Posted in food

Chicken Fusilli

Photo credit: Alyson Muse

This recipe for chicken fusilli originally appeared in my cozy murder mystery Feta and the Fat Bastard (Whine & Cheese Cozy Mystery Series, Book 3). Click here to order directly from my publisher, Open Books.

You will need:

2 skinless chicken breasts or 4 deboned skinless chicken thighs

2 cups fusilli pasta

Creamy garlic alfredo type pasta sauce, plus add a ½ teaspoon garlic powder (or make your own- see below) plus 1 teaspoon mustard

1 regular size can of diced tomatoes

1 small can of mushrooms (whole or pieces, whatever you prefer)

1 teaspoon olive oil

Selection of cheeses, grated

Bacon, diced and cooked

Dice chicken. Heat olive oil in pan on medium high, then cook chicken until done. Set aside.

Combine pasta sauce (and garlic powder and mustard), tomatoes and mushrooms.  Simmer on medium high heat for about 20 minutes, giving flavours a chance to marry. Sauce will likely be tasty as is, however, you can also add herbs of your choice for extra flavor.

Cook pasta according to directions.  When ready, drain, serve with sauce and top with cooked chicken. Also good with grated cheese of choice (pop into microwave for about 45 seconds to melt cheese to perfection) and a handful of cooked bacon.

If you just want a creamy garlic sauce, omit adding canned tomatoes. Mushrooms are also optional.

Home-made creamy garlic sauce

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon mustard

½ teaspoon salt (or more according to your taste)

Few shakes of black pepper (about ¼ teaspoon)

Few shakes of paprika, if you have any (1/4 teaspoon)

Combine all of the above in a saucepan and cook on medium heat. Mix with a whisk every few minutes so that cornstarch is well blended and sauce doesn’t stick to bottom.  Once sauce begins to gently boil, reduce heat. Simmer until sauce thickens. If too thick, add more milk. If not thick enough, mix more cornstarch (1/2 teaspoon) in a glass with some cold water before adding to hot sauce.  Add can of tomatoes and mushrooms as noted above.

Posted in pets

Furtastic Friday

Ripley aka “Ripper”

Meet our new rescue tabby, Ripley.

He’s about 3 and 1/2 months old now and is living up to his name- or rather, many variations of his name. Ripley’s believe it or not, because of the things he can get into, Ripper (let’s just say, all my curtains are tied up high right now), and Ripples, because of the adorable way his stripes are rippled throughout his little body.

Right now, he’s all paws and has a ferocious appetite. He’s loved everything he’s been fed and miraculously knows when it’s time for his smelly wet food.

As many of you know, my two year old kittie, Bart, accidentally escaped and ran away about a month and a half ago. It broke my heart, and still does. After much debate, we moved ahead with another rescue and he’s certainly wormed his way into our hearts.

Sweet Ripley has two personalities: he can be an absolute, hyperactive terror one minute, then suddenly slump over my legs in a dead sleep, transforming into the cutest, gentlest little creature.

From myself, my family, and of course, Ripley, have a furtastic Friday!

If you’d like your pet to be featured on a future Furtastic Friday, please contact me. We need more pets!

Posted in food

German Oven Pancakes

Photo credit: Freerange stock archives

Oh my goodness, this recipe!! Being Hungarian, I wasn’t a pancake fan; I grew up on crepes. But this? Topped with berries, pudding, yogurt, whipped cream, jam, custard, on its own, syrup….I could eat this for days in a row. Ehem, perhaps I have…

This recipe originally appeared in my cozy murder mystery Feta and the Fat Bastard (Whine & Cheese Cozy Mystery Series, Book 3). (click to order directly from my publisher, Open Books)

Cozy Mystery Book Series Recipe: German Oven Pancakes

The consistency is like a custard or almost cheese-like, and the flavour is simple but yet so good.  I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

You will need:

9×13 inch glass baking dish works best

4 large eggs

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 and 1/3 cups flour

5 tablespoons white granulated sugar

cooking spray or about 1 tablespoon oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine all the ingredients and blend well with electric mixer. Spray (or oil) a large casserole dish with cooking spray, then pour batter into dish and bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes until the edges are puffy and a nice golden colour. Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar, then serve immediately; did I mention that the consistency is like a firm custard?

