When my youngest daughter Lauren was first diagnosed with cancer I still recall the disbelief; the every waking moment constant reminder followed with the companion thought of ‘this can’t be.’ I cried more tears in my pillow than I have over anything else in my life but the truth is, the tears had to stop and I had to do something. Anything. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more powerless in my life; isn’t it our lifelong job to fix our kids booboos? But this time it would take modern medicine pumping her full of chemicals that while seeking to eradicate the cancer would also cause unwanted results too. Still, when given the opportunity, my first response was to do what is a lifelong passion. Help with meals and fix her food. During those first weeks we stocked her freezer with casseroles and soups that we proportioned into pieces and froze for lunches and dinners and I made more green smoothies than I can recall.
Now I know they are popular and good for you but I sure struggled with that notion because those green smoothies are in a word UGLY. If our eyes play a role in how food appeals to us; then green smoothies must require a blindfold. Or a mantra at the very least; I know this is good for me, I know this is good for me, repeated over and over while their green goo is ingested. Lauren didn’t seem to mind them but still, when my friends with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America provided me with a recipe for a Strawberry and Watermelon Smoothie, I was quick to get on-board. These are light and refreshing and good for you? Winner winner chicken dinner!
Lauren is visiting her ‘homeland’ right now; taking a much needed break from the rigors of chemotherapy and is visiting her half sister Hannah in North Carolina, where she was born and where Hannah is going to college and staying for summer work…they are obviously happy to be with each other!
While some of those tears I shed were due to the abject unfairness of a young girl being dealt this hand, I also believe that her youth is what has helped see her through this trial with relative ease. Relative being the key word. She’s dealt with hair loss and bruising, nausea and heartburn but she has also been rewarded with the treatment being successful. With only a couple of weeks of chemotherapy remaining in her treatment plan, her lump is gone. What could easily be felt in an area on top of her breastbone as a sizable lump, there is nothing there…and that has been even further solidified by scans that can not discern the lump either. Words simply can not express the relief. Still scheduled to have a lumpectomy and radiation, Lauren has nonetheless exuded calm and determination and has been at times more stoic than I could have ever expected. It’s a joy to see her radiate such happiness; she was determined and she is beating this thing, doggone it!
I was asked a couple of weeks ago by the folks at Linwoods if I would like to sample some of their ‘super foods.’ The Linwoods range of delicious, nutritious ‘Super Foods’ is the perfect solution for those who want to ensure that their diet comprises the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that are so important to our daily diet. I love that their range of ground seeds, nuts and berries can add a healthy boost to almost everything you eat. For those with dietary restrictions it’s also important to note that all of their products are GLUTEN FREE and have NO ADDED SUGAR. Among the samples of Linwoods foods was a packet of Ground Flaxseed; perfect for this smoothie. I’ve been adding them to cereals in the morning and salad dressings during the day and I’ve certainly found that’s it’s easy enough to incorporate some ‘super’ into my foods that just might be a bit lacking because of my own time constraints. I’m sharing these samples with Lauren too; staying #Waunstrong remains a huge part of her success in this process. I was pretty excited they had ground flax seed; I needed some for this smoothie and wasn’t sure where I was going to find it; it was prophetic I tell ya!
For Those Who Have Asked How to Help: Thanks to everyone who has been following this journey, those who have relentlessly prayed for Lauren, asked for updates, sent her cards and even bought her a blonde wig. It has all helped to lift her up and for that we are both most appreciative. I just know she has bigger and better things to come!
I’ve had a lot of people ask how they could help and as many of you know; often in times like this, beyond the support and the prayers comes a need for cold, hard cash. Lauren was insured when she was diagnosed but in order to keep her health insurance in force there is a $450/month payment to COBRA. Though grateful for her having insurance and for someone currently subletting her apartment, it’s amazing how many of her bills are not covered and the stack is growing; it’s a lot for someone who has already lost her job because of cancer. I thought I would share with you the fundraising site at www.gofundme.com/laurenkiebel that has been setup for those who might like to contribute and help. In whatever way, we both thank everyone for supporting Lauren in her fight…it’s working!
- 3 strawberries
- 1 cup seedless watermelon
- 3 basil leaves
- 8 ounces coconut water
- 1 tsp. of lemon juice
- 1 tsp. of Agave syrup
- 1 cup ice
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Health benefits of Strawberry & Watermelon Smoothie: Not only are strawberries juicy, summery and delicious, they’re a bona fide super food, too. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (like vitamin C), strawberries offer a wide range of health benefits. Watermelons are an excellent source of several vitamins: vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant; vitamin C, which helps strengthen immunity, heal wounds, prevent cell damage, and promote healthy teeth and gums; and vitamin B6, which helps brain function and helps convert protein to energy.
Thanks to the folks with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America for providing the recipe for the
Strawberry, Basil and Watermelon Smoothie and for providing the health benefits.
I was provided with samples of the Linwoods products however all commentary is my own.