Raspberry Blancmange, Boob Pudding & Biopsies

This is a cautionary warning. If you are offended by crayon drawings of boobs or pudding shaped like boobs, please stop reading now. Also – never pick up a copy of National Geographic again. Sometimes there are real boobs in them.

Note: All of these pictures have been taken with an iPhone  This week has been stressful enough that I was not about to even attempt Lightroom or futzing with my camera.

This is my boob:

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These are my boobs with possible cancerous nodules on them:
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The above shape of my boob was drawn at my request by a young child who I will not identify, so none of you who take yourself too seriously will call CPS on his/her parents. The picture was also not drawn to scale or in any realistic way at all. And I put in the weird areas. Even I’m not twisted enough to have a kid do that.

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Last week, I alluded in my post that I was dealing with a scary medical issue. On Thursday afternoon, I will be having a mammographic stereotactic biopsy. This whole process does not seem real. This was supposed to be a a checkbox on a list of things I needed to do (pap smear, vaccines, dealing with other health issues) to be healthy and live a healthy life.

On the 14th, I went in for a screening mammogram. Since I have a family history of breast cancer, a base line mammogram is a good idea. As I get older, these x-rays will be something that will be used to compare later mammograms to.

I come home and work on stuff around the house. Little flutters of anxiety flit in and out of my head. It was like that when I waited for a pap smear test to come back. Around 3:30, I get a call. A very calming, reassuring voice tells me over and over that there’s no reason to be scared, but I need to come back in for a follow-up mammogram and ultrasound.

 It’s not until later that evening that a scene clicks into my head. I can see it in my mind like I’m watching a movie. Earlier that day, this beautiful Indian woman and I were brought back to the dressing rooms and given our little tie front robes. I was directed to the waiting room on the right. She was directed to the waiting room on the left. My sign said “screening”. Hers said “diagnostic”. I burst into tears so heavy that I make my t shirt damp. I wish I could have gone back in time and hugged her. She flits in and out of my mind every damn day, and every time I think about her, I ask God to help her, to get her through this, to help her family get through this.

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I sat in the diagnostic waiting room with my mom when I went back for a follow up mammogram. My first series of mammograms was fine. I mean, it’s not a breast handling technique I want my husband to learn, but it was more uncomfortable than painful. The very last x-ray done makes me dizzy with the pain. It’s like my boob was a zit that they were trying to pop. These mammograms still show suspicious issues, so an ultrasound is done. There is nothing like having your boobs lubed up and pressed firmly with something that feels like a giant computer mouse for a good time. The food scene from 9 1/2 weeks flashes through my head, and I remember that I was never very turned on by the honey scene even when I was 23 and stupid. I still think of how many ants that would attract and what a mess it would be to clean up. After that, a very nice doctor tells me that I have two areas of concern on my right breast. One is merely suspicious. The other is very suspicious, and I’ll need to have a biopsy where actual tissue is removed using a special tool that will collect larger fragments of tissue and uses a vacuum. In my head, I imagine one of the prize toy claws with a Dyson attached to it.

 After this visit, I go home and curl up on my bed for a few hours. I make myself get up, put on a black dress and go to the funeral of my friend’s 46 year old sister who died from complications from Type 1 diabetes. This was a woman who did everything she was supposed to do to manage her diabetes. This was a woman who was deeply loved by her entire family, but especially her brother. I hear a sermon telling everyone not to be sad, that this woman is in a better place. I feel my husband grow rigid beside me because this is the kind of thing that broke his faith for a while – this “be happy” approach without much regard to the grief and the sadness that all of those who loved her will be going through. Yes – they’re all relieved she’s not in pain anymore. But they’re really going to miss her.

I spend the next few days trying to make it through with black humor. I horrify my mom by telling her that I’ve never been felt up by so many different people since my junior year in high school. I tell Marcus that he has to scoop the litter boxes because he should feel guilty that I might have cancer. I find out I might have a titanium marker left in my boob, and I ask my husband if this makes me part Gobot. Someone leaves a bitchy comment on the Facebook page for this blog, and I totally want to reply “Man – you are going to look like such an asshole when you see my post on Tuesday.”

And then I burst into tears and scare the cats.

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I worry about my Mom. No one who had to endure the hell she went through with her two battles with cancer should ever have to worry about their daughter going through this. I worry about my dad. He keeps his emotions locked in very tight, but when my mom tells me he stayed up until 11:30 cleaning the night we found out I needed a biopsy, I know he’s trying to wrestle whatever control or solution or approach he can over this situation. Everyone hugs me more and holds me longer.

I worry about my husband. Helpful support from his family is pretty much a pipe dream. He has my family and his friends to lean on, but he’s also been beaten down by life in the last couple of years. He is terrified of losing me. He wants to fix this, to make it better, and he can’t.

