February 6, 2021

Good morning!

I tried to write last night around midnight but I couldn’t sit up and type. Too much pain. More on that later.

I just made my first batch of sugar cookies (ever) and I mixed a dough for cinnamon rolls which is rising right now. I’ve been baking since about 6:00 a.m. I was told that the chemo would affect my hands/fingers and that I should use gloves when I wash dishes, etc. Hard to do because I’m always baking/eating/cleaning up. I am starting to feel it (kind of rough, raw but look fine) and hope it doesn’t get worse because I like mixing/kneading dough with my hands. The sugar cookie dough was very crumbly and felt like sandpaper – not a good harbinger.

I made a coffee – espresso made stove top with a little soy milk (I thought the soy milk would be awful in coffee but it is surprisingly delicious) – and grabbed a couple of sugar cookies. Now, here I am.

I just read in the NYT that there’s a new craze for small batch baking and cookbook authors are scrambling to convert big recipes to a serving size of 2-4 because no one wants left overs. What?! First of all, I’ve lived alone most of my life (or with one other person some of my life) so I’ve been small batch baking since Day 1. You don’t need to buy a new cookbook to figure out how to reduce a recipe. Yes, things change other than cutting the recipe in half – i.e., cooking time, pan size. But it’s not a big deal at all. Just cut the recipe in half, think about what you’re doing, and have some fun. It drives me crazy seeing all the perfectly iced/shaped cookies with how-to guides that appear holiday time – encouraging us to produce equally dazzling cookie boxes. This quest for professionalism/perfectionism in pursuits that should be simple and fun (and, for baking, both messy and delicious, intended to nourish and comfort) should be left to the actual professionals. With that said, I do admire anyone who can create such special treats – it just need not be the goal. Anyway, that’s my view. Sorry for the rant!

Oh – and second – why wouldn’t you want leftovers to freeze and enjoy another day? I don’t use more than 2-3 cups of flour on any recipe so whatever that yields is what I get. I eat a couple (I need more sugar cookies right now!) and then I freeze the rest. Wish I had a bigger freezer …

OK. So, I had my quarterly stent surgery the day before yesterday. It has hit me very hard. I don’t know what they gave me (the sedative) but it has been tough to get out of my system. The first night, I slept 12 hours and kept waking up with cotton mouth which continued through the next day. No amount of water or juice could relieve it. I’m better now.

I asked my urologist before the stent surgery a couple of preliminary questions about a possible tumor removal surgery. He said that, depending on how much of the ureter the tumor has engulfed, he might need to construct a ureter out of bladder tissue. Doing so would decrease my bladder capacity. If the tumor is touching the bladder and it is cut-out, my bladder capacity would be further reduced. He confirmed that the tumor has not invaded my bladder which appears healthy.

Now, of course, I have even more questions. Can they tell by how much my bladder capacity would be reduced? Will I wake up in the middle of the night if I have to go to the bathroom or might those nerve bundles be cut so I end up going in the bed? How often will I have to go? Will I ever sleep through the night again? How will my day-to-day/quality of life be impacted? Will the tissue used to replace the ureter die or need to be replaced in the future? What are the possible complications and risk of additional surgeries? Do they know or is it just guess work?

I don’t want to live a living death.

Speaking of which, the chemo has affected my joints. It started in my right arm around November or so and now it has spread. It has gotten to the point that there are many times during the day when I can barely move. Sometimes, I can’t reach behind me to put on my bathrobe. This morning, I forced myself to get up and going and start baking. Moving helps. It was exceptionally difficult in the kitchen when I started and then got easier. You really have to be motivated and push yourself to overcome these issues.

On a non-health note, I am done Marie Kwandoing. YEAH!!! I still have to junk old computers but everything else is done and organized. I kept two boxes of momentos – not ready to let go of them now. Silly I know – I never look at them – but can’t toss them either – which is fine. Next year … yes, I intend to be here next year!!!

I was thinking about taking photos on my long drive to the hospital and adding them to this blog – the route is really beautiful – I pass farms and open land – snow-covered vistas – but the cars go very fast and there often isn’t a place to pull over safely. Maybe in the spring? We’ll see …

I going to get going now – make some decaf and grab another sugar cookie on my way!

Talk to you later!

Love, Molly

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