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Appetite: my emotional leading indicator

We should all have a friend we can call when our iron levels are low, and we are craving escargot and a steak.

When that happens to me, I text Melanie and she responds, “Tonight?”

And thank goodness she did, because tonight’s dinner was so perfect it made me want to cry.

Have you ever had one of those meals where you can’t explain why it was so good—maybe you were extra hungry or maybe it’s just what you wanted?

That’s what this was like, only ten times better.

My appetite has been restored, my taste buds are back to full power, and I was able to order exactly what my body seemed to need: escargot with fresh baguette, filet mignon with Bordeaux butter, steamed spinach, and potatoes both mashed and fried. It was transcendent. I cannot remember a time when I was happier to eat!

I’m cleared for chemo to restart on Monday, so you might think that tonight’s meal could feel a little bittersweet. It didn’t. It was all sweet! I’ve got to make the most of joy when it happens, and I can’t waste my time worrying about when I’ll next have that next lucid moment.

It startles me again and again to realize how connected my emotional state is with my appetite. I start to feel better as soon as I start to feel hungry.

After that first egg sandwich, I stopped asking myself, “Do I really have to do this again?” And started telling myself, “Two of three done, just one more to go.” I’m worried about months and months of mop-up chemo, but I also know that for me, surgical recovery has been worse, so I just need to focus on getting past that. My CEA came in on Monday at 0.8 - the lowest it’s ever been. I would like to believe that means there’s no more live cancer in my body, and that’s very possibly actually true!

Thinking of all this on my way home, I turned the corner to my street, and my lucky song came on. It felt like a sign, and I cried with relief.

I’m mentally gearing up for the next leg of this journey, I’m feeling ready, and I sure am glad I was able to kick it off with a steak!

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