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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!


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!

Read All About It

I have a long list of blog topics I’ve been meaning to get to. But today, I give you this:

The success of the auction is also bringing to light the fact that some people in my province don’t have drug coverage like those in the rest of the country. And when something like cancer steps in, lack of money can turn into a life or death issue. As a former reporter, it’s weird being on the other side of things, but I figure if I keep talking maybe someone will listen… right??

Click here to read the story. I’m also Skyping with Janetha today for a television interview. If you’re in New Brunswick, tune into CBC’s suppertime newscast to check it out. I’m pretty sure it can be streamed from here as well.

Needless to say, my days have turned out to be quite filled! It’s nice to feel like I’m doing something productive again. However, with the sweet sometimes comes the sour. Unfortunately I’ve been sidelined with pain over the past day thanks to my white blood cell shot. It can be known to cause pain in your bones, and I’ve been hobbling around due to some nastiness in my pelvis and legs. I’m not allowed to take painkillers yet because they can mask other more serious symptoms. So for now I’m just stuck to moaning and groaning and praying it goes away with my last needle tomorrow.

Clearly, I need some waffles.