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I worry about me. The thought of have successive needles stuck into me, so they can vacuum actual tissue out has caused two actual panic attack and brought me to the verge of others several times. Despite a phobia of needles that set in when I was 13, I have gotten much better through the years and have dealt with the last few blood sticks like a boss. I was doing so well. I got a flu shot a few weeks ago and didn’t flinch. The nurse gave me a hug, a sticker and a lollipop. I got a cortisone shot in my back two weeks ago, and while I was nervous, I got through it fine with only one reminder from my mom “Those are really good deep breaths you’re taking. Try taking them slower.” Now I feel terrified and ashamed that this irrational feel has taken control over me again. I made an appointment with a doctor for guidance on how to deal with this on Thursday. Easy answer – I will be gorked out of my mind on Thursday. Marcus is hiding my iPhone so there’s less of a chance I will “drunk” tweet. Sometimes he’s quite the killjoy.

Some quick tips if you have a friend that gets an abnormal mammogram or has to have more extensive testing done. Don’t tell them not to worry, or that they’ll be fine; that lots of other women have had this done and it’s nothing. Seriously - don’t do that, especially if you’ve never had this happen to you. Internet statistics are not what your friend needs. Your friend is scared. Let her be scared. Hug her. Let her cry. Let her rant. By insisting that everything is going to be OK, you minimize her fears and experiences, and you have no right to do that. After they’ve cried and freaked out a bit, then it’s OK to remind them that it is very likely the outcome will be OK, but that you also understand why they’re so scared.

Another tip – you have no idea what a person going through this brings as baggage on this shitty, shitty roller coaster ride. You may have had an abnormal mammogram and a needle biopsy and yours turned out just fine. That’s truly wonderful for you. But for other women it stirs up so much emotion that they feel swept up in a tidal wave of fear and déjà vu. Maybe their mom wasn’t at their wedding day because she died from breast cancer. Maybe they watched a friend fight and fight and fight and eventually had to watch her succumb to the disease. Maybe they’ve had to watch their sister go through chemotherapy and have seen how awful the process was for her.

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I have a mom who made it through two occurrences of cancer. The first one almost killed her. The second one was no walk in the park. And the phrase “Hopefully, the chemo kills the cancer faster than you” comes to mind. She has nerve damage and when it’s not causing her pain, she experiences times where she can’t really feel her feet and hands. She’s fallen down and knocked herself out. She’s broken her ankle. Every time I’m with her I make sure to follow her up the stairs and go first down the stairs. I know it annoys her, but I will never not do it.

A friend who was diagnosed with cancer in her early 30s was with us when Marcus and I got engaged. I remember her having to keep her intravenous port above water in the hot tub at the cabin. She read our favorite passage at our wedding. I see pictures from our wedding with her in them, and I cry. She fought cancer. She fought it hard.  Cancer won. A couple of weeks ago, my husband got all choked up and said “I really miss April. The world is worse off without her here”.

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And then I sit here and think about the state of healthcare in this country, and I am filled with rage. I rarely bring politics onto my blog, but there is something indecent, immoral and un-Christian about a country that lets people die because they don’t have health care. Those of us without healthcare? Very few of us are the lazy bums some people like to think we are.  Some of us have tried for years to buy insurance. Some of us have been told that it’s obvious that after seven different agents and applying for the same companies over and over again because our papers keep getting “lost”  - that we’re being illegally discriminated against, probably because of familial history. There’s no point in suing because we don’t have the money or teams of lawyers that insurance companies do. Some of us are uninsurable. Some of us don’t have the money to pay for insurance coverage because of the cost, while the insurance companies’ CEOs are being rewarded with millions in salary and millions in bonuses. Please don’t bother arguing with me about this in the comments. You’re entitled to your point of view. I have lived through this, and you will not bring me around to your way of thinking because of a comment left on my blog.

Sure – there are some programs for those who can’t get insurance. Good luck navigating your way through them. It’s taken us two years to be able to get affordable general health care. It’s taken eight cancelled visits to try to access a state program that is supposed to help women with cervical, ovarian & breast healthcare. It took so much time that my mom told me to just go ahead and schedule a mammogram, and she would pay for it. I’m glad I didn’t wait to get the mammogram done through this state program. A very kind woman at the center where I got my mammogram done cuts through the red tape. I have to sit in an office and be told “Now I don’t want to offend you, but God is there with us through every step of the way, and you need to remember everything is a part of God’s plan”. I am Christian. If I had not been, her words would not have brought me to Christ. This woman works in a government office and holds a lot of power over what kind of cancer screening I’ll have access to. I find the fact that she had decided to talk about God with me, when she had no idea what religion I may or may not have been, abhorrent. On the way out, this same woman tells me to look for the silver lining in this black cloud. I’m lucky that if I have breast cancer, I’ll be able to get on TennCare. Other cancers are not covered, and you’re shit out of luck if you have them and don’t have insurance. After subduing the strong urge to punch her in the throat and tell her that I was glad Allah was there to guide me through this journey, I quickly thanked her and left. photo (7)

Right now I want to take my boobs off, put them in a box for safe keeping and take them out for special occasions, like our wedding anniversary or Marcus’ birthday. It would be even better if I could send them out for repair and maintenance.

I chatted with a friend last night. After she pretended to be aghast with me when I said I just wanted to have a normal, boring life, she put it into perfect perspective. I want to be beige. I want to have a beige life for a while. I’ll still wear fuchsia because I look horrible in beige, but a beige life sounds wonderful right now.