Slice and serve with a nice fruit topping, maple syrup or a squeeze of lemon. Keeps well in fridge- reheat slices for a minute or less in the microwave.

Enjoy, my friends.

Posted in pets

Furtastic Fridays

Meet Bella, a fluffy tuxedo breed who loves to have her pretty fur brushed. She rolls about, happily purring, while this is being done.

Bella loves to hunt treats out of her “treaty puzzle” every morning, holding her prize between both her paws like a squirrel. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing flying bugs.

She has a favourite toy since the age of 8 weeks old. It’s missing its original feather and has been lovingly sewn back together. Bella will pick that toy out from her basket above all others and if she loses it (which is often), it must be located and then hidden amongst the other toys so that she can hunt for it again.

Bella is sweetly affectionate and loves to knead and purr on her human mamma, then fall asleep splayed out across her chest. She is very much loved and cherished.

From her owner, Kathy St. Denis, myself, and of course, Bella, have a furtastic Friday!

If you have a special pet that you’d like to see featured on a future Furtastic Fridays post, please contact me. We want more pets!

Posted in food, Uncategorized

Mom’s famous Schnitzels

This recipe originally appeared in my cozy murder mystery Swiss Cheese and Sibling Rivalry (Whine & Cheese Cozy Mystery Series, Book 4).

I teased and taunted my readers with this through the whole quadrilogy before finally divulging the recipe in book 4. And now, here it is for free (but you should still buy the book, cuz, you know, it’s funny).

Mom’s Famous Schnitzels

1 package of boneless, thin sliced pork cutlets (about 8 pieces of meat, although more is definitely better)

2 eggs, beaten, in a bowl big enough to dip the meat in

1 cup of flour, in a bowl big enough to dip the meat in

1 1/2 to 2 cups of breadcrumbs of your choice, in a bowl big enough to dip the meat in

salt, pepper

1/3 teaspoon of: garlic powder, paprika, dill weed, dried parsley (optional spices- the only necessity is salt and pepper)

1/2 cup or more olive oil or oil of your choice for frying-you might need more

Salt and pepper both sides of each piece of meat then set aside.  To the breadcrumbs, add about 1/3 teaspoon of each spice and mix around to incorporate.

Arrange the bowls in this order: flour, egg, breadcrumbs.

Coat each piece of meat in the order above. Flour both sides, then shake off any excess. Next dip in the egg mixture, coating completely and allowing excess to drip off before putting into the breadcrumb bowl and coating completely. Pat firmly so that the breadcrumbs adhere well.  When done, set aside on a plate until all of the meat has been prepared.  I use a fork in one hand to lift the meat from each bowl and my other hand to coat in the flour and breadcrumbs. Your coating hand will be gross by the time you’re done.

In a frying pan, add enough oil so that it covers the bottom and has enough in it to almost cover a piece of meat.  Heat on medium or just very slightly higher for a few minutes before adding any meat. Once a breadcrumb added to the oil begins to sizzle, the temperature is right.

Fit as many pieces of meat that the pan can accommodate without crowding. Mine fits 4-5 pieces comfortably. Each side will take a few minutes to fry. Once you have a nice, golden or light brown colour, you can flip the meat to the other side and do the same.  When ready, transfer to an oven safe dish lined with paper towel to absorb any oils. Keep the meat in a warmed but not hot oven until all of the meat is cooked.

Delicious served with rice or any type of potato that you like (mashed, baked, fried, potato salad, etc) and a side of Hungarian cucumber salad.

You’re welcome, my friends.

Posted in food

Turmeric Pearl Couscous Tabouleh

Tabouleh

For those of you expecting a Furtastic Friday post today….sorry! I need more animals! So, instead, I bring you food.

