Learning how to eat (during treatment!)

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Those of you who know me, know that I have what you might call a ferocious appetite. Some people eat to live. I live to eat. I just love food! So this whole anti-nausea, appetite changing business has been a tough adjustment. I think I’m starting to catch on though.

The trick is, as soon as I have a craving and get an appetite for something – I need to go for it! It’s almost as if my body demands a certain food. Perhaps it wants the vitamins and minerals in that food, or perhaps it just knows that food will make me happy. Whatever the reason, the scrambled eggs with homefries and toast did the trick for me this morning. Mmm…

Of course tomorrow, that same meal could disgust me. That is the tricky part to all of this. Every day a new set of taste buds arise. I dunno, maybe it’ll be a good opportunity to try new things; branch out! I do know one thing: I will continue eating. And with every meal, I will have the knowledge that the cancer is losing this battle. Period.

Today started off pretty bad – very sick, weak and full of nausea. As I write this though, I’m feeling much better. Staying on top of things today with drugs and food – major allies in this battle. Got to spend some quality time with Dad at the hospital today too and with my Mom at home. So easy to take that time for granted, and sad that it takes something like this to make it happen. But I really am enjoying it so much.

Ubuntu. It’s an African Zulu word that means “I am because we are”. Many reading my blog will recognize the word as it is my all-time favorite – and I’m sure I’ll quote it many more times. It gets at the very essence of how we define ourselves as human beings. We are only human with and through other humans. That is the essence of humanity. Food and drugs are wonderful, don’t get me wrong. But Ubuntu will truly be my saving Grace.



Author: John Abdulla

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  1. Hey John, its Julia Norcross…
    How are you? You have been in my thoughts every day! I love that last comment on the blog about Ubuntu. I was thinking earlier today that I would love to have my license plate say Ubuntu. 🙂 wouldn't that be great! Hope to talk to you soon except I go to Spain on Friday and will be back July 8. But I am going to be checking your blog as much as I can. Good Luck!!! love you!

  2. You ate eggs, homefries and toast…and no bacon? My goodness. This chemo business needs to be over with ASAP so you can consume that deliciousness again 🙂

    You made me think about Ubuntu. Seriously, who are we, but who we are in relation to other people? I am who I am because you're my friend; because Laura is my friend; because I went to school where I did, because I had the experiences that I did. I would not be who I am – I'd be someone else altogether, or a mere skeleton of myself if not for those experiences that have molded me.

    It's a simple word with a simple meaning, actually, but with a powerful message. I look forward to coming on here and reading about your progress every day, John. Enjoy your couple of days of rest!

  3. John, you absolutely fascinate me! Ah well, so what is new. Perhaps you fortunate so early in life to be able to reflect on the meaning of your life for you, who and what means most to you, and where you want to direct your life's work. Just love what you are writing on these pages. I hope your words help others facing similar challenges for themselves or for loved ones. Your constant admirer and supporter, ML

  4. Hey John, How you doing Buddy? Heidi and I were thinking about you today and thought we would check your blog. Glad to see you still have your appetite! When you're ready; let us know and we'll have you and Bethany over for a cookout. I'm sure we could get Maria to make some of your favorite things as well. Don't be hesitant to ask us to help you with anything. You've done enough for all of us and we are more than happy to help you, your Mom, Dad or Bethany with anything. We are just a call away. By the way… if I were you I would be a little concerned about all the women that have signed onto your blog. You know how jealous M gets.

  5. John,
    I hope you're enjoying the day off. I mentioned your Zulu word to my relatives in South Africa. They say we should summon the 'Sangoma'.
    You game?
    – Sangomas are the traditional healers in the Zulu, Swazi, Xhosa and Ndebele traditions in southern Africa. They perform a holistic and symbolic form of healing, embedded in the beliefs of their culture that ancestors in the afterlife guide and protect the living. Sangomas are called to heal, and through them ancestors from the spirit world can give instruction and advice to heal illness, social disharmony and spiritual difficulties.'

  6. You say YOU live to eat yet call me a fatty fat fat bc I always have food in my mouth. Anyways… I'm glad you can still some good food. If you ever feel like you cannot eat but really want to, I can totally eat it for you 😉


  7. My older brother also had those specific cravings you're talking about. I guess it's kinda like being pregnant, which, in a half-cocked sorta way, makes sense with cancer; as it's a growing, consuming, biological mass of similar genetic makeup. At least when this is over you won't have to change it's diapers or put it through college.

  8. Happy to see you are fighting the battle to eat and enjoy every bit of delicious food when you have the craving! it is very easy to let the nausea overcome you and give up eating entirely, which happened to me in the late stages of my chemo/treatment. of course, giving up that last semblance of normal life (eating meals) leads to an even less recognizable form of yourself, who you are and who you used to be. keep up the courage… 🙂 your updates really bring me back. these are the moments that will define who you are and i am happy to see you are embracing every moment as positively as possible – it's the only way to truly live.

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