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I Love the Holidays

I've always loved the holidays. Of course, they're much different as a middle-aged adult than, once upon a time. I'm sure some of us the Wish Book, I think it was from Sears. It had all of the toys you could think of. For your parents, there were pages with clothes. Are you the child that wanted clothes for Christmas? I know I wasn't.

The other thing I looked forward to the holidays for was FOOD; and loads of it. My mom cooked cakes and pies; not just one each either. I really enjoyed watching her prepare them or was it just being able to lick the mix and icing from the bowl? 

We all know that as adults, the Holidays changed for many of us. If we were dating, it wasn't about what we got it was what we got our significant other. sometimes, if we hadn't paid close attention during the year, I like many other men bought the wrong thing. Thank God for the gift card. For some of us, gift cards were the best of ALL WORLDS! You could get a gift card for everyone with no problem. Weelll, at least almost no problem. I'm sure I'm not the only one that had the conversation that went a little like this after buying that NICE gift card---" I can't believe you opted to only buy a gift card. That took no thought. After I went from mall to mall looking for the right gift for you." You better not say anything during that scolding, especially something like, "you could've gotten me a gift card instead of that tie I'm never going to wear. 

A few years ago, I started baking (I hadn't done it in years). For that particular holiday season, I must have baked 20-30 sweet potato pies. No, pumpkin pies; even though I bought one. I had FINALLY gotten my recipe down to a science. It had the right texture, and it tasted divine. I gave away pies as gifts, I took them to dinners and I ate a few myself. 

Today, I only wish I could taste one of those pies. One of the things that happened to me during cancer treatment was that I lost my ability to taste; my taste buds were shot. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. In order to give a slight perspective; have you ever had a cold or anything that caused you not to be able to taste food for a few days? That's how some of us are for the entire time during treatment and sometimes, months and even years afterward. For me, it was about 2 months.

One of the first things my oncologist suggested to me was getting a feeding tube. I refused. I could see myself not cleaning it properly and putting some kind of bacteria in my body. Bottom line, I was SCARED! I started my journey at 208 pounds and within two months I weighed 162. By the end of treatment, my diet consisted of sipping water because my throat wouldn't allow anything else to pass. Believe me, I would've loved to have tasted something; I couldn't even drink those terrible smoothies I was making. 

After treatment was over, I still wasn't able to taste anything.  At my next appointment, I broke down and requested the feeding tube. Then the FUNNY started. After the tube was put in, that evening I went by a friend's house, was offered a piece of fish and tasted it!! Wow!! This was nearly a month after treatment was over. 

Now that I was able to taste some food, I wanted to know what exactly. Most things I tried I couldn't taste and many still over a year later. The funny thing is that I could taste salt, but no sugar, except this one, store brand pancake syrup. My daily meal became pancakes and syrup and plenty of water. In addition to my taste buds not working; my salivary glands didn't/don't work fully. 

A few months later, came the holidays. Although I couldn't taste much, I ate what I could taste. If it had salt, I tried it. Sometimes yes, and sometimes, no. Oh, I forgot about the feeding tube, didn't I? It stayed in my stomach for nearly two months, from what I can remember. It was HELL to keep the gauze dry, and all I could think of was, Thank God, I didn't have to use it!! If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it the same way, no feeding tube!

A site I fell in Love with during treatment was www.cancer.net