I was in my 30’s before I first tried Tabouleh. I mean, first of all, I couldn’t pronounce it and then I didn’t know what was in it. It was very green; too green. And, most people couldn’t even tell me what was in it, but swore by it.

I’m not even sure what possessed me to try it. Yes, I’m a finicky eater, though I branch out a little more with each passing year. I think it was some tortilla chips that convinced me to try it at a work potluck. There they were, side by side, and I thought, “Yeah, I can handle that.”

Being picky, it has to be made right. No surprise ingredients like olives, and for heaven’s sake, not made with quinoa! Traditionally, it’s made with bulgur, something else I was not familiar with. I’m Hungarian. We did not have bulgur in our house.

Now if you’re searching frantically through my books for the recipe, stop! It’s not one of my previously published ones. Nope, this is brand new, baby! And since I’m not doing a book 5, I get to share whatever inspires me right away.

The parsley in my garden had a sudden growth spurt, so Tabouleh sprang to mind. I’d never made it yet, but how hard can it be? Searches on line promised me that it could be made with couscous. I rummaged in my pantry and came across some of this wonderful, iron-rich turmeric infused pearl couscous.

Never one to follow a recipe, after gleaning inspiration from a number of different ones, I created my own. I cooked the couscous in a roasted garlic chicken broth, then added what I thought would not only taste good, but still resemble a Tabouleh.

For the batch pictured today, I even ran out and bought some of this weird bulgur stuff and added a bit to the recipe. It was pretty bland on it’s own, even though I cooked it in the same broth as the couscous. Mixed up all together though, delicious and I hope full of healthy goodness.

You be the judge!

Turmeric Pearl Couscous Tabouleh

-1 cup turmeric pearl couscous (I found it at Bulk Barn)

-2 cups chicken broth of choice

-1 big bunch parsley chopped very small

-5-6 sprigs of cilantro (traditional Tabouleh uses mint instead), chopped very small

-5-6 sprigs fresh chives (you get the idea, chopped really small)

-1/2 small onion diced small

-1 diced tomato

-6 cloves of garlic (yes, diced small)

-4 tablespoons olive oil or more, depending on taste

-1/4 cup lemon juice

-salt and pepper to taste

Boil broth then add couscous. Reduce heat to simmer, then turn off once only a bit of liquid remains, allowing couscous to sit another 10 minutes or so. Then cool couscous. You may need to add a bit more broth if it gets sticky.

Meanwhile, chop up all the other ingredients and combine. Add cooled couscous, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Taste, adjust as needed. Refrigerates well for 3-4 days.

My step-daughter, Abby, added feta to hers, but if you do that, don’t add it to the whole thing because it won’t keep as well.

If you have any recipes you’d love to share, let me know!

Cheers, my friends.

Posted in Uncategorized

The loss of a Pet

My last photo of Bart

Despite the fact that I’m almost 50 years old, I’ve had very little experience with death. I’ve been to exactly three funerals in my life, none of which were people that I was close to.

I’ve experienced the death of one pet, several years ago, and although I cried my fair share of tears, I’ve never been through the grief as my recent loss.

Perhaps it’s because there’s no closure. The not knowing is maddening. My Bart escaped a month ago via a partially open patio door. Under the dark of night, he snuck out, his black fur blending into the darkness surrounding him, never to be seen again.

It had been a particularly beautiful night, until the heavy rains began a few hours later. My family and I spent hours screaming his name, shaking the treat box, jingling his toys, roaming the property, walking along the fairly busy highway we live on, getting eaten by mosquitos and brushed by moths. We were oblivious to those things at the time, all of us distraught.

Bart was rescued from an animal shelter in June 2017 during a particularly rough point in my life. Following a sudden diagnosis of stage 4 kidney cancer, an operation to remove the right kidney two weeks later, the death of my father during this time (a funeral that I was too sick to attend), and then severe bouts of debilitating anxiety, we had gotten Bart to keep me grounded and put a smile back on my usually cheerful face.

