Cucumber Salad

  
Refreshing!

One of my favorite Spring/Summer sides, my Mom occasionally prepared this dish with her chicken cutlets… Good memories….

Peel & slice cucumbers 

Add scallions or onion to taste, salt pepper & fresh parsley 

Dress with a mayo dressing 

I prefer mayo/white vinegar & a dash of Old #7 Jack Daniels mustard

Enjoy!

Au Gratin Potatoes 

  
Easy as pie! Lol

5 medium red potatoes peeled & thin sliced

1/4 stick of butter 

Light cream or half & half (which I use)

About 1/2 cup or to cover

Salt & pepper 

1 garlic clove

Slice garlic in half and rub the entire inside of baking dish

Arrange potato in dish with slices of butter in between, add salt & pepper to taste, pour cream over all …..

  
Place in preheated oven 400* for 15 minutes and reduce temperature to 350* for additional 45 minutes til potato is soft.

Enjoy!

My Mom’s Depression Spaghetti 

  
When we were young many moons ago. We didn’t eat meat on Friday during Lent. Five siblings with good appetites. This was truly a favorite and we sometimes request it on an ordinary day. 

Years later I couldn’t help recognize the flavor in the enhanced & popular Vodka Sauce, minus the procuitto & vodka.

Thinking of my Mom today & granddaughter visiting I reminisced……

Hope your little ones enjoy this as much as we had !

Ingredients 

1 lb Spaghetti 

1 lb yellow & white American    Cheese 1/2 each cubed

1 stick butter

3 12 ounce cans Tomato Soup

Cook and drain spaghetti drain immediately adding cheese & butter mixing well 

  

Add heated soup ….. I prefer keeping it cheesy chunky!

Enjoy!


A Thousand Words…

  
Morning Surprise visit my youngest grands…..

Much love & good health to all

Amen 

The Simple Things 

While most continue conversing on Super Bowl 50 Beyoncé & the presidential candidates, my mind focuses on Thursday. My 18th & final chemo treatment…..Whew! 

Long time coming, consequently another week of potential side effects as well, but the finish line in sight. Oh to breath fresh air…

I so look forward to the simple things. Sleeping through the night, easily bathing & dressing, walking up & down stairs to get the mail or do my own laundry. 

Getting in my car and going to the market, picking out fresh veggies & fruit. Or sitting in a restaurant enjoying a favorite meal I can actually taste. 

Most of all….. Walking my Maltese “Ruby Tuesday ” who so patiently & lovingly never left my side. I’m guilt ridden for all these past months she missed our play time and long strolls. She has the cutest wiggle and happy face as we go.

Oh the simple things!

Yellow Brick Road..

Just a dream? Exactly how I felt upon awakening yesterday morning. Two days replenished blood transfusions with no side effects of chemo. Joyous reclaiming my body as the ability to walk and function through out the day. 

A good day to enjoy what most take for granted. As each day unveiled obstacles & fears, I’m blessed with a support group guiding me through. At times I felt lost and held my breath for hours as I encountered various obstacles. Unlike Dorothy my journey was real, though I fantasized people around me each served a purpose to benefit me. A friend who’s heart overwhelmingly sheltered my fears. 

Amazed by another intolerant to a crisis, beared shoulders to cry on.

Many others hiding their fear, showering  me with laughter and love. 

There was a young girl awaiting a room at the cancer center, eyes empty and taught facial features. 

It was a slow compromise introducing our purpose there…. I handed her my card offering a choice to an open mind on the reality of cancer, and the importance of positivity. I carry great hope she will never feel alone or singled out …. By the wicked disease. We are all walking the road together! 

One day Cancer will be swept away.

The Count….

So it seems ’twas not an alien, today was my 17th of 18 treatments. Exhausted beyond fatigue my blood count results failed. I had a blood transfusion following chemo and will return to St Barnabas Cancer Center for another in the morning. 

Assistance was needed to walk …. Just as I prepared to call it quits. Dr Wagmiller explained the low count. Yes I was doing well & consistent with the program. 

Imagine you were attacked by Vampires leaving your  blood drained. It will be replaced and you’re back on track. I love her.

My fellow Warriors, never give up! Although everything & anything is anticipated there are solutions. 

Feeling better.

Count on it!

On the Side….

For weeks I’d convinced myself “I got this” …..

Mind over matter combined with phenomenal support and faith, piece of cake? Denial.

Just as a woman’s delivery pain is eased holding her newborn; the memories flashback in the duration of the next pregnancy. 

Double chemo is quite similar. I’ll rephrase that… Chemo 

Last Thursday was my final dose of double meds leaving two single treatments. Of course I was familiar with the side effects but the reality I placed aside, to get me through. 

It’s a creeping ordeal with each treatment & following effects totally out of order. Last night ….. Insomnia. A slow and consistent itch, feet, hands, the unreachable area of your back, eyes everywhere & anywhere. Take Benadryl ….. Shower; scrubbing as though you could wash the chemo away …. Not

Sheets no blanket, blankets no coverage, one two or three pillows, try the sofa, back to bed, TV music or silence. Watching the time. Talk to yourself, God & loved ones past.

Whew… 

Good Morning 

In the Wee Small Hours …

Fatigue confuses me …… Rest or sleep. Slipping in & out of consciousness, throughout the day & during my treatment. I begin with a full breakfast & my lunch consists of a sandwich, fruit, yogurt & a snack. Immediately in the infusion room the feasting begins. Perhaps being nervous my first visit with no encounter of nausea, led me to believe food absorbs the chemo. 

Hard to remember much afterwards,usually I’m asleep. Arriving home ….. Deep sleep & naps throughout the day. 

Come night and I’m wide awake. Night is silent as my mind is racing…… Various thoughts & prayers, my spirituality is tested by my darkest fears yet I’ve got this! I’m totally positive this will pass. 

I focus on a purpose…. 

Sensitivity…..

My passion for culinary arts developed naturally. I believed satisfying others at my table was the task. Losing my taste buds made me aware of how I enjoyed a fine pallet. Not to mention the effect when my favorite dishes became irritating to digest.

Bland is best.

Wearing a protective mask recommended to avoid germs. A must at all cost. However, please  note nasal passages alter due to loss of hair, no kitchen aroma. Yet stuck in an elevator shared with another drowned in perfume is nauseating. Why wear it in a hospital?

Whenever I regain strength a full therapeutic massage is in need. My body is numb & sore due to lack of activity. Epsom salt baths are a lifesaver.

As though an alien has taken over my body or detached from myself, various occurances appear. Extreme nosebleeds, invest in a humidifier, especially in cold months as heat dries nasal passages. 

Tingling burning numbness which began rather annoying quickly became intolerant. Basically the feet and hands. Unfortunately this tends to occur at night. Scarlet blotches which seem to blister as your skin peels. Neosporin heavily applied twice daily resolves the issue. By no means should you wear socks! 

For a short time my eyes watered and became itchy …… Neosporin on the eyelids worked as well. 

On my first appointment with my Oncologist she provided me with various prescribed meds to help with nauseousness ….. I didn’t experience any for my first eleven treatments…..

Lucky me

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