I realize that the outcome from this biopsy has a very good chance of being a good one. But I am 39 years old. I should not be going through this. No one should be going through this. Fuck Cancer.

photo (11) My pimp hat seemed appropriate for this picture.

I have wonderful friends and a wonderful family that have been hard at work keeping me busy and diverting my attention away from Thursday. One of my friends who I have given the alias, SchmArin, brainstormed with me on ways we could make boobs out of food. Cupcakes seemed way overdone and not much of a challenge. Plus a 3 year old frosts cupcakes better than me. I also thought about rice krispy treat boobs, but they seemed to be too lumpy for my comfort. He’s been cooking his way through the pudding section of the The Essential New York Times Cookbook, so we pondered pudding options. He thought blancmange (A sweet dessert commonly made with milk and/or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin) would work best. He had breast shaped bowls, so I planned to go over to his place to make this magic happen. Raspberries seemed like our best bet for nipples.

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First, I ran to the closest grocery story and our local food co-op. Neither place had raspberries. I called SchmArin and asked him “Would strawberries work as nipples if we just used the tip?” He told me that was the strangest question he had ever been asked. I told him I was sure it wasn’t the strangest question I had ever asked, but it was up there on the list. We decided to make our blancmange first and then worry about nipples later.  SchmArin went off on a weird tangent about doing some kind of raspberry center or drizzle. After a few minutes I was able to convey that while I wanted these puddings to look like my boobs, I wanted them intact and not portrayed as they would be during the biopsy. I have very little shame, but that seemed too much even for me.


Please forgive me for flipping the video the wrong way. I’ve been a little nervous.

We followed the recipe from the cookbook pretty closely. We decided to flavor the blancmange with a little bit of raspberry jelly. I’m pretty pale but not vampire pale. We thought the jelly would be nice with the lemon and would warm up the color a little. We had a very scary grey stage at one point, but the addition of a tiny bit more jelly got us back into flesh colored territory very quickly. We poured them into the bowls. We wanted to make them a little fuller, so we had enough blancmange for 5 1/2 bowls. We threw the boobs into the fridge and went out in search of nipples.

After perusing many fruit options, raspberries still seemed like best idea. I tell you, there’s nothing that makes me feel more like a locavore than buying fresh raspberries in March in East Tennessee.

On Sunday, we unmolded the first halfway filled bowl (stick the bowl gently in hot water until it unsticks a bit from the sides) and plopped it out on a plate. Marcus, SchmArin and I dug in. We all agreed; my boobs were pretty damn tasty. They were a little too see through around the top area. If we ever make boob pudding again, we’ll use more cream for part of the milk (and I made the adjustment in the recipe posted here). For some reason, SchmArin decided to toast some almond bits and add them to the top of the boobs. I think this makes my boobs look dusty, but it made SchmArin happy, so I went with it.

This is the way I cope. The more I can laugh at a problem and the more that I can mock it in a ridiculous fashion, the better I feel about the whole thing. Thankfully, I have a husband, family and friends who indulge me when times get tough. No matter how everything works out, that is one thing that I will always be grateful for.


This is my husband. You should feel sorry for him because this is one of the least embarrassing things I’ve made him do.

 

New Jersey BlancMange
Serves 6
Adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook

3 cups whole milk with a layer of cream or use half milk & half cream
5 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons gelatin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
5 teaspoons raspberry jelly
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
Optional – toasted almond crumbs and/or fresh raspberries

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk (or half milk, half cream), sugar, gelatin, salt, zest and raspberry jelly. Bring this slowly to a boil, Making sure to whisk so that the sugar and gelatin dissolve. If your jelly seems clumpy, use the whisk to push down on the clump. When bubbles form on the milk, remove from the heat. Strain through a fine seive (the one we used wasn’t fine enough). Stir in the almond extract.

Pour the liquid into six 1/2 to 3/4 cup bowls or ramekins. Chill until firm – that took about 3 hours for us. Dip the bowls in warm water to loosen and unmold onto plates.

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66 Comments on Raspberry Blancmange, Boob Pudding & Biopsies

  1. Mellissa
    March 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Kristina I’m so sorry for all that you are going through – I just got caught up with you losing Benjamin so soon after your other two precious kitties, and now this. I’m happy for you that you have such a good support system, and that you are loved by friends who would make dessert out of your boobs. That’s good people right there. I strongly hope that your biopsy turns up nothing, and that the C-word doesn’t get to tread on your family any more than it already has. Big internet hugs from SC.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm (2 years ago)

      Mellissa – thank you so much. I am very grateful I have friends who are willing to help me brainstorm on what kind of nipples work best. If I ever have the need to make another boob post, we may go with a variant of creme puffs.

      And yes – beige. I really want to be beige again. I’d love to get back to making of the absurdities of normal life. There’s so much material there to work with. :)

      Reply
  2. Debbie
    March 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm (2 years ago)

    Kristina, I’m so sorry you are going through this. I’m sending good thoughts to you and hope for the very best outcome.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 26, 2013 at 9:11 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you Debbie – I appreciate it so much. :)

      Reply
  3. Darlynne
    March 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank any and every source of light, love and hope for your husband, friends and family. Your way of coping (or not, on some days) suits you so beautifully.