We did everything together. We were together basically day and night, since I was no longer in a position to work. He’d help me with laundry, sweeping, dishes, yoga- oh, his favourite, of course, was helping with the groceries! He’d get so excited, inspect every bag.

Bart was a very smart and gentle cat. He was an American Bombay and one quality they have is that they usually select one main person as “their human”. I was his Human. He would sleep on my toes while I watched t.v. or read. Naturally, I’d keep my feet under him until I could no longer bear the cramping in my legs, or until my bladder could take no more.

I’m no stranger to emotional pain, but this? The not knowing. The “why”. The regret, heartache, cold feet even when it’s been especially hot. The mind games, picturing him starving and dying of thirst. Wondering if he hears us calling his name. Maybe even watching us from afar, as we put his litter box outside for three weeks in a row, hung our dirty laundry out, hoping he’d catch our scent. Playing the djembe, in hopes that the sound of drum filters it’s way to him and he finds it familiar, finds his way home.

I’ve cried every day since. After much debate, we got another rescue kitten from the same shelter Bart had come from. While the little guy is adorable, I give him snuggles filled with guilt. I cannot fully love him, as my heart is broken and it’s not fair to him

I’d like to think that every day, I heal a little. But I don’t know if I have, or if I will. I’ve lost a part of me. My mind plays evil tricks on me, making me think I hear his cry or see a flash of black fur.

I have few regrets in life, but that day? I would give anything to relive that day, I still have hope, but that hope rips me apart a bit more with each passing day. Always, I am so sure that “Today is the day!”

But yet, it is not.

Posted in pets

Furtastic Fridays

Photo credit: Nancy Boissonnealut

Well, hello there, Humans! My name is Twilight.

Last week, you met my sister Dottie. She’s okay, but they tell me I’m the best cat ever (she doesn’t know, of course).

My awesome family adopted me from a shelter. Some of the things I love most are to cuddle, make cute little sounds and run all over the house. My favourite thing to do, though, is to play with Dottie. We’re pretty close.

From Twilight’s owners, Nancy Boissonneault, Pierre Cardinal (and the kids), and of course, Twilight, have a furtastic Friday!

If you’d like your special pet featured on a future Furtastic Friday post, please contact me.

Posted in cancer, Uncategorized

22 Months: My Story

Wooden Jetty at Sunset – Dreamy Looks
Photo courtesy: Jack Moreh

I always knew I’d write this story.

At the very core of my core, I knew. Once, I even started writing it but I wasn’t sure where I was heading with it. Would it be a book? Part of my biography, perhaps, or fictionalize it and make it a real tearjerker that would become a blockbuster movie, and then it would win all sorts of awards?

Ha! Yeah, I am pretty good, but I’m not that good! 

Yet, my story still begs to be told. Its voice demands to be heard. I feel that in order to fully move forward, I have to write it, but also know that in doing so, there will be many tears involved. Not just mine, but friends and family who might read this. 

You see, I usually have my shit together.  I pretty much always have. Even before I got my official diagnosis of kidney cancer, I already suspected and had warned my boyfriend. When the doctor confirmed it, he cried, I comforted him. “It’ll be okay. They’ll get the cancer out and life goes on.”

Well, it wasn’t really that simple.  What I didn’t  anticipate was that my diagnosis would be stage IV.  How does one go from being completely fine one day- in fact, feeling better than ever- to being constipated, then a couple of months later feeling a lump in your stomach and having some discomfort? 

I googled, of course.  I was the manager of a health and dental insurance claims department;  I was used to investigating things. I researched my symptoms and came up with being impacted, or possibly ulcers. Perhaps even both.

I went to a walk-in doctor clinic, discussed my symptoms, was prescribed a laxative, but then also sent for a precautionary ultrasound. She wasn’t completely sure it was an impaction. She could feel my lumps. I could see the confusion on her face. I’m an empath, therefore I am very good at reading people.

Days later, I could tell by the ultrasound technician’s face and the tightness in his voice that something wasn’t right. He asked me how long I had been in pain and looked confused when I replied that it had only been about a month.

