Breast Cancer Awareness Month

thpp2jui6uOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  This month I want to acknowledge and honor all women who are fighting and who have fought, those who won and those who lost.  I cannot stress how important it is to get those mammograms ladies. 

Every family including mine has been affected by cancer.  It has been ten years (July 2006) since I was diagnosed with breast cancer not too long after my 4oth birthday.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  There was a tropical storm going on outside and I was trying to hurry and get a shower just in case the lights went out.  I noticed a fullness on the left side of my chest extending under my arm and became extremely concerned.  First thing the next day I called to schedule and appointment and was told the next appointment for a new patient was three months away-seems they would have made an exception for something of this nature.  After calling three different doctors and getting the same answer I decided to take myself to the ER.  I was seen that day and referred to a wonderful doctor who saw me the next day.  He ordered all the standard tests and did a core biopsy IN THE OFFICE (ouch).  He had the results for me the next day-intraductal carcinoma in situ-huh?  I had no family history of it.  He told me that I had a 5cm mass with sentinel lymph node involvement and referred me to an oncologist.  She was wonderful and recommended chemo to shrink the tumor, followed by surgery and finally radiation.  She wanted to begin immediately which was fine by me.  I opted for the strongest of chemos but sailed through with no problems.  Losing my hair was one of the side effects but it didn’t really bother me that much (the cool part of that was that I could have different hair every day and no bad hair days).  Never once did I get sick.  Other than feeling slightly tired at times I was able to keep working and doing all the things I would do on any normal day which I think was what kept me feeling good that and milk.  I drank A LOT of milk, maybe that tamed the chemicals that were being put in me-who knows but it worked wonders.  The lumpectomy surgery was next and everything went great-18 lymph nodes removed as well as the tumor.  The surgeon did an amazing job and I am thankful that he was a breast specialist with experience in plastic surgery making the scar minimal.  Finally it was time for the final step-radiation.  thlsxzo1npThis was something I did every day for six weeks.  At first it was no big deal but toward the end my skin was charred black and was extremely painful.  When radiation was complete they sent me to a massage therapist for daily massage to prevent lymphedema in my left arm.  I will admit that even though I didn’t require it further I milked it until my insurance wouldn’t pay anymore (why not-I deserved it).  I was so fortunate to have wonderful insurance and exceptional medical professionals taking care of me.  For a few years after that I dreaded going for mammograms and ultrasounds for fear of recurrence but to this day they have all been clear reports.  I am so lucky to be alive, healthy and married to the best man EVER.  A few years later my aunt was diagnosed as well and underwent double mastectomy with reconstruction.  She is also cancer free.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my story.  There are awareness events in most communities-find one, join the fight and meet some awesome people.

For this post I wanted to make something to represent Breast Cancer Month and I knew it had to involve cream cheese frosting which is my one of my favorite things EVER!!!!

  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons Strawberry Quik Drink Mix Powder

Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, Stawberry Quik powder and vanilla.  Add the whipping cream and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Scrape the edges of the bowl and mix for another 2 minutes. Refrigerate.

Slice 1 cup of strawberries and place in small skillet with 1 Tablespoon white wine and 1 Tablespoon sugar.  Cook on medium heat until sugar is melted and juice is slightly thickened.  Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Unfold puff pastry onto wax paper and use a rolling pin to roll smooth.  Working quickly, cut shapes from pastry dough and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Top the pastry with strawberries and fluffy pink whipped cream.

pink

 

With the leftover strawberries and cream I made a crepe and had it again for breakfast.

 

Enjoy every day that you have been Blessed 🙂

 

 

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