November 11, 2018
Of course it’s good to raise awareness of breast cancer but I get frustrated with how commercial ‘Pinktober’ has become. Instead of people buying a pink ribbon or posting pictures of their bra on social media, I want people to understand what it’s like to live with a diagnosis of breast cancer, especially when you look ‘well’. I struggled with nausea and just putting one foot in front of the other during my treatment, but people were always telling me how great I looked. I always replied that I looked even better when I had breast cancer and it hadn’t been diagnosed yet! I also found people assumed I wanted time alone, when actually I wanted distractions from thinking about my cancer; I wanted to hear about them and their life. In Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’d encourage anyone to give up a seat or talk to someone they know who has cancer. Cancer is a very lonely place and being alone with your own thoughts and fears is the worst thing.
How did you meet Jane Clarke?
What struggles did you have around food?
How has your eating changed?
I’ve always had good breakfasts, like scrambled eggs, but now I’ve jazzed them up more; I’ve bought parsley to add colour and flavour. And I remind myself to pick up fruit and drink water during the day. It’s more my dinnertimes that have changed. Instead of going to the supermarket and buying a processed meal, I’m trying to cook with more seasonal food. Patrick tends to be the chef but preparing food together has brought us even closer. We’re collecting a file of recipes and I’m finding it empowering to look after myself.
What advice would have helped you during treatment?
Be prepared for your appetite to change week by week during your treatment, so explore new flavours. I had to during chemotherapy because it makes everything taste metallic; it was like eating a mouthful of coins. If someone has cooked for you, it’s hard for them when that food is rejected, but don’t be offended if we like food one day and not the next; it’s not personal.
I found it really helped to ‘eat with my eyes’ and that’s a tip that can help if someone is cooking food for you, too. If food looks yum, we’re more likely to give it a go; so add that extra touch on presentation.
How are you feeling now?
Do you have a favourite recipe?
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