You Are What You Eat

Happy Waffle Wednesday??


Waffles are on the breakfast menu here at the Moncton Hospital. I couldn’t help myself, I had to order it. I can’t say I was surprised when one, un-toasted, cold, soggy freezer waffle showed up. Actually, it’s exactly what I was expecting.


The breakfasts here actually aren’t all bad. I can usually get away with a boiled egg, a piece of fruit, and a bowl of plain hot cereal. I can make do with that!


Fret not, I ate this instead of the soggy waffle. Cream of wheat with PB&J. Natural PB that my family brought, and not the hydrogenated kind stocked in the kitchen.

For the most part, what I do is eat what’s edible on the plate and I supplement with my extra fruit, veggies or protein.


Baked potatoes, apple pork, frozen vegetable mix. An example of an edible meal.

Often, I’ll take bits and pieces and make a salad out of it.


The above has ham, mandarin and a cucumber salad that came on the plate which I mixed with my own greens and peppers. Although, I don’t always have the appetite for raw veggies. They’re hard to digest and some days all I can stomach is toast. I know, hard to believe that my appetite is affected! I find the drugs make some things taste weird too, and the doctor says eating calories is more important than being picky about my calories. So some days, toast it is.

Or, after surgery on Tuesday, a liquid supper.


After having a scope shoved down my chest and an oxygen tube down my throat, I was perfectly happy with some broth, jello and popsicles.

Although, sister Sara still made me some special watermelon juice with basil and mint.


With all that said, some days, I get food that is truly appalling. Tuesday’s dinner for example featured mystery fish cakes with a black hair cooked inside.


I kid you not. I couldn’t come up with something more disgusting if I tried.

Food is of course subject to change. I’ll eventually meet with an oncology nutritionist and find out what sort of restrictions I will have while on chemotherapy.

Apart from the bad hospital food, I do have some good news! My bone marrow biopsy came back clear, which is a HUGE relief. Lymphoma and leukemia are closely related and it’s not uncommon to have both. I am SO relieved I don’t have to worry about leukemia on top of the lymphoma.

The other news is that the special PET scan I had out of town showed that the mass is isolated to my upper chest, shoulder area, and bottom of my throat. Which means we’re looking at Stage 2 cancer. Chemo for lymphoma is notoriously potent, but knowing that it’s not at an advanced stage relieves a little of the worry about that for me.


Still healing from Monday’s surgery. Word on the street is that I may get my formal diagnosis from the most recent samples as soon as Friday. It hurts to talk, swallow, and hold my head up. But figuratively, I like to think I’m still holding it up. Hoping I won’t end up with a gnarly scar on my throat, but people tell me these types of things are the least of my problems. It’s just a flesh wound I guess.


Posted on July 6, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 60 Comments.

  1. That all sounds really great. Glad it’s not in your bones. You will be just fine once the chemo starts and you get a routine. I bet you are good as new in six months.

  2. Susan, you are in my thoughts and prayers every single day.

    I am happy to see waffles today :) And that you’re smiling in the last pic, given everything.



  3. OMG that fish cake with the hair is disgusting. I almost barfed eating my breakfast!! LOL
    Im glad to read about the news. Hang in there Susan. I keep praying for you. Keep sharing what’s going on when you can, it’s good to have news from you. I like that you explain what is going on with the cancer because all those terms are complicated. Bon courage!! xox

  4. Take care Susan!
    Nice to know you can somehow make the food work for you?!

    The thing that blows my mind is that your emails are comforting US
    I find! That’s really something Susan !!

    Now perhaps it’s time to retire Waffle Wed. for a bit? ( but pretty
    funny you ordered it to check it out!)

    Wishing you a feeling good kinda day :)

  5. PS By emails I meant posts of course (I am so old school
    confused sometimes!!)

  6. Karen Strickland

    Good morning Susan! I’m so glad to hear that so far your news has been good, all things considered! Sorry you are having to deal with such terrible food. Hope you have a good day – get lots of rest, and keep smiling :)

  7. I’m SO happy for you and the result of your test Susan! That’s great news. On the other hand, that hospital food is gross – those fish cakes… I think I’d be notifying them about that! It’s great that your family can bring good (real) food in for you. Have a great day and Happy Waffle Wednesday (even if it’s a soggy one.)

  8. I love that you are finding some humor in the food situation! When I was on different medications, I struggled with appetite as well. Sometimes it felt like someone else’s stomach in my body!

    Congratulations on your medical news! No leukemia and an early stage are great things after such a long couple of weeks.

    Happy Wednesday dear!

  9. Jennifer@aknackfornutrition

    That hair in your food is absolutely foul. I’m so releived to hear that your cancer is stage 2 and that its not in your bone marrow. That is great news!! Stay strong Susan!

  10. You are a trooper–my goodness!! I cannot believe any hospital in this country still serves food like that! Your positive spirit is just incredible. I’m rooting for you!

