Oops! Uh-Oh ! - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at Allrecipes.com - 191983

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Oops! UH-OH ! 
Aug. 25, 2010 11:37 am 
Updated: Sep. 2, 2010 12:49 am
In my last blog, I said I didn’t have any special diet. As things have come about, I would not have said that if I had read one very important chapter in the book the cancer center gave me. I did a big oops/uh-oh! I do have a special diet! A very restrictive diet! Because the radiation can damage my teeth and gums, diet and extensive care to protect the teeth is very important. Here’s what has to happen.

Avoid high acid foods.(Citrus, tomatoes, vinegar etc)
Avoid all sugary foods.
No high temperature foods.
No spicy (hot) foods.
No alcohol- including mouthwash containing alcohol.
No tobacco.
No foods that can scrape or scratch the mouth such as; chips, Cheetos, crackers etc.
No toothpicks.
Tobacco and most alcohol are no longer a part of my life but, to lose my acids, sweets, spicy and Cheetos ???........aaargghhh! (Maybe, my wife will make some sugar free, soft/moist cookies and tone down my whining.)

Excellent oral hygiene augmented with saliva producers and fluoride is mandatory.
Rinse mouth every 1-2 hours with a solution of warm water, salt and baking soda.
Daily inspection of the mouth to find raw areas or white spots.
All maladies and/or pain to be reported to the doctor or nurse.

Jaw must be opened to maximum and closed twenty times three times a day. Because I have partial paralysis of the left side of my face, I have to remember to pull my lower lip back before I close my jaw or I’ll bite it!

To keep the mouth moist, water should be kept available and sipped all day long and chew sugarless gum.

This radiation is required because I had cancer in the large salivary gland (Left Parotid Gland). To kill the cancer, the gland was surgically removed and radiation scheduled. Losing that gland requires that I replace the saliva with pharmaceuticals or keep the remaining glands stimulated enough to compensate for the lost gland for the duration of the treatments and a few weeks afterwards.. Saliva is very important for strong teeth and oral health.(And to think I used to try hitting ants as I spit! What a waste of dental hygiene!)

How did I miss such an important chapter in the book? I ain’t-a-gonna-tell!
Aug. 25, 2010 12:18 pm
Uh-oh! Well at least you know now. Better late than never!
Aug. 25, 2010 12:36 pm
keep up the good work! hopefully you will be able to narrown down some yummy healthy choices on AR to eat.
Aug. 25, 2010 12:37 pm
Fortunately, ZOPOOH, I have only had four treatments.
Aug. 25, 2010 12:42 pm
Already found a yummy onenjmom! I'll worry about healthy when I can have more choice for food. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cathys-Amazing-Fish-Chowder/Detail.aspx
Aug. 25, 2010 2:17 pm
Oops! Mike, did you maybe to just forget to read the book?? Glad you discovered this, though. Do what you're told....
Aug. 25, 2010 3:00 pm
Sorry you missed that chapter re your diet. A few good things though... No more beer swilling or tobacco spitting (this means your wife won't have to clean up the "spit cup" from the chew); no splinters in your lip from the toothpicks. Hot foods, no more whining that you burnt your tongue. Hmmm.... Any way you can incorporate Cheetohs into a smoothie? I'm kidding!
Aug. 25, 2010 3:24 pm
Mother Ann, yesterday I would have bet that I read the entire book. When I had a treatment today, I was asked if I had any trouble with the diet or hygiene instructions. I was very humbled to learn that there is a diet to follow and to get the book out and follow its instructions. (DURN! I hate being humbled!)
Aug. 25, 2010 3:25 pm
Yup, Magnolia. Everything you said, everything I said and everything my wife is going to say when she gets home and I tell her about this.
Aug. 25, 2010 4:22 pm
I wish you the best. Hopefully in the meantime you can find some foods you like without all those restrictions!!!
Aug. 25, 2010 4:42 pm
Maggie, thank you! I have found several recipes on AR that look great!
Aug. 25, 2010 5:13 pm
Good luck to you, Mike. You will plenty on this site for sure. You'll get your imagination going and combine things to satisfy the urges. I"m sure your wife will help come up with something great. Hoping all your cleansing routines go smooth. That's a lot of oral hygiene!!
Aug. 25, 2010 5:45 pm
You're right, Linnie! I have all the stuff, now,but I have to find some way of organizing it so I'll be able to do something besides care for my mouth.
