A Tale of Two Experiments

Ever since I decided to skip the prescription anti-nausea medications this week, I have been nervously monitoring any sensation related to my stomach.  Am I queasy or just hungry?  Is this feeling the beginning of nausea?  Experimenting on yourself is a bit nerve wracking, especially when a likely outcome is gut wrenching discomfort.

Taxol can affect patients in different ways in varying degrees, and whether it triggers nausea for me would be answered when my premedication steroid, dexamethasone, wore off.  Dexamethasone helps not only to prevent allergic reactions to the Taxol but also to ward off nausea.  The oncology pharmacist told me the 10mg dose I have been receiving would last approximately 24 hours, which means that I have effectively been steroid free and flying solo since Thursday midafternoon.

Result:  no nausea.  Well, there was that bit around 3pm Thursday when I thought I might be getting queasy, so I quickly popped a ginger chew into my mouth and, poof, the queasiness disappeared.  I think I’ll keep taking the daily ginger supplements, just in case.

Meanwhile, we’ve been testing out one of Thursday’s dry ice ideas.  I made a French vanilla ice cream custard and divided into 3 bowls.  I then melted semi-sweet chips into one batch for chocolate ice cream (see below photo) and whisked cinnamon into another for cinnamon ice cream.

Ice Cream Before Dry Ice

Earl dumped ~3 cups of dry ice pellets into a large metal bowl.  We poured the chocolate custard into a smaller metal bowl and placed directly into the dry ice.  About 10 minutes later, after stirring, temporarily pulling out of the ice to dislodge frozen chunks of ice cream stuck to the metal bowl and then reinserting, this is the result.

Dry Ice Cooled Ice Cream

The kids said it was delicious.  My mom noted an interesting but different taste, which turned out to be a slight carbon undertone.  The cinnamon and vanilla versions also had a carbon edge.  Result:  creamy but slightly carbonized ice cream which cooled more quickly than in our electric ice cream maker.  Dry ice freezing wouldn’t be my first choice at home, but it does present an excellent option for camping trips.

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