Feed it or fight it

You: “Those look like noodles up there.”

Me: “You’d be right.”

You: “Isn’t this a genealogy blog?”

Me: “Right again.”

You: “Why, then, are we looking at noodles?!”

Me: “I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for several months.”

You: “Why?”

Me: “We’ve had a cancer diagnosis.”

Sometimes life knocks us flat and we don’t know quite how to get up. There is nothing to grab onto for support. You are lying there alone; no one seems close enough to lend a hand. It feels as though you’ve been run over by a truck. Every corner of your body aches, and then it aches some more. It hurts to lie down, it hurts to sit up. The headache is pounding, the stomach threatens to purge, the fever burns.

I wish. I wish with all my heart this was nothing more than the flu.

But, it isn’t.

One thing is certain: we only get one body. One. We must treat it with respect if we want it to last. That means paying attention to what we read on health sites and hear in the news. That means listening to our bodies when they tell us something may be off.

When I saw the meme below it gave me pause. It makes so much sense! The old saying “We are what we eat” could not be more true. If we are honest, how many of us truly think of this each time we eat?

Strictly from a dental point of view, if we eat lots of sugar (and don’t rinse after, and don’t brush twice a day, and don’t floss, and don’t strengthen our enamel as recommended), we will have dental disease. It seems that, while each body is different, if we follow healthy guidelines, our bodies will respond and be healthier. I feel better when I eat better. It makes so much sense.

food_feed it or fight itSadly, even when following the guidelines for a healthy body, the big C can strike. Anyone. Any time. Any place. And, it did.

It hit my husband.

And, I can’t go there yet. I can only tell you what I’ve told you. I am getting closer, though. At least now I want to be here. It took months before I could open my WordPress account.

My gut health has not been good for the past two years. Stress from the C kicked my condition into high gear. I’m now on the FODMAP diet AND a low acid/low fat diet to treat this until more tests come back. That doesn’t leave much more than lettuce and water. Or so it seems….

In the meantime, flour is a flyin’ in the kitchen. I can either sit back and wallow–oh, is that ever tempting!–or I can get busy. I’m having a ball making gluten free foods. Today, I tried my hand at gluten free noodles.

br rice pasta_feb 2018 (7)I used the KitchenAid food grinder attachment I’ve had for years. There are several disks used for various types of pasta. This (above) is how the first batch looked.

When it slowed down I figured it was stuck. Yep; I had to dig out the bulk of the dough.

br rice pasta_feb 2018 (3)It also made me realize that sometimes what you know, what you’d learned from someone in the past, may be the very best choice. I remembered my mother-in-law. She taught me in my early married years how to make noodles.

I dug out the dough, added a bit more water and mixed it again. I rolled it into a large, flat circle. Then I rolled it up tightly. I cut it thinly, into pinwheels. When unrolled, the noodles were cut to dry.

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gf pasta_feb 2018 (2)These mother-in-law inspired noodles are by far the heartiest, healthiest, best looking noodles in the bunch. Thank you, Dorothy.

Which brings me to my daily goal: I will fight this disease, not feed it.

Now, anyone have a dairy free Alfredo sauce recipe?

I’ve learned a few things since C came to visit.

–I’ve learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. I’ve made it through each and every day. Each. Glorious. Day. Nights are harder. But, I’m still here.

–My children are adults and have been right by our sides through it all. While I don’t really want to, I can lean on them, a bit.

–Staying busy is the absolute BEST thing I can do. One day this week I made yogurt. I cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed the main floor. I did some laundry. I walked for 30 minutes. I put chicken in the crock pot. I made home made tortillas (gluten free!) and we ate chicken tacos for dinner. I slept better that night.

–I’ve also learned I cannot do this alone. I must reach out. I contacted a friend I’d not talked with in a while. I joined a support group for cancer survivors (YES, SURVIVORS). I joined a Facebook group and then left the group. I’m entitled to be picky and picky I am. The support group for survivors is far better.