Aug. 25, 2010 6:33 pm
Hi Mike: I would also be disappointed in not being able to have Cheetos, I mean you can literally suck on them until they partially dissolve. Good thing you know what you are doing and hope you find some foods you enjoy during this process. Let`s hope the process goes by quickly for you....
Aug. 25, 2010 6:56 pm
Hi, Janet! Sucking on the Cheetos is now only a fond memory. I no longer have enough saliva to do that. I can eat dry food as long as I keep it off the left side so I have enough saliva to chew it. If it should scratch me I'd be in trouble so I can't eat it until treatments are completed. My next post will be about the foods I have found that are flavorful for a diet such as this.
Aug. 25, 2010 9:56 pm
Oh Mike, I am awfully sorry, and I really had no idea how much saliva does for us. Who knew? Hugs to you. I wish you the Best and keep up the good work!! Now go get a drink of water! LOL
Aug. 26, 2010 1:21 am
brother, rock and toll with your treatment/cancer, but you have to say Fu(k that - I'm behind you 100% - I've lost 2 moms to the "C" and wont let it run my life, ever - your's to me says cook like you've never cooked before and chew the spicy and savory... I cant wait to hear much more from you! ~Jeff
Aug. 26, 2010 7:24 am
good thing you read that chapter mike! continued good luck with your recovery!
Aug. 26, 2010 8:43 am
Patty Cakes, I had no idea either. I knew it was a start of the digestion process but I never had heard of its importance to oral health.
Aug. 26, 2010 8:48 am
Hey jeff! I wish I could be cavalier enough to agree to eat as I please. I may have if this was a permanent thing but I should be back to normal eating around the middle of October. Secondly, it gives me a chance to expand some culinary horizons by having such restrictions. I hope my next post will show some of that expansion.
Aug. 26, 2010 8:50 am
Hi, Gary! Thanks for stopping. Glad that you and Tater have a somewhat normal life again. Will she be teaching?
Aug. 26, 2010 6:38 pm
Oh man! I'd hate to be told what I could and could not have! Still think of you everyday and send positive waves your way. Thanks for the post long ago you did about Sgma and Kira. Made a new friend and send Kira the same thoughts her way. Full recovery for you both and full lives!!!!!
Aug. 27, 2010 4:24 am
Well Shoot! Glad you DID find that before a "tragedy" occurred. Here's a recipe that might be good :) http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Homemade-Four-Cheese-Ravioli/Detail.aspx Continued thoughts for your full recovery!!! It's just a small bit of time for this treatment and many long and happy years to come :) ♥
Aug. 27, 2010 7:09 am
Good morning, Cat! I didn't like being told what to eat at all! But the alternative...?? I'll post the links to Kira and Sgma on my next posting.
Aug. 27, 2010 7:18 am
Hi, Lady Sparkle! You read my mind all the way from Indiana? Wow! It was last night I decided to hav Ravioli with a white sauce and you saved me the trouble of looking for it today! Some people will do anything to help. Thank you.
Mrs. C 
Aug. 27, 2010 7:48 am
Dealing with special dietary instructions lately, I still never thought to develop a Cheetos smoothie.. And. oh, I understand missing that savory crunch in crackers, etc. So glad you found your instructions, read them, and will now follow through. "Inconvenient," yes, but, oh, the rewards!
Aug. 27, 2010 8:33 am
Oh, Mike! I'm glad you found this information but I can imagine it makes you crave a few of those things even more so now they are NO-NO's for you! Be strong, do what needs doin'! Small things but big benefits! How wonderful to have things you can do, even if by avoidance, that can boost your health and recovery! Rinse and spit with glee my friend! If you need saliva producing encouragement just look through the photos tab!!!!! Jan
Aug. 27, 2010 8:49 am
I'm glad you read the section BEFORE you bit into a cheeto!! You poor guy. Good luck to you and following your daily schedule. I am praying for you and know once you get through this hiccup everything will be A-OK!!!! Keep on bloggin. :)
Aug. 27, 2010 8:57 am
Mike, I have to sa that I AM concerned for you and you know my sympathies are with you. However, I must smile at this 'cos I got a flash of all those on-line helpers from call centres that would love to say "RTFM". Please understand this is not anything "aimed" at you, just a silly free association that what passes for my brain came up with, and I think I know you well enough to be certain you will get a smile about it.
