For the Love of Food
Monique Tremblay is from Stoughton, MA, a city south of Boston. In October 2015, she found a lump after doing a self exam. After numerous tests, she was diagnosed at 27 years old with stage 2 triple positive breast cancer. Throughout her journey, she’s always had a smile on her face. By sharing her story through her blog and through Instagram (@moniquerose8), she’s highlighted the importance of telling young women to check themselves and be in tune with their bodies.
Pizza. Buffalo Chicken. Pasta. Chicken Wings. My mouth is watering as I write this post. The foods that I mentioned above are my absolute favorite. I love everything about food and I love trying new restaurants. People often laugh at me because I seriously could have pizza every day. Yes, every single day. Of course, I wouldn’t do that, but it’s fun to think about.
My love of food hit me really hard when I was 27 years old. Being a young, healthy adult and just starting to get into my career, I never thought my lump that I found in my breast would be cancer. Being so in tune with my body, I knew that something was wrong. I had an ultrasound, biopsy and two days later my doctor called to tell me that he was surprised that the lump was cancerous. I was diagnosed with stage two triple positive breast cancer. My life suddenly halted and I couldn’t stop crying. I was so, so scared.
Going through multiple surgeries, chemo and radiation hit me really hard. I’m currently on hormone treatment and going through menopause. (Yes, I get hot flashes and they are miserable!) My body couldn’t move off the couch from chemo and I lost all of my hair. Being a woman, this was definitely the hardest thing for me. My wig was amazing, but I felt like I had “cancer” stamped on my forehead. Another part of chemo that hit me hard, was losing my taste.
As you can imagine, someone who loves food so much, couldn’t taste a single thing for a week. Even drinking water tasted absolutely disgusting. I barely ate and I just felt so miserable that some of my favorite foods I couldn’t even taste.
Food was just so bland and my life was really, really hard. I couldn’t believe this is what I was going through when all of my friends were getting engaged, married and even having children.
I received chemo every three weeks. The first week consisted of me laying on the couch and being so tired that I couldn’t move. Even walking up the stairs and taking a shower was a struggle. The second week my taste was completely gone. My third week was my best week. I felt good (for someone going through cancer treatment) and my taste was back.
My good week was amazing. I would literally eat everything in sight. My boyfriend at the time (my now fiancé) would take me to my favorite restaurants and we would eat so much of my favorite food. It was such an amazing feeling eating pizza that I could taste. The melting mozzarella cheese and thick crust was everything I dreamed of and more. Our dinner dates would consist of me saying “mmmmm” and “yum” over and over again. My boyfriend would try to talk to me and all I could think about was how good my food tasted. I was in heaven. I would go to my parents’ house the day before chemo and we would have a feast. I remember one time that I ate so much homemade food that I really thought I was going to explode. I knew that every bite was precious since I was a week away of not being able to taste anything.
Cancer definitely stinks and it’s never anything I imagined going through at 27 years old. With no family history, everyone was shocked that I went through this. I still have a hard time accepting the fact that I went through cancer treatment. As my hair is growing back and I am regaining my strength, I will never take a bite of food for granted. I will continue to eat these delicious foods, in moderation of course, and know that I am a strong and resilient young woman who beat cancer.