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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Changes on the Molecular Level

Chemotherapy works, in short, by short circuiting the life cycle of cancer (and other rapidly dividing) cells. One type of chemo drug works by confusing the DNA of cells, making them do the "wrong" thing, and die.

In essence, the recipient is being changed at the molecular level.

In the last few days, I've noticed ways I'm changing/changed. For instance, my eyes are way more sensitive to light. I certainly notice the beginnings of cognitive changes.

But most surprisingly is that my DNA must be getting messed with, because I swear I'm becoming male. Yep, you read that correctly. Physically, I'm as female as I've ever been. I'm neither losing nor gaining body parts. It's a very stereotypical male trait, but one I've observed nonetheless:

I've developed Male Refrigerator Blindness.

I can be absolutely starving, but find nothing to eat in a full fridge. By the time I prepare something, it no longer appeals to me. The thought of preparing even the simplest of food can throw me off my appetite. But if someone else fixes the food, it's fine and I eat with gusto. If I throw a few handfuls of greens in a bowl, it becomes a bowl of green stuff to choke down. If Tynan tosses greens in a bowl, it's the best salad I've had in days. If I slice up a tomato, it tastes like sand. If I pick at the tomato Aidan has removed from his sandwich and left on the cutting board, it is delectable.

Don't get me wrong, my boys are perfectly capable of feeding themselves. They can cook. Two of them have won awards at the county level for 4H cooking projects. But, ideally, they'd be most happy having food magically appear in front of them. And they don't have a lot of patience with fending for themselves. As one whined the other night (really, I was sure he was going to cry), "I have to cut it off the bone to get something to eat!" when confronted with a roasted chicken. Meanwhile, with containers of red skinned potatoes, fried rice, fruit salad, orange slices, and plums sitting on the kitchen counter, another one of my sons was whining, "But there's nothing to eat..." and "You mean it has to be microwaved?!?!?"

They'd rather drive to Taco Hell than put food on a plate and punch buttons on the microwave.

During two-a-days for soccer, I buy the boys the huge subs you can get at Wal*Mart. One sub lasts each kid 4-5 days. Each morning, he'll cut a portion off, wrap it up, pop it in his lunch box. (We don't even need to discuss the nutritional and health issues with this food, but it works for us.) However, what they would prefer would be an individual sub per day so they don't have to do the minimal work of slicing, wrapping, and replacing back in the fridge.

Until this week, I found that so weird. Yet lately, that makes perfect sense to me, too. I find the idea of eating a "new" sandwich every day, at much greater expense, much more appealing than going through three steps to get my food (if I ate sandwiches).

I have a punnet of plums on my counter right now, a basket of pluots, and a container of strawberries in the fridge, yet I swear on all that is edible there is nothing to snack on in the house right now. At least nothing that sounds good. I was craving a Turkey burger all morning. As I was riding my bike home from campus, I could taste it. I could smell it. I came home, and in the process of fixing it, lost all desire for it.

I did eat it (or most of it) and a huge salad, so it's not like I'm not eating. I do my super uber protein smoothies every morning and every night, so I'm not starving.

People are bringing in wonderful meals and I'm all over those like white on rice.

But the idea of doing even the most minimal of preparation of food, or making a decision about food for that matter, simply rains on my appitite parade.

And in that sense, I'm becoming stereotypically male.


Connor said...

This is one of the most hilarious things I have ever read.

Connor said...

Geez. I don't know how to get my kids' profiles off of this. **I** said you are hilarious - not Connor. Although he did come in the office to see what I was laughing about and he thought it was funny, too.