This is a piece of cake. This is the piece of cake that Handsome Husband ate after his lunch yesterday. Handsome Husband ate this piece of cake not while he was sitting at a dining table in a house, or at a restaurant, or on a sun-filled patio. He ate it from a tray table that perched across his hospital bed. Dinner dress was a green patterned hospital gown. His hospital gown was accessorized by an oxygen tube thingy in his nostrils. It helps calm the coughing and opens his airways a bit. Which are, of course, compromised what with the lung cancer that is ravaging him. It looms most largely in his left lung, though the right lung is also involved. And this is the piece of cake that is the first piece of cake that Handsome Husband has allowed himself in two years. This is also the piece of cake that I would symbolically stitch on a piece of material as a flag to wave defiantly from a pole.
Rage. Rage and cake. Yeah, those moments have happened for me. Because Handsome Husband did everything right. He hasn’t just eaten well in that he ate a balanced diet. In these last couple years of travel, since his first cancer (our old friend Wilson), and the systemic fungal infection (is that what he’s had, or has it been a continuing growth of an undiscovered cancer all along?), he’s gone sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, everything free. We’ve spent thousands on supplements. Really good ones, not the kind you get at most stores. He’s always loved research, so, when presented with the challenge, he dug in to discover every frickin’ thing he could about being healthier in every way. Mind, body, spirit. And believe me, folks, eating well on the road is a tough proposition in any circumstance. Eating in a truly healthy manner…well, its been a massive challenge and we never quite figured it out. But oh, has he made the effort! Which brings me to my rage.
I woke up a couple of days ago-day 2 of his hospital stay, here at our rental, and went to the kitchen to make some breakfast that I didn’t feel like eating. We’d gone out of here in a rush on the day he went into the hospital. Making a trip to the ER is seldom done in an organized manner, is it? So the special tea that he’d been drinking was sitting on the stove top. Its’ a vile tasting tea, but it was going to help build his immune system. A handful of various supplements were on the counter. Almond milk in the fridge. Healthy cereal in the pantry. Organic, range-fed eggs in the fridge-and have you priced those things? Really expensive. And none of this stuff just happens on its’ own, you know. The tea isn’t in a sweet little tea bag. No. It must first be soaked for 1/2 hour, then steeped. Then sit to cool off. And the eggs can’t be cooked in any kind of butter or regular oil. It must be cocoanut oil. Even olive oil, which is good for you, isn’t good to use as an anti-stick because of how it breaks down or something when heated and that isn’t good for you. Whatever. And, of course, he couldn’t have toast with that because he couldn’t eat wheat or gluten, and any breads that are gluten-free taste like crap. Not that you can butter it anyways. Or at least not with regular butter. You can use almond butter, (have you priced that recently?) No bread for two years either. Two large water bottles occupied one full countertop. Reverse-osmosis water. In a BPA free jug. All the metals were removed from the water, it was purified, etc. The price on that is actually really good. But carrying that 5 lb bottle around? Try it. The list is endless. The results of those lists littered the countertops, left in a whirlwind drive to the hospital as Handsome Husband’s face crumpled under the pain he was experiencing. From, what we know now, was the cancer.
I’m not saying my eyes actually turned red, standing in that kitchen, but boyohboy, did I feel a rage rise up inside of me. Handsome Husband has denied himself so much in these last couple years, food-wise. He hasn’t felt deprived, necessarily, but I felt deprived for him, as eating became such an intense research operation. I wanted to sweep every bit of all that crap off the counters, against the walls, everywhere. Yes, dear readers, I was raging against…food.
He’s done what he was supposed to do. He balanced acidic foods vs whatever the hell else it is you’re supposed to balance, built up his immune system, rid his body of the sugars that feed cancer, detoxed the metals. Exercised, did strength-building, meditated. All the fucking things he was supposed to do. That we’re all supposed to do. Its’ been an absolute fucking struggle to learn and do it right, and do it on the road, with few to no cooking facilities. But bygod, he did it, because he’s nothing if not intent and determined. And he isn’t one to rage about this, never mind anything else. He’d say well, he’s healthier now for it, going into this cancer. He’s probably right. On that particular morning, I was the one who was raging. Yeah, I probably have food issues. I mean, what balanced-mind person with a healthy relationship to food wants to get a heat seeking missile and demolish any and everything that smacks of, well, being healthy?
Its’ all normal, I know this. I need a target for this helpless feeling. Well, I’m having my revenge, people! By god, I’ve actually had a few diet pepsis. With aspartame in it. I didn’t add aspartame to it, but we all know that’s the sweetener in it. And I’ve eaten some milk chocolate. Not that dark cocoa crap. And I’ve liked it. Take that, you dastardly….something!
When presented with the cake on his tray, Handsome Husband looked over at me and said “Ordinarily, I’d let you have this piece of cake. But, you know what? Fuck it”. And he ate it all by his own self.
Rage against the machine, man.