Day 177: Fish Pie
Often it is quite hard to explain why i’ve hit the Cancer Wall or why i’m always so tired. But today 2hrs pretty much summed up why cancer is bullshit, I will name this story Fish Pie.
Throughout treatment Bilbo has felt nauseous, he’s had issues with tastes, he has lost trust in foods he loves and has had cravings for foods he doesn’t normally like.
And we’ve had to respond in real time to these changes. This has meant numerous trips to Asda, sometimes up to 4-5 times a day during the steroid phase. And when Bilbo has been at the height of being off food we’ve offered up and made numerous meals that have been wasted.
We’ve learned to not back a big deal of it with Bilbo BUT that doesn’t mean it isn’t exhausting for those around it. And that includes Rich and my mum.
Bilbo went back to school on Tuesday and not only does he not want to eat his school dinner, he doesn’t know what he wants in a packed lunch. Aside from crackers which he says are soggy by the time he eats them.
Pre-cancer I was the type of parent who wouldn’t have put up with this. I would have offered up food and if my kids didn’t eat it then I wasn’t too bothered. They could eat at the next meal. I certainly wasn’t into cooking multiple meals for the family.
But this reaction to food is out of Bilbo’s control. He can’t help how he reacts to smells, tastes and textures. And they change daily.
Bilbo has lost so much weight, he’s just about stayed out of the danger zone. But a few off days have a huge impact. And that is why we have to play this food game.
“Yuk that doesn’t taste good” or “I don’t want it now” are common responses. We also have to remember he is 5 years old. He doesn’t fully understand why he feels the way he does let alone explain it to us.
Now I’ve explained the context…here’s what happened this morning.
The one and only meeting I had scheduled this morning fell right up to the time I needed to pick up Bilbo. I pushed it to start earlier and at 11:27 I realised the time and ditched the hangout. Sorry Jo and Lynne…
I then had 3mins to drive the 7mins to Bilbo’s school.
I get to the traffic lights to get off our estate and they’re digging up the road…add another 3mins.
Bilbo is waiting in the reception. And we start the “what do you want to eat?” game…to my surprise he informs me he wants fish pie and peas.
Of course we don’t have fish pie at home but we do have peas, so a trip to Asda is needed.
I don’t have my wallet and check all the nooks and crannies of the car where I normally stash change, I come up empty as the car was cleaned at the weekend.
A 7 mins drive home (gotta love those road works), pick up my wallet and drive to Asda.
Bilbo deliberates (slowly) over which fish pie he wants and tells me that he’d prefer a homemade one like Kim’s from nursery (not even going there). I politely explain to Bilbo that whilst I’d love to knock him up homecooked meals at lunchtime I can’t perform miracles since I only discovered this is what he wanted 15mins ago.
Bilbo picks the cheapest smartprice Asda price fish pie. I hide my disappointment and head to the check out grabbing hot cross buns for Harrison on the way.
At home I prepare the microwavable unappetising fish pie. And remember that the pasta bake I did make from scratch the other week went down well as Bilbo enjoyed the cheesy bit on top.
I sprinkle some cheese on the gunk and serve up. Gloat to Rich and my mum about how Bilbo had asked for fish pie and was happily tucking in…
take a picture for instagram and then…
“Mummy this is disgusting” as he pulls stringy cheese from his mouth. “oh but I thought you loved melted cheese” in my best it really is lovely voice.
“No I don’t like it anymore” he replies. I offer to scrap all the cheese off. I don’t know who I thought I was kidding with the approach, I failed. Bilbo attempted to eat the variety of versions I served up including one on a different plate. I wasn’t kidding anyone.
Bilbo burst into tears and attempted to escape the house…lucky for me it was raining and he’d taken his shoes off. So he just stood in the hall and cried.
I ask “what can mummy do to fix this” his response “I want fish pie” and points at the door. So we get back into the car drive to Asda again, grab another gross fish pie and head home.
4mins and 30 seconds later I’m serving up fish pie AGAIN. He takes one look and says “I’m not hungry now”
I refrain from lobbing the fish pie across the room (I’d only have to clear it up) Take a deep breath and encourage Bilbo to eat just a few bites. I think he managed about 5 or 6 and then asked for a chocolate egg.
He drank a glass of milk and I drove him back to school. 2hrs after I’d ran out of the house I arrived back home – exhausted, drained and needing a nap.
Of course I didn’t nap I jumped back into work and tried to focus whilst planning how I could get out of the lunch run tomorrow – Rich has offered up a trip to McDonalds (no judging please)
But this is our lives, this is the sort of crap that creates the fog. Makes the wall that bit higher. And drives me over the edge.
At 12:42pm I messaged Maren in my team that I was in the middle of a dilemma. And I said “I will laugh about the last 60 mins of my life one day” I’m kind of laughing now because written down it seems daft. But in reality it isn’t funny. It is this sort of BS that is chipping a way at me daily.
Ok – I am laughing it is kind of funny…now i’ve got the smell of fish out my house!