As The Treatments Continue - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at - 195555

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

As the Treatments Continue 
Sep. 16, 2010 9:34 am 
Updated: Sep. 20, 2010 10:39 pm
Here's a link to Kira Glock's website<

And here's one for Danny Lepp<

Danny and little Kira have some serious business going on and they need us to remember them with our support.
And we have these friends whose stories have not been told. GoodEats, Candice, DesertOlive, Becky Dodds, ScrappySusan.
I asked for a consultation with the oncology nurse this morning because my mouth was becoming very painful and saliva was becoming less and also getting thick- like mucus. She gave me a rinse to use "several" times a day and another rinse to stimulate the saliva glands to keep them from drying out which causes the thickness.
The nurse practitioner came in an inspected the burning and noticed that I had a problem area in back of my ear on the surgical site. There was a "fold" that had collected corruption that was not getting cleaned when I showered. She cleaned it and told me how I could keep it clean.

We went to U of M for a scheduled follow up visit with the surgeon. He was very satisfied with the healing. He made another appointment in November and will schedule a scan of the surgical site for any visual evidence of a malady. Once that is done he will advise me of my new lifestyle to be continued for the rest of my days.

The radiation is the worst part of the treatment. I’m happy that I have no feeling in most of the treatment area (because of the surgery) but some small spots outside the numb zone are very touchy and very sensitive to sunlight. The inside of my mouth is now very sensitive to hot, icy cold, vinegars, mild spices (like cinnamon), and any food that has more consistency than mashed potatoes scrapes me. I get very tired very quickly and will not allow myself to drive any long distance thinking I could just fall asleep and kill somebody. I was taking only one nap per day, but took two naps Saturday, Sunday and today. It is also difficult to concentrate.
I don’t know how this post looks. Made sense to me but it may be difficult for you readers. (Spell check has been a great help this time.)
I told the cancer center about the issues and I was given some medications for my mouth and skin. Hopefully they will relieve some of the symptoms.

Nothing tastes right to me. When I fix a meal, I have to rely on the recipe or my memory to prepare it. I must be doing it somewhere close to right or, my wife is an extraordinary good sport. Of course she only has to eat my cooking just once each day. Tonight I made Ham Salad Sandwich Spread. It has always been an eyeball measurements recipe so the end result is never the same. She ate it and complemented me but I couldn’t stand the taste. I ate it anyway.
One thing that has been tasting good is Country Sausage Gravy. I had it for breakfast a few times and for lunch a few times. I cannot eat it over biscuits because I don’t have the saliva to help me swallow the biscuits. I put it over rice, mashed potatoes or Country Scramble.
I did take Janet (AR) up on an idea. I bought some Cheetos that were just cheese. They actually do nicely for snacking because I can bite the length of the molars and not have any scraping on the gums. I also keep them off the roof of my mouth until ready to swallow. I can have only a few because of the saliva issue but I’m getting some crunchy cheesy.

Tomorrow is my scheduled appointment with the physician in charge of my treatment. Sure hope he has some good news for the second half of treatment.

This morning, my wife made sandwiches for herself and four others in her office from the left over ham salad. That is a confidence boosting compliment if there ever was one!

