With two surgeries under my belt I’m still recovering from, and now slowly breaking down I’m honestly reaching a point of “medical fatigue”. I spent most of my child-free school days this past week re-reviewing how long other patients stayed away from their small children after their radiation treatment (since there are no national protocols). Usually I’m chomping at the bit to get information, but my lack of engrossment for the subject started to scare myself. I started to feel like I didn’t really care, or at least care as much. How could I not care about protecting my children from harmful radiation? I had to remind myself that I needed to pick up my chin and stay in the fight; I need to continue to try to push through the fatigue in order to be whole again. I feel like I’ve been climbing a mountain for months and have finally reached the final leg to the summit, only to look up and realize that the summit ascent is so much steeper than I had anticipated. I’m punched down by the defeating feeling that I might not have conserved enough energy to tackle it. But what choice do I have?
I know I couldn’t continue to push through without the fantastic support of my amazing family and friends both near and far! You all have been amazing…crazy amazing! So amazing that I feel weird mentioning the “hands-up” we’ve received so far, knowing that others might find this post while trying to ease their own journeys and not have such resources available to them. In that respect I’ve been terribly lucky!
I received a major hand-up this past Thursday when three fantastic life-long friends pooled together to send a professional chef to my home to prepare several low-iodine meals for the remainder of my prep. period. Obviously not everyone can hire a home chef for this purpose, but if you can, I highly recommend it. Likewise if a friend or family member you trust offers to slave for 4 hours preparing from-scratch low-iodine tomato sauce, minestrone soup, hummus, and a double loaf of warm, crusty iodine-free bread, take them up on that offer! [along those lines, I recommend taking up most, if not all, offers for help; it’s easy to think you’ll manage fine until you find yourself in too deep and wishing you hadn’t sent those offers packing.]
So as a small gesture to give back some of this helpfulness (and this I realize is very small, but something I can tackle at this point in time), I’m going to recap what I ate my first week on the LID. I’m doing this so maybe others won’t have to think so much about it. For every post I found which listed one, maybe two, “sample meal plans”, which were always grandiose and typically unappealing ideas like,”dinner = prime rib, skinless baked potato, lettuce salad with homemade dressing, and unsalted Matzo crackers”, I would find 10 times as many posts by desperate folks like myself asking what they could actually survive on for two weeks or more, with little time or energy.
At the sake of boring everyone else, here is what I ate (being very conservative about the diet) for the first 7 days and I expect to roughly repeat the second week:
Breakfasts: Oatmeal (made with water), cinnamon, & 100% maple syrup; grapefruit halved and dusted with white sugar; hot wheat cereal made with water and honey; assorted fruit (green grapes, honey crisp apple, cantaloupe); toasted homemade bread with natural blueberry jam.
Lunches: mashed avocado mixed with diced onion, tomato, and iodine-free salt with baby carrots and unsalted all-natural corn chips and a side of honey crisp apple with cinnamon; leftover stuffed green pepper filling (from previous night’s dinner) wrapped in salt-free corn tortillas with a side of green grapes; Baked sweet potato (skin removed) with green grapes; avocado smashed with fresh squeezed lemon, baby carrots, and unsalted corn chips; homemade minestrone soup with homemade bread (both chef-prepared) and cantaloupe; homemade hummus with salt-free corn chips, baby carrots, sliced cucumber, and sliced mushroom.
Dinners: green pepper stuffed with onion, mushroom, tomato, barley (steamed from dry), 3 ounces extra lean ground beef (asked the butcher to portion it before buying), fresh basil, non-iodized salt and olive oil; second stuffed pepper from previous night; homemade pesto (blended olive oil, un-salted walnuts, fresh basil, diced onion, and non-iodized salt), with sautéed chicken (less than 3 ounces) and mushrooms over salt-free whole wheat spaghetti; homemade hummus (from dry chickpeas [soaked 24 hours prior to cooking], olive oil, water, non-iodized salt), spread on homemade bread, topped with slivered green pepper, carrot, cucumber, and mushroom with a side of cantaloupe; “pizza” – homemade spaghetti sauce, diced mushroom, and green pepper over homemade bread; Sautéed chicken, green pepper, onion, olive oil, and salt over salt-free whole wheat spaghetti.
Snacks: salt-free almonds; fresh blueberries; all natural (sodium-free) lemon/lime soda; miniature marshmallows (plain or mixed with salt-free creamy peanut butter); dairy-free chocolate chips mixed in salt-free peanut butter; “no-bake” cookies made from olive oil, iodine-free salt, whole oats, salt-free peanut butter, white sugar, unsweetened cocoa, marshmallows, and water.