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OH HAI ‘MEMBER ME!?

I’m totes alive ya’ll. I could go into a big spiel about the LEEP procedure and the recovery but then I’d lose readers because they’d be throwing up on their keyboards and do you really want to have to read about how they had to burn the skin off 80% of my cervix? You probably don’t. Except I will guarantee you that you have never smelled a “bad smell” until you have had to breath in the acrid stench of your own burning vagina for half an hour. I’d rather insert my nose directly into the sent sack of an angry skunk than ever have to smell that smell again.

From now on when you smell a skunk remind yourself it’s not nearly as bad as a smoking cervix. You’re welcome.

But GOOD NEWS! I don’t have cancer. I had beginning stages but it’s GONE and fuck cancer. Paps every 4-6 months till I have at least two clean swabs then NEVER more than a year between them for life. My vagina and I sincerely thank you for all the support and love and well wishes through what was a pretty stressful time. I kind of lost my mind for a few weeks there and it wasn’t at all pretty. A lot of you kept me sane without even realizing that you were doing it.

The secret to a happy marriage is passive aggressive notes left in the bathroom. You’re welcome.

Awhile ago I posted this on Facebook because somebody in my house had committed the Unforgivable Sin.

WRONG!

I let it go for awhile but just the other day somebody else comitted the Unforgivable Sin and I had to remind those that life within my home that this sin is NOT ACCEPTABLE and is punishable by sudden death. Or really painful wedgies. Or really loud yelling. Or SUDDEN DEATH.

To which I was greeted last night by this:

OMG I CAN NOT EVEN.

That was his “elegant solution”. My elegant solution was brain matter all over the living room walls when my GODDAMN HEAD BLEW UP FROM FURY.

He looked at me like there wasn’t even a big glob of my brain about to drip off his face and was all..

Ben: What? You are so crazy about the “right way” and I don’t want to have to guess the right way so PROBLEM SOLVED.
Me: THE. PROBLEM. IS NOT SOLVED. I CAN’T EVEN. FORM WORDS.
Ben: Now there is no “wrong” way because there ISN’T a way.
Me: NO. WORDS.
Ben: *shrug*

So today I solved this little issue:

Problem: SOLVED.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.

About three months ago I started to feel tired a lot. I was under a lot of stress and just assumed that once everything settled back down I’d be fine. It started here, was followed by work stress then a lot of traveling and through it all I just kind of pushed through, kept my chin up and soldiered on and 17 other puns you don’t need to hear.

About two months ago I got REALLY sick. High fever, throwing up, BAD BAD BAD EVIL HORRIBLE flu. I was down for about four days but I noticed that my fever never really went away. It was hovering between 99.5 and 100.5 all the time. So after about two weeks of that I went to Urgent Care and was like, TEST ALL THE THINGS. They took blood and urine and a throat culture and were like, you are fine. No, 100 degree fever for almost a month is NOT fine. So they told me to make an appointment with my general practitioner but when I asked what she was going to do she said, “Probably exactly what we just did.” Ummm, okay. Thanks but I think I’ll pass, I’m sure I’ll get my bill in the mail.

I was frustrated and stubborn and decided that I was fine because doctors are assholes and I really didn’t see the need to go through all that all over again to be told NOTHING again. But the fever persisted, I was more and more tired and I could just “feel” that something wasn’t right. I decided that I was going to need more in-depth testing and we have a PPO so I don’t need prior authorization to see specialists and felt that getting a papsmear was the best first step. When I called to make the appointment the scheduler told me that it had only been 8 months since my last pap and my insurance wouldn’t cover it but we switched insurances so technically according to them this was my first pap EVER. Then she told me that it was kind of silly to have a pap after only 8 months because women my age are are recommended to come in every 2 to 3 years and at that point I wanted to reach through the phone and pull her larynx out. Instead I told her that I was running out of birth control and if she didn’t make the appointment I was going to become pregnant and send her the bill for the next 18 years of counseling and she was like, “We have an appointment on July 12th please come in then.”

I got the call about a week after the appointment that my pap came back with some abnormal cells and that I’d need to come in for a colposcope on August 2nd. I’ve had the colposcope before and normally I would not have been too concerned, they always came back fine and it just seemed like an unnecessary annoyance, but for some reason this time I was worried. I tried to keep my game face on but the tiredness was really starting to get to me and even though I was getting great pep talks from Ben, like I said before, I just FELT like something wasn’t right.

