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Wednesday, November 27, 2013


It has been a while since I posted here, and not all of you have Twitter or Instagram. I have not felt inspired to write - or post any of my drafted posts - lately, as I have been dealing with health issues that seemed to come out of nowhere (or escalate from what I thought was nothing).

Since September - the morning we left for our beach trip actually - I have been to three different doctors about six times. A routine physical turned into a skin cancer scare and a fertility problem.

The skin cancer scare has changed my life. In the past and present I have known (as a fair-skinned person) to wear a hat, wear sunscreen, the usual. My primary care doctor referred me to a dermatologist regarding a very new, oddly-shaped and colored mole. I met with the derm about a month after our vacation - so around our first wedding anniversary. My sketchy mole was so "cancer-like" that my dermatologist felt the need to cut it out immediately. And boy did he take it out. The saddest, most painful part, is that the mole was on my right breast. So I now have a pencil eraser-sized chunk out of my right breast on the left side (so right where a bra underwire would come up, or where a deep v-neck tee would slope down). The derm did an incredibly careful job, but he did tell me several times that this kind of mole can grow back and if not it will likely stay as a scar. So, if anyone has any oil or lotion recommendations now that it has healed enough that I can touch it, I'd love feedback. The other big change from this appointment is that he told me I honestly should avoid sunlight from 11am until 2pm. I am an athletic, outdoorsy person. This news is just a big shock to me but I know he would not tell me this information if it wasn't for my own good.

The other big scare came from just a general 'we're married now' family planning discussion with my primary care physician. A talk about menstrual and family history led her to wanting to do a blood test. The preliminary blood tests led her to do another two tests based off of my first results. Interestingly, my Testosterone levels were highly elevated.

She waited until I returned from vacation to discuss what this elevated level could mean. So a few days after my derm appointment I returned to her office. She asked me more questions and decided to refer me to a reproductive endocrinologist. Then the waiting game began.

Finally, after several phone calls, my primary care doctor calling a favor. and likely someone canceling their appointment, I was able to go to the Clinic. Can I just add that while yes, children are part of our married plans, I was thinking 5 years down the road. The urgency of their wanting me to resolve this issue made me realize how much having children means to me, and has made this time emotionally and mentally draining. Sometimes I sleep 12 hours a day, and feel myself slipping into crappy places. M has tolerated so much from me lately, and I have truly struggled with being optimistic. I am grateful these doctors are working towards my having a plan in place - meds, concrete diagnosis - before Christmas.

So I went to the Clinic about a week ago and this doctor is wonderful. Open and kind - basically what you need when you feel just terrible and nervous/scared/everything. He is fairly certain, due to my family history and physical profile, that I have PCOS. However, he is currently processing another 8 tests to confirm whether or not that is the case. So we can only wait and see. Our appointment with him, to analyze it all, is December 11. I hope that we will then have answers, and I can work towards goals with my doctors to have all the children we want (2-3).

Thanks for reading this post. Pretty heavy compared to my usual posts, but realized I haven't written about life in a very long time.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Savory Saturday: tomato-basil base for pizzas

Today's savory Saturday post is a delicious Tomato-basil base for pizzas, whether grilled or oven-baked! This recipe comes from Pizza on the Grill by Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer. The cookbook was one of our awesome wedding gifts from the Williams-Sonoma wedding registry. We made this sauce while at the beach this summer and found it to be such a flavorful base!

Tomato-basil base
Makes 4 cups
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered, or 2 pounds vine-ripened or heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 large fresh basil leaves, chopped just before using
Mix together all the ingredients, except the basil, in a medium nonreactive metal or glass bowl. If serving within 1 or 2 hours, let stand at room temperature so the tomatoes release their juices, or refrigerate, covered, up to 24 hours.

Mix and drain the excess juice from the tomatoes. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature. Just before using, stir in the basil.
The sauce on a pizza we made while at the beach (undercooked, but it was our first try and much improved the second time around).

One way to make the sauce more flavorful is to fire roast the tomatoes on the grill beforehand, if you have the time. If you are short on time, you can always use canned tomatoes! Any leftover sauce can be placed in the fridge or freezer, or used as a meatball sub topping or weeknight pasta sauce.

Are you a big fan of tomato sauce?