I needed to just “be”
It’s Friday, 24 May, 2019. Yesterday I returned from a four-day visit with my daughter and son-in-law in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The trip had been arranged some time ago, before I knew what SMM and MGUS and multiple myeloma are. But it came at just the right time. I really needed to see them. I needed to just “be.” I needed to not think so much about all of the dreadful possibilities. And luckily – or unluckily (is that a word?) – I happened to visit during a week of heavy rain and flooding as well as tornadoes in the Midwest. Great. Note to self: never visit Tulsa in May. There is nothing like the sound of civil defense sirens, warning of approaching tornadoes, to make you not think about cancer. I was less concerned with my bone marrow biopsy than I was with where to take shelter in a house that has no basement. Why do they build houses in Oklahoma without basements? Or at least a sunken bathtub.
Still, I did take the opportunity to talk briefly with my daughter about my desires for, you know, when I pass. I mean, it’s going to happen eventually anyway. You know. I’m single now. Somebody needs to know. Organ donor, cremation, veterans cemetery, military honors, no dramatic funeral… (By the way, there was some flooding and tornado activity in Oklahoma but not near my kids’ home.)
Grocery shopping conundrum
I had been needing to pick up some groceries for a week before the trip but I decided to wait until I returned so as not to buy things that might spoil. And to give myself time to think about what to buy. What to eat now. I had this, grocery shopping conundrum. Food is the first line of defense against cancer. I decided the battle begins now. In my kitchen. At 60 years of age, with SMM, I have to face the reality that from now on my dietary choices are part of the battle. It’s real. Shit. Really, it’s real. Like, food can no longer just be something to eat. Tasty and fun. What I eat now feeds or fights cancer. Fuck. Who needs this? Bring me some deep fried Oreos and let’s talk about this like rational adults. No. It’s not going to work that way anymore.
So, I did some research online and found that for the most part, the recommended “cancer diet” is a common sense healthy diet. Mediterranean diet. Fresh fruits and veggies. Lean meats. Whole grains. Little dairy. No alcohol. Wait! What? We’ll find a compromise for that. There does appear to be a lot of advice about what to eat when you’re being treated in order to deal with the damaging side effects of this drug or that. But I’m not there. Not yet. Does this mean that at some point every bite going to be based on science? God, I need an Oreo.
Damn you cancer!
So I purged my kitchen this morning. I mean, there wasn’t that much in there anyway. Goodbye ice cream. See ya frozen lunches. I bought fresh foods. Unprocessed. Organic. That kind of stuff. It’s a start. All part of figuring out this new reality. Now I need to cook more. Microwave less. Damn you cancer. Damn you!
The Internet is replete with advice, recipes, studies, testimonials… I know. I know! And of course everybody has an opinion. Just give me some time. This is a process not one act. Let me mourn for a bit. Mourn the death of quick, convenient meals. Mourn the end to tasty treats and simple solutions. Damn you cancer! Hmm…did I hide any Oreos around here?