Friday, January 27, 2006

a terrible combo: hospital food and chemo

I'm watching "Windtalkers" on TNT as I update my blog. Before "Windtalkers," I watched the last bit of "The Patriot."

My dad left about an hour and a half ago along with Martha and her husband. We had a good time. Much of our conversation steered around how chaotic the NYC of the 60s and 70s was and of course, how things have changed since then. My dad enjoys talking about this city that he loves so much and the changes he has witnessed since he arrived here as an immigrant, so I know he found the conversation stimulating. He brought me some food from home. It consisted of some pieces of baked chicken, broccoli, and string beans in addition to a bowl of jello. Ever since my little accident yesterday, I have been very reluccant to eat the hospital food other than the traditional bagel and corn flakes served at breakfast. Yesterday morning I awoke with a rather full belly. I had no real appetite, but I managed to eat the bagel anyway. When lunch came I still had no particular desire to eat, so I simply left the food on its tray. After maybe 30 minutes of staring and staring at the closed dish of food on the tray that lay above my bed, I decided that perhaps it was best to eat something even if I wasn't very hungry. Of course, I need to keep my strength up right? Well, I took off the cover and had one quick wif of the rice and chicken (which didn't look too good anyway) and had two bits of the rice nevertheless, and then I just threw up all over the food and the tray. I arose from my bed as soon as possible and raced to the bathroom, but I threw up yet again on the floor and the on the toilet seat. As you can imagine, it wasn't very pleasant. I called Angie, my nurse, and she and another aid came in the room and cleaned up my mess. Since then, I have very reluccant to eat the hospital food. The social worker told me that what happened is very common. Just the smell of the food can make people nauseous. Hospital food and chemo are not a great mix, let me tell you. Basically, I have been relying on food that my friends and guests bring me, such as bagels and home cooked dishes.

I have found prune juice to be quite good, which is so ironic because for years I hated it. My parents couldn't get me to drink prune juice in the past, but now out of fear of constipation I'm drinking it easily and surprisingly enjoying it too. Orange juice is another tasty choice, but after yesterday's mess I have been slow to drink it much because it's acidic content may upset my stomach. Even bottled water isn't really desirable, eventhough it's great of course for the flushing of the kidneys. At the moment, ginger ale and prune juice stand above the rest.


Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sorry about your rough day.
Chemo nausea has to be my least favorite side effect by far.
One tip you may find helpful utilizes those cheap disposable plastic/styrofoam pitchers they place in your room to encourage you to drink, drink, drink. Ask for an extra one to keep empty and snap the lid off the top. The handle makes them quick and easy to grab in an emergency and can even hook over your IV pole when you are out walking around etc.
I hope today goes better for you!
Stay strong and keep posting.
I'm rooting for you!


12:21 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone once told me that in Japan (or maybe it is China), hospitals don't provide food at all. Instead, family members and friends bring it in. Maybe your body is leaning toward the eastern ways by rejecting hospital food. I'll bring that H & H delivery over tomorrow!

4:25 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hi Amy,
Thanks for the suggestion. In fact, I have a styrofoam pitcher in my room but I haven't used it all. I'll do what you suggested. Thanks for checking on me.

All my very best,

7:39 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

H & H bagels! Yummy! I can't wait! Thanks.

7:40 PM  

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