  11. What a sad, sad waffle breakfast. I’m glad you went for cream of wheat instead. That hair in the fish made my stomach turn. Gross! I have to say, though…even in a hospital, recovering from surgery…you’re lovely and glowing with vitality. Glad you got some good (preliminary) news…you’re going to beat this!

  12. i’m glad you could still participate in waffle wednesday!

  13. im so happy to see your spirits are up :) I am thinking about you each day and although do not post each day I am reading and thinking of you :)

    Hang in there you are stronger than you know

  14. Wow, what great news from the biopsy and dare I say, you look so cute in that picture! seriously. And way to go on making do with the food there, I bet it is tough but with a little creativity, you got yourself some good meals! :)

  15. “Happy Waffle Wednesday?” Lolz… Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning! Such great news about the bone marrow biopsy!

  16. Wooooo hooo! That’s such good news! I’m SO happy for you. You can kick stage 2 in the behind!!!

  17. Glad to read the good news on the bone marrow and that you are at a stage that is easier to treat! I’m keeping you in my prayers!

    Those fish cake things…ugh. Looks like the hospital food needs an intervention! As for the waffle my nephews would love it! They get mad if you toast their waffles and say they want them floppier! Kids are weird! lol

  18. Can’t help but comment and say YAY! :)

  19. It’s good to see a photo of you smiling : )

  20. Good news on the bone marrow biopsy! Thank goodness you have your own food coming in too … otherwise you might actually be in trouble :)

  21. Personally, I think scars are badass. You are totally going to win this!

  22. That fish cake….I had to quickly get away from that picture. I feel so bad for you and your menu. Thank goodness you have people bringing you in food. If I were closer, I’d be your meals on wheels, you’d love me!

  23. hope you really get better soon :) i think hospital food are really tasteless…but i work in the hospital and we have one free meal at the dining hall and so far the food taste okay…sometimes salty, bland, fatty, not that healthy but it’s free :)

  24. I have a 25″ continuous scar.. I got it when i was younger than you… It is my medal of honor.. It means i am still here… Hang in there.. you are a trooper… ;-)

    ps… that IS the worst hospital food ever!

  25. I’m so glad to hear the good news. I’ve been praying for and thinking of you daily!! Doing the same for the upcoming diagnosis, too <3

  26. Congrats on a pretty decent diagnosis so far, hope the official one comes back with no surprises! I think a scar is pretty bad ass, myself, and what’s even better is that when strangers ask you what it is, you can come up with all sorts of fun answers like “I was in a knife fight” or “I was stabbed by a baby sting ray that I was saving in the Galapagos Islands” etc :P

  27. I know this period of your life must be hard, but keep smiling because you look beautiful :)

  28. Wow, of all the things you have described on the blog lately and everything I’ve read, it was the picture with the hair that nearly made me vomit in my trash can. That is SO nasty. Blech.

    I’m glad to see that things are progressing towards more answers for you. I pray for you every day and I’m hoping you get to leave the hospital soon :)

  29. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooo relieved that it’s stage 2, that the chemo is so effective (it is!!) and that it’s NOT leukemia!!!!! My dad started with leukemia and then got a very bad kind of lymphoma (not in any way similar to yours thank GODDDD).

    OK now, the baked black hair made me nearly barf a little bit.

    And how is it possible for someone to be in the hospital, have undergone surgeries and hairy food and still look gorgeous without a granule of makeup on??

  30. So glad to hear its not a more advanced stage and should be able to get remedied easier. Not easy by any means I know. But I also know you are uber strong!

  31. Glad to hear it is not advanced. Keep being strong!

  32. So happy to here the good news and impressed with your creative alterations! When I’m not feeling well I live on toast and cereal. And when stressed – chocolate, chips and wine. I’m not always the wisest.

    You are amazing.

  33. Big mistake reading this with my lunch! Especially because I am having a tuna sandwich… WTF is up with that hair! Oh, gross. And you totally called that soggy freezer waffle–haha–I remember.

    YAYYYYYYY for it not being in your bones! That makes me so happy. Oh, I was going to mention that my sister’s friend broke her arm (not doing anything crazy, just really snapped so easily) and was soon after diagnosed w/ lymphoma. I wonder if it has any correlation. Hmm. Anyway, I am so so so glad that it is stage 2 and you will kick this cancer in the metaphorical ass. I just know it.

    I love you!

    • My mom and I were talking about that with my doctor, who said it’s perfectly plausible for the cancer to be the reason behind 1) why my bone shattered so badly, and 2) why it never healed. Crazy, eh? The lymphatic system is responsible for a lot in the body, so knowing now that it’s got cancer is bringing up all these possible answers to mystery symptoms!

  34. Only you would be able to put together such a colorful meal out of what they give you! :) (and that really doesn’t look half bad, especially with what your family brings you!) You really are keeping your head up and conducting yourself with such grace through all of this. I’m so happy that the cancer isn’t in your bones- hooray! I’m thinking about you and praying for you every day.

