Having Cancer is Like Being Pregnant

12 Jan

I am inching my way upward.  Today was a solid 7, maybe even an 8 at times.  Pretty good progress, huh?  I’m still bone tired, but I’m feeling a lot better than I was just two and three days ago.

Not that I know it’s like to be pregnant, but based on my observations and the experiences of people close to me, I can make a few comparisons.  I was talking to a pregnant friend at work the other day and we realized how similar our circumstances are.

There is one primary difference: pregnancies are typically joyous occasions; cancer, not so much.  But there are even more similarities between the two.

  • Pregnancy makes you feel like your body is not your own; so does cancer.
  • Pregnancy can be full of nausea and vomiting; so is cancer and treatment.
  • People give you gifts when you are pregnant; people give you gifts when you have cancer.
  • Pregnancy can turn people into emotional wrecks; so can cancer and it’s treatment.
  • Pregnancy can induce food cravings; so can cancer as indicated by the wide variety of foods I have literally craved since beginning treatment.

So, about those food cravings.  I’ve had some odd ones (at least, odd for me).

Let’s see, my first craving was bacon.  Which is really unusual because when I was a kid, I couldn’t eat bacon without gagging.  I’m no kidding – ask my mom.  She would make me (or try to make me) eat bacon for breakfast sometimes and it would literally make me gag.  I have no idea why.  As an adult, I can eat it, but it’s not one of my favorite foods.  Until chemo.  During the first treatment cycle, I craved it.  I ate numerous Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers from Wendy’s.

Then there were baked potatoes, which I ate my weight in but am now very tired of them.

Toast that I ate as my primary diet for a few days and now can only tolerate every now and then because it reminds me of that first round that hit me so hard.

Lance Peanut Butter Crackers.  I snacked on these constantly for weeks and now really don’t want to eat them unless I need something on my stomach to keep the nausea under control.  They have to be Lance crackers.  The other peanut butter cracker imitators won’t do.

Krystal Cheeseburgers (mustard only).  For anyone who knows how much I normally dislike Krystal cheeseburgers and those horrible soggy buns, this is pretty amazing.  I don’t crave them anymore, but I can still eat them.

Mashed Potatoes.  This was a serious craving early on, but has mellowed out in recent weeks.

Taco Bell Soft Tacos.  Quite possibly one of the worst foods on this list next to Krystal burgers, but there were a few weeks where I just had to have them.

Jello Fruit Cups, specifically Strawberry Jello with Diced Peaches.  This craving comes and goes, but there are times when I just have to have it.  It’s a staple in my pantry right now.

Hardee’s Plain Buttermilk Biscuit.  I ate so many biscuits the first few months of treatment that I really can’t stand them any more.  So sad.  I hope that goes away soon because those Buttermilk Biscuits really are something special.

Arby’s Jr. Roast Beef Sandwiches and Cheese Sticks are one of my current cravings.  I don’t think I ever ate their cheese sticks before, but I haven’t gotten tired of them yet!

Pink Fluff.  You know what this is.  It’s the cottage cheese, cool whip, jello, and crushed pineapple thing that your mom or your aunt or your grandmother makes at holidays.  It’s my current addiction.  I’ve made and eaten two batches of in the last two weeks.  You wouldn’t think this would sound good (cottage cheese, eewwwww) when your feeling nauseous, but it does and it is.  There are a million variations of it and I found a new on on Pinterest today that I’m going to have to try: Orange Fluff.

Cream of Wheat.  This is my newest craving.  My dad ate this for breakfast often when I was growing up.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten it until recently, but I truly have a craving for it and have had it for breakfast several days in the past week.

For drinks, it’s been Diet Ginger Ale (I know I don’t have to drink diet right now, but I like the way it tastes) or 7-Up with a little Ocean Spray Cranberry-Raspberry Juice added to it.

I wouldn’t exactly call this a diet of champions, but at this point – whatever works, right?

Even though we really don’t want to connect pregnancy and cancer in any way, shape, or form, there is a good way that they are similar: pregnancy is full of hopeful anticipation…and so is having cancer!  :)

Love you guys.  Have a wonderful Thursday!
♥ Rachel


6 Responses to “Having Cancer is Like Being Pregnant”

  1. mainelyhopeful January 12, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    My only cravings (only one treatment in) were fresh pineapple, chicken wonton soup and lemon sherbet. Your fluff sounds pretty good though! I hope you continue to feel better.

    • rachturner January 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      The lemon sherbert sounds good! That might be my next craving!!

  2. Kathy January 12, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Ahhh, the pink fluff. Seriously glad to know someone else makes it and pigs out on it sometimes to that degree.

    • rachturner January 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      K – You know I love some pink fluff! But I think if I make any more, I might try a different flavor like orange or lemon. I’m starting to get tired of the pink. :) I think Jenn has made one with pistachio pudding, so I might try that, too. Or I might just get sick of it and move on to something else. ha ha!

  3. Jennifer January 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Wow – that is a pitiful diet. It is the grease and salt is what I would say. Always calmed my stomach down with I was pregnant with Bailey. I am laughing at the bacon because you would absolutely gag if you ate it as a kid.

    Love you.

    • rachturner January 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

      J – It’s not the ONLY things I’m eating, just what I’m craving. I had tilapia and rice for dinner last night, so I’m getting some “good” food in there, too. The bacon cracked me up, too, because that gagging was for real as a kid.

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