17 June 2018

"Truly Tasteless Treatments" # 16 (of 50) Cancer / Addiction / Recovery / Emergence

When your delusions start forming delusions of their own, maybe it's time to get a second opinion.
My name is Jim and I am an alcoholic in long-term recovery (14+ years) who is fighting cancer with a 7 week regimen of chemo and radiation treatments.
During the first week of treatments nausea found an early home in my gut and it took me 2 more weeks to fully realize that my hunger never ceased, but that my desire to satisfy my hunger was losing out to nausea.
I may as well start a list of questions, doubts and possible misperceptions for me to share with my medical staff, preceding it by "in no particular order."
1) My sense of taste eroded with each passing day until the end of the fourth week when my tongue took a nosedive (lol - mixed metaphor of sorts) and overnight my sense of taste approached the 0 percentile.
2) It seems that my sense of smell is still there but that it is still tricking me into having a phantom sense of taste, memories and expectations creating illusions of tasting. I knew what a tangerine does and should taste like, but was I having phantom placebo-like memories of tangerines when I bit into one or was this the real thing?
3) After the 3rd day of my 4th week, I noticed that it seemed by facial hair had completely stopped growing. Would it next start falling out? Whatever the case, the last 3 days have shown me that my facial hair had resumed growing again (never really stopped? Am I a dingbat?)
The Pause that Refreshes!
When my friend, Mac, had a cornea transplant operation, he had to learn to see again. Depth perception had to be relearned (hard to imagine). New corneas returned him to a stage of sight similar to infancy and the many subtleties of his vision had to be relearned.
Out of habit, I only was imagining a sense of taste based of expectations of what I knew things should taste like. That illusion crashed one day recently when sipping on my iced coffee, I realized that in a blind taste test, I wouldn't have known if I were drinking iced coffee or iced water. That's when I realized my sense of taste had gone.
4) New coping mechanisms would have to be developed to encourage my eating. Calories consumed had apparently diminished so that I'd lost 10 pounds over a 4 week period, however unintentionally. I've resorted to the empty calories of Cherry Coke (I couldn't taste the Coke and I couldn't taste the Cherry) because the fizziness of the soda offered replacement for the flavors I could no longer perceive (Deciding to buy Cherry-Flavored Coke in my Tasteless World reinforced certain fantasies of control and choice).
5) I've had to find new pleasures in eating when flavor took a back seat. Texture and temperature began to take on whole new meanings. I focussed on eating things that changed texture as you eat them. My peanut butter-filled oatmeal cookies gave me something to focus on as the oats slowly crumbled away and the peanut butter filling began melting in my mouth. The little symphony of mouth-feel changes would replace my usual enjoyment of the richness of flavors.
6) I'm going to stop numbering things here because its beginning to border on the ridiculous, despite it giving me a temporary sense of being grounded in reality with real goals and purposes.
As a tired boredom creeps over me at 4 A.M., I realize the minute perceptions of my experiences with cancer have been changing daily with no clear trajectories. Unpredictable, unexpected changes are happening on a daily basis.
My most incomplete post in many years now, it can neither stand alone nor as part of the 50 posts I've projected. That's life. I'm counting this drivel as # 16 regardless! I will have to satisfy myself with knowing that there will be much I don't know and will never know. Jeez! I am left with recommitting myself to Cancer Recovery and Addiction Recovery and a small tad of Getting-Over-Myself Recovery.
Uncertainty Reigns! Don't believe it? Re-read this Truly Tasteless Post.
At any rate, confusion is where I'm at today, here, well-exampled.
I didn't drink over anything. I drink TO things. I drink truly tasteless coffee TO my truly tasteless cancer and TO my truly tasteless recovery.
Things will get better. I can almost taste it.

The 1st 15 (of 50) Cancer / Alcoholism / Addiction posts are immediately below this Sixteenth one on the link provided here (Reverse Chronological Order): https://alldrinkingaside.blogspot.com
(If you're already on the All Drinking Aside Blog page, consider this link part of my Ridiculousness!)
#SurviveAddiction #SurviveCancer #SurviveYourself
Finally, whether it be Cancer, Addiction, Alcoholism, Recovery or All of the Above,
"Hear Ye, Hear Ye... Read All About it, Wherever, Whenever, However!
You may also wish to Explore ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal, by the same author:
An Addiction Fiction & Autobiography-in-One / Check out the 30+ 5***** Star Reviews!
TAKE C.A.R.E. [Cancer / Addiction / Recovery / Emergence]!!!

1 comment:

  1. Jim, I never recovered both my sense of taste or smell after a traumatic head injury when I was young. Let texture and sensation guide your palate, it certainly hasn't stopped me from enjoying the sport of eating!