Photo courtesy: Jack Moreh

A few more days passed before my general practitioner discussed the results with me, advising me of a mass in my stomach and the general size of it. I was then referred to other specialists and underwent a CT scan.

By then, my research took a different path. It must have already been mentioned to me that the mass was attached to my kidney and I find it strange that I can’t remember this detail today. There’s so many weird little things that I do remember, but then important chunks of information that I don’t.

In any case, I knew going into the appointment with the specialist that it was likely cancer, and if so, based on the size, that it was likely stage III. So the diagnosis was no surprise to me. The only surprise was that it was stage IV and that, due to the size of the mass attached to my kidney, it had shifted into my stomach. For those of you that might not know this, our kidneys are more towards our back body and not in the stomach.

None the less, I took the news in stride. I might even have smiled bravely, feeling bad for the doctor, having to deliver this kind of shitty news to his patients. I listened to the next steps, nodding professionally, as if discussing someone else. My surgery date was set for slightly over two weeks later, then I was sent to another section of the Ottawa Hospital for blood work.

An hour later, I was back home in Brockville. I recall having an errand to run and we were at our local mall here in town. I checked my phone and noticed a frantic message, asking me to contact some person I’d never heard of from the hospital, who left me his personal cell phone number to call back. Well, that couldn’t be good.

With shaking hands, I returned the call and listened to the news that my blood calcium was dangerously high and that I needed to check in to the hospital right away. I was annoyed, actually.  It would be a one hour drive back to Ottawa, it was already late, I hadn’t yet had dinner and I was hangry. I asked if it could wait until the morning and it all became very real when I was told no. I did, however, get permission to check in to my local hospital instead, only a 4 or 5 minute drive.

Everything from that point on was hell. The countless needles, transfusions, collapsed veins, the horror each time a nurse approached me with yet another needle, more bloodwork. My arms were butchered and I was traumatized by the time I was discharged, almost a week later. 

To make matters worse, my dad had passed away the day before my diagnosis.

He was buried the day after I was discharged from the hospital, but I was too weak to travel two hours away to my hometown and I was too pre-occupied with my own horror story to even grieve. To this day, over two years later, I’ve not felt that I’ve properly grieved his death.

A week later, my surgery. I don’t recall being especially nervous.  Yes, I was anxious, but more so in the sense that I wanted this invasion of my body removed so that I can then return to being superwoman and get on with my life. I was only 47 years old. I had stuff to do!

Things went well, I was told.  They removed my right kidney and the mass attached to it, which was the size of a small roast or cantaloupe. They scraped out everywhere that it had spread to and there was good news that it hadn’t affected my vena cava. I had no clue what that meant at the time, but was assured that it was a good thing.

No doubt they scraped out some lymph nodes, though I cannot recall. I do have a copy of my records, yet find myself unwilling to read them again. I should, and I know one day I will, but there’s stuff in there I don’t want to revisit. 

The only thing that remained were some tiny tumours that had made their way into my lungs.  These could not be taken out during the surgery.  There were four of them, all spread out, two in each lung.   For that, I would be on some form of treatment, if they didn’t go away on their own.  There was hope; apparently, there was a chance that they’d shrink away now that the mamma host was removed.

I was a good patient, asking for very little, walking as much as I could in order to regain my strength and be discharged as quickly as possible.  I must admit, the morphine was lovely, but by the end of my stay, I was imagining smells that did not exist and couldn’t understand why no one could smell the strong antiseptic odour that I could.

My attitude, at that point, was still “Let’s get this done and over with. Let’s fix this.”

I did not yet know of the poor survival rates for stage IV kidney cancer. Reality slapped me in the face a couple of months later when I had to get copies of my medical records in order to submit them to my insurance carrier to be approved for long-term disability coverage. In my heart, I already knew that I could never return to the stress of work.

