"yang ni pedas sikit"..it has been a norm for the past one year for him to taste the food first before i could have it for my own tasting.
the 33 times radiotherapy held surely had damaged my sense of taste. i told this before, and i will never stop telling how i really mean it when i said my food taste like piece of cardboard. it was one of the difficult times that i could never erase from my memory box. the radiotherapy meant to 'burn' all the cancer cells and target at the area where it resided. i have no rights to complain about it. the machine i was on was one of the best machine that we currently have in malaysia. unlike the usual radiotherapy machine, tomography machine is able to 'draw' and focus on the density of the radiation on the area that we need to focus, and that is the oncologist job to map it out. so, should i have any complain about the side effect, i should never forget to be thankful that someone had it worst.
but the radiation did damage my taste sense. i had it bad at the few last sessions of the therapy as expected. i remembered how the therapist never failed to remind me and my family of feeding me lots and lots of food at the early stage so that i could last till the last few sessions. it was horrible. i couldn't take any solid, and i was depending on purely protein milk. to some extend, i failed to consume anything for my body for five days i left the doctor no choice but to 'force' it by inserting a tube through my throat and right straight to the stomach. wth! that tube lasted just for the good fifteen minutes, and as i was losing my strength, i was still able to pull out the tube all by myself from my throat. after what i've gone through at the moment, who would have cared if i could hurt my stomach or throat or anything. i was ruined, already.
my dad never stop brewing soup for me. i didn't eat. but he never stopped. my husband never gave up forcing me to drink the 'smelly' protein milk. i would take a sip and left the mug as it was. but he never complained and kept on making the milk for me every morning, afternoon and night.
it was bad. i lost 15kg in weeks.
as i've started picked up some taste, i started enjoying plain fishball soup with steam fish. and gradually, it improved. after three months during my recovery, i ate only watery, plain food..no spices, no chillies, no curries, no anything but soup and soup and soup. i gave up.
when the doctor told us the cancer cell has all gone in june 2014, i cried, of happiness and thankfulness. i was okay with not being able to taste good food as long as i'm cancer-free.
but whom am i kidding?
it's horrible when everybody surroundings you were enjoying your food while you couldn't do much but ask 'is it hot? is it sour? is it spicy?'... i remembered asking the doctor 'when can i have my first bowl of laksa?' and he answered me ' not to worry, that won't be long, perhaps six month or up to twelve months.' i cried at his remarks. i missed laksa very much. i missed good sambal. i missed asam pedas.. and at that point, even having half-boiled egg with pepper was a torture to my throat.
my family and friends saw me jumping for drinks when i had anything spicy. some would hide the food from me. some would just stop me from 'tasting' it. some would yell at me for my stubbornness. and i knew for a fact, when i was jumping for drinks, and managed to fuel up the whole bottle through my throat in one sip, i saw sympathy looks on their eyes. i pretended i was ok after that.. what more can we do at that time?
it has been a norm since then that my husband would do the QC check before we ate anything 'spicy'. the threshold varies.. my husband was always has a lower threshold of spicy food as compared to me. and i knew it was heartbreaking for him to say 'tak pedas' and saw me jumping for drink when i tasted it.
last few weeks, he tasted the food and told me 'pedas ni'. and i tasted it, mentally preparing myself for any stunt i would pull.
'sedap, tak pedas pun', i said.
as i'm writing this, just as much as i was at that point of time.i'm still thankful to allah for the grace he blessed upon me.
nikmatnya dapat makan sambal, dapat makan laksa dengan cili, dapat makan bihun goreng dan banyak lagi macam 'orang biasa'.
i haven't had the courage to take cili padi or sambal belacan yet. but, what i'm having now it's a blessing already, alhamdullillah.
it's a reminder to myself and others, insyallah.
never stop appreciating the small things!
never take anything for granted.
to my 'mister taster', don't stop tasting my food - i love it and i promise i will sometimes pretend 'a ah la, pedas' when it is actually tak pedas...