Ice Cream Emergency

shakeI must acquire ice cream TODAY.

For one thing, my little love affair with the heat is going to be coming to an end soon if you can believe what you read online. This could be the last truly hot day of the year and ice cream is definitely called for.

For another, I won’t be able to eat ice cream after today for at least a week — longer if I’m feeling especially wussy. I have not yet shared with most of you  The Worst Side Effect Ever. Actually, death is listed as a side effect on all of the chemo lists, so this isn’t really the worst worst, but definitely worse than losing the ability to clap. It’s the Cold Hurts Side Effect.

So weird, I know. A nurse told me that macho guys (who I’m sure there are a lot of as I seem to have contracted Old Man Cancer) often leave the first round of this type of chemo and go right for the ice cream, not believing it’s possible that cold can hurt. They learn fast.

It’s a different hurt depending on the part of the body that comes in contact with the cold. If you’re outside and there’s bit of a cool breeze it feels kind of like Vick’s Vapor rub has been smeared all over you.

If you wash your hands in cold water or touch a cold doorknob it’s a really intense pins and needles.

If you take a slug of ice water it’s like you’ve swallowed pointy, rusty nails as it goes down.

And apparently, if it’s moderately cold out which it hasn’t really been since I started this, it can feel like you’ve stepped out into below zero weather — it takes your breath away. Same with sticking your head in the fridge to look around for treats which I have done and regretted. (A better tactic to get treats that I’ve discovered is to stand in the kitchen doorway looking sad. Barrett seems hyperlinked to the sad look and before the look really gets a chance to properly develop it’s shattered by “Yay, snacks!” as he piles them on me).

I have tested the limit of how long the Cold Hurts Side Effect lasts. In my very scientific study of this, 5 days is too soon. The blizzard I tried at 5 days was quite painful. Unfortunately, it had been so long since I had a blizzard that I couldn’t stop eating it. There was a lot of yum, ouch, yum, ouch, yum, ouch. Taste buds appear not to be affected by the side effect.

At 7 days, the pain has dulled to a twinge and I can suffer through it if I’m really desperate. After day 7, ice cream can once again enter my life.

8 days is a long time to wait for ice cream.

So today I’m going to make up for it. But there are SO MANY OPTIONS! I don’t even know where to start. I’ve seen all sorts of good suggestions in the comments from last time — all very tempting, thank you Carolyn and Susan! Malted milk shakes, real cream ice cream, snow cones from the park, and fresh fruit sorbet all sound SO good. Then there’s gelato and mochi and exotic ice cream that they serve at a lot of ethnic restaurants and that place on Alberta that has ice cream and donuts (has anyone been there? is is good?).

Which one will create the ultimate cold-treat-on-a-hot-day experience?

I invite everyone to celebrate today as Ice Cream Day with me — enjoy!

Love to you all,


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Join the Conversation


  1. I will be celebrating with you! Actually, since today is also the last day of the month, and tomorrow is the first day of another month, and the first day of a month always means the beginning of a diet, I really need to take advantage of Ice Cream Day. Because once the diet starts, there will be no ice cream. So today I will be visiting Hubbard Avenue Diner for Espresso Ice Cream (from Chocolate Shoppe) and Villa Dolce for gelato. I might also need a Frappucino.

  2. Mmm, ice cream. I haven’t had any for awhile. So sorry about your “cold” side effects. I’m actually allergic to the cold (it’s a real condition). I break out in hives all over my body, and get hives inside my mouth if I eat something too cold. Freaky, huh.


  3. Hey, Bridget – I’m a friend and neighbor of Dick & Diana. I would like to recommend ginger ice cream. Made with fresh ginger. I have a recipe if you’d like. Also, Haagen Dazs Fleur de Sel. Or Edy’s (or Dreyer’s) Dreamery Black Raspberry Avalanche.

  4. I just reread Ice Cream Emergency. I have been trying to tell people what the cold feels like. You have described it sooooo well, especially taking a drink of cold weather. I’m taking this along to my next chemo for everyone to read.

    I am now very hungry for ice cream, which I won’t be able to have for about five days. I have a blizzard stashed away in the freezer for the occasion. I bought it before I knew I couldn’t eat it.

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