    It’s impossible for anyone’s thoughts not to go THERE, try as we might to resist, so just go there. Someone suggested imagining the worst that could happen, kind of trying the disaster on for size, as a way of exorcising or ameliorating the panic.

    And I finally understood when my husband was nearly killed in an accident. I had to be back at work a couple days later and while working with a colleague, I started to cry, to say “he almost died.” Her response–a big smile, a touch on my hand, so cheerily sympathetic–was “but he didn’t!” I realized then that denying what someone says or feels is not helpful. I had to say the words out loud, to acknowledge that I was scared out of my mind and that he did almost die. I wasn’t at the “at least he didn’t die” stage yet. I also did not hit her, so bonus points for me.

    Supposedly God knows when every sparrow falls. Yeah, well, the sparrow still falls, which I find way more comforting–acknowledging the sorrow and bone-deep loss–than trying to massage it into something less true or painful.

    Your boobs are beautiful, Kristina–not a sentiment I imagined sharing with you or the interwebs when I started hanging out here–but they are, you are. My prayers, you haz them.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm (2 years ago)

      Darlynne – I give you so much kudos for not hitting her. I wish people would understand that an “I’m sorry” and a hug work better than platitudes and catch phrases.

      Supposedly God knows when every sparrow falls. Yeah, well, the sparrow still falls, which I find way more comforting–acknowledging the sorrow and bone-deep loss–than trying to massage it into something less true or painful.

      This is beautiful. I wish I had written this.

      Darlynne – I think a lot of people went through a period of shock when they started out hanging here. It still happens to my husband, and we’ve been together for 16 years. Thank you so much for the prayers.

      Reply
  4. Caroline
    March 26, 2013 at 5:07 pm (2 years ago)

    I’ve written and rewritten this comment so many times. I wish I knew the right thing to say. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I admire your strength, your ability to maintain your sense of humor and your love and concern for your family. You and your family will be in my prayers.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm (2 years ago)

      Caroline – anything sympathetic or kind is the right thing to say. So thank you – you did that, and it means a lot to me. Thank you for keeping all of us in your prayers.

      Reply
  5. kaela
    March 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm (2 years ago)

    Well, crap. And other words that leap to mind, but I will refrain lest I get caught in the Askimet net.

    Know, at least, that I understand. My dad died of cancer, and when I had a couple of abnormal paps, and the oh-so-fun cervical biopsy, in my 30′s, I was a complete wreck. And we went for 5 years without insurance in New York, basically because we weren’t poor *enough* nor rich enough to pay $4000/month for basic health coverage for the two of us. [I refused to even go for any screenings during that time, because: what exactly was I supposed to do if something came back positive? So trust me when I say that I understand the overwhelming terror of this. It was my worst nightmare for years.]

    I am also a needle-phobe (which makes me completely crazy because I am SO not that girl): I make them lay me down flat just to take a blood sample. It’s a true phobia, in all its passing out, Code Blue, Crash Cart glory. My advice? Valium. (Or generic, which is diazepam or lorazepam). I’d be surprised if they don’t have it on hand when you go in.

    I’ll be pulling for you. It does seem, in terms of the karma-train, that you are overdue for a break, no?

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm (2 years ago)

      Kaela – I am so sorry you lost your dad to cancer. That’s awful. :( And yes – I’ve once had the delightful cervical biopsy done. Such a great time.

      I’ve actually done really well w/o meds for most shots. It’s just this thing that’s brought it all back. He gave me a trial course of drugs tonight. Since I can still do tree pose and warrior 3 balance yoga poses and I’m typing semi-coherently, it’s going to take more. I’m calling him in the morning.

      I was really hoping we’d win the lottery. I would have loved the karma payback of that. :D Thank you and thank you for thinking of me.

      Reply
  6. Genie
    March 26, 2013 at 5:49 pm (2 years ago)

    This is quite possibly the best way anyone could choose to react to something like this, I think. Sending good thoughts for tomorrow (and, really, every day), and God bless Marcus for his nipple selection ability.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 26, 2013 at 9:35 pm (2 years ago)

      I try to remember that even if I spend most of my time crying and freaking out, if I can find some horrible joke I can make at my or the situation’s expense I’ll be OK.

      Marcus has amazing nipple selection techniques. I’m really glad he went with normal nipples.

      And thanks Genie. Much love to you.

      Reply
  7. Barbara | Creative Culinary
    March 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm (2 years ago)

    I don’t know what to say and even if I did I’m not sure it would come out well considering the tears I’m trying to see through. I hope and pray and I mean REALLY hope and pray it is not cancer. My 29 year old darling daughter was just diagnosed less than a month ago with stage 2 breast cancer; my world exploded and I cried it seemed all day for a week. Why her? Why not me? But we really have come to some grips with ‘Why not her?’ When she and I talk about the people we’ve heard of who have had cancer; when we think of those kids that fill whole hospital wards who are the most innocent among us I guess it’s hard to feel singled out. All we can do is fight like hell and I’m standing by her; I’m her comrade in arms, a soldier in her fight and we will not fall. Neither will you. You are strong and determined; that’s imminently obviously; if you have to face this battle you are also not alone.

