Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To eat or not to eat ?

The ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, once made a famous statement “食色性也", translated, it means, “Food and Sex, yeah !” Since time immemorial, food and sex has been an integral part of human lifestyle.

As a cancer patient, I went through seven rounds of intravenous chemotherapies spreading over a period of six months, and currently is on my 3rd month of oral chemotherapy. With all those cocktails of chemo drugs being pumped into the body, my body experienced many side effects associated with the treatment regime.

While under treatments, the two most common side effects are the impact of chemo drugs on sex drive and ability to enjoy foods. For a cancer patient, the priority of having and enjoy sex is not really a matter of great concern. A person can go on without sex for many months or even years, and I don't really think it is going to affect a person chances of survival. I had my fair share of frustrations dealing with this matter, and I do not think it is appropriate for me to elaborate how I overcome this department. As for me, my personal opinion is, sex drive while during treatment is more a matter of psychology and emotional issues, rather than a physical or physiological issues.

So, the issue of sex is not really a matter of great concern to me during the treatment period. After all, you won't die for lack of sex. Look at it a the positive side, deprivation of sex probably quicken the pace for you to achieve spiritual enlightenment ! One of these day, I will visit the monastery to consult to monks or lammorloh how they manage without sex and still stay contentedly happy and at peace.

On a serious note, foods is a matter of great concern to me during the treatment period. If the body is not nourished with the adequate and right foods, you probably would die of malnutritions rather cancer itself. My personal experience is, after going through the chemotherapy regime, my eating problem is a nightmare to me. I no longer know what kind of solid foods I can take without being rejected by my now chemical ladened body. Sometimes, a mere cooking smell from the kitchen made me involuntarily wanted to throw out, and sometimes, the sight and colour of certain foods made me reject the food instantaneously. The worst part is, some times, you tried to force feed yourself, but the moment the foods is in your month, the more you chew, the more nauseated you became, and you end up being frustrated and wanting to let out your foul moods.

I know, my wife take great pains and times to prepare the foods for me, but sometimes, I am just not able to eat the foods. As a husband, from her body language, I know, she take my rejection of the foods as rejection of her love. At times, I do feel very guilty of this new acquired fuzziness in foods. The doctor did prescribed some appetite stimulating pills for me, but so far it doesn't work on me. My wife did tried to be a bit creative by asking me t participate in planning for the foods I take. For example, she do occasionally asking me “What kind of foods you want to eat today ?” Well, the problem is, this is the most challenging question to me because I no longer know what kind of food I can take without rejections. My usual answer is to asked her to prepare the foods she like, and I will take it from there. With this arrangement, at least, if I am unable to eat the prepared foods, she can still take it without wastages.

Ir is suicidal to refrain from foods. As an alternative, I resort to make organic soya bean milk as protein source, blending fresh vegetables and fruits into liquid as drinks, and other nutritional supplements. I had been mixing and changing the varieties and combinations of vegetables and fruits as liquid foods. So far, it works and managed to keep my body nourished to fight the cancer cells.

Hmmm.... I missed my favorite Bak Kut Teh, Roast Pork, Char Siew Fan, Char koay Teow, etc. !!!!!

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