Friday, June 26, 2009

Look Good...Feel Better

Right now, cancer treatment is at the forefront of my mind. So Mom Central couldn't have picked a better time to tell me about the Look Good...Feel Better program.

Look Good…Feel Better is a collaboration of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Inc. and the National Cosmetology Association. This free, national public service program helps women cope with the appearance-related changes of cancer treatment through workshops across the country, self-help materials, and other free information.

Along with the confusion and fear of a cancer diagnosis comes cancer treatment, which often involves hair loss and other appearance-related changes. My mom said today that it's not her cancer that's hard to deal with - it's all the side effects that come with her treatment.

In honor of its 20th anniversary, Look Good…Feel Better is asking women cancer survivors to submit their stories of how the program helped them cope with cancer as a way to inspire others who may currently be undergoing cancer treatment. Entries will be featured on the Women of Hope is Beautiful blog to help educate others. In August, Look Good…Feel Better will choose five women with the most-compelling stories to receive a trip to New York City for a makeover and a trip to the DreamBall, a black-tie gala and the program's largest annual fundraiser, held each year in New York City.

Anyone can visit the site to view entries, make comments and show their support.

If you know anyone undergoing cancer treatment, or cancer survivors who can help inspire others, please tell this about this amazing resource.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buttercream Icing

Evie is completely obsessed with birthdays. One of her favorite pretend play activities is to put on a party hat, "make" a cake, and sing Happy Birthday. It doesn't matter if we pretend it's her birthday or someone else's - she just loves birthdays.

Since things have been so crazy lately, I promised Evie we could bake a real cake. The cake was from a mix, but I always make homemade icing. It's easy and so much better than what you buy at the store. Plus, you can customize the flavoring to match your cake - we used lemon. After a little time in the kitchen, we had a yummy treat to share with our neighbors.

Evie chose pink for the icing color, of course. In the future, we may need to learn how to make blue icing, in case her LITTLE BROTHER has a say!

Buttercream Icing
1 c unsalted butter
1 c Crisco
1 lb powdered sugar
1 Tbsp flavoring of choice

Mix together until completely incorporated, then whip at medium speed for several minutes, until light and fluffy.

Makes enough to frost one cake, and easily doubles.


Lisa hosts Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays over at Blessed with Grace. Visit her for more yummy recipes!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pink or Blue?

I had my ultrasound last week. So what are we having - a baby sister or a baby brother? I want to hear your guesses, so I'll keep you in suspense for another day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fight Like a Girl

My mom has cancer.

She was diagnosed about two weeks ago. Not only does my mother have to deal with the emotional aspects of such a dreaded diagnosis, but the physical treatment as well. In the hospital, she received twelve units of blood because her hemoglobin levels were life-threateningly low. She's undergone a chemotherapy treatment and daily radiation. And this is just the beginning - all of this will continue for six to eight weeks.

I didn't know how to blog about this. I mean, after "My mom has cancer," what else is there? It turns out, there's plenty.

My mom has been staying with us for the past week, and I've been watching her closely. I've been looking for the signs that mean I have to take her back to the hospital. I've been checking with her a million times each day to see if she's nauseas or tired. Is she sleeping well? Does she need medicine for pain? For a headache? Is she hungry?

In watching her, I've noticed my mother is exhausted. But even more than that, I've been reminded of just how strong she is. She hasn't had the breakdown I expected. In fact, she feels lucky. Lucky she didn't bleed to death two Sundays ago. Lucky she's not the 38-year-old woman we met at the cancer center this week. Lucky she's not taking one of her children for radiation, like the young mom we see each day. Lucky her cancer's not worse...

And so she's fighting. With all she has. She's getting up each day and letting her doctors poison and burn her body, so the cancer goes away. She's scared, but she's plowing ahead anyway. Her strength makes me, her scared little girl, have hope. It gives me the certainty that she will beat this.

Fight it, Mom. Fight like the girl you are. I'm right next to you, battling on your side. Besides, you've already won. Cancer has nothing over you.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rock Star

After lunch yesterday, I handed Evie a wet dish cloth. I asked her to wipe her face and hands, and then clean the table in front of her. She usually loves to help with this "chore."

But Evie replied "I not clean up. I a rock star!"

Oh. Now it's time for me to ask YOU to keep me in your prayers! I have my hands full here...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Us

Chicken Stroganoff

Slowly, the veil of nausea and extreme exhaustion is lifting. I think I hit rock-bottom Monday, when my mom took Evie for the day so I could sleep. A friend called that morning to see how I was feeling, and I broke down in tears. So. Very. Tired. I don't know if it was the extra (and much appreciated) sleep, but in the past few days I feel better - more peppy, more energetic. There are no dirty dishes in my sink and I finally have the house in respectable condition. I just returned from a long walk around the block with Chris and Evie. I am myself again.

Hopefully, my prolonged absence from the Bloggy World is over. I missed you guys...

And I am over most of the food aversions that made dinnertime a chore. I'm ready to cook again, but as I look around, I notice it's summer. The heat outside makes me hate the stove and oven. So we grill a lot. But my secret weapon is the Crock Pot.

I love this Chicken Stroganoff recipe because it's fairly healthy and very, very easy. Dump everything in, walk away, and you have a lovely dinner later.

Chicken Stroganoff

1 lb. FROZEN skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
16 oz. fat-free sour cream
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
fresh sliced mushrooms, if desired

Place frozen chicken and fresh mushrooms in Crock Pot. Combine soup, sour cream, and onion soup mix, and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 7 hours.

Serve over hot egg noodles.