    One thing I did have to assure her though? Crying is not weak. Cry with abandon; cry like you mean it. She had held it in trying to be strong for everyone else but sometimes it’s such a release of stress that I don’t regret one tear. The girl who I thought would simply die without her long, gorgeous hair? Well, in one short month she has come a long way baby…and I just KNOW you will too. I just know it. I do.

    We’re making pre-emptive strikes. First she cut off all of her long hair a couple of weeks ago then Saturday we bought her a wig and Sunday she had friends give her a buzz cut. She decided to sort of embrace it; having others with her and not trying to hide it was therapeutic and I hope you can see some of the joy she really does have from the support she is getting; check out the last couple of photos at my Instagram account; hair is not everything. Friends, family and getting better are.

    http://instagram.com/creativeculinary

    OK maybe I’ve rambled a bit but this post was SO personal, so hit home and I so want you to know that either way…if it’s something you have to face, I hope you will feel comfortable leaning on this stranger; my empathy is real and heartfelt.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm (2 years ago)

      Barb – I wish I could give you a huge hug right now. I am so, so sorry for all the pain and anxiety you’re going through, and I so wish there was a way I could make it better. I really do.

      I cry a lot. I hate wearing glasses, but I’ve been sticking to them as much as possible because all this damn crying dries out my contacts. And I am one of the ugliest criers you have ever seen: snot, red face, and swollen eyes all over the place. I don’t care. I just cry. I lost it in yoga today. It’s why I always bring a “sweat” towel.

      Your daughter is absolutely gorgeous – hair or no hair. She sounds amazingly strong, and I’m so glad she’s got you as a mom. I don’t even think of you as a stranger. :) I’ll lean on you if you need it. You make sure to do it to me if you need help.

      Reply
      • Barbara | Creative Culinary
        March 26, 2013 at 10:39 pm (2 years ago)

        I wish I could give you a huge hug too…and we could have a bawl out loud session! I hope you don’t find you have to lean on anyone but I’ll tell you this…I’ve got really strong shoulders; do NOT hesitate to let me know when you need someone on the other end of the line when you feel like howling at the moon, OK? And you are right…we are not really strangers at all so take very good care and please let me know.

        All my best, Barb

        Reply
        • Kristina
          March 27, 2013 at 9:20 am (2 years ago)

          Huge hug to you too, Barb – And even thought you’ve got strong shoulders, please know that you can lean on mine if you need to. I’m hoping Friday will being good news for me, and that your daughter’s treatment is swift and complete for her.

          Reply
  8. Alicia (foodycat)
    March 26, 2013 at 6:30 pm (2 years ago)

    The thing that gets me about health care in your country is that Sookie Stackhouse gets attacked by freaking werewolves and can’t go to hospital because she doesn’t have insurance. How is that fair? How is that a modern democracy?

    I clicked to give on http://www.thebreastcancersite.com so hopefully other women in your position can get high quality health care as soon as they need it. And I am holding you, your husband and your cats in my heart.

    Reply
  9. Kristina
    March 26, 2013 at 9:47 pm (2 years ago)

    I know Alicia – it makes no sense. People get sicker and sicker so that by the time they finally go to the hospital, it costs so much more (or they die) when preventative care could have helped them. :(

    I also love Breast Cancer Action: http://bcaction.org/

    And thank you so much for holding us all in your heart. That means so much to me.

    Reply
  10. Denise Rivers
    March 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm (2 years ago)

    um, did you notice that your boob pudding is beige? It’s a sign of mundane things to come!!!!!

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm (2 years ago)

      Yeah – but my friend SchmArin said his pics look pinker. I’d be happy with a pale pink life for a while too. I’m not choosy at this point. :D

      Reply
  11. Cynthia Siegler
    March 26, 2013 at 10:45 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh.my.god. Please let us know how you are and know that while I don’t know you I wish that I did. I am sending fervent positive thoughts out to the universe for you and your family (and the cats).

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 27, 2013 at 9:22 am (2 years ago)

      You’re very sweet, Cynthia. Thank you – my husband plans to send out a message on twitter when I’m finished tomorrow. I’ll get the news on Friday – hopefully there won’t be much to process other than a big sigh of relief.

      I wish I knew so many of my blog readers. I think we’d throw a great party!

      Reply
  12. robynski
    March 26, 2013 at 10:48 pm (2 years ago)

    Crap crap crappity crap! I knew I should have moved last year! If I could just sit with you and squeeze your hand through that biopsy. You have all my hugs for the next few months.

    Healthcare sucks. Our government doesn’t care. I’m going to cry with you. And if we need to do a bake across America to raise money for your medical bills, I’ll sell the most!

    I love you and we’ve never met. I’ll be on pins and needles, and praying for you daily. Hugs again!

    Reply
  13. robynski
    March 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh and I forgot to mention, I pray but it’s only an act of contrition. I’ve said over and over for the last three years that God hates us, meaning the husband and me. But just this once I’d really like Him to intervene on behalf of another, so I will pray.