Aug. 27, 2010 11:22 am
Mrs C, I am learning so much these few days that I believe I can open my own radiology clinic. My next post will have several of these "out of the blue" ringers.
Aug. 27, 2010 11:27 am
You're right, Jan! Even if I didn't like it before it was a no-no, I want it now! Yes, as I pass through pages and pages of recipes, I drool and have to pass many of them because there is some ingredient I can't have. Makes me wanna cuss...more!
Aug. 27, 2010 11:29 am
Believe this, K-Dub; I did have a lot (no, LOT!)of Cheetos before I re-read the book. I found they washed down well with Reisling- another big no-no.
Aug. 27, 2010 11:37 am
Never will I take offense with anything you say, Swiss Phil. I know you like a good joke as well as I. The telemarketers have an "in" somewhere in the program I've been on. Ever since I was confirmed with cancer, I have received dozens of calls from mortuaries, will planners, headstone sales, crematoriums etc. I can't believe the insensitivity those vultures have- just to make sure they get my money and not my family.
Aug. 27, 2010 1:37 pm
Mike, Having through the "Big C" and now on the other side, I really appreciate your attitude. It's only for a time, and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, while none of this is fun, at least there is treatment, and you surely will find new foods you'll like for long afterwords. You go get 'em!!
Aug. 27, 2010 3:45 pm
Oh Mike - thanks for the blog - I see a whole new culinary world opening up to you. Prayers and hugs to you.
Aug. 27, 2010 4:03 pm
LAMBIESGRAMMY, it is the comments in my posts from cancer survivors that have been a very important part of my own recovery. As for attitude? Hmmm. I guess I just enjoy each day that I have been given although, there are days that seem dark.
Aug. 27, 2010 4:06 pm
Baking Nana, I see that culinary world and it is offering me more and more every time I look into it.
Aug. 27, 2010 4:52 pm
Aren't Cheetos the ones that turn your fingers orange? Satisfy that taste with mac and cheese made with extra sharp cheddar. I like to use half in my cheese sauce and add chunks through the elbows so you get pockets of cheddar heaven. This will also help you maintain your weight. I am surprised the restrictions weren't mentioned before the fact. Not everyone reads or comprehends the literature they are handed. Kudos to you for trying to be compliant.
Aug. 27, 2010 5:06 pm
BigShotsMom, good of you to be here! It's the crunch, the sugar, the salt, the rustling of the bag, the compulsion to lick off all that wonderful yellow/orange cheesey that is stuck to my fingers, the heat of the jalopenas and (of course) the taste! That's what makes Cheetos addicting for me. Seriously, your suggestion is meritorious. I have experimented with shredding extra sharp cheddar, putting it in mounds on a cookie sheet and baking it at 400 degrees until it's browned on the bottom then turning it and baking until it's browned on the other side. I believe it will work better on a silicone sheet so there won't be as much sticking. Haven't got the times or the temps for sure, yet.
Aug. 27, 2010 5:08 pm
Well, hey, Mr. Amazing! Great blog. You really enlightened a lot of folks with regard to the can and can'ts when getting chemo! You're doing an amazing job. Bet those facial calisthenics are a sight to see. Docs are saying Kira, who just had her 2nd infusion of round the clock chemo over 4 days, sailed through like the trooper she is. We firmly believe that she is doing so well because she has never had any food laden with chemicals to keep it fresh, extend the shelf life or make it prettier, bigger or better! Total organic little gal and mom prepares every healthy bite she gets! It's not easy but the pay-off is totallly amazing. You rock, Dude! We are so proud of you. BIG hugs!!
Aug. 27, 2010 5:22 pm
SouthernGma! Hugs back to you and here's a couple more for Kira! It's not chemo I'm in. I'm just getting radiation therapy. The cancer I have does not respond to chemo- thank goodness! Chemo is far more dangerous. I'm very happy that Kira is doing so very well! Her parents deserve very much credit for keeping her diet healthy. As for the facial calsithenics, they aren't seen by anybody- not even me! More hugs! Share them with Kira and family!
