Monthly Archives: July 2011

Country Roads

Hello! I am in the heart of the Nova Scotia countryside, and still managed to find a wireless signal at a convenience store. We’ve decided to stay an extra day at the family cottages, and who can blame us. Here’s just a snippet of it in pictures. My family used to move out here in the summer when I was growing up. My heart belongs here. When I dream, I dream I am here. I can already feel that the salty, grassy air is instantly healing :)

I’ve been feeling really good this weekend. The shots that make my bones hurt are over for now, and it’s been almost two weeks since my last chemo. Almost feel like my old self again apart from lagging fatigue and slight shortness of breath (both normal for now). I was supposed to be at an Arcade Fire and U2 concert today with my dad and 99,998 other people. But I had to be responsible and tell myself that perhaps a giant outdoor concert wouldn’t be the best thing for my health right now.

Instead, hanging out with my two big sisters, mom, Nana, Aunt, step-dad and poodle. Lots of laughs, good food, walks, sunshine, reading, and afternoon naps. Back to civilization tomorrow to see some friends. Then back in the chemo chair on Tuesday.

I’ve been coming to the cottage every summer over my 25 years, and somehow this year feels so much sweeter.

See ya Monday!

Chemo Cravings

As I’ve alluded to many times before, chemotherapy hasn’t yet taken away my healthy appetite. However, I was met with some out-of-the-norm food cravings in the days following my first treatment.

Yup. Wendy’s would be one of them. Actually, I am one of those people who legitimately does not like fast food (as opposed to you health nuts who secretly do – you know who you are!). I was told not to eat any of my favourite foods after chemo, because chances are I may never want to eat them again. Good advice, because even though I didn’t get physically ill, I’m not sure if I’ll want to eat Wendy’s chicken wraps again.

Mostly what I craved, and have been craving, is meat. Surrounded by bread. Namely, fried egg sandwiches.

I lived off these for the first three days after my chemo. It was all I could stomach. The thought of my usual peanut butter toast and Greek yogurt for breakfast made me gag. Yes! Peanut butter!

Another one of the big cravings was a hamburger. Again, meat surrounded by bread. I may have overdone it a little on the red meat the first few days, but without these I may have starved. Or just eaten more egg sandwiches. Some people said I may no longer like spicy things, but I’m still dousing everything in hot sauce. And mustard. And pickles. And especially hummus.

The strangest craving of all is rather a lack of craving – for sweet things. I usually have an insatiable sweet tooth, but after chemo it was completely gone. The thought of anything sweet – cake, cookies, chocolate, even fruit, yogurt and nut butters, made me feel more nauseous. I’m not sure if this will be the case every time, so we’ll see what sort of craving chemo treatment #2 brings next week. Should be interesting.

In other news, I’m going to be MIA until Sunday. I’m at The Best Place On Earth!

My cottage!

We’ve got a family cottage in Nova Scotia and I’m finally feeling well enough to go. The first time this summer! A few relaxing days away before my next treatment will be absolute paradise.

Have a great weekend!!

ESP Hummus Pizza

What a whirlwind the past few days have been! Between the auction, doing interviews, keeping up with family, and dealing with the onset of some lovely new side-effect pain, I am exhausted. My dad and I both fell asleep at 10pm yesterday reading, only to wake up at midnight forgetting what had happened. Okay, so dads do that all the time, but I never do!

As mentioned yesterday, Janetha and I were on CBC television in New Brunswick! You can watch the newscast here until 5pm ET today. Skip ahead to the 12:45 mark on the video to get to our piece. I hope to get a YouTube of it up soon.

Also, my story was on the front page of the Fredericton newspaper today! I lived in Fredericton for six years, working and going to school. I’m no stranger to seeing my name appear in a newspaper in the form of a byline, but being the subject of news articles is certainly a new role for me!

All that business aside, believe it or not, I am actually here to talk about food today. I discovered some food photos on my camera of recipes I made before being admitted to hospital that got forgotten about. Which is a shame, because they certainly don’t deserve to go by unnoticed.

The first one I’m sharing is actually quite topical. You see, one of the side effects of chemotherapy are mouth sores. Because chemo kills fast growing cells, even healthy ones like those in the lining of our mouths are subject to it. Even after my first treatment, I am noticing more pain and tender spots inside my mouth. I have to be extra careful to clean my mouth ALL the time so I don’t get an infection and have to be careful doing it.

It also makes eating a little trickier. I’ve been advised against eating things that are crunchy like tortilla chips and granola in case they cut my mouth. Also, acidic foods like citrus and tomato sauce are out.

Yup, tomato sauce! How is a girl supposed to eat pizza then?

Apparently, I had solved this problem before I even knew I had it by making hummus pizza just days before being admitted to hospital.

It’s true. Hummus saves everything.

I used this recipe for the crust with a little basil and oregano added to the dough. I made it ahead of time because it takes about two hours to make. Divided into two balls, one went into the fridge overnight, and one into the freezer. That way, the next day after work I was able to just pull it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 20 minutes before starting to work with it. I have yet to attack the dough in the freezer, will get back to you on that one! But the refrigerator dough turned out, in my opinion, perfect.

Once the dough was shaped, I liberally spread on the hummus as the sauce, then topped with pieces of pre-baked chicken, sundried tomato, and shredded mozzarella.

Baked for 20 minutes, I ended up with a crispy, chewy, garlicky, cheesy, and oh-so-hummus-y slice of perfection.

Who needs tomato sauce when you’ve got hummus? Chemotherapy be damned!