My general practitioner received the documents from the specialists and called me in to discuss the paperwork. She knew me very well, knew I’d be scrutinizing every word, and there were a couple in particular she knew would shatter me. She did not want to simply put it in the mail for me to read on my own and I am thankful for that.

“22 months”

That was my initial prognosis.  That had not been verbalized to me at any point, but yet, there it was, in the report.  Black and white. At that point, three or four months had already passed. Up until then, I still pretty much had my shit together. That is when my world crumbled.

I had foolishly gone to that visit alone and was due to pick my son up from his part-time job and bring him back to Brockville with me for a few days visit. Before picking him up, I pulled over into the parking lot of a grocery store and had a good cry. 

He was just 17;  he didn’t need to hear this shit or deal with it at his age. He had asked me from the outset to tell him everything, but apparently I hadn’t mentioned the 22 months to him, so obviously I got a handle on myself and managed the hour long drive back to Brockville with composure. Again, funny, the details I do and don’t remember.

At about the same time, I found out that the “spots”, as I called them, in my lungs hadn’t disappeared on their own. I would be monitored for another three months to see if they would grow, and if so, I would then start some sort of treatment for them.

So, my “Let’s do this, let’s fix it” attitude took a nose dive from there.  Luckily the cancer centre has great access to free social workers for counselling. The record playing in my head was that I was only 47, how could all this be happening to me? 

“The record playing in my head was that I was only 47, how could all this be happening to me?”

My boyfriend is a strong believer in cannabis.  After educating myself about it, I have to agree that it has many medicinal benefits and has been used for centuries for medical reasons, well before it became illegal (and now legal again here in Canada and increasingly around the world).  

I illegally, at that time, obtained cannabis in an attempt to treat the cancer holistically.  Some of you may have heard of Rick Simpson oil or Tears of Phoenix. 

If you, or someone you know, have cancer and are contemplating trying cannabis, I invite you to research this further.  There are now many CBD and THC varieties on the market.

I had the 70% THC. 

My cannabis use was very limited before I tried this treatment, so it took very little to get me high.  The initial dose was the size of  half a grain of rice, and the goal was to get up to 1 gram of this dark, tar-like cannabis oil per day and maintain that until I had ingested a total of 60 grams over a 90 day period. I tried, I truly did. 

I do not remember much of June of 2017, other than the fact that we got a rescue  kitten named Bart to help me with my sudden bouts of debilitating separation anxiety.  I think after a month, I could no longer continue because of the paranoia and anxiety it induced in me.  Scans shortly after showed growth in my lung tumours, so the little I did ingest did not help. 

So, here’s the thing; although it is in my lungs, it is still considered kidney cancer- even though my remaining kidney is healthy and cancer free.  So treatment is based on what works for kidney cancer and all cancers are treated differently. This is often confusing for family and friends to understand.

In the case of kidney cancer, traditional chemotherapy and radiation are not proven to work, so that wasn’t even an option for me. 

We decided on a drug called Sutent, which I started about 6 months after my surgery. It is the first line of treatment and can work wonders, but it’s hell on the system.  Despite several months on it, significant hair loss that resulted in having to cut what was left of my hair (see before & after pictures above), nerve damage to my feet, back and neck,  sensitive teeth, tongue and dry mouth, and one emergency hospital visit due to a headache so powerful that I thought my head would explode, the tumours grew

And had spread to my bones.

This, too, was a doctor’s appointment that I made the mistake of attending alone.  Because, you know, I was still trying to be superwoman.

The grief overwhelmed me on the one hour drive home.  That’s the thing about these long drives, you have time to think and magnify it in your head.

My drive consists mainly of two major highways and I could not safely pull over.  I scrambled for Kleenex in the car, tears and snot running down my face, co- mingling, sobs wracking my frail body. 

Yes, frail. All my life, I’d prided myself on being strong. Sturdy. Fit. Active.

Damnit. I was doing fine writing this story until I got to this part.  

I’m not quite sure how I made it home. I suppose I didn’t really even care if I did or didn’t, but thoughts of my son pulled me through.  I could not leave him motherless so young.  He does not know this, but perhaps he’ll read these words now. If so, I’m so sorry for any emotional pain he’s had to experience because of me.

