Monday, August 23, 2010

Shrimp Is The New Steak ...

After a relatively stress free weekend, Monday has not been as successful.

Last Friday, I had a tooth pulled ... the last molar on the lower left side ... and other than nearly going into shock over having the damned thing pulled ... it hasn't been too bad. The pain medicine helps ... and the Novocain didn't wear off for hours ... so that part wasn't too bad.

And ... other than extreme fatigue, Mr. ThirtyWhat was doing alright. He ate relatively well this weekend ... I mean, not fantastic by any means, but considering he was finishing up week five of radiation on his head and throat, he was pretty much kicking ass and taking names.

But ... then we woke up this morning. We found out he's lost close to ten pounds in this last week. On top of that, he had a rough patch of nausea this morning. Even with the anti-nausea medication, he just couldn't keep any breakfast down.

In other news, the skin on his neck is beginning to burn. There are tiny blisters on the skin ... and we're keeping cream on it to help with the burning and keep it from peeling ... but I suspect it isn't doing anything for the pain.

What have we learned from all of this? He's going to need to take the anti-nausea medicine much earlier in the morning. The smell and taste of food is too much so we're going to have to catch the stomach issues before they start.

Also, if you know of anyone who is going through head and neck cancer, I have one word for you ... shrimp. After the second week of radiation, beef of any kind became inedible to Mr. ThirtyWhat. He said it tasted rancid. By the end of the third week, we'd also eliminated pork and potatoes as his tastes continued to change. By the end of week four, baked chicken was out ... not necessarily because of the taste but because of the texture. So what has that left us?

Shrimp. Shrimp is the one solid food that he still can eat at the start of week six. Well, let me back that up ... he can also eat "Easy Mac" macaroni and cheese ... but I have to add so much water to it that it's more soup than solid.

He also drinks Ensure (which he prefers to Boost, by the way) and will begrudgingly drink milkshakes when I push them at him ... but shrimp is the only solid food that still works. Not fried, mind you ... I'm talking about peel and eat ... "shrimp cocktail" kind of shrimp ... without the cocktail.

So, up until this point, he's been having two eggs and a bottle of Ensure for breakfast, cream of chicken soup for lunch ... and "Easy Mac" with 8-10 shrimp for dinner. After losing nearly ten pounds this week, we're going to have to make adjustments. Whether it's more milkshakes ... more shrimp ... more Ensure ... I don't know. But we'll be adding something.

What do they got? A lot of sand?
We got a hot crustacean band
Each little clam here
know how to jam here
Under the sea

The Little Mermaid - Under the Sea


  1. MiniTwin5:09 PM

    If you can find this book at your library or at the local bookstore, then you'll be in good luck. :D

    It's a cookbook to enhance flavors and tastes for cancer patients going through radiation and chemotherapy. It has a TON of recipes as well as advice for how in increase/decrease tastes, such as "everything tastes bitter" or "everything tastes like cardboard". I found it at the local library near me.

    The author is a chef-in-residence and nutritionist at a cancer treatment center who has tested the enhancements she talks about in the book with cancer patients who are at the treatment center.

  2. Thanks, MiniTwin! I've requested it from the library ... hopefully it'll come in this week! :D

  3. You could also try

    It's a book- I found it on the Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer.