After losing almost a stone in weight during my radiotherapy treatment, and also having to be slightly over-medicated on thyroxine to hopefully keep my thyroid cancer at bay (being over-medicated can cause weight loss), I am now in the enviable position of needing to put on a bit of weight. However, it’s not as easy as it seems.
The dietitians at Addenbrooke’s Hospital helpfully suggested hot milky drinks, savoury milky drinks, yoghurt drinks, ice cream sodas and chocolate mallow drinks before they realised I am dairy intolerant! I also cannot bear the taste of anything sweet at the moment, because to my massacred taste buds sweet foods taste like radiation (yes, you can taste it). Instead the dietitians gave me a neutral -flavoured lactose-free build-you-up drink called Calogen Extra, which has the consistency of wallpaper paste and leaves a disgusting after-taste. There are many Calogen Extras sitting idly in my fridge.
This week I’ve tried eating two lunches; one around 10.30am and one around 2.30pm. I’ve been stuffing sausage rolls, meat pies, or doorstep slices of toast with beans or spaghetti down the little red lane, with more pasta at dinner time.
It’s really strange – I’m hungry a lot of the time now, and I’m enjoying all the foods that I never used to eat. Salty foods are the only ones which taste like they are supposed to, and I’ve been eating crisps and also bacon, which previously I would not touch because normally I hate anything salty. Apparently the sweet taste takes a few months to return, which is a shame because it’s the sweet things that make us put on weight. However, anything sweet tastes really bad at the moment. I’m trying though, but Sam ends up eating it. He’s putting on weight and has had to re-join the gym!
What with eating all this pastry and bags of crisps (I call it ‘yellow food’), it’ll be just my luck that in a couple of years I’ll be queueing up at Addenbrooke’s Cardiac Unit as well.