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Lung Update + Will It French Toast Round 3

Good news friends! I (finally) got to meet with a respirologist yesterday, who said my lung function is almost back to normal!

You may recall that two months ago I found out one of my chemo drugs was poisoning my lungs. A side effect called Bleomycin lung toxicity. It’s pretty serious. It can cause permanent damage and even be fatal. At the time I did a pulmonary function test that I could barely get through thanks to my inability to take a proper breath without coughing. But the test I took last week showed my lung function has improved by 100% in some areas!

Clearly, I knew I was doing better just from how my lungs felt throughout the day. But I’m no doctor, so it was nice to have confirmation from one. My biggest fear was that I’d have lung damage that would prevent me from exercising in the future, but the respirologist said my lungs are in good enough shape to run now if I wanted to. My oncologist however won’t let me until I’m done chemo, which I guess makes sense. But I so badly just want to pick my feet up off the ground and move fast when I’m out on my walks every day. I’ve got a need to run run run.

I also got to watch the respirologist pull up my scans and x-rays from over the past 5.5 months which was both neat and surreal. No matter how many times I talk and think about a giant mass in my chest, it is still weird to see a picture of it clouding around my skeleton. Everyone is impressed by how fast it’s shrinking (thank goodness, because they were also horrified by how large it was). Fast to grow, fast to shrink maybe?

Here’s hoping it’s gone by the time I get my PET scan next month. I’m getting nervous I may need more chemo.

Blathering about my health aside, I have a decidedly unhealthy breakfast treat to share with you today.

Well, it depends on your version of unhealthy. Croissants? Okay, kind of unhealthy (read this post to find out why). Turning croissants into French toast? Okay, maybe still kind of unhealthy. But in order to “balance” things out, I cut them in half and soaked them in egg whites and cinnamon. Straight up protein to my butter and pastry. And treating yourself to something delicious? Healthy!

Add this to my ongoing list of “Will it French toast?” experiments. The result was FANTASTIC. So buttery. A great way to use up croissants that are going stale. I think this would be a fun treat to add to the Christmas breakfast lineup this year. I would recommend not over-soaking the croissants, as the dough can easily get mushy. And don’t cook them in a overly hot pan, as the outsides are more likely to brown.

With that, I am off. I’ve been a bit of a busy bee these past few days because I’ve been feeling so well. But today I’m laying low to recharge and save up some spoons. Have a good one!

The Burger, The Croissant and The Cookie

First things first, here’s what my elbow is looking like today:

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I need to get another surgery in about six months to take out that bottom screw. They put a big one in there to make sure it held, but it will hit my other bone once I’m able to move my arm again.

To quote my surgeon: “Your elbow is holding together well given the likelihood it could fall apart.” Awesome.

I’ll have to continue regular follow-ups with a surgeon in Moncton to ensure that it indeed does not fall apart.

I also need to step up the physio and work on moving it more. Which I’ve only been doing gently so far because it’s so painful to do.

Overall, I didn’t leave the appointment feeling great. But there’s also nothing I can do to make it magically better. Just gotta wait it out I guess!

Anyways, in order to start fresh in New Brunswick next week (!!!) I have a few more “bloggables” from the Tee Dot I’m going to handily wrap up all in one post.

Three places: A burger place, a bakery, and a Holy experience. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. The Burger

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You may remember back in December when my roommie and I checked out The Burger’s Priest. A teeny tiny burger joint in the East End that has burger enthusiasts foaming at the mouth. I liked it a lot, but I didn’t love it. I feel like I still needed to find “my” burger in Toronto. 

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Great Burger Kitchen at Gerrard and Jones is supposedly also one of the best. Megan and I came here on a whim one Sunday evening because that’s what we did when we had spare time and no recipes to be made at home.

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We may have gone home after and watched Rockstar Supernova circa 2006. We may have re-watched the whole Rockstar INXS series at one point too. Watching old reality TV shows is fun. You feel like you’re from the future.

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Anyways, GBK. It looked like they had great poutines. I can’t confirm this as I was after the meat only.

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I had the classic burger which comes with lettuce, tomato, red onion, ketchup, mustard and pickles.

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Made with all natural Ontario beef served on a bun from the well known local joint Brick Street Bakery.

First, the patty. Flavour-wise it was all there. I loved how thick it was, compared to the thin and salty patties at The Burger’s Priest. It was however a touch too dry for my tastes.

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Also, the patty-to-bun ratio borderlines absurd. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the bun. Actually, it was probably the best hamburger bun I’ve ever had. White, fluffy, but sturdy enough not to crumble in the presence of the burger. But it was twice the size of the patty. I’d say half my bites were easily bun only and contained no meat.

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FYI: eating giant hamburgers with one hand is tricky business. I could probably teach a class on eating with one hand by this point.

2. The Croissant.

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Right. So y’all know I have this undeterred fondness for pastry wrapped in butter. I never specifically set out to find the best croissant in Toronto. Amazing croissants are the kind of thing that find you, ya know?

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But again, in my intense foodie research, I found that Clafouti on Queen West was consistently praised for their croissants.

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I walked in on a late Sunday morning after brunch not sure of what goodies would be left.

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Roommie Megan snatched up the Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Croissant. Ohyes. But I had my eyes on something else.

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An almond croissant. I feel like apart from chocolate and butter, almond croissants are about as “classic” as you can get. And I’ve never had one!

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I tucked it away in my purse, having just scarfed down brunch and all, and gingerly pulled it out come dinnertime. Okay, I only made it till 4pm.

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The croissant easily broke in half, each side coated with a sweet almond paste. Nothing like the marzipan found in chocolates. This was a like a nutty, sugary, dreamy spread.

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The centre of the croissant was soft, but dense! And a little tough on the outsides. I’m not sure if all almond croissants are this thick. I’m better versed in the airy, flaky, greasy sorts. Overall though, it was a damn good croissant. I polished it off with an apple and called it a balanced meal.

3. The Cookie.

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Remember when my sister took me to Le Gourmand at Queen & Spadina?

She actually brought me there for croissants, which I will say were quite good. But I spotted these trays of cookies and knew they were mine. Walking past there the other day I popped in to get the cookie that’s been calling my name ever since. They only had chocolate chip and chocolate chip walnut. I went with the latter.

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I brought it home and immediately broke a piece off to taste. An inch thick and almost the size of my hand, one cookie is actually equal to about four. It was SO soft. With the perfect sized little chocolate chips. I thought about it for the rest of the night.

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The next morning I took another piece at zapped it in the microwave. It was at that point I melted into a giant puddle in the middle of my kitchen floor. Just like Alex Mack. I was in confectionary heaven.

So that ends my torrid tales of foodie adventures in Toronto. Just in time too, because my last pair of jeans are starting to get tight. Now it’s time shape up and get cooking in my brand new kitchen. Which you’ll have to wait till Sunday to see. Have a great weekend!

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