You have taken away my love for food but only temporarily! I am a self-proclaimed super-taster and foodie, and what you have taken from me, especially on the days after chemo, is indescribable and insufferable. Instead of thinking about the joy that food brings, I wake up agonizing over what I can eat without throwing up or feeling nauseous. And, what’s up with getting the taste of chalk and metal in my mouth? I hate it! It really messes with my taste buds. Oh, how I long for the day when I can eat sashimi and soft poached eggs again without the risk of infection.
Before I met you, cancer, beef was my vice. I loved all things beef, such as beef balls and thin slices of beef in a bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup, Korean barbecue beef, Japanese Shabu Shabu, Chinese Beef Chow Fun, and of course a tender juicy steak. I’m drooling thinking about it now. When I bit into a delicious steak and tasted its velvety goodness, it felt like a chorus singing sweet melodies and dancing on my palette. But how would I have known that red meat was so bad for me? The delight and enjoyment I got from steak blinded me from grasping what red meat was actually doing to my body.
Food not only nourishes me but also inspires and motivates me to travel and explore the world’s cuisines. Immersing myself in the cultures of the world through food allows me to experience the freedom of choice and to feel the soul in the flavors when everything in the dish is perfectly balanced. Chemo drugs have rewired my brain to think of food as something strictly to keep me alive—luckily, this feeling only lasts for a few days.
Once my appetite returns, I’m back to looking at delicious food pictures, reading restaurant reviews, and watching cooking and travel shows. One of my favorite pastimes is watching YouTube videos on how to recreate dishes with healthier ingredients. There are so many wonderful recipes on the internet! Some of the websites that I found are from kriscarr.com, skinnytaste.com, and loveandlemons.com. Also, my favorite cookbooks are Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz and Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr. For travel shows, I would recommend Somebody Feed Phil and Down to Earth. All these sites, books, and shows motivate me to carry on and get past my lack of appetite.
I will continue to fight you, cancer, and win, to bring my love for food back, even if it means having to rethink my food selections. It’s impressive to witness artistic creativity when chefs and home cooks elevate things like boring vegetables just by adding different ingredients to enhance the flavor profiles of the dishes. I can’t wait to eat and enjoy more, to restore the sparkle in my eyes and the bright smile that defines me. I am determined to bring back the best version of me! Here’s to your defeat… and screw you, cancer!
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