Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Three Bedrooms, a PET Scan, and Chocolate Pudding

We have been hopping busy in the six weeks since we returned from Phoenix. The mess I mentioned in my last update only got worse when we decided to switch and redecorate three bedrooms so that Cara, our oldest, could have her own room when she returned from an extended visit with our families in South Carolina. Five of the children had to sleep downstairs some nights, so the living room and family room (which is already our laundry room extension as well as our physical fitness center) began looking like temporary bedrooms. Several times I wished that sleep was something that only children need. I could spend the nights checking school work, folding laundry, and washing vegetables for the next day’s green juice. That way the days could be spent keeping the children (especially the almost-two-year-old boy) out of trouble. I had to take time out of my busy schedule for another Zometa treatment and a PET scan. Before we left Phoenix I began the process to be approved to enter another treatment routine here in Denver, but that process has turned out to be lengthy and I haven’t had any treatments other than supplements and diet since the end of February. All things considered, the results of the scan were much better than expected. First of all, my blood work all came back entirely normal – even the tumor markers, which are now 24! My oncologist told me she was very surprised to see that. However, I still have active cancer. I have a new lesion on my liver, but it is small and not uptaking very much sugar. (Click here to read a previous post that explains a little about sugar and PET scans.) The other lesions in my liver have either continued to shrink or have stabilized. One of the lesions no longer shows any abnormal metabolic activity, which means, that although the lesion is still there, it is no longer considered malignant. The lesions in my hip bones also no longer show abnormal activity. The lesions in my spine have not changed since my last scan. We praise God for these results. So many people have asked for my chocolate pudding recipe, and I’ve neglected to pass it on to anyone who has asked. I’m going to post it here for the enjoyment of all. Don’t be put off by the avocadoes. Unless you’re allergic to avocadoes (like one of our kiddos), you’ll probably never know that this pudding is made with them. I love this treat. 1 ripe avocado, peeled and seeded 2 tablespoons cocoa (use raw cacao or regular cocoa powder, not Dutch processed cocoa, to make this as healthy as possible) 2 tablespoons sweetener like agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional) ½ teaspoon vanilla pinch sea salt Place all ingredients in a food processor with an S blade (the one you usually use), turn it on, and plug you ears. (That’s just because I hate the sound of food processors, but if you choose to skip the plugging-your-ears step, the pudding should still taste fine.) I think it’s impossible to over-process this stuff, so keep processing until it looks perfectly smooth and then a little more just in case. Taste, and adjust anything you think needs adjusting. I usually add a little more cocoa and sometimes more sweetener, but that’s probably because I use such large avocadoes. Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm it up. If you leave out the coconut oil, it won’t firm up quite as nicely, but it will still taste great. One recipe serves two people. If you enjoy dark chocolate, this is the treat for you. If you don’t, this will probably be too rich. Help! No matter how many times I try, Blogger will not let me put paragraph breaks in my post. This post sounds about as run-on as the mess in my house is.