Thursday, January 22, 2009


Generally I love chocolate: the richer the better. Belgian chocolate is the best! But now, it just grosses me out. I was loving it still in the early days of chemoland and had gotten plenty for X-mas but no more. I've lost my taste for rich sweet things in general. I had agreed to meet Anthony at a coffee house yesterday instead of going to Happy Hour (no drinking for me) but once there, I thought what could I have been thinking! At the Happy Hour place, I could have had yummy fried artichoke hearts, here at the coffee place-muffins. It isn't like I have lost my taste for everything bad for me-no- I crave macaroni and cheese, Philly cheesesteak, shrimp tempura presently. I did develop strange food aversions while pregnant, especially with Shanna but they were way different.
Who doesn't love chocolate! Steve and my mom and Josh. Steve will go into a gelato place and get vanilla, which I can't understand. I want to get every flavor! Maybe this is why he is so thin. His idea of a treat is to chew on pumpkin seeds. My mom had dropped out of high school, moved to downtown Detroit, and worked in a Sanders shop when she was 16. Her reasons were unclear on why she did this. She claimed to have been starving at home but her sister tells me that this was untrue. Sanders' primary products are all things chocolate, which my mom subsisted on for 2 years so I can understand that bumpy cakes and hot fudge puffs had no charm for her later in life. While I was growing up, she claimed to be allergic to chocolate and that's why she wouldn't touch it. She was vague when I asked what would happen if she ate some. She didn't seem allergic to anything else. One day when her Alzheimer's had just started to make it impossible for her to live outside of assisted living, I found her stuffing chocolate cookies into her mouth, one right after another. Her past self would not have had anything good to say about people who snarf their food down so quickly. I reminded her that she didn't like chocolate and that she was allergic to it. She looked puzzled and kept on eating them until I took them away. They didn't seem to get her sick. At that point, she was starving weighing only 90 lbs. She had been 5'6" and 140 lbs before Alzheimer's kicked in.

Still trying to straighten out my insurance. Such a pain! It was sunny and slightly warmer (20 deg!) so I increased my walk to an hour and then met Anthony. It was fun catching up.

Today is the last day of finals so Naomi and I spent almost 4 hours on the math last night. Fortunately she was in a receptive mood. Often when I work with her and she doesn't understand something, she blames me for not explaining it right and throws a tantrum. If I go back to basics, she accuses me of patronizing her. It's a no-win situation. It takes all my concentration to try to remain calm. Sometimes she works well with Josh but then he loses his patience with her. Shanna and Steve quickly throw in the towel. Since she is officially a special-ed student, she is entitled to help at any time by the school. For a while, she was in a higher tract of math. She found out quickly that the people they hire for tutoring knew less math than she did in 9th grade. She's in pre-calc now. As far as math abilities go, she actually scores quite high compared to the population in general so she is not mentally 'deficient' as one expert thought. She does get into trouble not double checking her work and misinterpreting story problems. Her math teacher now works with her. She probably is her highest ability student but Naomi seriously underperforms due to her reading issues. It is a challenge figuring out how best to help her. A few years ago, the head of the special ed was reviewing her case and test scores and wondered what was she doing there because in many areas, she scores quite high. I pointed out her one obvious deficiency-inability to process language-both written and spoken. To me, it was like saying how healthy a patient was except for the fact that their heart doesn't work. Or me, how healthy I was with my nice muscle tone, strong heart, etc-too bad I have cancer. Anyway, these 'experts' don't know what to do with her so it's up to me. We are making some progress fortunately. The fact that she now realizes that she is almost an adult and needs to have certain knowledge to make it is definite progress.
Queasiness is less and less present. Sometimes I don't feel it all. I am looking forward to when I don't feel it all all day.

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