Simplicity and sadness and subterfuge


These babies are the newest feature of my diet. The baby eats carrots now. I better get up and move away before I inhale the whole bowl…

Something as simple as cooked carrots needs to suffice as inspiration today, while the half (please – let it be more than half) of the country I agree with on the matter reels from Ferguson.

Nurse Practitioner R told me over the phone today I can drop down to 20mg on the prednisone. I’ll have to stay at that dose through the weekend, because of the holiday. But as of next Monday, if all is well, I will cut that in half. Progress. She wished me a happy holiday and I told her how grateful I am for her and the team. She said they were grateful for me. I’m not really sure how that works, unless I think of it as a business thanking a customer, like a dry cleaners giving out calendars or something. I don’t feel I bring a lot to the table, exactly, in my relationship with my cancer caregivers. Maybe they like my jokes?

Mid-morning I made a bowl of oatmeal, with almond milk and a banana. My every-two-hours meal schedule seems to be slipping as I’m able to intake more food per feeding. I ate about half of it, and all was still well. I watched “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on YouTube, pre-screening it after 35 years to see if the kids will like it. So much violence. Cruelty. Is this the way to reveal to them the truth about the world? At least the music is nice. And Linus is a good egg.

I put in a call to the nutritionist to confess my tortellini from this morning (really just to get her OK for cheese). She called back and let me know she’d been in touch first with Nurse Practitioner K (busted) who said they really want to see two weeks of progress before I make any major changes. I can have a bit of cheddar or mozzarella, yes. I can have cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus tips (that seems too wasteful). No word on fruit so I guess canned peaches and pears will have to suffice. I can eat beef, also (but I have been saving the stew for the boys).

I hung up from the call feeling a little frustrated. I’m trusting my gut – literally – more than my doctors do. But they aren’t living in my body – I am. It’s hard to reconcile the strictures with the fact that I’m feeling so much better.

It was lunchtime (even though I’d been snacking on the oatmeal in between quick snoozes) so I put a pot of baby carrots to boil. But I was hungry right then. I reached in the fridge, intending to take out the baked chicken breast I made yesterday and fashion that into a plate, with pasta, and tamari, my seasoning mainstay, sprinkled on top.

Just then I saw a hamburger left from last week. “She said you could have beef,” snickered the small red-clad demon on my shoulder. I knew full well she meant something like a piece of stew beef, not a freaking hamburger. But before I knew what I was doing I’d popped it into the microwave, heated it, removed it and blotted away all of the fat pooled on the plate with a paper towel. I heated up the end of a baguette from last week. In a nod to my actual instructions, I cut the burger into very small bits before eating it. I ate toasted bread and burger bits for lunch, readers. It was delicious. This must remain our secret. The carrots were my dessert.

My problems with authority are long and well-documented. I didn’t imagine they’d be coming into play right now, but desperate times…

3 thoughts on “Simplicity and sadness and subterfuge

  1. Trusting your gut seems like a good idea. As does resisting authority. Having agency has got to be at least as healing at boiled baby carrots.


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