–I’ve learned I am not afraid to take on the surgeon, who lacks both tact and a personality, or his staff. If we ask a question and receive a less-than-informative (or even a snarky) answer, Mama Bear roars and demands better.

–I’ve realized that above all else, that no matter what happens, I will be OK. I know that for sure. I don’t know how I know it. I just know it.



  32 comments for “Feed it or fight it

  1. May 5, 2018 at 3:15 am

    Karen, How are you? I hope you’re enjoying some wonderful moments amongst the tricky ones… Much love Wendy xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 5, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Yep, thanks for checking in, Wendy. Things are much better now, and the last blood test came back as CLEAR. The next test will be early June. Pins and needles…and it’s very scary. Hugs to you across the miles. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 5, 2018 at 5:17 pm

        Gosh Karen – You’re a true tough cookie! I’ll be keeping my fingers & toes well and truly xxxxxxxxxx for you. Big hugs and much love!! xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        • May 6, 2018 at 12:32 pm

          Thanks so much! You are a gem. I feel the hugs across the miles….<3


  2. February 4, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    I’ve missed you. You touched my heart today with your courage, strength, determination, and ability to admit your dark moments and your need for others. You are something wonderful, my dear. I’ll be thinking of you and your husband and sending good wishes your way every day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • February 5, 2018 at 9:24 am

      Oh, if you could have seen my eyes when I read your post. They leaked. ❤ I think the only way to find help, true and honest help, is to be vulnerable, hard as that is now. It's also quite liberating. So, onward and I just might spill a few more details very soon. Writing has always been therapeutic for me; maybe now I need to cash that in, so to speak. I appreciate your taking the time to write such kind words. I've missed you all. Hugs. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. February 4, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I was hoping all was well with you, and I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s cancer! I can’t imagine how difficult that must be. You seem to be facing it with courage and wisdom, and please know that I wish you peace and strength as you continue to do this. Take care!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 5, 2018 at 9:21 am

      Thank you, Ann. It’s hard to know what to think when the world has flipped around. I’m trying to find that elusive ground zero right now. At the same time, I feel slivers of hope coming through. It’s a very surreal place to be. But, we remain positive and know good things will come. I read your post of today and all I can say is I think you make a great friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. February 4, 2018 at 7:12 am

    Oh Karenlee, I have been wondering where you were and what was up. Now I understand. It makes you feel like you’ve been sucker punched in the gut. Your husband’s attitude is healthy. To stay cheerful will benefit his immune system. Stress erodes it. I get it. Two weeks before Christmas I got a terminal diagnosis. No treatment, just management. I was hoping the tests would show they were wrong. But in the last few weeks I have let go of the stress, refocused as you are, and looking for all the good in this I can find. Finding joy in every moment no matter what seems essential just now. Doing all the things that make you happy is imperative. It’s a reminder that all of our days are numbered. it’s been a real wake up call and no time can be wasted. I’m wishing you strength and courage and hoping you find peace and joy in all of the awful. I’m sure the cooking and nurturing of your body will be very beneficial. I’m working on feeding myself better as well. Not that it matters anymore but who knows. I believe in miracles. I’ll be saying some extra prayers for you and your husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Oh Marlene, my heart goes out to you. I had no idea either. You as usual have hit the nail on the head. I think keeping a positive attitude is crucial, for everyone’s well-being. Seeing the good, not assuming the worst…all of that goes a very long way, more I think, than we realize. Thoughts are powerful; they matter. Yes, it’s been a wake up call, in lots of ways. We are all getting older, and things happen as we age. We cannot control all of that, but we can control how we behave, how we live, with whom we keep company (i.e. staying away from negative people), what we eat, etc. All of those things may be the very best things we can do for our health. I believe it does matter what you eat, always. Stay positive in your neck of the woods, too. I also believe in miracles. ❤ My very best to you. An exercise in health is that when we look for the good, we find it. Find the beauty. ❤ Hugs. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 4, 2018 at 11:47 am