  35. Oh my god thank god you spotted that hair! Thinking of you x x

  36. You are truly an ispiration! I could not imagine going through what you are. I have breakdowns at the simplest things, and you are handling your entire situation with grace.

    I wish you and your family the best. You are in my prayers. :) Good luck & stay positive!

  37. I like your sense of humour!

    The hospital food looks terrible! I am tempted to start a lobby group!

  38. OMG ~ I literally LOL at my desk at Waffle Wednesday ~ good way to show I am hard at work ;)

    That hair is nasty, I would’ve totally been icked out. Your sis rocks at making you juice….still wish I could make/bring you all kinds of stuff because I totally would.

    Yeah for great news and we have our fingers/tossed crossed for good news on Friday too!

  39. Good news on the bone marrow being clear! Yay!

    And that fish thing. That is just so nasty it can’t be described properly.

    You know, scars can be really sexy and they always give you something to talk about in social situations! I have a scar at the top of my *ahem* butt crack from having a cyst removed from my tailbone, but I obviously don’t bring that up in polite company and choose to talk about other scars first :D

  40. So happy you got some good news Susan! Im so happy that its not advanced and leukemia too.
    Sorry about the food….there is just no words for that! And the hair? Oh man. You are making the best of it though and that’s great you are supplementing with your own tasty food!! Such a great idea. I totally laughed at the Eggo waffle though…I dont think Ive seen one of those in years!! ;)

  41. Happy to hear your good news Susan. Better start gearing up for U2. :)

    Gagging at the fish cake with black hair. Who knew it could get worse than canned eggs?

  42. The food doesn’t look THAT bad at the hospital – except for that nasty black hair. Gross!

  43. My mom had stage 2 lymphoma. I remember how terrifying it was, just waiting and praying that it wasn’t in her blood as well. The good news is that she’s been in remission for almost two years now(!!!) after two different rounds of chemo and a bone transplant.

  44. So happy the leukemia was a no!

  45. I have recently started to follow your blog. I really appreciate you the way you are dealing with all this.

    Very thrilled for you that the report was clear.

  46. hey susan
    I wish you the best and you are always in my prayers

  47. oh no, the hair incident. Thats supposed to make you stronger, right? haha, lets hope not!!

    Praying for you susan. Please keep us posted on every detail.

  48. my mom is a hairdresser, and she taught us never to be freaked out by hair – it’s protein :)

    yep, that’s Mama E for ya! haha.

  49. That food!!! Pretty hilarious + I think I gagged when I saw the hair. The drink your sister brought sounds fabulous. Keep your spirits high!!

  50. You are TOTALLY going to kick Stage 2 in the assssssss!!!

    Pulling for you hard Susan! I think about you every day!

  51. Hi there!

    I am a new reader and haven’t commented before.
    Just wanted to chime in that I am also Canadian – from Atlantic Canada as well, Newfoundland! I am all too familiar with the wonderful “food” served in our hospitals!

    I guess we can’t complain too much being that most of our health care costs are covered but I have to wonder who ACTUALLY thinks the food they serve is edible!? lol

    Anyways all the best on your journey – from what I have read you seem to have a very courageous and positive spirit! :)

    PS – > I apologize if this posts twice! I don’t think it went through the first time when I tried to comment as a wordpress user for some reason!

  52. If you do have a scar. It is a battle scar that will remind you of how strong you are for overcoming this part of your life :)

  53. First (belatedly as I only just subscribed to your blog), I’m tremendously glad to hear your good news. Second, what you did with the hospital food is just an example of what you’ve done with your illness – make the best of it, take positive actions, etc. This is gonna get you through this, you know! Third, I obviously missed your auction, but is there a way I can contribute to your effort to improve that wretched hospital menu? I’d have to make a donation using a credit card, though.

  54. I am so happy that you are getting your results soon. You are in my thoughts and prayers! I have been doing a little side research for you in regards to foods … I found that Lance Armstrongs site was particularly helpfull —

    I know that the doctors will tell you what you should eat but I thought I would send it anyhow!

    Just know that we are all rooting for you and you are awesome, don’t fret about any scars you are always going to be beautiful!!

  55. Hey Susan! I just read your story and you truly inspiring. I wish you the very best! :) & I was reading an article on Hippocrates Institute the other day, It had some stuff in there that was very informative-you might like to check it out, I think they have a web site.

    Lots of Love,


  56. I hope you reported that gag-ly food to the hospital – whether it was prepared in house or prepackaged that is outrageous! Have you tried milkshakes/smoothies for when you don’t feel like eating? sometimes cold is easier to take. My aunt could always eat spaghetti (or something else with tomato sauce) when chemo made her stomach ‘sometimesy’ she called it. (as in Sometimes she could eat like usual and sometimes smelling the food cart down the hall would get it churning.)

    Glad for your good health reports :o)

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