The interview with the doctor went well this morning and he was pleased that the rinses (given to me on Tuesday) helped me so much. I have not lost any weight and they are glad for that. They gave me a lasting supply of the rinses as well as some samples of other dry mouth products. And then, I was given a red glass trivet inscribed with three Chinese characters that meant love, hope and peace. Below those characters was the English word "survivor". I became a little choked up over that. I’m going to display it in a prominent place.
Sep. 16, 2010 11:12 am
Mike, always good to read your posts and glad to see the small good steps. I am so sorry you are having a hard time with taste and texture but that will surely improve in time. Praying for more good days than bad and rapid healing. My brother in law had very similar surgery and same problems and is fine now and eating any and every thing he wants!!!!(((hugs)))) Ginny
Sep. 16, 2010 12:11 pm
That's good news! Than you, Ginny!
Sep. 16, 2010 1:12 pm
I'm sorry this is such a rough road for you right now. Praying for you, Kira and Dan. Don't know about the other's stories so I'll just send a positive thought their way. I'm sure your cooking is just fine and I hope soon you are able to enjoy too!
Sep. 16, 2010 1:59 pm
Mike, I think it's amazing how you always make sure we remember Dan, Kira, and the others even when you're in the midst of your own battle. I'm so sorry to hear that this time is so difficult for you, but I'm glad that you're still maintaining a positive attitude. That was definitely an incredible compliment when your wife made sandwiches for her co-workers with the leftover ham salad! It would be one thing if she had just eaten it herself over the next few days, but to share it with others definitely means it was good :-) Although food doesn't taste good to you right now, at least you're eating enough to maintain your weight. And just think how GREAT everything's going to taste when you regain that sense! I got choked up when I read about the trivet they gave you. What a precious, precious gift. You're right to display it in a prominent place, because you ARE a survivor and you've given love, hope, and peace to countless people right here. Great big hugs and prayers are coming your way!
Sep. 16, 2010 2:05 pm
I'm sorry you are having a bit of a rough patch right now. I'm glad things went well with the doctor today and the trivet sounds beautiful! Sending prayers and good thoughts your way!
Mrs. C 
Sep. 16, 2010 2:53 pm
Ditto to what Keri and the othrs have written to you! Everything that I would want to say, certainly. Mike, you ARE a survivor, and this is just a phase to pass through. I am approaching my two year mark, and feel so blessed. It is great to count our blessings, isn't it? Best wishes to you and your special wife! She sounds like she is one of YOUR blessings!
Sep. 16, 2010 3:55 pm
Thank you, Cat! The others haven't published their stories. They were kind enough to leave comments in my blog.
Sep. 16, 2010 4:02 pm
Keri, I do have a very special wife. All through my recovery from surgery, she stayed with me and made sure I stayed well. Now, this radiation therapy is changing our lives almost daily and she just rolls with it. Thank you for the complements.
Sep. 16, 2010 4:04 pm
Thank you Nurse Ellen!
Sep. 16, 2010 4:12 pm
Blessings are counted every time I begin to feel sorry for myself, Mrs C. I know that my rough time is nothing when compared with what you and others have gone through. I have presented my experience as a beginning to end account for others to have some insight of a cancer experience, minor as it is.
Sep. 16, 2010 4:46 pm
Mike, glad you're able to get your Cheetoh fix. Radiation is bad enough, but Cheetoh withdrawals? Keep taking your naps, it's your body's way of taking time to heal. Take care...
Sep. 16, 2010 4:47 pm
As always I wish all the best! I hope you are back to cooking and eating all your favorites SOON!
Sep. 16, 2010 5:26 pm
Will do, Magnolia Blossom! Thank you.
Sep. 16, 2010 5:27 pm
Thank you, maggie! Me too!
Sep. 16, 2010 7:18 pm
Goodness, Mike, you are a hearty soul to keep cooking when you don't feel well (to say the least) and have no appetite! You are certainly a survivor and a great role model. Relieved to hear the good news. You take care and nap all you want, you deserve it!
Sep. 16, 2010 7:40 pm
Lace, at first I thought it would be a challenge to cook. Then I couldn't organize my thinking and nearly gave up. A four day holiday vacation restored the clarity. Thank you, Lace.
Sep. 16, 2010 9:39 pm
Hi Mike~~Yes, take those naps! Your body needs the rest to fight this tough battle. Glad to hear you are still cooking & that you are eating enough to maintain your weight. The trivet sounds lovely-display it proudly!
Sep. 16, 2010 10:08 pm
Hi Mike: You are such a dear and special person to always be thinking of others first. I would also agree that your wife taking the sandwiches to work to share with others is a huge compliment, I am sure the ham is wonderful. I am also so happy that you settled on having some plain Cheetos and were able to enjoy them, also that you didn't have to come all the way to Canada to purchase them. I am still going to have to check out the Jalepeno variety the next time I am over. Survivor, what wonderful news for you, rest all you want and need, it is good for you, you will feel stronger and better. I agree with Magnolia Blossom that rest is a way to heal the body. I wish you all the best and look forward to reading your posts.
Sep. 17, 2010 5:50 am
Hi Mike, I remember my mom and dad both feeling very tired after their treatments. The Dr's said that the rest was just as important as their medication... just as long as they were remaining active. A short brisk walk was also helpful to chase away the minor bouts of being tired. I am glad to hear the weight is being maintained, very good to hear. I am sorry that you are having so much frustration with the soreness. I know that gets old real quick! I wish I had ideas for you... but can only offer this for now {{{hugs}}} You are a very kind hearted and thoughtful person, Mike and I am glad you were presented with such a thoughtful gift!
Sep. 17, 2010 6:59 am
Thanks, goodeats! How are you doing? Are you still in treatment?
Sep. 17, 2010 7:05 am
Dear and special are adjectives seldom used in the same sentence as my name so, thank you Janet! :) The local store in this small village is now carrying the Jalapeno Cheetos. I made a point to thank the owner and to make sure he still had them when I rwecover from this treatment.
Sep. 17, 2010 7:28 am
Hey,Jan! I'll take the hugs, thank you! If the soreness was anywhere other than my mouth, I could take it better. The "trivet" is actually a coaster. I called it a trivet because I wrote the post before my wife saw it and called it a coaster. Shame on me! Not checking with the wife first? Dumb, dumb, dumb!
Sep. 18, 2010 4:53 am
Hi Mike: I have to ask, do the larger stores typically carry the Jalepeno Cheetos? My brother lived in Richland, MI many, many years ago. This is when I was first introduced to Meijer's. I remember my brother being so impressed that it was opened 24 hours a day. He never gave me the tour of Kalamazoo area. He then lived in a couple of other towns in Michigan, then Lexington, KY and now Winter Haven, FL and works for Disney. I don't know too much about who owns Meijer's but I do know that I will shop there before any Wal-Mart. Unfortunately Meijers are not located that far south....
Sep. 18, 2010 10:59 am
Any store that Frito-Lay can drive a truck to can have the Jalapeno Cheetos. The manager just has to allow them to on his shelf. Meijer is Located in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. I believe they are still family owned but I won't wager the farm on that. They sell quality food at affordable prices. Wal-Mart may be far larger than Meijer but Wal-Mart is far inferior in food quality, cleamliness and customer relations, If you didn't guess, I do shop at Meijer.
Sep. 18, 2010 8:27 pm
Mike, I am really happy you are coming along so well! As a Fellow Foodie, not being able to Taste food must be Dreadful! Thank you for the update and keep up the good work, be a good patient Mike and that was nice of the hossy to give you a keep sake. Congrats on your continued success!
Sep. 20, 2010 10:39 pm
Just wanted to stop by and thank you for your good wishes...I am sending you well wishes as well!!
Click to Change your Profile Picture
Mike Harvey, daPITA

Living In
Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

Member Since
Dec. 2008

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Gourmet

Gardening, Fishing, Photography, Reading Books

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Sweet Summer Desserts
Sweet Summer Desserts

Summertime is all the sweeter with light desserts that satisfy without weighing you down.

Let's Make Zucchini Bread
Let's Make Zucchini Bread

Buried in zucchini? It's time to make zucchini bread! Choose from over 100 recipes.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

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.
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.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States