The Curious Eating Habits Of A Boy In Treatment

January 14, 2014 in Medical Stories

English: Sprite 375 mL cans - 24 pack

English: Sprite 375 mL cans – 24 pack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Little Dude began treatment about seven months ago, the doctors warned us that his eating habits may change. In fact, they told us a story about one little boy who would only eat one thing for the entire course of his year-long treatment: Cool Ranch Doritos. His mother had to buy it in caseloads just to keep her son eating and happy. As soon as his treatment finished, the boy could not even look at a package of Cool Ranch Doritos and his regular eating habits resumed. We laughed at the story, thinking something that extreme would never happen with Little Dude, who had a pretty varied and mostly healthy diet.

Initially, the only change we noticed was that after treatment, Little Dude was very sensitive to strong odors. Suddenly, we felt like we were living with a pregnant lady, who complained about the smells of chicken nuggets, fish and tomato soup.

The next change that happened was that he decided he didn’t want to drink orange juice anymore. We actually rejoiced over this, because we used to call him the “juice boy” as he drank way too much of it. We smugly congratulated ourselves that a bad juice habit had been resolved without any effort on our part.

And then one day, Little Dude asked for bacon. We gave him two pieces. He asked for two more. On some days, he’d eat anywhere from 4-8 slices of bacon. Bacon became his breakfast every morning, usually with sliced apple or pear on the side. And then for lunch, he’d ask for a hot dog, with ham and salami on the side. I’m talking about a meat fiesta! It was enough meat to make me wish I turned vegetarian.

But, I figured as long as he was eating, I wasn’t about to try to sway him to eat more vegetables and less sodium nitrates.

Then came the soda. Although we have Diet Coke in the house, we keep it off limits to the kids. Only my husband and I are allowed to fill our bodies will caffeine and chemicals. We allow the dudes to have sodas when we go out to eat or for “special occasions” but other than that, we have a no-soda rule.

Well, that rule was thrown by the wayside pretty quickly. Even the doctors encouraged it:  As long as he’s drinking something, that’s what counts. I still do my best to limit Little Dude’s soda intake, but when you see your child with an upset stomach on a regular basis, how can you refuse him a carbonated beverage? Pass the Sprite, I say!

And so now, after many months of treatment, Little Dude’s diet has evolved into essentially eating various parts of a pig, followed by a carbonated chaser.

I figure his tastes will return to normal after treatment, just like the Doritos’ boy. And if not, at least I don’t have to worry about his protein intake since I think he’s already surpassed his lifetime quota.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Janine Huldie January 14, 2014 at 9:06 am

I will say even before you mentioned being pregnant, I thought of it, because with Emma I ate oranges (even as acidic as they were) for the first two months (probably why she too loves orange juice!) and with Lily I drank flavored seltzer water for a few months in the beginning. But seriously, I think you are so right about just letting it slide for now and just see what happens after.
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ohboymom January 14, 2014 at 9:53 am

Yes and it should be interesting to see if his tastes go back to “normal.”


Jessica Smock January 14, 2014 at 11:45 am

Yes, sprite always helps my stomach. I had to laugh a little about the Doritos story. I’ve always been obsessed with Cool Ranch Doritos. When I was a teenager, it was my daily ritual to eat a bowl of them while doing my homework. My addiction continued into adulthood. However, when I was pregnant, I couldn’t get anywhere NEAR them. If I smelled them, I thought I would throw up. Secretly, I was a bit pleased that something had seemingly cured my addiction. But no such luck. As soon as pregnancy was over, my Cool Ranch cravings were back!
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ohboymom January 14, 2014 at 11:56 am

That’s pretty funny that you’ve had a “relationship” with Cool Ranch Doritos too…I’m thinking they could make a new super bowl commercial out of this! :)


Lisa Newlin January 14, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Although I’m certainly sorry Little Dude is going through all of this, I’m happy to know he picked the best food ever to become obsessed with! Bacon, and really all things from the pig, is pretty much amazing.

I tried to become a vegetarian when I was in the 8th grade and I made it a long time. My downfall? Bacon. No joke. I couldn’t keep myself away from it.