At the end of the colposcope the doctor, who I LOVE, told me that she really wasn’t concerned. There was a moderately large spot on my cervix but she was sure, having been only 9 months from my last pap, this was very likely a low to MAYBE a low/moderate dysplasia, she wasn’t worried but she could either call or email me Monday with results. I told her to just email me because I was sure she’s a busy person and everything looked fine. She said that the dysplasia COULD be causing the fever and tiredness but that would usually only present in the case of severe dysplasia or cancer so she said once we had the results I could go from there. In the meantime, boost my immune system stay on top of my multivitamin and up my antioxidants.

Then Monday came and went. I tried not to worry. Ben tried to get me to not focus on it.

Then Tuesday came and went.

Then finally on Wednesday I was in a meeting when my phone rang with an unknown number and I just KNEW it was the doctor. She left a voicemail saying she needed to talk to me and that she had gone ahead and emailed me too. The email was short: I left you a message, please call back as soon as you can, it’s severe dysplasia and the reason it took a few extra days is because I had two more pathologists check the results.

When I was finally able to get ahold of her that afternoon she told me that in the 10 years she’s been doing gynecology, she had never seen severe dysplasia present in 9 months. The first pathologist couldn’t believe it so he sent the colposcope sample to a second and when my doctor learned it, she sent it to a third. Whatever is growing on my cervix, it’s growing fast and it’s at the high end of the severe scale and cancer is inevitable and I need to come in and have the LEEP done. Sooner rather than later. She schedule me an appointment for September 13th which seemed WAY TOO FAR away for me but she wants me to have it done my a specific doctor and the only other time she has available is right when my body is NOT (girls get what I mean here). Also, this is probably EXACTLY what is causing my fever and tiredness because these cells are growing “aggressively” and my body is “reacting”.

She kept circling back to how this was really good news. It’s not cancer yet. I was proactive. I didn’t listen when they told me it was too soon to come in. If I had waited and not come in for another year, of course she can’t say for certain, but this would very likely have been MUCH WORSE than what we are dealing with now. Like: cancer. Like: Full hysterectomy, if not more radical treatment.

So that’s where I am right now. I really haven’t been online as much as I normally am. I’ve been tired ALL THE TIME. I come home from work and I am just physically exhausted. One day last week I didn’t even have the energy to climb the stairs to change out of my work clothes. I walked in the door, took my temperature, swallowed some aspirin, walked to the couch and was asleep in less than a minute. In my work clothes. It’s such a different scale of “tired” than I’ve ever dealt with. I was telling Ben the other night that I know my Depression Tired. Depression Tired for me is having the energy to DO stuff, just not caring and sleeping because it’s easier than dealing with life. This is a whole body, to the core, bones achingly, entire existence kind of tired.

But again, I push through as best I can. I still have Cassidy to take care of, dinners to cook, dogs to walk, laundry to clean, WORK. Things have fallen through the cracks and luckily Ben and Cassidy have been SO GOOD about being really supportive and helping out and I can’t tell you how lucky I feel every day to have the amazing little family I have. Until now only a small handful of people knew what was going on and I was just going to keep it to myself till after the LEEP but another huge part of me just wanted it OUT THERE IN THE WORLD.

So there. It’s out there. I’m going to be fine, the LEEP will 100% get rid of the cells. For the next 2-3 years I’ll have to go in for a pap every 4 months and *fingers crossed* this will never come back and I will be fine. If it DOES come back at some point, then I’ll have to take more aggressive action so we are just going to believe that it’s NOT GOING TO COME BACK, HEAR THAT, BODY!?

Recipe: Shakshuka

Recipe: Shakshuka I first came across this recipe when @LinzLuvs posted about it on Twitter. You can find the original recipe on Smitten Kitchen. The first time I made it Ben was hooked and he’s asked for it once a week since. Cassidy loves it too but she’s not a fan of runny yolks so she leaves her egg in to cook a few minutes longer than we do.

