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May and Southeast Asian Food

Duke’s birthday is in May. His absolutely favorite cuisine is  was Thai, so May got designated the Month of Thai. Eventually, it morphed into the Month of Southeast Asian Food. Now I didn’t do a whole Thai spread every day, I did make something most days. I have quite a few Thai and Vietnamese recipes on my blog. Interestingly enough, while we ate well, we both used to lose weight during May. They say the “firsts” are the hardest, for better or worse, I am experiencing them all within the first 6 months. Anniversary, check. Christmas, check. New Year’s Eve, check. Valentine’s Day, check. My birthday, check. Now his birthday. I’ve been adjusting well, according to my friends. However, this has hit me hard. I’ve gone from not crying to crying every morning. The big question for me has been, should I continue to make May, Month of Southeast Asian Food or not? I’m leaning toward keeping the tradition, what better way to ...

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Home again

Tuesday was a lesson in patience.  Thinking that I had the process figured out because I had done it once, I didn’t bother to go to the window when I arrived. Last time, they had told me that they would call me when it was my admitting time. At 1:35, when they had not called my name, Nora and I walked up to the window. I passed my original authorization chit, that my surgeon had simply crossed out my last appointment and written my new date on. The clerk looked at the paper, asked me a couple of questions, then asked to see my carnet, (in this case it’s an ID booklet in which my appointments are supposed to be written, but aren’t). I almost didn’t bring it, since I had not needed it last time, but at the last minute decided to just bring all my Seguro Popular stuff, just to be safe. She leisurely wrote on a slip ...

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No more lopsidedness

After I had my mastectomy, I swore that I would never ever have another surgery again. Duke loved me even if I didn’t have a right breast, my in-bra prosthesis looks natural even if it wasn’t quite as large as my other (34 DDD) natural left one. Then my left shoulder started to drop, there is a visible difference between my right and left shoulders. My left is at least an inch lower and now slopes down at an angle. My blouses all slide down to the left now, no matter what I do. Then my rib-cage began to expand. Ouch, honestly, I thought I had a tumor pressing up on my ribs. My shoulders constantly ache, sometimes my neck hurts too. Out of morbid curiosity, I weighed my silicon prosthesis, it weighed a kilo (2.2 pounds)! Who knows what my real breast weighed? Probably, a kilo and a half (over three pounds). Try wandering around with an extra three ...

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My adventures with Seguro Popular Part 1

I have been reading Shannon from Rat Race Refugee  and her experiences with Seguro Popular.  Seguro Popular is the Mexican Health insurance for people who don’t have other insurance. Any legal resident of Mexico is eligible to apply. For more information about the program you can go to their website. It’s interesting to me that our experiences with Seguro Popular are so different. I wonder if it’s a combination of where we live, our last names, and our appearances. Dark haired, black eyed, I have standard Mediterranean looks, she’s blonde and fair skinned. I have a very common Spanish surname Díaz, I have no idea what her last name is but I’m willing to bet it isn’t a Spanish one. She lives in San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful city, but has to go to Querétaro for treatment, while Mérida is the medical hub for the Yucatán peninsula. It’s hubris but I’m pretty sure my Spanish is better, if nothing ...

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What do I eat all day?

Nancy from Countdown to Mexico  recently posted “What DOES a vegetarian eat, anyway?” and in the comments she asked me to post what I eat since we’ve gone grain free. So here it is, What do I eat all day?  I started to write a book on food before I got cancer but have abandoned it. Not that the information isn’t good, it’s that I don’t feel that I have anything new to add to that genre. Basically my current food philosophy is eat real food, hardly any grains (except rice and the occasional nixtomalized corn tortilla), and if I stray off the path, just get back on it. We strayed off the paleo path quite a bit, I gained a few pounds due to my frustration at plateauing at 60.3 kilos ( sounds less than 133 pounds). Last week I weighed 137 pounds, argh. So we’re on the Bulletproof Diet, the main difference between how we were eating before and on ...

