My nausea was still very strong, so eating became challenging post J-Tube, especially since I was now required to eat six to eight small meals each day.
Discovering what I could eat took months, and once I figured it out, things would change. I had to keep trying foods, like meat, nuts and ice cream, until they didn’t disturb me any more. Eating frequently made it necessary to vary my diet, since I would get fed up with certain foods. Quantities also changed. Ice cream went from none to almost two tablespoons, without having the runs.
I always loved food and enjoyed cooking, until my life became just about eating. My passion for learning new recipes allowed me to create my own over the years. Gourmet cooking was less appealing after cancer, because I would be too tired to eat it after preparing it. I dream of having a chef – even for one year – so I could just eat great food and gain weight.
When I finally began to have the rumbling in my belly, I would also get a headache to accompany it. It’s an awful feeling – like some thing is eating you from the inside. Now I understand how necessary it is to eat so often throughout the day. The digestion is instant, unless I eat a heavy meal, like beef or Fettucine Alfredo. Certain foods require that I lie down for two hours or so, to sleep off the draining digestion. I could feel uncomfortably full one minute, and weak and starving the next. Wherever I go, water and snacks come with me.
We never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace.