A few treats to share!

Doomies! A few weeks ago Adam and I hit this vegan hot spot in the parkdale area of Toronto. Not much gluten free, but loads of vegan goodness. I had the pulled pork nachos. I’ve never had pulled pork so I can out speak to the authenticity of the “meat”, but I can say I loved it! Adam enjoyed his veggie burger.

Sorelle and Co! This is a new local vegan gluten free allergen free bakery and Cafe. I love that I can eat anything here and the shoppe is gorgeous with pleasant helpful staff. Lotte and I stopped there over last weekend and grabbed some take out treats: berry scone, chocolate crinkle cookie, tiramisu cup and challah. The crinkle cookie was too sweet and chewy and the tiramisu was like flavourless jello, but the scone was delicious as was the challah (it does not taste like traditional challah but is a great gluten free vegan bread!). They have a lunch menu full of soups, salads and sandwiches I hope to try out soon.

*note-if you’re getting takeout, they over package everything. Next time I will remember to ask for less, I brought home a lot of garbage! They put tissue paper in the bag like it was a gift, and also put the plastic bag the bread was in into a paper bag for no reason. It was pretty but wasteful and unnecessary.

SOL chickpea sweet potato burgers! My new favourite veggie burger!

Need brows? 

I am happy to say that both my eyelashes and eyebrows! Looking in the mirror and seeing my eyelashes makes me so happy. As for my brows, it is nice to no longer have to draw them on, but also a bit difficult to get used to their natural shape and colour after having them how I drew them (usually darker and with a more defined arch) for months. When they first grew back I was still colouring them in with a pencil or powder, but I quickly got tired of doing that. Also it feels like a “cancer thing” that I don’t want to do!

In the past, I’ve always used clear mascara to give my eyebrows definition. I decided to try a coloured product made for this purpose. I looked at favourite low end cruelty brand of mine, Essence, and picked up Make me Brow eyebrow gel mascara in soft browny.

I love this stuff! I comb my eyebrows with it just like I always did with clear mascara, and it does a good job making them a tiny bit thicker and darker. It’s not dramatic, but it’s a nice improvement on my natural brows. I would recommend this product to anybody looking for some minor brow enhancement!

the brow on the left has it

Things to know about Lumpectomy 

As I’ve already shared here, my breast cancer surgery was a lumpectomy, not a mastectomy. I am pleased that surgically my cancer could be treated with the lumpectomy. However, when people know that I had breast cancer and then realize I had a lumpectomy, sometimes they do say things that I find hurtful, or just wrong. Here are some of them:

1. Did you ever think of, you know, just cutting them off?
I get asked to this all the time, exactly like this, always with the “just”! It drives me crazy. First of all, I can guarantee pretty well any woman who has had breast cancer has thought of having a mastectomy. Secondly, there is nothing “just” about a mastectomy. It is a large and intrusive surgery, often requiring more surgeries for reconstruction. Though I have not gone through it, I can assume it is both physically and emotionally very difficult, even after reconstruction because reconstructed breasts are not the same as natural breasts, or even augmented breasts. Asking this question is both offensive to those of us who have not had mastectomies, and those of us who have. Rest assured all of us have thought about the options, discussed the options with our doctors, and made the best decisions we could with the information we had.

2. You are so lucky that it wasn’t that bad.
The fact that I did not need a mastectomy says nothing about how advanced my cancer was or was not. Firstly, although there are absolutely women that need mastectomies because of the way there cancer has spread or grown or because genetic or other factors greatly increase the risk of recurrence, there are also many women that could’ve had a lumpectomies but chose mastectomy is because they felt it would give them peace of mind (which I can completely understand, even though it was not what I chose). I have met women with both less and more “serious” cases than mine that have had both surgeries. Actually, if breast cancer has spread much beyond the breast, sometimes there is no surgery because there is no use to it (that’s right, there are women with cancer that is considered incurable that have had less surgery than me). Although I certainly do feel lucky that I was able to surgically be treated with a lumpectomy, I do not like when people assume that that means that the cancer was not as serious. It is very minimizing to me. My cancer was stage two, grade two, and made it to my lymph node. Although it was by no means the worst cancer diagnosis one could get, it wasn’t a minor little thing that was just cut out either. 

3. It’s her choice.
Last weekend I was speaking to a friend of mine who told me about someone she knows who has had two  lumpectomies, when she discussed the fact that this woman had cancer had come back 11 years after the first, she said “well, was her choice to get a lumpectomy”, putting  blame squarely on this woman for having a recurrence of cancer. This is not fair. Research and statistics show that the risk of recurrence is the same for a lumpectomy plus radiation (which this woman had 11 years ago) or a mastectomy. Even had this woman had a mastectomy, the cancer could’ve come back, in the chest wall or somewhere else. It was not her fault it came back, it was not because she chose a less intrusive surgery, it was just bad luck. If it happens to me, I certainly hope nobody will blame me for taking the advice of my surgeon, mine colleges, and my radiation oncologist and going with a lumpectomy. 

Purple prettiness

I have been eyeing purple bags for a while now. Remember this one? and this one? They are both out of  the running now, both because they are old styles, and because I no longer purchase leather.

While perusing Amazon.ca, I fell in love with this bag. So I bought it, and it came last week. So pleased with it! Here is is, on my shoulder and on my desk. It is a great size to fit everything,has lots of interior pocket,  and an adjustable strap. I think Laurel and Sunset is a new addition to my animal free bag company list!

Getting better

I haven’t posted much in the last few weeks. Mostly because, for a little while, I had nothing good to say.

After I finished radiation my burns got worse for about a week. They were horrible and I was in a lot of pain with broken skin, blistering and oozing. It looked so bad it was seriously hard to believe that it would ever get better, but after about 11 radiation free days it started clearing up, and by last weekend it was almost normal again. It’s amazing how quickly skin that was so damaged looked normal again, but I’m pleased. 

In addition to suffering from the burns, I was very disappointed to learn I did not get a position at work I really really wanted. Now that I’ve had some time to process I realize it wasn’t right for me, not now anyway, and it was a given that I wouldn’t get it but at the time I applied and waited to hear and when I first found out it felt right…so not getting it hit me hard. Especially in the middle of dealing with the burns. Although the two things were not related, it still felt like getting kicked while I was down. Now I’m fine though, and happy to have a current position that I really like-both the work I do and the department I’m in-so I’m focussing on that. 

Anyways, I had a couple rough weeks both physically and emotionally…but I’m back on track now and looking forward to the rest of the summer! 

We visited Zoë at camp yesterday and spent a lovely evening in Haliburton, and are looking forward to visiting a friend’s cottage on the way home.