    Either that or I’m buying a tardis.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 27, 2013 at 9:30 am (2 years ago)

      I wish you could hold my hand too. Unfortunately, no one’s allowed in the biopsy room while the procedure is being done. My husband has made the right choice in not letting my Google any of this. From what I’ve heard, the worst thing is the pressure and not being able to move. You’re basically flat down on a table with a hole your boobs stick through. So kind of like those twisted version of cutouts they have at amusement parks where you can stick your hands & feet through them for silly pictures.

      I hear you. It’s been a hard two years for us, and I hate that it’s been difficult for you all as well. Let’s look into that tardis, OK?

      Thanks sweetie. The fact you’ll be praying for me and sending me lots of love means a lot to me.

      Reply
  14. Shane
    March 27, 2013 at 9:36 am (2 years ago)

    I don’t pray, but I’ll never stop thinking good thoughts for you and offering you my very best wishes.

    Your comments about allowing people to work through their grief are spot on. And, like you, I am constantly appalled by how we treat access to healthcare as a luxury item in our nation.

    In other news, I just wanted to say that this was one of the most moving, honest and beautifully-presented monologues I’ve read in quite a long time. The juxtaposition of the fright in your story with the photos of a mundane activity like cooking (not that your blancmange is mundane, but, you know…) was a beautiful way to express the terror we feel when dealing with personal traumas while working to maintain the veneer of an everyday life.

    I’ll never stop cheering for you.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm (2 years ago)

      Shane – you made me get teary! You aren’t supposed to do that! Thank you. I just wish we let people express their grief more in this culture. I think we’d be a lot healthier if society let us do that. Personally, I don’t care if society is wigged out by my uncomfortable emotions but other people feel too much pressure. That makes me so sad.

      Thank you so much. I’ll take prayers, good thoughts, good wishes, mojo, karma – whatever.

      Reply
  15. Amy
    March 27, 2013 at 9:39 am (2 years ago)

    Kristina!!! Praying for you and your boobies.

    xoxoxoxoxoxo

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Amy! My boobs and I appreciate it!

      Reply
  16. Dan Thompson
    March 27, 2013 at 9:47 am (2 years ago)

    Ugh, that lag between when they tell you to have more testing… and when you actually have that testing; and then the lag from then till you get the results… I hate that. It’s like life is on hold and the uncertainty weighs so heavy. Sucks. I remember those days well with my wife; first when it was nothing, then when it was cancer, and then again when it was nothing. I totally get it.

    It sounds like you have a good support system in your family and your mother being a survivor you certainly have someone to talk to that understands exactly where you are… but if you want someone to talk to that is your age (my wife was 33 when she was diagnosed), Holly would be glad to talk to you about whatever is on your mind. You can get her by just swapping ‘holly’ for ‘dan’ on my email address.

    We’ll both be hoping and praying that tomorrow goes well.

    Dan

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm (2 years ago)

      Dan – I remember all that you had to go through with your wife. I am so sorry you both had to go through that horrible see-saw of emotions. Luckily, I won’t have to wait long. I’m grateful for that, but Friday will be the longest damn day.

      Thank you so much – if my path leads down a different road, I’ll be glad for all the support I can get. I really appreciate the offer, the hopes and the prayers.

      Reply
  17. Chris
    March 27, 2013 at 11:46 am (2 years ago)

    Love you, friend.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm (2 years ago)

      Love you too Chris – I’m glad Showgirls & Pity Parties brought us together.

      Reply
  18. Jen G
    March 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I don’t know you … I came across the link in a tweet from @ShitFoodBloggersSay. I loved your post and your attitude. I hope with all my heart that you will be posting false alarm recipes next week ( I don’t know what that would be, but it sounds like chili or maybe chicken wings?) anyway, I’m sending good health thoughts to you from California. I’ll do what I can to put in a few good words for your parents and hubby. Sounds like you all need a little strength from God and the rest of the universe right now.

    You made me smile and cry this morning. Ill be thinking about you and praying for you and hoping for beige.

    Jen

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm (2 years ago)

      Jen – false alarm recipes are a BRILLIANT idea! Thank you.

      And thank you so much for all the prayers and good thoughts, especially the ones for my husband and parents. It really does help so much. Life can be hard sometimes, but kindness from friends, family and strangers helps so much.

      Reply
  19. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction
    March 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm (2 years ago)

    So sorry to read this, Kristina… I find your honesty absolutely amazing. I will keep you, your hubby, and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm (2 years ago)

      Jen – thank you so much. You want to IFBC in Seattle, right? Because if I’m thinking of the right person, no one has ever looked cuter in a surgical hat. :)

      Reply
    • Kristina
      March 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm (2 years ago)

      Kate – thank you so much. I’ll admit that I’m very impressed by how well the pudding boobs turned out.

      Reply
  20. Jenni
    March 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm (2 years ago)

    You know I love you, right?

    I love the boobs. All of them.

    Marcus is the best egg.