        Keep us posted, Karenlee so we can all support you from a distance. I’ve been reading Lynne McTaggarts “Power of Eight” that explains how our collective intentions can change matter. As a research journalist, she has been on the leading edge of quantum physics and the experiments are phenomenal. That’s why I never give up hope. So I still walk when I’m able and eat so much more healthy. You never know what might happen. I really hope you husband recovers his health completely. We are here for you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 5, 2018 at 9:17 am

          You are so right, Marlene. We should never, ever give up. Thank you so much for your kind words. Blessings to you. And hugs. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  5. February 4, 2018 at 5:22 am

    I have been gluten free for 18 years. There was not much help in the early days. Check out my blog as I have a few easy recipes that do not take special ingredients. Going GF changed my life. Don’t cheat! Watch for high fructose corn syrup that made me really sick. I am the one with the “C’, but my outcome is good so far. Stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2018 at 9:42 am

      Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I will definitely find you to check out the recipes. Eighteen years!? I commend you. I have to follow the FODMAP diet now AND both a low acid/low fat diet. I am surprisingly not unhappy with it. I find I eat a lot of white foods now…bananas, almonds. potatoes, oatmeal, coconut products. But, I feel better. I’ve lost weight. I had the silent type of GERD, not the heartburn type which means I had atypical symptoms for a very long time. Stress from hubby’s illness kicked it into high gear but with a lactose intolerant daughter-in-law and a celiac future daughter-in-law, I have a pretty well stocked kitchen. I am glad you found relief with this way of eating. I hope it keeps the big C at bay for you. Have a great day, and thanks again. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amy
    February 3, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    I am so sorry you are going through this. Stay strong. Sending you only positive thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Thank you, Amy. I’ve missed you and all my blogging friends here. But, I can now say I feel better, better able to tackle this new obstacle. I don’t know just how, but I feel it. Something is working, somewhere. Thanks for your kind words. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amy
        February 4, 2018 at 1:33 pm

        I am glad you are feeling better and ready to re-enter the blogosphere. I also use a modified FODMAPs diet—though I am not gluten free as that was not causing any problems. Hang in there….

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 5, 2018 at 9:26 am

          Same here, Amy. I’m not sure what is causing the problems, but I know that since starting this new way of eating my tummy is not as crabby. The symptoms in my throat, neck, and elsewhere have healed, mostly. So, I’ll continue so I can take care of this wonderful man I call husband. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • Amy
            February 5, 2018 at 10:08 am

            It sure helped my IBS and reflux problems…Sending healing thoughts to your husband and to you.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. February 3, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Oh Karen, reading this my heart aches for you. That dreaded C word is the one we all fear the most and when it strikes someone we love it can knock us down for six. Stay strong my friend, you be a mama bear and roar for all it’s worth. And you are a survivor, you will get through this with your husband. Thinking of you, sending loving and healing thoughts to you. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 3, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you Miriam. The fear is indescribable. The anxiety through the roof. As luck (ha!) would have it, I have a close friend whose husband had cancer and she experienced all of what I am going through now. My husband’s default setting is “cheery,” always. He says he’s fine, doing fine, and we talk about it a lot; still, I worry about his emotional health, too. But, you are right: we will make it. We have to remain strong. Loving and healing thoughts accepted. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 3, 2018 at 2:35 pm

        I’m glad you have good support close by Karen. That will help so much, having someone close who knows what you’re going through. And yes, always stay strong (easy to say I know when the fear is so real). Your husband’s default setting is such a positive one, it’ll count for a lot, just remember that the mind is powerful. So incredibly powerful. You WILL be fine, both of you. Sending you a big hug xo ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 4, 2018 at 9:34 am

          One of my high school friends said to me recently, “Keep your head up.” I think of that image when I feel life pulling me into despair. It is a real choice, I’ve learned. I won’t let it pull me. It’s hard to explain, but it works. Funny how powerful words can be. thanks for the reminders. Hugs across the miles. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  8. February 3, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I’m sorry to hear of this. Hope, strength, and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 3, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you so much. Hope, strength, and hugs received. 🙂 ❤


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