Chemo round two

I’m not sure if I got lazy or too sick or just didn’t want to put down what I’ve been through lately because it makes it all seem to real.
I had my eggs harvested & now have 5 embryos waiting for us!
I had my first chemotherapy which was hell for a week. I was sent into early menopause, the night sweats, the nausea was too much.
I went back to work, just 8 hours a week & I lost my hair – which I thought I’d be ok with but I wasn’t…it was raw & emotional.
Today is round 2, I’ve been told so many different things

it will be harder

it will be easier

I hate the unknown so il just have to wait & see, but for now I hate this disease

Fundraiser to FIGHT

Fundraiser to FIGHT

My precious friends are holding a benefit fundraiser for me, I would love if you could attend! If you are unable to join us you can donate via here

I feel blessed to have such caring friends! It’s hard enough going through the stresses of cancer treatment & IVF in such a rushed fashion but even more challenging when you have to worry about money. 

It’s just not natural

So it’s almost 4 weeks since I had my mastectomy and axillary clearance, it honestly feels like a few days ago. My wounds are healing well, I’m yet to have any excess swelling and I’m working on my stretches everyday to avoid Lymphedema. I must admit the hardest part of the surgery is the numbness I feel in my arm pit, back of my arm & shoulder – it’s an odd feeling and even shaving my armpit is a challenge(which I am yet to do)

In the space of a few weeks I have seen a dietitian who has recently finished her treatment for breast cancer, at age 36 her story seems quite familiar. I take comfort in talking to people who have been through something similar and the advice they can give me is invaluable. From her experience and research she knows what she is talking about, she is a survivor who has had a tough 9 months and I appreciate and value everything she is teaching me. I feel blessed to have found her. 

I also had some terrible news..probably even worse than my initial diagnosis of cancer. My dog died. She died the night I had surgery but my family new I wasn’t strong enough to deal with the loss. They were right, I cried for days. I miss my cross-eyed, blonde Bella aka Bellybaloo – she had the ability to make me smile no matter what life was throwing at me. I’m still too upset to think about it, so I will leave it at that. I miss you girl x

So after a few appointments and conversations between my Oncologist and IVF Specialist we have decided to go ahead with Fertility Preservation. Now I’m day 2 of my injections – which I thought I was tough enough to do myself…but “It’s just not natural” to stick a needle in your body! Nik on the other hand is being the best nurse possible. I’m on Tamoxifen which will hopefully protect the breast from the effects of estrogen. On Friday i have an ultrasound to see how I am tracking, fingers crossed something goes our way. This whole process of freezing embryos is intense, I had no idea we had to have Police checks, child protection order checks, counselling sessions, blood tests and the list goes on. We hope that everything can be fast tracked so we can be approved for embryo freezing before it’s time to collect some eggs. Otherwise, another thing has been taken out of our hands…and at the moment that is the hardest part of all this cancer crap. We feel like we have no control… time 

Hamburger with the lot

Hamburger with the lot

My husband bought me this vegan cookbook, it’s the best one I’ve seen and now own!
I can wait until my arm has a little more function so I can start whipping up some delicious new dishes.

First up though is my hamburger with the lot diagnosis – having already undergone surgery to remove my 4.5cm tumour and unfortunately 14 out of 18 nodes were affected. This was devastating news, but none the less I can’t dwell on it… only deal with it.
I start Chemo on the 9th of April and will have it every three weeks for around 6 – 8 months followed by radiation.
We had an appointment with a fertility specialist this morning, another “thing” that seems to be out of my control. I like control.
While the prognosis for us having our own little Dee isn’t great we are still keeping our options open..but with a time line of 3 days to decide its a little daunting.

Until then, im going to flick through the crisp pages in my new cookbook and make lists of my favorite recipes…something I love to do & have control over

Surgery done & dusted

On Wednesday last week I said goodbye to a piece of my body…good riddance I said, take that damned cancer with you. 

I went into surgery around 1.30pm, left Nik at the door and shuffled down the hallway with the most entertaining anesthetist.  He did an incredible job making a very nervous me slow down to remember I was in the best hands. I don’t remember names but I do remember a student doctors head Emma I called her.  She held my hand as tears streamed down my face, the last few moments I remember. 

I woke up asking where my coffee serious about my coffee, the nurse laughed. I didnt look at my wound for 2 days, not becuase I was scared or nervous but I didnt think it needed the attention. I had a drain in my armpit which was horribly uncomfortable,  low blood pressure wasn’t my friend and neither was sleep. After 2 days in hospital they told me I could go home, it all happened so fast. I was set on spending a week in hospital but by Friday morning my drain was out(ouch ouch), iV removed and the all clear from surgeons.  

I cried the first time my husband saw my wound, because I could see he was pained for me. I can’t enjoy my shower or my bed. My left side is so restricted and I get tired easily. .and this is just the start of a long road ahead. Don’t get me wrong, im coping but the reality is this is daunting stuff.

Bump in the road they say…bump in the road, with a slight detour

My stomach feels like a dish washer

Tomorrow at 12pm I’m heading into the Alfred for my mastectomy & removal of lymph nodes and im freaking out…I’ve never had surgery before,  let alone major surgery.  

