You might imagine that the demise of taste buds would rule out a craving for food. On the contrary, not even nausea can do that, and Lord knows I feel nauseous quite a lot of the time these days. However, nausea is no match for steroids. They have the ability to create feelings of hunger that are unrivalled. I have been, quite literally, shaking with hunger.
Round one of chemo, of this new and not so welcome experience resulted in industrial quantities of macaroni cheese being consumed. I would like to say that I never inhaled but it would be an un-truth. I inhaled macaroni cheese until smoke came out of my ears. The scales were brutal in their assessment of my brief addiction and I learnt my lesson.
Round two led me to roast a chicken in preparation for the affects of steroids. Protein would surely dampen my enthusiasm for carbs as I lay, quivering with nausea and shaking with hunger, in my sick bed. It did not, and I found myself standing at the fridge eating hot lime pickle out of the jar.
When I first went to Chemo, I was checked in by a nurse who made me stand on the scales and noted down my weight, in much the same way as check-in staff at Heathrow weigh baggage. Instead of wrapping ID round the handle of my suitcase, she wrapped in round me. If I’d been fatter than expected she’d have called for extra chemo rather than baggage handling re-enforcements. Weigh-ins have now led me to conclude I am on the cusp of a cry for “more drugs”. As she led me to my allotted spot she told me that “lots of ladies love a curry while they’re on chemo”. I snorted with incredulity. Now I know what real hunger is, I’d snort the curry.
This obsession with new ways to tickle the taste buds has led me to hunt the net for hot sauces and I’m not bad at making them. Thank goodness for the glut of hot chillies that languish in my freezer, along with the overflow of coriander seeds. Everything else I got in the supermarket.
Curry does not do justice to the range of hot and spicey food I currently live on. I eat it for breakfast. This very morning, I consumed a spicey aubergine dish slathered in lime pickle. There is an argument for not bothering with the food preparation and just going for the pickle, but I’m keen on my five a day.
All of this has spawned a lot of fart jokes. My chum the Big Cheese does a good line in fart jokes, and while most of his jokes are wincingly wide of the mark, his oh so human observations of excess wind, hit the spot. I confess that I have laughed so hard there was a risk of a slight breeze sweeping across my sofa.
The BF suggested that we go the whole hog and order an Indian takeaway. I ordered hot and it was delicious. It was so delicious that I was eyeing up the leftover sauce and thinking how good that would be for breakfast, when the BF stuffed newspaper into the leftovers and threw it in the bin. I thought I showed great restraint in not coming downstairs, in the night, to get it out of the bin and eat it.
Gearing up for the last chemo in this particular set of four “mother of all chemo’s”, as they were so sweetly described to me, made me wonder what cravings await me. Scotch Bonnet? I’m not thinking of a tartan head covering, but I am going for growth.