Waiting for Savasana

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Out In the Garden

I am not the world’s greatest gardener.  My thumb is brown.  Two summers ago, I gave up and planted nothing.  Last summer, my younger son planted the garden with his grandma and it flourished all summer.  They planted tomatoes.  Just tomatoes.  And it was glorious.

My son got kind of tired of it though.  There were just so many tomatoes to pick.

“I swear Mom, I am going to rip those plants out by the roots!” he said by the time September came and there were still tomatoes to pick.


This year, we planted again.  Tomatoes, jalapeno, cucumbers, lettuce, sweet peas.

It was looking pretty good early on:


I was optimistic.  We got a few cucumbers…


and tomatoes…


And then the cucumbers fizzled.  I go four of them which is four more than I’ve ever gotten so I am still marking it as a success.

The lettuce was ok.  Younger son would just go out and eat it straight from the garden so it didn’t last long.

The sweetpeas I planted never grew.

We got a lot of tomatoes again.  But not as many as last year.  Oh well.

The jalapeno grew but never produced any peppers.  What’s the deal with that?  I fertilized and watered and composted and nothing.  It’s frustrating.

But we have lots of tomatoes.

Younger son (I need to come up with a name for him on this blog) has discovered the culinary ambrosia that is clam chowder.  I decided to make him some in my crockpot as a special treat.

But here’s the thing, 3 out of 4 of us in this house are avoiding dairy.  My husband has developed a definite allergy, my older son and I have a definite intolerance.

Dairy free clam chowder?  Will that even work?

Well, yes, mostly.  I started with some frozen chicken broth I made about a month ago.  then I added celery, green onion and potatoes that arrived in our CSA box.



Then I decided to go really crazy and added some tomatoes from the garden.


I used two cans of whole clams from Trader Joes and let that all steep for a couple hours.

Then i added a can of coconut milk ad while digging through my pantry, I found a jar of Trader Joe’s green curry simmer sauce so I threw that in too and let it cook in the crock pot a few more hours.

I ended up not eating it the day I made it and reheated it the next night for dinner.


It turned out pretty nicely.


My older son said it was sweet and spicy.  My younger son was disappointed because it was not a traditional chowder. But they liked it.  My husband wouldn’t eat it because apparently, he doesn’t like clams.  Married for 14 years, never knew that.

It’s difficult when you have spent a lifetime consuming dairy, to suddenly be without.  Goat cheese (we only avoid cow milk) pizza is not the same as good old mozzarella.  We’ve tried cheeseless pizza but it can be a bit depressing.  Plus pizza with no cheese is messy.  The toppings won’t stay put without the cheese to glue them down!

Don’t even get me started on how much I miss real cheese!

I liked the soup.  It was not a true clam chowder but it was still good and very flavorful.  I think sometimes you just have to play pretend when you are cutting out foods from your diet.

It was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, regardless.

I would like to know what it is about certain people and their ability of inability to garden.  I try but nothing grows well for me, but my child can grow anything!  I think from now on, I am putting him in charge of the garden.



I Cried at Chemo Today

Yes, I really did.

I also watched the new Star Trek movie until I fell asleep from the Benadryl they put in my I.V.

I feel great today.

But I talked to my nurse about pain management and it made me cry.

I think we have a plan but we’ve had lots of plans in the past that sometimes work and sometimes don’t.

I made another friend though.  She was in the chair next to me and she finished before me.  She told me that she was sorry I was having a rough time and that she was having a rough time too.  She still has a way to go.  I’m almost done. I told her we will both get through it and someday it will feel like a really bad dream.I like making friends but I am sad that any of us have to be in this club.  Nobody wants to be in the cancer club.  Nobody.

It makes me scared.  Scared for everyone I love.  I hope you all try to take care of yourselves.  Limit your red meat consumption. Eat more veggies than meat.  Limit sugar.  Ugh!  And think about cutting out dairy.  That’s a difficult one.

And exercise every day.  One study says that breast cancer survivors who walk 30 minutes every day cut their risk of recurrence dramatically.

Try to avoid cosmetics with parabens.  OMG, it’s so hard to find good stuff without all the bad stuff.  Like moisturizer.  Believe me, we chemo people need our lotions.  Chemo dries out your skin.  I’ve got Egyptian Magic and some other cream but I don’t like the way they smell.  Ugh!  And then I worry that people can smell me.  Eww!  And did you know that Burts Bee’s was bought several years ago by…wait for it…Clorox! And now they are not even considered “safe”.  That grinds my gears!  I love make up and now that I look so ill, I need makeup.  I don’t want to poison myself anymore but man, clean make up is hard to find.

And in other news, while I officially have about ten eyebrow hairs left on each eyebrow (yes, I’m counting them), I am growing a bunch of white baby peach fuzz on my head!  I am a fuzzy duckling!  Jury is still out on whether it will still or fall out like it did before.  My eyelashes are hanging on by a tiny bit but they are going fast.  Oh well.  Patient patient, right.  I can not control any of it.

What else?

My youngest planted a garden this summer with his Grandma. My little one has a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes.  Sooooo many tomatoes.  It’s wonderful.  My husband made a delicious soup in his beloved Vitamix.  It came out of the blender HOT! And it was very yummy.  Eat your veggies, people!  EAT THEM!!!


After chemo we went to our neighborhood grocery store and saw my friend who works there.  Our eldest sons met the day before kindergarten and have been friends ever since.  She asked how I was doing and I was honest that it’s been rough and I was just coming from my 7th of 8 chemos.  Later she came running out to my car and gave me these:


Aren’t they beautiful?!!  I have really nice friends.

Wish me luck on round 3 of Taxol.  I plan to sleep a lot.

Just one more to go!  Yippie!