I try not to, but sometimes horrible thoughts come into my head.
I think of my maternal grandmother and of my cousin Andy, and I shiver.
My girls. I think.
My four beautiful girls.
Stay away, I murmur.
Cancer, stay away.
My maternal grandmother died of breast cancer before I was born.
My cousin Andy (Andrea) died of breast cancer just a few years ago, and she was in her thirties.
It's a horrible disease.
And it seems we all have a link.
When Andy was alive, I'm sure I was not the best cousin to her when she was sick. I didn't know what to do or what to say. I didn't understand the grip the disease had on her and I didn't want to do or say the wrong thing.
So, I stayed away.
I told myself she had everyone else around, she didn't need me.
I thought, we weren't close anymore like we were when we were kids, not having me there is probably better.
But inside, I knew I was wrong.
Because you can never have too much love.
Or too much support.
I didn't need to have any answers.
I just needed to let her know I loved her.
I wish I had this book, back then.
The Best Friend's Guide to Breast Cancer: What to Do if Your Bosom Buddy or Loved One is Diagnosed.
To explain the diagnosis (tests, treatment options and medical maintenance.)
To give me suggestions on what to say. And what not to say.
To talk to me about food (the preventive and healing properties of them), and recovery, and offer suggestions on recipes (30 tried and true family recipes) things I could make to help her sore throat feel better, or something just to comfort her spirits.
The book even has a list of funny movies she might enjoy.
But I'm sure its no surprise, the part I loved the most was Chapter 4: Food is Medicine. Just last night I made A Cheesy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup from the pages of the book, and it. was. divine.
Perfect on its own.
Or. . .
With a warm grilled chicken breast on french loaf:)
My children smelled it when they walked in the door from school and wanted it for a snack.
And then again for dinner.
This is a great book.
With a divine purpose.
And a great message.
“Friends, family, co-workers — everyone — should know that they can make a huge, positive difference in a woman’s life after she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer,” says Sonja. “The healing power of social support is truly extraordinary.”
A portion of proceeds (20%) from sales of the book is going to support Pink Lotus Petals. This non-profit provides free screening, diagnosis, surgical treatment and post-surgical treatment to women who are medically uninsured and are unable to pay for such care on their own behalf due to financial hardship, socio-economic circumstances and other emergencies. “The Best Friend’s Guide” is available online at Amazon (in paperback or as a Kindle e-book), Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Smashwords - or just go to thebestfriendsguidetobreast
Here is one of the many recipes that can be found in The Best Friend's Guide to Breast Cancer, Very Berry Muffins. Make it today, and share it with someone you love.
VERY BERRY MUFFINS
- 1 cup of fresh blueberries
- 1 cup of fresh raspberries
- ½ cup of fresh strawberries, chopped fine
- 2 and 1/4 cups of flour
- 1 and ½ cups of sugar
- ½ cup of butter, melted
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup of milk
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Cooking spray for muffin tins
1) Heat oven to 450°, then reduce to 400° when putting the muffins in to bake.
2) Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in one bowl, mix well.
3) In another bowl, combine the butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla, beat well.
4) Add the dry ingredients to the wet until just blended, careful not to over mix.
5) Gently fold the berries into the batter.
6) Generously coat muffin tins with cooking spray and fill ¾ full.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Yields 18 muffins
*Note: tips to avoid flat-top muffins include 1) not over-filling the tins, 2) not over-mixing the batter, and 3) not using muffin papers. Also, skilled muffin makers suggest having an oven that is too hot, then reducing to the correct temperature when placing the muffins in to bake.