Hi again! It’s been a long while.
It looks like in 2019 I posted one new recipe, and four all-stars. While I haven’t been a multiple-post-per-week gal in years, five posts in a year is extremely low, even for me. I don’t even recognize some things on the editing page.
Here is what happened.
In late December 2018 and most of January 2019, I was furloughed from my day job as an attorney in the federal government. If you recall the shutdown of 2013 (which would be impressive!) you may remember that I posted quite a bit during that time. Free time, more cooking! Always. But days before the shutdown that started at midnight on December 22, 2018, I had an idea. Another one. You know I can’t resist a project.
Grounded in my strong interest in improving morale in the federal workplace, and sparked by a “very government” moment during a meeting, I started working on a new greeting card line: Federalisms™. So that took my free time for the first few months of 2019. But by the beginning of March, I had 40 designs printed and ready to roll. I had walked the floor at the National Stationery Show in Manhattan. I was inspired!
And then in mid-March 2019, during a routine visit to the doctor, everything changed. Within days I was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer, which had appeared, grown, and invaded local lymph nodes in less than six months. I was 40.
2019 was hard. I went through the whole shebang – six rounds of chemo, a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, 25 rounds of radiation, and ongoing infusions every three weeks to complete a full year (almost done!). And will be on meds for 10 years. I powered through, and my body handled it all really well – I was very proud of my body, despite it having allowed me to acquire cancer in the first place. I was never nauseated during chemo, but my tastes did fluctuate, and sometimes, disappeared. For the first time, I didn’t have hunger growls, lightheadedness, or hanger if I didn’t eat. Some food tasted off and I had a weird taste at the back of my palette that I can only describe as tasting like a car’s airbag powder smells. Chocolate and fries were always appealing, and I could pretty much always sip on chicken broth.
I was tired (and had excuses to be lazy), and I never knew what I wanted to eat (other than chocolate and fries), so cooking didn’t really happen. I did make chicken soup for myself once each chemo cycle (thanks for the reminder to do so, by making it for me when I was diagnosed, TK!), and I used up extra bananas by making banana cookies (recipe to come!). But I just wasn’t feeling blogging.
I started this blog primarily for myself, to catalog my favorite recipes electronically. I got a little sidetracked with creativity, photography, and entrepreneurship. And somehow along the way ended up with ANOTHER PAPER RECIPE FILE, what the actual. So my new year’s goal is to resume archiving my faves. There will be less social media (sorry Pinterest) and fewer photos (unless I get back on that horse).
I have ideas for my next few posts – foods that got me through cancer – and now that the chatter has been chatted, I can get down to food business in my next post. My Utensil Crock, and delicious grEATings™, are back. And Federalisms™ is doing great. Thanks for sticking around!
Oh and by the way, I have an excellent prognosis. Because I did chemo before surgery, they were able to tell me that there was not one cancer call, nor was there any sign of previous cancer cells, in any of my pathology. I have a lot of preventative medical care to continue for years, but I’m doing great. So is Tazewell, my therapy dog / best bud. He got a lot of fries this past summer, and earned a recurring role in my Instagram feed.