    Thinking of you all the time. You have my number.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm (2 years ago)

      I do know that. To put up with a completely hysterically phone call from an internet buddy is a scary, sweet thing. And Marcus is the best kind of egg ever.

      Reply
  21. Sherri
    March 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm (2 years ago)

    So, I’d just read the post about faith and losing Benjamin, and then read this one. No wonder you are angry and mad at God, and this really DOES seem like way too much. I’m glad I read this BEFORE Thursday so that I can be sure to send all my positive thoughts and prayers your way…. What an ordeal. Please know once again, I’m in FL thinking of you and praying for good outcomes tomorrow….

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 28, 2013 at 11:00 am (2 years ago)

      Sherri – thank you so much. I’ll take all the good thoughts and prayers I can get. :)

      Like I said, I know I have some very good things going on in my life, and that things could be much worse. I’m just exhausted and would like some time to be beige. Beige sounds wonderful right now. :)

      Reply
  22. marisa miller
    March 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm (2 years ago)

    So here’s the thing:
    When God closes one door He opens another one because HE never gives us more than we can handle and he tortured and murdered his son for us and we will always go home to Him or the aliens at some point so you just eat some Cheetos and read your Bible, Kristina. It’s ALL RIGHT THERE. And please don’t drink as much tonight as our our happy 22 year-old neighbor Kelsey who stagger-walked Paco the chihuahua at 4:42 this am while slurring in a striped Flashdance (I know!) sweatshirt.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 28, 2013 at 11:04 am (2 years ago)

      Damn – no I really want some Cheetos. Someone once told me that God door/window thing. I told him that the window opening was so you could jump out and kill yourself. It was worth it just for the look I got.

      I kept my drinking to a happy buzz. And when tomorrow afternoon comes around, and we find out it’s nothing to be worried about, I am totally making myself a Flashdance sweatshirt.

      Reply
  23. Tanaz
    March 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm (2 years ago)

    Kristina,
    crap and f@#$ and crappity f#$#%.
    First I want you to marry me because you wanted to tell that stupid woman that it was Allah who was going to guide you:) Not that I am in the mood for him/it either right now. I hope you’ll have a very quick and painless biopsy tomorrow. Whenever I waiting to hear about the results of these kind of tests, I wonder if Bill Gates has to wait so long too? Somehow I am sure he doesn’t. At least if I were as rich I sure hope there would be a way for them not to make me lose couple of years of my life waiting to hear the results of a repeat diagnostic mammogram. I am also sure they wouldn’t make him wait 2hours in the cold waiting room in the goddamn flimsy gown because their computer was on the fritz. I am sorry, it’s not about me but after 2 years it still burns me to remember that day and all the others like it. It seems like at least you have some human health care professionals you’re dealing with.
    Tanaz

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 28, 2013 at 11:11 am (2 years ago)

      Yeah – I’m very comfortable & usually pretty strong with my faith. But in the Bible Belt, I always have the option of horrifying people if I say I’m Muslim, Mormon or sometimes even Catholic.

      I can see why you’d still be angry about that. That’s a horrible way to be treated. I’ve been very lucky because almost everyone at this center has been so kind to me. And I’ll find out the results tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow’s going to be a long day.

      Reply
  24. Carrie @ poet in the pantry
    March 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm (2 years ago)

    I wanted to comment last night when I read this. But I was afraid anything I would say would come off as trite, and I remember how much I hated that after my miscarriage. So I’m going to come back tonight and say “I’m sorry.” For a million and one things. That you’re going through this. That you don’t have that beige life you crave right now. That you have to be a pin cushion. That you had such a hard time finding the just right nipples. I’m sorry. Cry away. There are many shoulders here for you.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 28, 2013 at 11:17 am (2 years ago)

      Oh Carrie – I am so sorry for your loss. As long as people don’t hand me out platitudes, I’m OK with just about any kind of comfort. Even a hug works better than words sometimes. So thank you for comforting words and support. It means a lot.

      I hope all my problems in the next few months are how to perfect the technique of making a penis cake. I’ve been very neglectful of making fun of men’s sex organs. That needs to be rectified soon. :)

      Reply
  25. The Modern Gal
    March 28, 2013 at 7:52 am (2 years ago)

    Oh man, Kristina. I’m sending you hugs, handholds and all the good thoughts in the world today. The waiting part is equivalent to torture, and there’s no way to feel good about that. The way healthcare is managed in this state and country is awful, and the way that woman puts everything on God — like he’s the one who’s making your life suck — is awful and her assumption that you rely on God to get through it all is awful too.

    The pudding looks amazing though, and I’ll be hoping to hear some news that’s just as good from you in the next few days.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      March 28, 2013 at 11:29 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much. I’m actually feeling really glad about my decision not to do the tomatoes right now. Could you imagine trying to deal with all of them now?

      I think the fact that we have for profit healthcare is a disgrace. But I’m not going to get started on that. I’m lucky that everyone at the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Care Center has been wonderfully sweet. It’s been such a comfort.

