Cookin’ Like Crazy

 This past week was a tad insane around here, but it was the good kind of insane where I got to make lots of yummy food for folks.  Not the bad kind of insane where I used a breast cancer bagel to beat the living daylights out of an entire table full of gum-smacking, loud-talking, OMG-saying girls at Panera.  Nope, that was the week before.  

Anywho, last week saw the convergence of three separate events in the span of two days.  Thursday was the surprise party for Bagel Sis who was doing the mini marathon up in Indy on Saturday.  Much to my amazement, BIL Bobo and I managed to pull this off without tipping off Bagel Sis.  This is particularly impressive considering that I spent several hours with Bagel Sis on Monday and without saying something stupid like, “Hey, do you know if Garlic Sis is going to be able to make it to your surprise party on Thursday night?”

 Prior to Thursday, I’d already spent the first part of the week cooking items for the Domestic Divas ladies event at church.  Divas was scheduled for Saturday, but since the fam and I were leaving town on Saturday, I wouldn’t actually be there.  All of my eleventy-seven platters and cake stands would be, however, and they’d need to be set up Friday night.  But, they couldn’t be set up until after the Vigo County Relay for Life survivor dessert, which ran until 8PM.  Oh yeah, I made a couple of cheesecakes for that, too.  See what I mean by insane? 

 But it was good, really.  I enjoyed the whirlwind immensely.  Because one of the hardest things about the whole cancer experience for me was all of a sudden having people not ask me to do things I loved anymore.  Granted, when I was doing chemo, I wouldn’t have been able to manage all this stuff in a weekend.  But the problem is that once people stop asking, they forget to ask again.  I know you’ve all heard me say (okay, maybe that should be “seen me write” but it just sounds weird) that from my experience, what a cancer girl craves most of a big slice of normal.  Well, it’s not normal for me to sit on the sidelines when food is involved, so the past two years or so have been difficult in that regard.

 So, Friday night was the survivor dessert, and I think I’ve finally figured out how I can participate in this type of thing without feeling weird about it–do what I love.  This time last year I posted an entry about the Relay for Life, where I talked about how the survivor activities just suck the very life out of me.  But Friday, I got to be a part of it by doing what I do best.  Now that’s MY kind of survivor activity. 

 Funny thing was, when I went to tear it down at 8PM sharp—because remember, I still need to drag all this stuff over to church and get it washed and set up there—I swear I was getting this entitlement vibe from the few survivors that were still hanging around.  Like, “I’m gonna stand here in front of this chocolate fountain as long as I want, until the cows come home, in fact, because I’M a survivor!”  I told my friend Dawn, who works for the ACS and is kind of in charge of this deal that next year I think I’ll wear one of my pink Komen shirts or maybe just go topless.  You know, whichever one she thought would be more effective of getting the message across, “Hey, I’m a survivor, too, so get your badonkadonk out of the way so I can get out of here before that creepy luminaria ceremony!”

Relay & Rebellion

Last weekend was the 2008 Relay for Life.  Because I’m kind of a rebellious survivor, I neither wore a survivor shirt, nor participated in the survivor activities.  I tried that stuff last year, and man, it about sucked the life right out of me!  I mean, sheesh, you go to the survivor dinner and all anybody wants to talk to you about is cancer!  And they don’t want to talk about fun stuff like taking your foob mushroom hunting, either.  They’re all, “When were you diagnosed?” and when I told them I’d just been diagnosed a couple of months prior they were like, “Oh.”  You know, like I wasn’t a real survivor because I hadn’t done anything but had surgery so far.  And truth be told, that was kind of how I felt during last year’s survivor parade–like, I hadn’t really survived anything yet.  And so, it was just weird for me because it kind of felt like I was parading around like, “Woo hoo!  I’ve got the cancer!” 

Of course, now that I’ve done four surgeries, chemo, and rads, I’d say I qualify as a legitimate survivor.  But I still didn’t want to participate in the survivor activities, and have the life-sucking cancer conversations.  Not to mention that the survivor/caregiver dinner was at 4:30.  I just can’t be eating supper at 4:30 for at least another 20 years.

So, Hubster and I went out for Mexican at about 9:00.  That way I could skip the luminaria ceremony.  It weirds me out, too.  I know some folks really get into it, but as someone who has been fighting cancer, I have to say that I don’t really need to be reminded that cancer kills people.  To that end, a big candlelight ceremony where they read the names of everyone who has ever died of cancer is not a happy place for me.  Especially since luminaries can also be bought in honor of folks who are living—so they read those off, too.  It’s almost like, “These people died from cancer, and these people are in the queue.”  Or at least that’s how it makes me feel.  Like I said, plenty of people like that sort of thing.  More power to ‘em.  It’s just not for me.  I’ll be down at Lucio’s scarfing down chips & salsa.

You may recall the drama that unfolded during last year’s Relay involving the silent auction.  I’m happy to report that there were no such altercations this time.  Maybe that’s because in the aftermath of last year’s rumble, the committee changed the way the silent auction was run, and put it in a separate room where bid sheets could be monitored.  Or maybe it was because the purses this year were completely hideous, and I told Susie that the only person she’d be dukin’ with was me if she even thought about bidding on one of those for my benefit.  Either way, there was no big scene.