Photo courtesy: Mohamedhassan

Luckily by this point, I had started my yoga and meditation journey.  It helped me through many dark days and to regain my strength and sanity.  I had watched as my oncologist scribbled treatment options out onto the paper sheet covering the hospital bed in his office and my brain scrambled to make sense of it. I took that sheet home and kept it for reference.  I still have it somewhere, but also took a picture in case it got misplaced.

There was this wonderful thing on the market that was gaining popularity and much press.  Oddly enough, it had been around a while, but only more recently have we hearing about it.  It was my next treatment option; we decided on immunotherapy.

My treatment options, scribbled on hospital bed paper

Immunotherapy. 

How my oncologist explained it was that cancer cells have this protective shield around them.  Immunotherapy  helps “open up” the shield, allowing your own system to do what it’s supposed to do; penetrate it and fight the evil shit that invades us.  

Yes, I’ve had dark days in the year that’s passed, but luckily very little side effects from the Immuno. I’ve continued to remain positive and I’ve continued my yoga and meditation journey.  There’s increasing research that links how the effects of these three things combined can help destroy disease. 

Further combine that with Immunotherapy, and great things have happened. At my last scans, the tumours in my lungs were “minimal” and the cancer in the bones have not grown further.

Today, I continue working on being physically and mentally strong.  I have become a certified yoga teacher in order to enhance my own knowledge and to be able to do yoga safely due to the nerve damage and cancer that remains in the bones, leaving the bones at risk of injury.

I hope to learn more about safe yoga for various cancer patients and to maybe one day be able to give back to this community.

For now,  I practice daily and watch webcasts or listen to podcasts on topics relating to yoga, meditation, eating right, herbs, essential oils- anything that might help me beat this son of a bitch. 

My reality is that stage IV kidney cancer seldom goes into remission and survival rates still aren’t the best.  But I’ve surpassed 22 months by 7 months already. I’m going strong and I know that every year that passes, new treatments are being discovered.

Yes, I have my bad days, when I’m sad, bitter, or angry. This is at odds with my yoga training, which teaches us non-attachment. We are a spirit within a body that we should not get attached to. But I’m new to this, and I still get angry. I still cry. I allow myself to “feel”, then I let it go, the moment passes. Life goes on.

After my monthly bloodwork and my bi-weekly immunotherapy infusions, I usually wear a superhero band-aid to cover the puncture marks to remind myself: I am superwoman. And anyone fighting this madness is super too, regardless of what stage they’re at in their fight. Yes, it sucks. Life gave us shit to deal with. But we are warriors.

By sharing my story, I hope that I’m able to touch even just one person’s life. To resonate, inspire and motivate.

Namaste. Peace, my friends.

Photo courtesy: Power Of Positivity

For anyone suffering from cancer, I invite you to read “Yoga for Cancer” by Tari Prinster. Whether or not yoga and meditation interests you, there’s some great information in there about what actually happens inside our bodies.

https://www.amazon.ca/Yoga-Cancer-Managing-Improving-Survivors/dp/1620552728/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=tari+prinster&qid=1563131088&s=gateway&sr=8-1

If you would like to share your own story, please contact me.

Posted in pets

Furtastic Fridays

Photo credit: Nancy Boissonneault

Meet Dottie. She just loves this crazy heat we’ve been having!

Dot likes bathing in the sun or sleeping near radiators and purrs as loud as a Harley! If you’re eating cheese, you might want to hide it because Dot is crazy about it.

She has a sister named Twilight (we’ll meet her another day) who loves to tease her, but Dottie doesn’t mind. That’s what sisters do, right? Twilight thinks she’s the favourite, but, really, both cats are.

From her owners, Nancy Boissonneault and Pierre Cardinal (and the kids), and, of course, Dot, have a furtastic Friday!

If you’d like your special pet featured on a future Furtastic Fridays post, please contact me.