just a suggestion for you. GO FOR IT!. I to am trying so hard to follow the vegan path. However what I have found out after purchaseing about 3 VEGAN Cook books is that there is processed food there also. We just returned from a cruise, my hubby gave me for my birthday and surviving the treatment. I am lucky, I have about 85% taste, but not much salava. I have lost about 40 #, but had it to loose. I did OK on the "All you can eat cruise", but I did have one cheeseburger. It was the only red meat I ate, and first one in about 6 months. The rest of the time I ate fish or shrimp, or a vegie dish. I did have a couple of vegie onlets, whiich is a no no in the vegan world. What I found is that it didnt taste as good as I remember, but now I do not have that desire anymore. I still want other things, and I will probally try them occasionaly. I found that when I relaxed and didnt stress about everything going in my mouth, I was a lot more at ease, and seem to enjoy each moment I was in. Life is too short for all of us. I am not suggesting you eat a cow, but enjoy life with some boundaries. I cant guarantee what the future will hold, but I can guarantee it will make you feel better for the moment. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I am very happy to hear you are doing so well and just in time for the holidays. Keep on doing what you are doing.

Mary Christmas and a great new year to you and to your family

susan0803's picture
Posts: 90
Joined: Aug 2010

I haven't replied to many posts lately, even though I have been reading almost all of them, reading about new members, existing member's updates, etc.

Anyway, I did want to say that for me helping my husband go through the brutal treatment as many of the members here did, certainly made me try and change my behaviors and attitude.

I think of the silver linings in the dark clouds. It already seems that so much of what my husband (and my family) went through was so long ago, even though it was just a little over a month that he finished his last treatment.

Some of the silver linings for me were:
- were "meeting" people on this board and learning so much from everyone here (for example my husband swears by the LGlutamine that I learned about from this board. He was able to eat(sort of) all throughout - mostly his mom's pesto on soft bread - go figure)
- learning so much more about cancer and knowing that it too is part of being human
- knowing that I can get through difficult situations, much better than I thought I could
- getting closer to one of my sisters who came out to stay with us for two weeks in the middle of treatments
- being able to accept all of the well wishes and support that other family members and friends gave us
- loving my family even more than before

Love and peace.

sweetblood22's picture
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

If it makes you feel any better, you are not the only one to put up with stupid and hurtful comments from family and friends. It's hard but just try and ignore them because they are just clueless.

You sound like me with the milk. I drink lots of it. It helps me get my food down. Water is to thin, hard to swallow and hurts my mouth. Kinda feels like it strips away any moisture and leaves my mouth feeling drier.

I miss being able to eat meat but I am finding more things I can swallow and for that I am greatful. I couldn't eat anything last Christmas at all so I will try and be mindful of that while everyone is eating yummy roasted beasts and other good stuff I can't swallow.

Why people think we want to hear comments about our weight I shall never know. I had someone say I was scrawny the other night at a friends holiday party. Gee thanks. :( It's just hurtful. I'm wondering if they think I look this bad at 101 I wonder what they would have said about me at 87lbs.

I sometimes feel weird around my relatives too. Something in us has changed when you walk with death a while. A switch gets flipped and you are forever changed. You see a little father, a little deeper. You feel a little more, things are heightened in some strange inexplicable way. Things that seemed so important at one time are just silly. The things people think are so hard and awful and life shattering can actually make you laugh and wish that was all you had to think about or face on a day to day basis. It's all relative, I suppose. (pun intended).

Best wishes to all this holiday season. I've been praying for extra patience to deal with a few relatives that drive me nuts. I actual have other family members that refuse to come because he and his kids will be at dinner. So I know it's just not me that has issues with this person. Lol.

delnative's picture
Posts: 450
Joined: Aug 2009

Aside from the cancer, don't you feel better having lost all that weight?
Kind of reminds me of that classic quote, "Well aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

--Jim in Delaware

ekdennie's picture
Posts: 236
Joined: Aug 2010

yeah, feels that way! I wouldn't have lost 39 lbs in six months without the cancer, I would not have even tried. then again I wouldn't have gained 20 pounds in a month and a half without the cancer either! other than the pain in my mouth when I talk, eat, breathe...life is great! :) other than the mouthpiece that keeps falling out, allowing fluids up through my sinuses and running back out of my nose, drinking would be enjoyable. aside from the cancer, I was in great shape and great health, now aside from the cancer treatments I am in great shape and health...and I weigh less! I'm not stick thin...I could still lose more and not be stick then, but my kids like to tell me that I have lost my butt! :) they sure do know how to put things into perspective!

ekdennie's picture
Posts: 236
Joined: Aug 2010

Before I had cancer and went through these treatments you could not have paid me to drink a glass of milk...now that I can't really taste it, I drink it with every meal. without the milk it gets hard to swallow. I agree that water is too thin! waiters look at me funny when I ask for water with no ice and a glass of milk.
today I was able to eat out at a restaurant with my husband. I was able to eat some shrimp, some soup, and a quiche (without the crust...to painful and dry)...I had found out I could eat a finely chopped quiche after my surgery and thought I would give it a try tonight...I wish I could have tasted it more, but I was able to get it down...I only had to make one run to the bathroom to clean out my obturator and hole. then I ate dessert and drank some coffee...it felt so good to feel human...everything tasted funny, but I was so happy to swallow it...now to work on food with texture thicker than pudding! :) oh, I was able to sort of eat a piece of rice chex cereal today when I was making chex mix for my family. I had to drink some milk with it, but I could sort of taste it...my taste buds and salivary glands went crazy! I will e descriptive for a second: liquid was just running out of my nose! when my mouth is dry nothing comes out my nose, but when my saliva is going...well, so is my nose! I am going to try and make a version with just rice cereal for me...that and a gallon of milk should be a fun snack! :) I think it will be worth the runny nose and the pain...well a little pain...too much and I will stop, but it was yummy. first food with any flavor in more weeks than I care to remember! :)
Merry Christmas and Happy New years!

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