Aug. 27, 2010 6:07 pm
Ok Mike, you are making me work LOL! If you think you would be interested in baking cheddar bread (which is a little bit of heaven IMO) and don't have a bread machine, I would be happy to rewrite this recipe to make it manually. http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/cheddar-cheese-bread/Detail.aspx ~ I actually understand what you mean about the crunch and all, but October will be here soon and there are a few things to act as a stop gap. I also wonder how many chemicals there are in those Cheetos. SGma makes a good point about Kira's diet. Don't mean to be a nag, I just want you around for a long time.
Aug. 27, 2010 6:35 pm
BigShotsMom, there are tons of chemistry in those delightful little poisons! It is the only chemistry that I voluntarily take in, though. If you could write that recipe for me, I would be grateful. I know, I'm making more work for you. email: pita2wife@peoplepc.com. Or, you may want to post it in a blog. Thank you!
Aug. 27, 2010 6:48 pm
OMG I am hysterical at the email address!! I'll write it up and maybe bake some tomorrow.
Aug. 27, 2010 7:06 pm
My wife finds it to be very appropriate, BSM!
Aug. 27, 2010 8:01 pm
As a traveling dental hygienist for 17 nursing and rehab facilities, I deal with this everyday! First!!! Have your dentist or hygienist prescribe gelkam, control Rx, or prevident, this will protect your teeth. Second, get a prescription for GC dry mouth gel or Prevident 5000 dry mouth gel. Third, sugar-free hard candies!
Aug. 28, 2010 5:03 am
Thank you Lisa2roberto! I'll stop by my dentist Monday morning!
Aug. 28, 2010 3:59 pm
There is no doubt that if you eat Cheetos you can't really hide the evidence. I had long forgotten about these until I took my son to Costco with me a few months ago. He picked up a huge bag and now this is the favourite, at home snack. I got my hands into a bag and remember loving these in my childhood, orange fingers and all. I hope it is only a short matter of time before you can enjoy these little orange puffs again.
Aug. 29, 2010 6:32 am
Another generation going to while away its time licking and sucking cheese from its fingers. Could Cheetos be the nonviolent way to world peace?
Aug. 29, 2010 7:38 am
Good to see that you haven't lost your sense of humor. Speedy recovery my friend :)
Aug. 29, 2010 8:42 am
Thank you, mauigirl! Very glad you stopped by!
Aug. 29, 2010 9:59 am
Good luck to you, Mike! Your blog was very informative, and I learned a lot of things I didn't know by reading it. Those diet restrictions certainly leave a lot of my favorites out of the mix, but they'll certainly force you to be creative in the kitchen. Best wishes to you.
Aug. 29, 2010 10:22 am
Best of luck Mike. I'm sending a link to my BFF. She has been thru hell and is just now beginning to try foods again. Maybe you two can help each other. Thanks for posting
Aug. 29, 2010 11:33 am
wisweetp, at first, I was very discouraged but, thanks to AR members and AR searches, it is not going to be so bad. It seems the only negative I'll face is my recipe box will be much heavier! ;) It seems, I have been ovelooking a lot of good stuff by failing to use my curiosity to find something new. I'm happy that you have received information from my blog. Have you read all postings? My entire experience is in this blog.
Aug. 29, 2010 11:41 am
FISHGIRL, I'll help however I can. I have not been through hell, though. Perhaps, I would have had I not been propped up so well by my family at hone and here on AR. May I suggest that you have her read my posts just for the comments in them? I believe the AR members offered those comments not only for me but for anybody that needs to feel the warmth and support offered by them.
Aug. 30, 2010 6:31 am
I'm sorry, I should have mentioned that I have indeed read your blogs, Mike. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your journey now. My best wishes are with you. And I'm glad you are finding foods you can eat. Gotta love those recipe boxes, too!
Aug. 30, 2010 7:27 am
Best wishes with you on this journey! I hope you'll be eating Cheetos again soon.
Aug. 30, 2010 7:52 am
Well, on the positive side, the list isn't "TOO" bad, I guess. I'd be happy to have those restrictions as long as it helps in the end - at least Twinkie's aren't on the list, right? :) You have the wonderful ability to see the glass as half full. That's why I like reading your posts. I'm glad you're on the right path, Mike. Thanks for sharing - and caring.
Aug. 30, 2010 10:22 am
wisweetp, thank you.
Aug. 30, 2010 10:29 am
DarkAngel, my neighbor's granddaughter had some Cheetos and when she saw me she ran over to me and offered some to me because I was sick and "they might make me feel better". (She's four yoa.) Did I melt like butter? Yup! Did I take some Cheetos? Yup! Did she get a hug? Yup! A great big one!