After one – three hours for the first time in my life I will be “without” something some women pride themselves on, rely on & often think your not a complete woman without them…but I say remove the evil that keeps me from living my life right now.  

Keep me in your heart, prayers & thoughts as I start my journey to be a breast cancer survivor.  


So its been a while

Life happened and I got busy … heard that before?

I’ve still been cooking and eating loads of vegan food. There have been a few new vegan cafes discovered and a new one has opened. I still love eating at my favorites Monk and Sweetwater Inn….and I still find joy in baking.

Then all of a sudden 4 weeks flashed before my eyes and in 3 days im having a single mastectomy and my lymph nodes removed. At 34 I have breast cancer that has so far spread to my left underarm nodes. After 2 weeks of bone scans, CT scans,  brain scan, mammogram & 6 biopsies to determine whether the cancer had spread – I’m happy to be saying “thank goodness I only have breast cancer”

Things don’t seem real, life doesn’t seem fare & I still can’t fully comprehend what this year is going to be like….I find it even hard writing this. After surgery I will commence 8 months of chemotherapy and then radiation.

My husband said something that’s resonated with me, about another lady going through cancer “this won’t be something that will define me, it’s an inconvenience that I will get through”


Gluten Free & Vegan shortbread

I love having one of these with my coffee, chai or tea!

Ingredients: 250g dairy free margarine, 1 cup icing sugar, 1 cup GF cornflour or arrowroot, 2 cups GF flour, 1 block of Sweet William vegan white chocolate, 1/2 cup lightly roasted hazelnuts(skin removed) **thinking you could use macadamia or pistachio also 


  • Cream the margarine & icing sugar until fluffy
  • Sift cornflour & flour into margarine mix
  • Mix with a spatula or knife, cutting the flour through the margarine
  • Add the chopped up white chocolate and finely chopped hazelnuts
  • Knead well on a floured surface
  • Cover in glad wrap & refrigerate for an hour
  • Using a cookie cutter, your hands or mold into a cylinder and cut into what ever size shortbread you like!
  • Bake at 150 for 20-30 mins depending on size. Shortbread should be slightly golden. Let cool and enjoy!




Spicy chickpea, tomato & cous cous soup



I’ve been quite sick with the flu lately so I decided to have a few days of soup for dinner! Last night I whipped up this super quick and easy soup, even though I couldn’t taste much my husband said it was delicious and should be added to our soup rotation. 

Ingredients: 2 Tsp Harissa spice, 1 Tsp Cumin, 2 Tbs of oil, 3 carrots peeled & diced, 3 sticks of celery(and their leaves) diced, 1 tin of crushed tomatoes, 2 Tbs of tomato paste, 500ml of veg stock, 1 tin of chickpeas, 4 Tbs of cous cous,  rind & juice of half a lemon, handful of fresh parsley, salt & pepper to taste.  **If you don’t have Harissa paste you can make up something similar with chili, cumin, garlic, coriander & caraway seeds!


  • Heat oil in soup pot and add the Harissa spice/spices & cumin – stir for a minute
  • Add the carrot & celery and stir on high heat for a few minutes, until fragrant & veggies are coated in spices
  • Add the tin tomatoes, paste, stock & chickpeas
  • Cook on medium heat with lid on pot for 20 minutes or until veggies are almost cooked
  • Add the cous cous and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • Let soup sit for 5 minutes, add the parsley & lemon
  • Serve with another squeeze of lemon and salt & pepper to taste 

You can adjust the heat of the soup with the Harissa paste or the amount of chili you use, I added more cayenne as we like it hot!  

Fragrant Tagine with Cous Cous, Mint & Lemon Cream



Let’s get straight into this deliciously simple, fragrant vegan Tagine

Ingredients: 8 cardamon pods, 1 Tsp Turmeric, 1 Tsp grated ginger, 1 Tsp Cumin, 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala, 1/4 Tsp Chilli/Paprika, 2 Tbs oil, 1 Tbs raw sugar, 1 tin crushed tomatoes, 1/2 – 2 cup water, 1/2 cup sultanas, salt & pepper, rind & juice of half a lemon, handful of fresh mint and finally your veggies of choice(chopped into bite size pieces, I tend to make the carrot a little smaller) Zucchini, sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnip, carrot and green beans. Lemon cream is just rind & juice of half a lemon and 1/3 cup soy milk – curdles to cream. 

  • Heat the oil in a large pot, ad the cardamon pods until they are fragrant
  • Add the ginger, sugar and dry spices, stir cooking for a few minutes
  • Add the tin tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water and all your veggies – mix everything well and leave on medium heat with lid on pot
  • Keep an eye on the moisture levels, adding water as you go so all the veggies cook evenly. Give it a good stir every few minutes & adjust heat if need be. 
  • Once cooked add the sultanas, lemon, plenty of cracked black pepper and salt to taste. Put the lid on and let sit for 5-10mins while you make the Cous Cous according to the packet – I only season it with a little salt & pepper. 
  • Serve the Tagine with cous cous, fresh mint and the lemon cream