New bag! No animals required…

Even before going vegan, I was starting to question my practice of wearing leather and beginning to explore alternatives

Since I now do consider myself vegan, I feel that it is not OK for me to buy leather. I am still wearing what I have, but have not buying anything new, and am replacing old shoes and bags with vegan alternatives. A couple months ago I actually bought a pair of leather black booties on Amazon, I felt so guilty that I returned them, and found a pair of imitation suede ones instead!

About a week ago my favourite little black handbag fell apart, the strap broke. I decided I needed to replace it with something non-leather.

The old bag (Leibeskind) : 

I was planning to look for something small and black, but I ended up finding this small and white. I figure that’s OK because summer is coming, and I just fell in love with this little $50 bag from Aldo:

A friend of mine has the below little white handbag, it is by Mackage and I’m sure it’s both expensive (I just found it, about $500 USD!) and leather, but it always catches my eye. I wasn’t specifically looking for something with a similar look, but since I’ve always loved my friend’s bag, when I came across something with a somewhat similar style I couldn’t resist.

In an interesting update, afterwords I took my little black  bag to the shoe repair to see if it could be fixed. Turns out it could be, it took $12 and a new buckle! Since it didn’t take any animal parts to repair it, so I did that as well.

what do gluten intolerant vegans even eat???

Whenever I tell someone I am both vegan and gluten intolerant, they look at me like I am mad and ask what I eat.

So, I decided to list everything (except basic fruits and veggies and salads, because that is obvious-I want to share the variety of other foods available to me. I eat loads of fruits, some veggies and a salad-either as a side or for lunch- everyday) I ate in the past week!

(this is not a food diary, just a list…some of these things I ate several times, others only once)

-protein shake with protein powder, peanut butter, almond milk, and a banana

-oatmeal with almond milk and maple syrup

-pasta salad with quinoa pasta, chickpeas and vegan Caesar dressing

peanut butter cookie dough bites

-roasted potatoes

peanut tofu

-lentils, rice and caramelized onions with a scoop of hummus

-fake chicken scaloppini sandwich on gluten free bread with vegan chipolte mayonnaise

-chewy cashew bar

-coconut milk sugar free chocolate frozen dessert

-kale and quinoa patties

Lentil soup

fried rice with fake ground beef bulgogi

-falaffel

-tomato and herb rice

-corn chops and salsa

-baked potato and salsa

-gluten free vegan pizza

-gluten free vegan grilled cheese sandwich

 

 

 

Whining 

As I suspected weeks ago, finishing chemotherapy is not the joy that everyone seems to imagine it would be.

To be honest it’s kind of depressing. When I was in chemo I was in fighter mode, I was doing something horrible to do what I had to to get rid of cancer and hope it never came back. As much as chemo sucked, I felt like I was doing something meaningful.

Chemo is considered this huge difficult thing, this practically insurmountable thing that people go through to fight cancer. Now that it’s over, it feels like I should be done. I’m starting to feel normal again, my hair is hideous but growing back, my energy is coming back, I’m exercising again. It really feels like I’ve gotten over the hump, and I should be done with cancer now. I should be able to keep moving forward, working towards getting my life back.

Nope, it’s not like that. On May 24 I will start five weeks of radiation, five weeks of going to the hospital every single day Monday to Friday for a treatment that is going to burn my skin, increase my risk of future cancers, and possibly leave me exhausted. I have six ugly little tattoos on my body. It never occurred to me that I would be bothered by radiation tattoos, but I am. I hate them. Every time I stand nudr in front of the mirror and see them, all I see is cancer, marked on me as permanently as it has been by the scar on my breast.

Yesterday I started tamoxifen, an oestrogen suppressing medicine that can have some pretty unpleasant side effects like (more, I’ve still got them from chemo) hot flashes, erratic menstruation, weight gain, exhausting, aches and pains. A lot of people tolerate it well, but a lot of people don’t. If I do tolerate it well, but I’m a lucky lucky girl because I get to start ovary suppression injections, and be shot straight into menopause, if I tolerate that well then oncologist strongly recommends I have my ovaries removed since I will likely still be premenopausal when I finish my five years of hormonal therapy. My oncologist was practically crying yesterday when she was telling me about this, telling me how much she hates doing this to young women, putting them into early menopause and ageing them prematurely. I wanted to tell her that I bet I hated it a lot more than she did. I should be looking forward to enjoying these early middle aged years, not an unnatural induced menopause 10 years before its time (don’t get me wrong, I don’t care about my fertility at all, I just care about still feeling like the young and healthy woman that I’m supposed to be).

People keep asking me how I am now that I’m done chemo. I say that I’m great, that I’m happy to move me to the next treatment. But the truth is I’m just done; I’m tired and I’m done. I’m done with cancer, done with treatment for cancer, done with ever having cancer. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter that I feel done, because I’m not. I have to go through radiation. I have to take the medications, I have to go through menopause early. If I want to have a much lower chance of cancer coming back, I don’t get to be done yet.

8 minute makeover 

Although I haven’t shied away from showing pictures of myself bald, one thing I have never shared is a picture of myself without make-up on since starting chemo. I’m not sure why, I guess because I feel like I look pretty hideous! No eyebrows, no eyelashes, bad skin. But I try to be real here, so here is what chemo really looks like, and how I fix it.

Today I took a picture before and after I did my make-up. I also timed my make-up routine, eight minutes. Now I am never one to say that somebody needs to wear make up, people should look the way they feel comfortable…but sometimes when people find out I wear make up every day (although I am not as anal about it when I have hair!) they say that they want to but don’t have time for that. I say that if somebody likes the way they look with make-up more, they can find 8 minutes! I’m certainly glad that I do, because even without chemo I prefer my appearance with make up. During (and shortly after ) chemo, it’s a necessity to me!


Minutes: 

1: moisturizer and BB cream 

2: Eye primer 

3-4: draw on brows (this originally took me about 5 minutes, now it takes me 1.5-2 minutes to draw on both browswith a pencil)

5-7: eyeliner and eyeshadow (2 colours, lid and crease, blend)

8: dust face with powder, quick blush on the cheeks, lipgloss

Bonus: smile