Aug 31, 2009

7 days after chemo 2.

It's been 7 days since the second round of chemo. This round has been better in many ways, and worse in some. For one, there was no regurgitation of partially digested foods!! And the last time, she lost 4 pounds within a couple of days. But this time, she learnt to listen to her body. And whilst the foods she ate were not the most nutritious for the average person, just about anything she eats these days will be beneficial to her. The only problem is that in her case, chemo causes constipation. And, she absolutely hates taking medication! Umm...that problem though, has been 'solved' quite recently. haha.
Because I (and everyone else in the family) has been tired, meals have been extremely simple. As my mother needs to eat freshly cooked foods every meal, we've been eating her leftovers (especially RICE! because we need a minimum of 1 cup in the rice cooker when we cook it.) and having boiled veggies. Sandwiches have also been a staple as they are easy and quick to make and eat. And they're the best because there's not much dishes to do later! =p

About a week ago, my mother's friend made some Chinese 'Almond Tea' dessert. This uses Chinese Almonds/Bitter Almonds which is ground and made into a paste and boiled with water, sugar and rice which is also to be ground into powder. It requires a whole lot of work! But I've never made it. It's amazingly great! And I've been soaking my oats in them overnight before cooking them briefly in the morning. This is truely feenohmeenaal!! Anyway, for those interested, HERE is a fairly traditional recipe =)

Tomorrow, my sister flies back to Canada for university. Due to several reasons, I will not be going back. Over the past 2-3 years, my relationship with my sister has become quite close, and I enjoy her company A LOT. With her, I can be stupid, silly, annoying, pissy, bitchy, etc and I won't have to worry or care about what she'll think of me later on. I take comfort in knowing that she has lots of wonderful caring friends in school, and that God will be watching over her (she's a Christian, I'm not. But that's another story altogether...). At least I'll be seeing her again in December. And at times like these, i LOVE the internet!!

Aug 23, 2009

Day 11 & 12

Friday and Saturday

I went to the market to buy vegetables on Saturday! =) Sadly, I don't know very many people who enjoy grocery shopping as much as I do. It's one of my favourite activities!!! One of the things I miss about living in North America is the farmer's market that I usually go to every Saturday. All the different types of apples and squashes that I get to pick from. Plus, they are all locally grown and certified organic!! Sadly, such things are not easy to find where I am. And when I do find organic products, they are so so so very much more expensive! But, I make do with other produce that I cannot easily find in North America =p Such as: PINK DRAGONFRUIT!! Unlike the ones I've found in Canada (at very high prices!) which are white on the inside, these ones are a rich deep pink colour and are sweeter!!

Tuesday's the next chemotherapy session. There's so much we want to do before she becomes 'bedridden' again for about 5 days. I really wished I had more time. When she wanted cake on Friday, I had to go buy some because I just didn't have the time to make it. =(

Ok, I really really need to buy a camera. Any good ones to rec? Budget is about $150. And, it has to be easy enough to use because I'm truly a tech-idiot!

Aug 21, 2009

Days 9 & 10

I think I'm slowly starting to get used to all this. Tiring still, yes. But very much more manageable.
We're slowly letting my mom do certain things now. Such as getting her own (already sliced) bread and spreading her own marmalade on it.
Because she's had to have both her breasts and most of her lymph nodes on her left underarm removed, she still does not have full usage of her arms and upper body. especially the left side. Although I'm sure she will be able to open the fridge and twist off the cover of the jam jar, she's not supposed to do such things. Which is why there needs to be someone with her almost all the time. This is because she can get hungry very suddenly (I believe this is the doing of that darn chemo) and needs to eat once she is hungry.
On Thursday, my mom's friend came by with her 'domestic helper'. We'll be getting help with cleaning! =D This will definitely be so very helpful! (a blog-worthy post would be on the usage and treatment of such 'domestic helpers' here...)

I've had 3 huge canker sores for the past (almost) 2 weeks. So eating has been quite a pain some days, really. They seem to be healing fine now, and I really hope that by Sunday, I'll be able to eat a 'salad wrap'. Tons of raw veggies, wrapped in pita or something. I can't wait for the day I can chomp down on that!!

Aug 19, 2009

Days 7 & 8

Mom's been doing awesome these 2 days! The side effects from the first round of chemo are finally wearing off. On both days, she asked for second helpings during dinner =D She no longer sounds or looks half-dead. And I think we can finally play scrabble as a family once again! =D

Yes, we play scrabble together quite often. It's my family's fav board game. Plus, we now have a new board that's more solid and has raised grids so the tiles won't 'run' all over the place!

My sister had a day off work, so she did lunch and dinner on Monday! It was a very welcomed break for me to not have to head straight to the kitchen to fix my mom's dinner the minute i get home. Because she still has not gotten me a birthday gift this year, she's promised to get me a camera =D There are some very picture worthy things that I encounter =p Sometimes I'm really glad my dad moved to this place...but that's another story all together.

i've also learnt that 1 tbsp of soy sauce + a few drops of cognac + a couple pinches of sugar make for a good marinade/sauce. heehee. =p

Aug 17, 2009

Days 4,5, & 6

No internet over the weekend at home...(though I did manage to steal a neighbour's for a few minutes every once in a while =p )

It has been extremely exhausting. We don't get to sleep till past 12 each night, and my dad and I wake up by 7 each morning. In between, we have to cook, clean, buy groceries, 'entertain' my mom. It just doesn't seem like much when I list it down. But it takes up every single minute of the day.

