For whatever reason, the angry clouds of post-chemo malaise parted slightly today and provide some badly needed sunshine. Six hours of solid sleep absent the unsettling dreams undoubtedly helped.
The irritation in my esophagus also has lessened, which made me think of food. Weak and short of breath, I huffed and puffed my way through the grocery to gather ingredients for chicken soup and lasagna, a family favorite at Chez Gillispie.
Mary Lou and I have made food an important part of family life. We have tried to sit at the dinner table as many evenings as possible for home-cooked meals with the kids. While Sam and Hanna's tastes are hardly adventurous, they're better eaters than I was as a child. My siblings, all older, loved to tease me about my picky eating habits.
Yet I became the amateur gourmand in adulthood. I also learned that some flare in the kitchen is not a bad way to get the girl.
I came to love cooking -- the research, the gathering of ingredients, the mise en place, the alchemy created by heat and fire. In the few years my mother was alive after Mary Lou and I married, it pleased Mom greatly to come to our house for dinner. I finally impressed her.
Mary Lou is the weekday cook. She plans her grocery runs carefully and has an admirable ability to turn out quick, healthy meals after work.
The kitchen is mostly mine on weekends and holidays. I've not been able to expand my repertoire as much as I'd like, but we'll soon be empty nesters, giving me a chance to experiment on Mary Lou.
It's been a blessing that I've been able to eat as well as I have during treatment. There have been rough spots. This metallic taste caused by chemo is bothersome. But I've maintained my weight, which I'd been told was important.
It's nice to write something positive. Cooking gave my spirits a small boost. I'm exhausted but happy.
I guess I made some real chicken soup for the soul today.