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Cauliflower tortillas: recipe review

I’ve decided to start a new feature, a recipe review. For my first review, cauliflower tortillas. Husband and I are what I call partially paleo. What does that mean? Due to food allergies and sensitivities, we mostly eat vegetables, eggs, and meat. I tend towards hypoglycemia and Husband has problems with inflammation. While we both can eat nixtamalized corn products such as tamales, corn tortillas, and sopes  we like to limit their consumption,thus the idea of a low carb tortilla substitute is very appealing. The recipe was well written and easy to follow. I really like that the author recommended using gloves when squeezing the excess moisture out of the cauliflower. It was really HOT! I didn’t have dish washing gloves, so I squeezed it in small batches, but it was still really hot. The cauliflower tortillas looked exactly like the photo on the blog post. The cauliflower taste was mild. The only change I made was that I used ...

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Everything I learned about food is false.

My co-madre told me that she has given up and is just eating junk food. Argh! I have no idea if she was just yanking my chain, if so she gave it a hard pull! I understand sometimes I feel like everything I learned about food is false.  Have you read Death by Food Pyramid by Denise Minger? It’s the book that I wish I had written. She takes the next step and fleshes out the sordid story of food and politics that Gary Taubes introduced to me in Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. I’ve been researching diets and food for quite awhile. Honestly, I was shocked when I realized how much wheat, soy, and corn was sneaking into my diet. Did you know that modified food starch is wheat? That most lecithin is made from soy? You have to be hiding in a cave to have missed the news about HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). ...

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Chemo is over- moving forward with life

Chemo is over now!  I am also halfway through the herceptin therapy. I still have to go to the chemo room every 3 weeks because herceptin is  administered via IV but it takes only about half an hour. Last week I was done in an hour, including waiting time and my consult with Dr. Bastarrachea  compared to the 2 1/2  hours the first six pre-chemo/chemo/herceptin  combo and consults took. I have had my share of adventures. My surgical site developed another seroma. The first one happened after my biopsy/lumpectomy. That’s one of the reasons combined with the staph infection that there was a month between the biopsy and the mastectomy. Doctors prefer not to operate on people with active staph infection. This time around I was spared the infection but had yet another drain installed. This is my third one, I now have several interesting round scars  around my right rib cage, but the six inch one where my breast ...

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I got a haircut to celebrate my penultimate chemo.

My hairdresser came to the house and gave me a haircut yesterday. I love that about Mexico, servicio a domicilio. I haven’t had my haircut since October and it was getting that attractive look between a cue tip and a dandelion unless I put coconut oil on it. When people haven’t seen me for awhile, they always peer at me and say in what sounds like an accusing manner to me,”You look pretty good.” Sometimes they follow that up with, “How come you haven’t lost your hair?”  I always want to be a wise acre and say,”Yeah but you should have seen me last week!”. The truth is that I am taking a light course of chemo and Dr Bastarrachea had assured me that I wouldn’t be losing my hair. In actuality, around chemo number 3 my hair did start to fall out. I was leaving bigger wads of hair in the shower but nothing like what my friends who ...

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I am naive

My histochemical report came back. I am positive for HER2/neu. I had a very aggressive breast cancer. I want to cover my ears and go “nah-nah-nah- I can’t hear you. I don’t want to hear you.” but I can’t. My oncologist refered me to another oncologist for treatment. Basically, my survival rate is 70% with just the mastectomy alone. If that isn’t scary enough, the fact that I had all that other additional stuff, the hematoma and staph infection means that the cancer had lots of opportunites to break free and go running through my body looking for another playground.  Heck, only 1 to 4 % of people who get breast cancer have pagets, and only 20% have the protein involvement. Viewed in that light, 70% sounds too close to 50% for me to take a chance. With this treatment I get bumped up to 90%. That sounds better. I’ve decided that having cancer is like being an alcholic, it’s ...

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