I did though go out with some friends on Friday night. The first time since my mom's operation almost a month ago. I had a very enjoyable 'breakfast' for dinner. 2 slices of toast, a salad, and 2 sunny side ups. and after that, I had this enormous slice of carrot cake. SO GOOD!

Inspired by this post, I made a root veggie coconut/soy milk stew for Saturday's lunch. Because I can get freshly grated coconut at the market, I used those and squeezed my own coconut milk. =) The root veggies I added were carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. I liked the pumpkins best in the stew, and should I make this again (which I definitely would!), I'll make it with just pumpkin!

It's so insanely easy! just dice up the veggies, cook them in a pan with some water until it's half-done. add in the coconut milk and cook until it boils. Add the soy milk heat until it boils and the veggies are done.

My mom can't have coconut milk, so she didn't get to try any...She's been wanting to eat salty foods these days. It's a little scary how salty she wants her food to be. Though according to my dad, it's salty to us because we don't usually add salt to anything. All I hope is that it won't give my mom further health complications. Last night for dinner though, we boiled up some watercress, and my mom ate lots of it. I'm definitely going to be buying those again since my mom likes them!

Aug 14, 2009

Day 3

My initial plan was to make honey-glazed carrots, baked tofu and rice for dinner.
But chemotherapy screws one's tastebuds up. and everything tasted sweet to my mom. For some people, it also makes you crave for certain foods. Like my mom has said "it's like I'm pregnant again!".
Anyhow, she wanted zucchini and onions for dinner. She was hungry. We had no zucchini in the house!! I had to run down to the supermarket, pick up zucchini, and then run back home. Which was great because ever since my mom's operation, I have not had the time to exercise outdoors as she required someone to be around her 24/7.
I've also realized that she now hates the smell of fried onions! But, she liked her dinner anyway and finished everything in the bowl! The first time ever since her chemo!
2 large zucchini (cut into large bite-zixed pieces)+ 1 onion (sliced thinly)+ <1 tbsp of oil+ >1 tspn of soy sauce+ a few drops of sesame oil added right at the end makes it smell really good!! Could have used less oil though. It was a little greasy when eaten without rice.
I decided to treat myself to some vegetarian pad thai at work. Wished they gave me more tofu though..i really do love tofu =p

Aug 13, 2009

When the boss isn't in...

and there's nothing (much) to do...

An interesting link I've found while browsing the web!

100 Food Blogs to Inspire your Healthy Eating!

Since I won't have anything to do for the rest of the day, I might as well sit here, enjoy the airconditioning, and go through some of the blogs...

Aug 12, 2009

Day 2

I got a very pleasant surprise after work when I called home. My mom picked up the phone. And she sounded quite fine!!

I really hope she continues fighting this battle to the end. There has been many times when she has mentioned that she just wants to give up.

After more than 30 hours, she has finally managed to keep her food down. Poor thing was so hungry. I boiled some chinese pork and veggies dumplings for her and my dad, baked sliced potatoes with olive oil and rosemary, and cooked the remaining bok choy in the fridge.

At least it'll be another 12 days before her next round.

It's been a physically, emotionally, mentally draining month.

But now that she can eat, things will be a little easier. I've already planned out tomorrow's meals.

Day 1

Day 1:

I had thought that we only had to be at the hospital by 11am, but I guess there had been a change of plans. My mother had to see her surgeon before 10:30am because the liquids collecting underneath her skin was bothering her.

Things didn't go too bad at the hospital. The surgeon drained the liquids and bound her chest to prevent that from happening again. Then after talking to the oncologist for about 30 minutes, we went for lunch where I had fishball noodles (dry). Then it's back to the oncologist's for my mother's chemotherapy. Too bad I don't know much about the meds and stuff that were injected into my mom. But there were LOTS of them. and one of them would even turn her pee red for the rest of the day =\ Whilst there was another that would make her lose her hair...

I walked my sister to the busstop while my mom was doing her chemo. And also popped by the mall nearby to pick up some soymilk. 'Silk' soymilk was on sale, so I bought organic unsweetened soymilk!

The highlight of the day was when I found this organic store at the mall!! I've yet to step into the store though, as my dad messaged to tell me to get back to the hospital just as I had found it...

Got home around 3:30, and I made my mom some red dates tea, and did a round of laundry. After that, I went to work to use the internet. Because if we want to use the internet at home, we have to sign up for it, and pay for each day that we use. I didn't bother messaging my supervisor earlier today because I thought he had said before that he wasn't going to be in. But apparently I was wrong. haha. Oh well...

My mom seemed to be fine before I left for work, but when I went home, things were quite bad. My mom was nauseous, and as time went by, she only got worse. She didn't have any dinner. And because I was so tired, all i had was a bowl of rice porride (with ginko nuts, goji berries, and 2 teaspoons of PB) which my dad had made the day before.