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Starbucks to the rescue: chemo, caffeine & me


In my last entry (4/5), I remarked on having trouble concentrating, that my attention would wander. I attributed it to the starbucks logo treatment, possibly the steroids, as but I've also been irritable in a way that is unlike me.

Meanwhile, there is this edema and it crossed my mind that a diuretic might help. I didn't think of looking for one, as much as I made the connection. As I did, I realized that coffee is a diuretic and my daily/morning coffee had dropped out of my routine somewhere during the chemo.

Change of diet is not unusual during chemo. The taste buds change and flavors disappear, sometimes entirely, prompting other foods to get something to the tongue. I just hadn't realized that I had stopped drinking coffee as it was nothing but a warm liquid. Oh, well, I thought, maybe it would help the edema as I was already a coffee drinker.

Off to my local Starbucks. Having lived in Seattle, I'm at home in a Starbucks.

I went with the Sumatra, one of my favorite blends, figuring that the stronger the taste, it might get through.

But something else happened.

My mood and attention span suddenly changed for the better.

It wasn't the drugs. I had been in caffeine-withdrawal. That was why I was irritable and couldn't think and as soon as it went back into my system, it turned back around enough to make me feel semi-human. There are effects to deal with.

I haven't seen this discussed before. People are told to try new foods to find new flavors but I had not heard of anyone being told to watch for the effect of routine foods/drinks that may be omitted, right down to healthier items, like a favorite whole-grain bread.

Look in my freezer and you will see some fruit juice popsicles. I was chewing down on them but it meant I was also ingesting much more fructose than I usually take and I am sure that wasn't helping.

So a little morning coffee is now back in my routine. It may lack the flavor I want, but my mood sure has improved.


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