Posts tagged ‘pizza’

January 23 – 10 Year Survivor | Mae’s Adoption Journey

If the journey to our three-week adoption wasn’t emotional enough, there was a special piece to the the timing of things that was making it even more memorable. I was walking in the shadow of another emotional January that happened just 10 years before. That one was just as thrilling, yet not so joyous.

The 2001 Diagnosis

Ten years earlier I had been rushed through a similar rat race of ups and downs – many that fell on the same days as key events in our adoption story. Except 10 years before, they weren’t full of anticipation and joy of a baby. Instead, they were full of fear and anxiety of cancer. As a 17-year-old, I had just been diagnosed with colon cancer. The roller coaster was full of doctors appointments, scans and scheduled surgeries. Not baby shoes and nursery items.

For months leading up to my “10 year” anniversary, I had come up with several ways I wanted to celebrate. I’d gone so far as to sketch out a big fundraiser to raise money for the Colon Club. Then I thought about running ten 5Ks in 2011, signifying my “10 years of survival.” But, nothing ever fabricated. And I realized that it was most likely because God knew I’d have other plans on the 10th year anniversary of being diagnosed with colon cancer.

10 Years of Survivorship and An Introduction to the Family

As the big day came, all I really wanted was to be with my family and our baby. Although I thought I wanted something “big” to give back to others – in the end I just wanted to be at home with the people who had supported me the most. My family.

Each one of the grandparents had waited for a new picture or update all week. While Mike & I would go visit the baby, they had yet to meet her. We wanted to make sure we had a court date and it looked like everything was a “go” before we introduced the baby to them. But as my special day came, I knew it was time. I wanted to celebrate my 10 year anniversary of being diagnosed with cancer with our family meeting our baby. Wht a way to redeem the day.

Meeting the Grandparents

Uncle Nick’s house had become like a second home to us, especially when he told us we were welcome to invite the family over. We gave each of our parents the time and address and told them we’d see them soon! We arrived a little early for more one-on-one time with our baby girl. Time flew and before we knew it, they had all arrived. And right on time – if not a little early. They couldn’t wait to meet our newest addition. It was a perfect moment.

The evening was one of the most memorable in the process. Grandparents ooed and awwed over our beautiful girl. Tears sprung when we finally disclosed her name to them, swearing them to secrecy. Even after a week of visits, we could tell she knew my face and responded to my voice. We ate pizza and had cupcakes. No talk of cancer was found – just excitement for a new baby. And in reality, that’s just how it needed to be.

Years earlier my parents were standing in a library telling me I had cancer. My life was at stake, and the future was uncertain. But now, 10 years later, I was still here. I had life. And what was even better was that another little life was about to enter our world. That was the best celebration I could have ever asked for.

January 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

Favorite Foods

Hmmm, what to blog about.

Well, food is on my mind tonight. I feel so fortunate these days that I can still enjoy all kinds of food. While some give easier… results … than others, I can still eat just about anything. I am so thankful for that.

So, in the spirit of food, here are my top 5 favorite foods (at least as of today) …  in no particular order.

1. Pizza – Margherita or cheese these days. Especially from Spin or Waldo Pizza.

2. Thai noodles w/ a soy sauce

3. Cake, cupcakes and more cake

4. Sopapillas w/ honey

5. Did I mention cake?

Ok now I listed mine, let’s hear some of yours…..

April 13, 2010 at 10:39 pm 1 comment

The Dairy Dilemma – Part 1

It’s a horrible feeling. You head down the frozen foods aisle with the goal of finding mixed vegetables and all of the sudden the colorful, fun ice cream packages from across the aisle start chanting your name. Between the swirls, sprinkles, candy-covered shells and cookie dough balls it feels like if you don’t open up the glass door and add one to your cart – you’ll be missing out on the party of a lifetime. You start to entertain the thought as you realize they’ve added even more candy bar ice cream boxes to the shelf when you suddenly snap into reality, walk back across the aisle, locate the vegetables, fill up your cart, and get the heck out of aisle 13.

For many of us semi-colons, and actually a lot of lactose intolerants, it’s hard to not join the party. Dairy is so good! That creamy milk softening your cereal, the hot stringy cheese covering the pizza, or the yummy ice cream making summertime memories is hard to pass up. But it seems like even the average person is developing a strong love/hate relationship with dairy these days. My husband has recently discovered he’s lactose intolerant thanks to Pizza Hut, and it seems like half of the kids I know these days cannot digest regular milk.

