A recipe for living with cancer.

Archive for February, 2015


Go Live Your Life and Eat Crumb Cake


My last post was a year ago, hurry up and wait…I did.  I made it through the waiting for the PT, the sleeve measurements, arguing with my insurance company about the fact they wouldn’t cover the sleeves I had chosen.  I came to terms with my lymphedemia and pushed on awaiting the minor correction surgery for my breasts.  Lets talk about my breasts for a minute.  They are different sizes, uh huh, the brand new, freshly minted, made from scratch breasts are different sizes.  It made me and makes me slightly crazy.  How could you make them DIFFERENT sizes with a blank slate?!  It’s a year after the fact and I still don’t get it.  When I went for my post surgery check up and the doc asked how I liked them…I said they are different sizes.  He had a concerned look on his face and asked “which one do you like, the bigger or the smaller?”  When I answered the smaller a wash of relief poured across his face.  “Good, because I can’t make this one bigger but I can make this one smaller.”  Also I added, the scar for the areola–another whole issue– is not round on the bigger side, it is oblong and bigger than the right side.  If I were to get them tattooed they would look ridiculous.  “Oh I can fix that.”

Another surgery, under local to liposuck out some of the fat from the bigger side and redo the scar.  Am I balanced now?  No.  Still one side is bigger, noticeably, to me,  and I am the one who counts.  When I went for my last post surgical visit to the plastic surgeon he looked at his handy work and with a magnanimous wave of his hand he said, “Go live your life!”

And I was done.

I will never be done.  I look in the mirror each day and do not recognize this body.  The scars are much bigger than I expected, the breasts do not feel like breasts, although I cannot really recall what breasts feel like, not from a tactile standpoint, but from a hanging from my body standpoint.  Bras do not fit correctly, and I am aware everyday that to me, they are still uneven.  I am not alone in this, I’ve spoken with other survivors about the feeling, but most of them are very happy with their results.  I do however question my decision and wonder if I should have just gone flat.  I remember that first day after the bilateral mastectomy looking down at my chest, I took a picture and I was OK with how it looked.  I was OK with thinking I could look like this for the rest of my life.  But everyone talked about the reconstruction, and so did I, and I decided to do it, because I thought that is what everyone expected and that is what I should do…get back to as normal a body image as possible.  But it is not me, when I see the breasts, it’s not me, it is a different me I must get used to one day at a time.  “Go live your life,” I thought that is what I’ve been doing through this whole process…

I will try to switch this blog to more food, for that is my love, baking in particular.  Cancer will always be a part of me, and what I do, but from this point on it will be a small part of this blog.  In living my life this past year I have baked a lot; developed a  protein, fiber, yummy bar I am trying to market; perfected my vegan chocolate cookies; and tried to remain veganish as much as I can.  I do cheat and when I really want -eat dairy, and twice in the last year have eaten some meat.  I still love vodka and chocolate and tequila and traveling and teaching and doing demos.  To kick off my first blog post of 2015 I will share a drop dead fantastic crumb cake recipe I got from a neighbor 31 years ago.   It is perfect with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and will make these crazy winter days a little happier.  It is easy and has those huge globs of crunchy on the outside soft on the inside crumbs and soft moist cake you love.  The crumbs are twice as thick as the cake and that is using half the crumb recipe.  I say, go live your life and bake a crumb cake!

Crumb Cake   Do not preheat oven!

Serves: 4-8 depending on how you feel about crumb cake
Prepare 9″ square pan with butter and flour

Use 1/2 of crumb recipe for the 9″ square
Recipe doubles well, place in 9×13 pan or half sheet pan and use whole crumb recipe.

Make crumb first and place in frig until needed.
Crumb recipe
3 sticks margarine ( I use Vegan Smart Balance)melted and cooled
Mix in bowl
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3T cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Add cooled margarine to flour mixture  and mix until crumb forms. Place on top of cake batter in prepared pan.

2 cup flour
1T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Cream 1/4 cup margarine with
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1tsp vanilla

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in bowl set aside.
Cream margarine and sugar until fluffy.
Add dry ingredients and milk mixture alternately.
Beat well and spread in greased floured pan.
Cover with crumbs
Put in COLD oven, set to 350 and bake 30 minutes.
Test for doneness with toothpick and bake longer if necessary.
When cool sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This is easy to make vegan, use soy or almond milk and either an egg substitute or applesauce in place of the egg.  The picture is the vegan version!!IMG_4878



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