November 7, 2020

Good morning.

Yesterday, I finished up a project. It was a lot of work in a short time period. I have to manage my time differently with the chemo treatments – I have to compress my work into one week on/one week off. I still work during the chemo week but it’s tough – I’m lying in bed, weak and nauseous – can do some but not much.

I’m feeling good because I haven’t had chemo for over two weeks. My treatment had to be rescheduled. My next appointment is set for next week. I was my own advocate, pushing for a quick appointment date and calling to follow-up so the time between treatments would be minimized. No need. My doctor got me on the schedule ASAP. I am lucky to have him.

In fact, I’m feeling so good that I feel like I don’t have cancer anymore. (I do.) Last summer, I was just a little over 100 lbs (at 5’6″). My shorts literally fell off my hips and my calves were sagging with loose skin. I thought that was my new, permanent condition. I was going to throw out all my pants because they were so big on me that they made me look more sickly. I couldn’t and didn’t. Instead, I put them all in a plastic bag and, after I moved, threw them in the back of a closet.

Now, I can wear them again. I don’t know if it’s human nature or just me but it feels like whatever is happening at the present time, good or bad, will last forever. Sometimes it does but often it does not. Things change. Life moves forward. So you must never, ever give up. That goes for everything.

Also, last summer I didn’t understand that cancer, its effects, and treatment does not necessarily go in one direction. It goes up and down. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. That goes for weight loss, pain, tumor size – everything.

So yesterday, I celebrated the end of my project by making a gingerbread cake with two kinds of icing: lemon and maple. It came out well. For the lemon icing, I mixed 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar with the juice of one small lemon. For the maple icing, I mixed 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar with 2 tbsp cream, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and 1 tsp vanilla. Not sure which I prefer but the lemon icing looked better because it’s a pure white which contrasts nicely with the gingerbread. For a more maple taste, I read that you should add all-natural maple flavor but that stuff costs about $8 plus shipping (can’t find locally). I’m sure it’s delicious but it’s too much work/money. I like to keep a simple pantry with staples and make what I want from that. If I need one-off ingredients – forget it. I used to cook like that – buying exactly what a dish calls for – which gives you better results but it’s too expensive and fussy. I’ll take good, simple, wholesome food that’s quick to prepare and leave it at that. Onions? Just saute them in whatever you have – butter or oil – add a little salt and cook them down. Then add to sandwiches (grilled with cheese) or salads. Like that.

Yesterday, I also whipped up some hummus (not as good as store bought) with canned chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt. I put in too much oil and garlic and not enough salt but it’s a serviceable topping on a cracker. I also made some cranberry sauce with a bag of fresh cranberries and orange juice and a little sugar. I don’t like sugary cranberry sauce – it’s better when it has its natural bite added to squash or salads or chicken sandwiches, etc.

I also made some ginger molasses cookies but I didn’t like them. I think they tasted OK – just not for me. I’d like to have a repertoire of good, childhood-favorite cookies. I make a good chocolate chip cookie. I had made some good peanut butter cookies but can’t find the recipe so I’m going to try a new one. I also want to try a sugar cookie.

It sounds like I spent forever in the kitchen yesterday but I didn’t. I am very speedy. Oh – almost forgot – I also made some plain biscotti! I really love those. I had two with coffee this morning. So, so good. SO good. In fact, I may go get another one right now!

Now, I’m going to attack one more work project.

Sweet pea is snoozing in her tunnel which I put on the bed for her.

She just got up!

Now she is in my arms.

Talk to you later,

Love, Molly

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