I made this sour cherry topped rainbow cake yesterday. Just for the hell of it. Just to bake, to make something pretty, to exercise my frosting arm. Our lovely neighbors’ tree was filled with these bright, sweetly sour cherry bombs – I love it when fruit just bursts from a tree all of a sudden, speckled like shimmery red polka dots. The last time I baked a whole cake was way back in January, for my mom’s 70th birthday high tea party. The day before my mom’s big party, my family doctor phoned me, her voice hushed and strained with concern. She had called to tell me the results of the biopsy on the “weird growth” that had shown up on an ultrasound of my right breast. My worst fears were confirmed: it was “C.” Cancer. Me!! Breast cancer. I tried to remain calm as she told me the specific type of cancer it was and how she had made me an appointment with a surgeon. I scribbled down what she was telling me, but my body was in shock. I could hear Teddy playing in the other room. As soon as I heard him, the tears welled up and gushed out. I had breast cancer. I might die. I might have to leave my child. Teddy could be motherless. I had no idea what was going on in my body.
It’s been almost 6 months now and my body has been through so much. IVF to save my eggs for hopefully future babies. The passing of my beloved grandma, the coolest old lady in town, who I miss very much. Surgery to remove a portion of my right breast (I call it a mini boob now – a mini version of my left boob. The little sister.) The loss of my lovely black hair. Chemo, which I hate so much and gives me great anxiety. And on many days, the loss of my self esteem, my energy and my creativity.
The first half of 2015? It’s had some shitty times, let’s just say! I’ve had horrible days of deep depression, confusion and frustration with my body, my brain. But through all the yucky stuff, there’s been plenty of good stuff. It’s the stuff I look for daily, the stuff I treasure and keep in my heart. For instance: I am pretty good at tying a big old scarf on my head. I am medium-ok (not really) at drawing on Charlie Chaplin style cartoon eyebrows. I have experienced soooo much goodness and kindness and incredible gestures from so many people, whether it’s been meals made for my family, big and little cheer-me-up gifts in the mail, hats knit with love, thoughtful messages, letters and so many offers of help. Presents for Teddy, snacks left at the door. Even Miffy spam musubi! Such an enormous amount of love and dammnit, I feel blessed. I am sooo in a deep treasuring state for all of my friends and family. For the new friends I’ve made, people who have reached out. For my friends all over the world who I’ve met through this blog and my Instagram. Other good things: my husband graduating from medical school! And Teddy practicing all of his “bad words” is pretty amusing too. Penis, pennis, bagina, poo, pee, diarrhea – the songs and giggles are endless. What can I do? Some days he tells me to put on my hair (my wig). Other times he tells me to take my wig off so he can see my “egghead.” All I can do is laugh.
I have one more chemo to go, on June 30th. Just seeing the words chemo makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t wait until it’s over. I’m ready to freak out for when it’s all done. Then I have a long-ish break before radiation starts in late August – so this Chinese bald eagle is gonna FLY! Not really. I’m going to hang out in my backyard and eat homemade snowcones and tons of snacks and read magazines and watch Teddy frolic around his kiddie swimming pool. Heck, I might even dunk my bald head in there if he hasn’t peed in the pool.
This cake! Baking this cake gave me hope. I saw my cakey future again. To have ideas, and energy, and excitement again to work and create, to work on my cake book… to take my son to preschool, to run around with him without getting so tired. To cook, to celebrate, to hang out with friends, to travel, to go on a nice mini trip with my husband who has been so incredible throughout this… to see my hair grow back and not feel so low self-esteemy. This happy chappy pink cherry topped rainbow cake is my little beacon of hope on the horizon, that my life will be coming back to me. I can’t wait. Hoping you all get to do something fun this weekend – here’s to the second half of 2015 tearing the first half a new one! And thank you as always for reading! xo Lyndsay
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