As a semi-colon, I can relate to having “issues” with dairy. Many of them fall into everyday lactose intolerance symptoms:  multiple bathroom trips, cramping, bloating, and Captain Uncomfortable: gas.  But as I’ve had more and more colon removed, I’ve had one big additional side effect from dairy consumption: burning.  I’m guessing the sensation can be similiar to grown-up diaper rash or just a hefty case of hemmoroids – but only while the dairy is in your GI tract. It seems to automatically go away once it’s in and out.

Despite all of these adverse effects, I’ve not vowed to give up dairy.  I love a good bowl of cereal way too much. Plus, we live within walking distance to this great little ice cream shop named Poppy’s and I have to take advantage of it. So while I’ve not cut out all dairy from my diet, I have learned how to live with it’s side effects and actually skip over a few of them. Here are some tips that I’ve found while eating dairy as a semi-colon. I’ll even throw in a few ones for you lactose intolerants too while I’m at it:


  • Don’t overeat, and especially if you’re eating dairy. There’s something about packing your digestive system too full and then lacing dairy all the way through it that causes a nightmare. Try to have more of an empty stomach, or at least don’t be totally full, when eating dairy stuff. (or anything for that matter.)
  • Eat starch with dairy. If you are going to go for the big bowl of ice cream, eat something carb-based first. This will help line your stomach and GI tract so that the dairy isn’t shocking it, and give your GI something softer and easier to digest first.
  • For you lactose intolerants – Mike’s been using Lactaid tablets and taking one with his first bit of dairy-based foods. It’s helped a lot.

Milk tips:

  • Drink skim or low-fat milk. The whole, 2% milk can really throw me for a loop – and a bad one.
  • Speaking of lattes, I skip the whip and request the nonfat milk. The extra whipped cream on the top is unneeded calories and not worth it.
  • Soymilk doesn’t necessarilly make this better. I tried it. Might work for some, but didn’t for me.
  • Lactaid also makes a brand of milk for you guys who want to drink milk and are intolerant. I’m sure there are other brands coming out soon. There’s even lactose-free soy milk on the shelves.


  • Yogurt is a mystery. Maybe if I understood the chemistry of food better I would understand. But yogurt doesn’t really seem to bother me or Mike.  I’ve even started going for the large tub of plain, vanilla yogurt and throwing cranberries into it. Oh so good. Mike’s a Yoplait fan and loves the berry flavors. It might give us a little bit of Captain Uncomfortable (gas), but no burning or bloating. Yay!
  • One tip if you go for yogurt – go for the most natural kind you can. There’s something about the blue stuff in tubes that doesn’t seem quite right.


  • Go easy on the cheese. I haven’t cut out cheese, but I opt-out of having cheese-dominated meals. This has been very hard because I love mac & cheese. I haven’t cut it out, just not made a meal out of it.
  • On pasta, I’ve had to do the same. I do opt for the fresh parmesean on the dish, but have had to not order the entrees that come blanketed with a warm layer of melted cheese.
  • One exception is pizza. I’ve started eating a lot of cheese pizza and it’s gone pretty well. I make sure to monitor the grease though and go for freshly-made pizzas when possible. The more saucy, tomato-based, the better (for  me the semi-colon.) Here are a few locations places in the KC-area that have not given me any issues with their pizzas (so far): Waldo Pizza, Spin! Pizza (their margherita pizza is out of this world), The Dish (in Liberty)
  • There is something about ricotta cheese that tears me up. Everytime. Just a warning for you.

Ice Cream:

  • And last but not least: ice cream!  Sometimes ice cream won’t be a problem, and other nights it’s a nightmare. Of course, frozen yogurt is always a healthier way to go.
  • Watch what you put on your ice cream, or the type of flavor. For me, the more pure and simple, the better. I’m going to handle a vanilla cone much better than I will a dish of ice cream with candy, chocolate and nut toppings.
  • I have found that ice cream is much easier to digest than custard.

So, those are a few tips for a consuming dairy as a semi-colon (or even dairy-sensitive person in general.) I know these won’t work and apply to everyone, but they’ve helped me and hopefully might be able to help you.

Can you relate? Leave a comment and tell us your own tips, or experiences with dairy, even if you’re not a semi-colon!

And stay tuned tomorrow for the Dairy Dilemma – Part 2 where I’ll share some research and facts I’ve learned about dairy that I think everyone needs to know.

November 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

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