The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup of olive oil which I do not find necessary, 2 tablespoons has been enough for me. It also calls for onion and you should add that if you like onion. They give Ben migraines so we have to either use really mild white onions or none at all and this recipe has enough spice and flavor that I really don’t find them necessary. I also drop the feta cheese because I’ve found the egg yolk adds enough creamy fatty flavor. Lastly, I don’t do whole canned tomatoes because it seems silly to me to get whole tomatoes and hand crush them. Instead I start with diced tomatoes and immersion blender half of them because I like it to be a bit saucy.

One of the best things about this recipe is not even how good it tastes, it’s the COST. It’s CHEAP to make. Never let anybody tell you that cooking healthy has to be expensive. Minus the oil and spices (since we always have them on hand anyway) the total cost for 4-6 servings is:

$1.89 – Canned tomatoes
$1.87 – Eggs
$1.59 – Anaheim peppers
$0.50 – Cilantro bunch
$1.00 – Garlic
$6.85 – TOTAL COST CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?

The second best part about this recipe is the nutritional content which I’ve broken down here assuming for five servings:

Calories: 196
Carbs: 13 grams
Fat: 12 grams
Protein: 9 grams

Now, the cost and nutritional content don’t account for the carb you put this over but we stick with either brown rice or quinoa (which also adds more protein!) so you can add that in yourself but even with this, this is a super healthy and lean meal.

So there ya go! Hope you all enjoy! Let me know if you make it or make any changes, I’m always looking for BETTER options!

Recipe: Shakshuka

Recipe:

2 tablespoons olive oil
7 Anaheim chiles stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
dash of Garlic Dude Dust (you can use salt here)
5 eggs
1 bunch chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles (and onions if you are using them) and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes.

Recipe: Shakshuka Recipe: Shakshuka Recipe: Shakshuka Recipe: Shakshuka

Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.

Recipe: Shakshuka

Put 1/2 the tomatoes and their liquid into a small bowl and use an immersion blender to liquify them then add them back to the can. Add all tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with Garlic Dude dust (or salt).

Recipe: Shakshuka

Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk.

Recipe: Shakshuka Recipe: Shakshuka Recipe: Shakshuka Recipe: Shakshuka

Serve over brown rice, quinoa or whatever you like. Once on a day when Ben wanted extra protein I served it over seasoned ground turkey. Sprinkle with cilantro just before serving if that’s your thing. We all happen to love cilantro but I know that most people have a love it or hate it relationship with cilantro. ENJOY!

Recipe: Shakshuka

Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it.

One of the things I get asked the most via social media, via email and via chat is for recipes for the food I post online. I usually post pictures with a link to a recipe but I always have to include all the things I’ve changed about them and it can get kind of tedious because most of the time I’m doing it on the iPhone or iPad. And because I am me and I don’t like to follow directions I NEVER make a recipe exactly the way it’s called for. Like, ever.

Well, I do USUALLY when I’m baking but that’s a whole lot of science and ratios and you don’t mess with a good baking recipe.

Another reason I change almost every recipe is because I try to make things as healthy as possible. Now, this can’t ALWAYS be done (The Pioneer Woman’s Fettuccine Alfredo for example [which you MUST TRY because it is SO GOOD] has perfect ratios and should not be changed[1. Although, do yourself a favor and stir in some fresh julienne basil in the last second and top it with sprinkle of chopped thick cut bacon. TRUST.]) but I’ve found that substituting Truvia for sugar usually works, using corn starch to thicken instead of flour is great and most recipes that call for “a tablespoon or so” of butter generally don’t need butter at all.

So I’m going to start posting recipes here. I’m going to aim for one a week and I’ll link it on ALL THE INTERNET PLACES so that you can find them. I’m also going to set up a recipe subsection on the site with pictures and stuff so that they are easy to find.

Just a general disclaimer: I am not a food blogger. I don’t claim to be one at all. I’m just a busy working mom that likes to cook good healthy food for my family. Most of my photos will be taken at night with crap lighting and probably from my iPhone because DLSRs are clunky and require two hands and I am a COMPLETE KLUTZ so having one in the kitchen is always a little scary for me. In other words, don’t expect a lot from my photos. But make the food anyway because I promise if I take the time to post it here, it’s something I found is REALLY GOOD and you should TOTALLY EAT.

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