My dad had a brain tumor and when he was going through treatment even the slightest of smells would make him sick. We couldn’t keep ANY food in the house because if he smelled it he would throw up. Fortunately, we had an amazing neighbor who let us use her kitchen like it was our own.

What was the one thing he would eat everyday? Peanut butter. It was the only thing he would eat. He is still alive and well today, but he still loves peanut butter! For your son’s sake, I hope his love of bacon remains even after his treatment is done. :-)
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ohboymom January 14, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Too funny about your “love affair” with bacon…as for your dad, I’m sorry he had the smell sensitivity too, but I’m sooo glad that he’s a brain tumor survivor! That’s awesome!


Kelly January 14, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Bacon lovers unite! Bacon is good on everything or all alone…the kid has great taste!

I used to have to “no soda” rule and somehow, somewhere it got lost over last summer. I think perchance it has to do with rebellion….but I tell myself…it’s a soda not Wild Turkey. I should be proud:)) hahaha

Btw…have you seen that super thick sliced bacon they have now? It’s as thick as a ham steak and ultra delectable!


ohboymom January 14, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I like you’re rationalization about the soda…I’m going with that one too! As for that thick bacon, I’m thinking I gotta go buy me some!


Roshni January 14, 2014 at 11:59 pm

So very interesting! We too have the no soda rule except for on special occasions but can’t blame you at all for letting him indulge! :)


ohboymom January 15, 2014 at 9:50 am

Yup, sometimes you just gotta throw those rules away!


Kristi Campbell January 15, 2014 at 9:44 am

Pig parts and soda. His body obviously needs the protein and fat so that’s good. At least he’s eating! I’m a little bummed out that I’m now craving Cool Ranch Doritos. Or the regular ones. Any Doritos, really, because they are all amazing and give my taste buds kisses from angels. I REALLY like Doritos.


ohboymom January 15, 2014 at 9:51 am

I really like Doritos too, which is why I can’t have them in my house or I’d eat them all day long.


Julia January 15, 2014 at 10:52 am

Indeed – pass the Sprite! His comfort is the priority (and yours!). Sending comforting thoughts xo


ohboymom January 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Thanks for your thoughts as always and yes, his comfort is definitely our top priority and I’m thankful he has foods and other things that make him comfortable.


Kerri January 15, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Pass the Sprite! At least he isn’t adding vodka to it :) It must be so very weird these changes that you didn’t expect but kind of keep life interesting in a good way rather than a scary way.
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ohboymom January 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Yeah the vodka is for MY Sprite! :) And yes, these changes definitely keep life interesting and dare I say it, “fun.”


Lisa @ The Golden Spoon January 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

I had never heard of this side effect! Very interesting – I like your analogy to a pregnant lady. Sprite & bacon it is – doctor’s orders! :-)
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grownandflown January 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Guess it could be so much worse than sprite and bacon!
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ohboymom January 21, 2014 at 3:29 pm

So true – it could be pickles and ice cream! :)


Kathy at kissing the frog January 21, 2014 at 11:16 am

When Joey was going through chemo, he could not get enough meat and cheese. It was gross. This totally brought back memories.
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ohboymom January 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm

It’s so odd that the kids going through chemo get similar kinds of cravings…although the Doritos one is still unique!


Kathy at kissing the frog January 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Joey was hooked on Munchie Mix that had Doritoes, pretzels, and some kind of cheese crackers, maybe cheddar Sun chips. Again, cheese. 😉 Funny, but sad at the same time. One of the nurses told us a story of a little boy who cried and cried and cried until someone made him Mac and Cheese to eat at treatment. I could never be a HEM/ONC nurse.
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ohboymom January 22, 2014 at 11:19 am

I never could either, although I’m thankful for the nurses we’ve dealt with so far — they have been amazing.


erica February 12, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Sprite is a good choice for making his tummy feel better. And bacon is a great source of protein – so it’s a win – win! I hope that his treatments go well. I absolutely love your blog and your stories about your three dudes :)
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ohboymom February 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Thanks – I truly appreciate you reading and I agree bacon is a win-win for us all – yum!


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