Sunny "Soup" Up
I started chemotherapy within a week of my surgery - thanks to my very efficient medical oncologist, Doc Smiley (of course, that's my nick for the dear doctor largely attributed to his sense of humor, which can be a wee wicked at times too). At that first consultation, when asked about the duration of my chemotherapy, Doc Smiley started marking out in pink highlighter on one of a stack of pocket calendars on his desk the various treatment dates and handed it over to me. Six courses in all over a duration of approximately four months. The first course was highlighted to start on the date of the consult. I looked at him in puzzlement and said, "This is only for illustration, right? We are surely not starting chemo TODAY, right?". He looked at me with a twinkle in the eye and said, "Don't see why not - you look healthy enough, we can start this afternoon if you have no objections." Duh... uhh... for starters, I wasn't mentally prepared ... but Doc Smiley assured me that the treatment would be a breeze taking no more than an hour in all.
And with that, I started my first course of chemotherapy, going into his clinic for daily 1-hour intravenous-injections-cum-drip sessions over a 3-day period, and my goodness, did I feel like a 'superwoman' then. I was adrenalin-charged, sleeping only a couple of hours each night, waking up at intervals at 3 am and 5 am each day (like an aged person suffering from insomnia), going for early morning 2.4 km brisk walks, and eating like my 4-month nephew (hunger pangs struck every 3 hours or so). I thought to myself, "Hey, if this is how 'chemo' is like, I can go back to work pronto!"
Told Doc Smiley about my 'superman' status, and he reluctantly told me that such transient superpowers were the result of steriods that had been added to my intravenous drip (to counter nausea and vomiting) and an appetite-inducing drug that he had prescribed. When I completed my 3rd day of treatment, my 'superman' powers vanished into thin air and from day 4 onwards until day 8 or so, I suddenly turned into an 80-year old 'clark kent' suffering from constant fatigue and body aches. Sheesh....
During this period, eating (which requires the mouth to chew and swallow) was not a much sought-after activity (not to mention the unappetizing metallic taste in the mouth) and cooking any form of elaborate meal would be akin to climbing a very very high mountain. Soups (both Chinese and western ones) came to the forefront as being the easiest to prep and to ingest and digest.
This sunny-looking soup was one of my favourites. Liquidized carrots, cauliflower and onion, with a touch of sea salt, cumin and black pepper to spice up the same.
- saute one medium onion (quartered) in a pan of heated olive oil for a few minutes
- add 3 to 4 carrots (cut into chunks) and half a head of cauliflower (cut into chunks), a dash of sea salt and half a teaspoon of ground cumin
- add 3 cups of water and bring to boil - then lower heat to a small fire and let simmer for 15 t0 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft
- liquidize contents in a glass blender
- and lunch / dinner is ready in less than half an hour - either serve with brown rice or wholemeal bread slices for more substance