      Reply
  26. Heather in SF
    March 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm (2 years ago)

    My dear, I’m sending you a big hug. I helped my mom go through this 5 years ago and happily her cancer was granular and was removed and its been 5 years and ages fine. I am just amazed at how perfectly you write about all of this and all of the issues and feelings and weirdness you have encountered all the way. I know you are going to be healthy, I just know it. Hugs and raspberry tits ahoy!!

    Reply
    • Kristina
      April 11, 2013 at 9:28 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks Heather. I know there are a lot of people who are many years out from this. For example – my mom. It’s the C-word that nobody ever wants to hear and say. I’m so glad we went with raspberries. They’re so much perkier.

      Reply
  27. Paula
    March 30, 2013 at 1:05 am (2 years ago)

    Wow. Losing three cats and now dealing with the possibility of breast cancer. Family history aside, could there be something wrong with your house, like, I dunno, radon maybe?

    Hubby should learn to do a testicular self-examination. No kidding. I just read part of an article that started off with this woman’s 17-year-old son having it and by the time it was diagnosed it had spread to his stomach, liver and lymph nodes. I’m not trying to scare you but I’m really wondering if there is something with your house making you guys sick.

    The good news is that breast cancer is survivable. Maybe not all the time, but a lot of the time. My mother was diagnosed and treated 2 years ago when she was 82 years old and she beat it.

    She’s a little old lady, and you’re not, so you just beat it too.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      April 11, 2013 at 9:36 am (1 year ago)

      Paula – our house has been tested for radon. It’s also an older house, so the materials used to build it are a lot safer than many used on newer houses. It’s over 115 years old and everyone who’s lived here have died at a ripe old rage or are doing fine.

      Thanks for the encouragement. Like I said, I’m not really interested in beating cancer. I’ll leave that to my oncology and research friends. But I do plan to try very hard to get through this and put it behind me. Thanks so much for the encouragement.

      Reply
  28. Georgette
    March 30, 2013 at 1:59 am (2 years ago)

    Kristina, I’m so sorry to hear you’re having to go through all this. I was away for a while and just saw your post. I know your test was Thursday and I hope to see good results posted. If that’s not the case, then know your friends will be here for you, through the good and the bad. Dealing with some medical stuff myself and even had a similar scare a few years back with my boobs, so understand your opinions on all this….especially the medical care in this country part. It’s hard to keep the rage down sometimes. Much love, sweet friend. <3

    Reply
    • Kristina
      April 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm (1 year ago)

      Not good new – but life is often unfair. I’m sorry about all the health issues you’re dealing with. I just don’t understand how a developed country could ever let people die because they don’t have insurance. It hurts my heart. Much, much love back to you!

      Reply
  29. BARBETTE
    April 1, 2013 at 8:42 am (2 years ago)

    Cancer is a scary business with or without insurance.
    Having had a similar issue I too can relate. Keep the faith, dear friend.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      April 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Barbette – it’s scary and it’s an asshole. Trying to get through it one day at a time.

      Reply
  30. Michael Holtz
    April 1, 2013 at 9:44 am (2 years ago)

    Kristina, I hate that you’re having to go through this. Having just endured a year of chemo and radiation, surgery and recovery, and follow up chemo for stage 3 rectal cancer (a joyful cancer site to discuss, let me tell you), I totally understand where you are in that “waiting to learn more” stage. It’s like being in a black hole, and no amount of people telling you it’s going to be OK is going to make it OK. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I don’t know you, but if you need someone to just bitch with … I’m here.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      April 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Michael. I hate that anyone has to go through this. I’m grateful that I have so many people willing to be there to help or just offer to listen. Thank you.

      Reply
  31. Sherri
    April 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm (2 years ago)

    Just want you to know I’m thinking of you & sending all my positive thoughts your way this afternoon….

    Reply
    • Kristina
      April 14, 2013 at 9:18 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks so much Sherri. I really appreciate it.

      Reply
  32. Laura
    April 5, 2013 at 1:32 am (1 year ago)

    I felt more comfortable commenting here after reading your FB update. I dunno why, totally irrational.

    I feel like I have been a bad blogger friend because I was oblivious. I missed just the right posts I guess. HUGS. I have very little experience with cancer but I do have experience with scary medical crap, for lack of a better way to put it (epilepsy, brain tumor , brain surgery, several near death experiences resulting from above), so if you ever need to talk, please just hunt me down. I’m not a pray-er, but I am a worrier, and I will be worrying and thinking and hoping for the best for you. More hugs still.

    Reply
    • Kristina
      April 14, 2013 at 9:22 pm (1 year ago)

      Laura – you haven’t been a bad blogger friend at all! People have their own lives to deal with. I’ve certainly missed pretty monumental events myself.

      Hugs from you are awesome. I hate for you to worry, but I’ll take the thinking and hoping always. You’ll always be one of my original blog posse members. ;)

      Reply

1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Raspberry Blancmange, Boob Pudding & Biopsies

  1. [...] If it’s all too abstract for you, take a moment to visit Knoxville-based food blogger Mouth from the South (another favorite human in real life who has supplied me with an embarrassing amount of tomato plants in my gardening experiments). In a post coincidental to this week’s political events, she bravely shares her fears and thoughts as she faces a personal cancer scare without insurance. [...]

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