Liz's colonic journey

Rocky turns vegetarian

At least that’s all I can imagine is happening. He’s been ignoring his grub for a couple of days now. Look I don’t blame him. He and Pepper, as older hounds, get Hills Science Joint Defence kibble, with a bit of Husky chunky on the side. It wouldn’t thrill me either, especially as the kibble smells like fish. Not that either Pepper or Rocky are averse to a bit of leftover hake or fishfingers, but apparently the kibble is now causing offence.

That was until I put a couple of spoonfuls of today’s veggie potjie on top. Something about brinjals, mushrooms, celery, tomato, baby marrows, potato etc spoke to his retriever heart – and he gobbled up everything in seconds. Pepper was a little sceptical but followed his lead. Their bowls haven’t been so clean in days. I think it’s sympathy eating – or maybe it was the cheese and breadcrumbs that topped the dish?

Sioux and P@c said that the potjie was good, and they and Pat had seconds, which they wouldn’t have done if it tasted boring, right? I enjoyed it too – soft on the tummy that does acid reflux from the chemo.

We had a lovely afternoon of chat, and laughs. I think we need a PaperHeaDs getaway. This was a voorsmakie of the conversation we usually enjoy over three or four writing days – in the times between. Meals and snacks and conversation about serious issues that become funny when looked at through the lense of human behaviour. We discussed the latest in Brit humour and award-winning programmes. Gotta get a list from P@c. Also the TV programmes we watch that we’d never admit to in public. Durban and family history, techonological innovation and benefits, how the world has changed and is changing, how gender might be a redundant classification.  The afternoon flew by in such a lovely space. I could have sat there on our porch until midnight. What a treat. Thanks S and P.

It followed a lovely evening last night where Pat and I kept Jackie and Brigitte up till 11.30, when Paulette and Sam left at 9ish. What a loving and lovely space to be in – and the grub was seriously yummy. Lots of Belly Aerobics through the evening. It really is grand spending time with people who are consciously loving their lives.

I confess I felt a bit tired this morning after that. I think maybe that would have been true even if I wasn’t full of chemo from the Thursday’s take-away bubble. Pat assures me that I don’t smell funny – then again maybe she doesn’t notice because she’s gotten used to me. I felt weak yesterday morning, Friday- the knees were a bit wobbly – probably because I was out shopping for 6 hours on Thursday.

As you know shopping (not online) is not my favourite thing in the world, but it had become imperative that we have new cupboard and door knobs in the kitchen. One of those “it can’t wait another day” type of things. I kept pulling out drawers and having the dangly bit of the handle break off in my hand or dropping the entire drawer on the floor – perhaps they are overloaded – changing the handles to knobs seemed like the best solution. I have to say that I’m pretty impressed at how they’ve changed the look of the kitchen. (Nigella you’d better watch out!) After the knob shopping I went to Dischem and spent a small fortune on gluten-free products including a bread mix which I baked this morning. Definitely easier to digest than normal bread – however low GI. I’ve become so aware of the various dietary intolerances that exist. Dougal can’t do cellulose heavy fruit like apples. Robyn couldn’t do tomatoes as a child. I developed a resistance to lactose in my 30’s – especially to cream. Probably all those Irish Coffees I consumed in my 20’s. Seems we’ve evolved into different hunter-gatherers, and grains (notwithstanding wheatgrass) are just something that don’t work for humans today. I didn’t realise that evolution works so fast. Or maybe it’s the preparation and preservation that has messed things up.

I think of Lou, Andy and I  (age 11-16) driving my mum mad (as she desperately tried to keep within her housekeeping budget) by polishing off loaves of bread, peanut butter and lemon curd (yuk). We’d have  been in and out of the pool all afternoon, or walking to friends across town to visit – completely active and always hungry. On top of that consumption, (not counting our school lunches and the occasional extra Chelsea bun when the pocket money allowed) we’d sit down to an evening meal of meat, carbs and two veg  every night (how lucky were we?). I don’t remember food-related dire health effects, though I remember the measles, mumps, chickenpox, german measles round. Is it my memory? Were we less sensitive? Was the food different?  I wonder if one could actually research this – with all the Food Technology study going on – inventing new products for sale, perhaps there needs to be an historical analysis. Maybe advances aren’t really advancing?

I digress. So Thursday was about cupboard door knobs and gluten-free products – and caused Friday morning’s wobbly legs, so Pat had to drive me to the Onc Centre to get the needle out of my port and the bubble removed. On the plus side, we went to La Bella and had a tasty meal – me, smoked salmon and cottage cheese paninini and Pat, an English breakfast of note. I slept all afternoon which is probably why I was still revving at 12 o’clock last night.

All in all the dripping part of this chemo round went well, very little zinging, little nausea, some reflux and the pesky chemo-flu is being nailed with sinutab and Vicks vapour rub (comfort medication I think). Also the wounds from the port-insertion surgery are finally clearing up. Hopefully, I’ll be able to have a swim next week. I had several lovely pool paddles today – the water is 30C at the moment – just perfect.

A part of me is relieved that Fiona and Kath aren’t doing the Ronnie Davel race tomorrow, which means we aren’t driving up to Hilton to support them. Another part of me was quite looking forward to a misty early morning in the forest, yelling supportive or rude comments to the sweating athletes! Never mind I’ll think of epithets in support of everyone doing the PDAC 25 km next month.

The other thing on my mind is going to work on Monday. I’d like to see how I go – and hopefully I can get over the weird “new normal” feeling and get on with what needs to be done, without the Green Mile experience with everyone I meet. I know the Ed Tech team will be as supportive and caring, as they always are, without pandering to my ‘affliction’. I’ve missed the conversations and laughs at work. I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with people in a class looking at me and wondering if I’m going to fall over at any minute. That’s probably all in my imagination – or empathy or something. I also wonder whether I’m going to be able to work consistently and constructively on as much as I did in the past – the chemo definitely messes with the memory. The big question, I suppose. The only way to find out is to try it!

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Comments on: "Rocky turns vegetarian" (3)

  1. I was wondering too if rocky might be love sick, considering his summer of love…will be great to have u back Liz, we’ve missed u 🙂

  2. Clearly rocky went with intuition and instinct ! Also he may be in love ?????
    Good luck with the work !

  3. amishi gandhi said:

    Good luck going back to work on Monday, Liz.

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