[I'm still away shooting and getting caught in lightning storms, but I have been planning this post for a few months. I'm so happy to finally put it up!]
This is a day to celebrate. And even if it doesn’t directly affect you, why not do something… celebratory just for shits and giggles?
It all started with this little thing, A Taste of Yellow, in support of LiveSTRONG day. Barbara of Winos and Foodies has hosted this event for the past two years. I became vaguely aware of it last year from other food blogs I followed. There is a fog that sits in your mind for the duration of chemotherapy which folks refer to as “chemo brain” and so one evening while battling said chemo brain, I sat down and tried to puzzle out who this Barbara woman was and why was she hosting this food event. What was her connection to cancer? I was able to gather that Barbara had cancer.
sometimes it is the little things
I submitted a post between my treatment rounds which Barbara accepted ever so sweetly. She is such a lady. I mean that in the best sense of the word. She is classy. For me, seeking out other cancer patients for support groups just wasn’t my thing. Cancer is not my thing. But there are a few people I connected with, not because they had cancer, but because they had pretty kick-ass attitudes toward life. One day I asked Barbara if she wouldn’t mind telling me about her cancer. And she shared that with me. And we exchanged several frank, honest, and sincere emails across the globe. That’s when I discovered what an incredible woman Barbara is. That’s when I discovered what a tremendous friend she is.
all good things
My chemo finished. Then my radiation finished. Peach fuzz began to return to my head. Meanwhile, Barbara’s oncologist wanted her to undergo another stint of chemo – several months’ worth. Would it help? Hopefully, yes. She emailed me when she was well enough, always the gracious and dignified woman with a little snark on the side. It’s what we all love about her.
hand-dipped in *tempered* chocolate
Barbara gets it. She gets the bigger picture. I’ve cried more than once while reading her correspondences, her realistic yet touching thoughts typed through numb fingers. Brave. I told Jeremy last year if my cancer returned, I would not agree to chemo again. But I watch as Barbara emerges from a six-month string of chemo infusions – her third stint – and I think to myself, how could I not? She reminds me by example that the fight is worth it.
Today, we are celebrating the end of Barbara’s chemotherapy. We toast her health, her beautiful person, her wit, the return of her tastebuds, her heart, her friendship, her inspiration, her loving family. A handful of other food bloggers around the world will be clinking champagne flutes for Barbara too. Keep your eyes peeled! Barbara, we love you. Jeremy and I wish you many good and healthy years with Bryan and the boys and all of those whose lives you have touched. To life, my friend. Break out the bubbles!
Be sure to visit the heartfelt and beautiful toasts of these wonderful bloggers:
cheers, dearest barbara