by Christie Perkins
First they tell me I can’t have blue cheese dressing. It would have been fine if they would have told me that the year before. I wouldn’t have even tried the mouth watering crave. Yes. I was like all of y’all scrunching my nose at the thought of moldy cheese. But, at first lick it pleased me and I fell in love with it. Thanks Dad. I should have trusted you the first time you tried to get me to try it. I should have known because I’ve inherited my dad’s taste buds on many other things.
(Seriously if you haven’t tried it you’re missing out.)
So with my initial cancer diagnosis and the start up of chemo I’m a little bummed about ditching my newfound infatuation, I had to break up with blue cheese. Those of you on weird food diets get my pain. I had to settle for ranch to avoid an elevated health crash.
Anyway, moving on.
It wasn’t my only break up. I had to live my life without blue cheese, crowded germ infested places, and eventually without hair and eyebrows.
But there’s good news. After my treatments I could swim in blue cheese, lick the handles at Walmart, and locate my anorexic eyebrows. It was a wonderful, fabulous life that was restored back to me. Who knew that life’s possibilities could be so good when you’ve had to learn to go without.
I was grateful it was only a moment.
Death of a Grapefruit
But, now, in my stage 4 cancer I am taking my next step in my treatment plan. I start a chemo pill Friday. There’s new restrictions. Only these will be for a lifetime. I don’t ever get to stop taking my chemo pill… unless it stops working and I upgrade to a life with chemo again.
So today I’m standing at a new threshold. And more restrictions. From this point on I have to eliminate the most heavenly fruit ever created. In two short days my life without grapefruit begins. Yep.
Wipe that cock-eyed look off your face… I actually happen to love grapefruit!
So yep, zero grapefruit. None. Nadda. Forever. Now for most people this reaction would be a slight shrug and a soft chuckle. But for me… it’s my favorite fruit by far (and I haven’t even upgraded my shoes to slippers and prune juice yet). This is not a newfound love but a lifetime working partnership. I ate it and loved it as a kid and passed on the grapefruit gene to my kids.
“So can I have grapefruit candy? Or drinks with grapefruit in them?” I ask. I have to clarify all loose ends.
“Nope. Nothing grapefruit at all,” My nurse navigator warns me.
“Can I buy a grapefruit candle?” I ask.
A slight chuckle escapes, “As long as you don’t eat it,” my nurse navigator steers me into the right direction of my grapefruit-less days ahead.
Oh good. I can sniff the heck out of my grapefruit candle.
“So um… can you call the drug company and see if they can have it interact to fish instead?” I ask. I know that drug companies can do amazing things. Why not this? (And yes, this was our actual conversation).
Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) my request was denied. I mean seriously I don’t know why they can’t work that out. If they can make drugs that makes headaches disappear why can’t they make drugs that hate fish?
And besides,I wouldn’t accidentally buy candy with tuna flavoring. Not. a. chance.
Anyway. Today is the day I bury my grapefruits and give a sermon on a life without grapefruit. I will miss you.
(And if you have an inquisitive mind the reason I can’t have it is because one of your liver enzyme binds to something in the grapefruit. Your body can’t break down the medication and causes toxic blood levels. It’s really dangerous.)
So. I said my farewell to grapefruit and indulged in an out of season grapefruit (an anticlimactic experience by the way) and drink my favorite go-to soda pop: Fresca (infused with grapefruit). Some will not miss you the way I do but know that memories of you will last forever.
Where’s the tissues man?
Til death (when I upgrade to granny slippers) do us part.
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