Aug. 30, 2010 10:34 am
Oh, Belles! Twinkies are sugar and sweets are no-no's! This no acids and no sweets thing is beginning to become easier to understand. I hope to learn enough to pass the info (in an intelligent form) to the AR crowd. Thank you for the complement, Belles. BTW, I have your KAF Hamburg buns recipe laid out and hope to be working on it tomorrow.
Aug. 30, 2010 11:55 pm
Mike, hello, from Placerville, Ca. Longtime I've been off the blog, come back and it seems you caught my type of C.In '08 I went through my radiation trip.I wasn't bothered by food loss, in fact, they were concerned about my losing weight and I could only ingest those liquid meals. after I finished the treatments I lost about 100lbs. I needed to,so no problem. I'm approaching my 70th decade, so I expect some things will rearrange themselves, but I've still got my love of,curiosity for,and will to enjoy birds singing early in the morning. Michigan Bluberries when I can find them, memories of loons echoing on the lake on our place 40yrs ago the full moon casting shadows on a freshly powdered snow-laden night I've had other set backs, but i, like you have so much to be thankful for that even my setbacks have turned into warm snuggly safety places. I've kept up with afew on AR, and isn't Truth true companions are a blessing? Well, Mike I to have begun a new cooking, I was given a food processor by a dear friend. My daughter gave me a bread maker. With my whole grains, fresh fruits and experimenting, I
Aug. 31, 2010 7:34 am
Am & Ad's Gram, welcome back! The food processor and breadmaker will become your best friends during your new lifestyle. Our next additions will be a commercial Kitchen Aid Mixer and a dehydrator.
Sep. 1, 2010 6:38 am
Sep. 1, 2010 10:11 am
Wishing best of luck with your battle, Mike! Blessings to your wife too! I know how difficult all this can be! I think its great that you are here on a food site, maybe, you can help her with meal ideas...I know it has been difficult on Dan with foods that he used to LOVE and now take a bite and just can't handle it! My prayers are with you and your family to beat this darn thing! I wish you continued strengh and keep your spirits up, Buddy!
Sep. 1, 2010 12:14 pm
I read about how you have to sip wather to keep your mouth moist. I thought i would share with you that there are products that you can buy to help keep your mouth moist. You can get it at the pharmacy. Keeping your mouth moist will help control damage to your teeth. Hope you find some delicious food you can eat. GOOD LUCK!
Sep. 1, 2010 5:16 pm
Hi Cowgirl! Rick must have fallen asleep for you to have the time to comment. Yup! No Cheetos! Sucks!
Sep. 1, 2010 5:26 pm
CindyLepp, compared to the fight you and Dan have, my "fight" is just a baby crying for a diaper change. Thank you for the best wishes. What my blog is intended for is to make people aware of some of the issues and lifestyle changes a cancer patient must face. Some patients have it easier than I. Others, like Dan, have it far more difficult. The one thing ALL cancer patients learn is to accept our fate, love our families like we have never loved them before and to love life and fight like hell to keep all.
Sep. 1, 2010 5:33 pm
kristol, I keep my water close by but I also use the products you spoke of. Thank you for thinking of me, anyway.
Sep. 1, 2010 8:53 pm
First I wish you complete recovery, and if you find a real solution for the dry mouth problem, please share it as with many other illnesses this can be either a symptom or a side effect of medications taken for the illness. Either way, it causes a lot of annoying problems. and again best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Sep. 2, 2010 12:40 am
PS...Don't let anyone stop your blogs! Life starts in the kitchen....many things are discussed over the kitchen table....think of this place as the Kitchen Table....sorry to be so far away but you never know...I met 7 AR gals from all over on July 5th...who'd a thunk that? We had a great time and everyone was someone I wished lived next door! That is saying something! So I do feel sorry anyone made you feel bad about this blog....There are MANY people on AR that just don't speak up, going thru the exact same thing. So keep on, my friend!
Sep. 2, 2010 12:49 am
And PS...if you need to gain weight...eat ANYTHING YOU WANT! anything that you can eat...cheetos is one of Dan's fav's...teeth aren't as important as life...they can make you some teeth....keep your weight up!
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog. http://allrecipes.com/Cook/13101603/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=204609
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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