Monday, August 9, 2010

Of pesto and shrimp

We have a veggie subscription from a farm out in the Valley, and amidst the sea of lettuce and assorted greens, we sometimes get a bunch of fresh basil.  We had basil and some shrimp we bought at the farmers' market on hand about three weeks ago, the day prior to my first chemo session.  At the time, I had no idea what to expect with regards to appetite, nausea, and other side effects, and thought we should have a tasty dinner the night before.  Sort of the last supper.  So down came the food processor, in went the basil, pine nuts, and other ingredients, and out went big bowls of pasta with shrimp and pesto.  It was tasty stuff.  We ate and enjoyed.

In the days that followed my first infusion, I maintained a healthy appetite, but was cautious about what went down the gullet.  The pasta stayed in the fridge.  It just didn't sound appetizing.  I thought maybe it had something to do with the garlic and strong flavors.  C helped herself to the leftovers, and in time the pasta left our fridge entirely.  (See, I told you I might digress into fridge contents eventually.  Who knew it would happen so fast?)

Days passed, and the thought of pesto still made me feel unsettled.  I didn't really give it much thought.  Late last week, I was reading a runner's cancer blog, detailing his attempts to maintain a running schedule throughout chemotherpay.  Part way through, he noted in passing his experience that the food he ate the day before getting chemo fell forever into disfavor.  "Whoa," I think, remembering the pesto.  "There might be something to this."

Rest assured, I am determined to make sure that pesto gets back into my good graces.  But C and I are giving some real thought to what I'll eat tomorrow.  No sense in taking any unnecessary risks and forever alienating myself from a particular favorite or dietary staple.  You hear people throw out the last meal hypothetical all the time ("One last meal, what will it be?"), but I've never really considered what foods I could live without.  So what will it be?


  1. I had never known about the whole food thing with chemo. My mom had radiation with her cancer so I don't think that affected her appetite much at all. Here is what u should do... the night before eat a really bad meal for you like McDonalds, then you will never be tempted to eat that fast food junk again :) I think your blog is great. We continue to lift you up in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Kelly

  2. Good luck tomorrow Scott! We'll be thinking about you!