This cake doesn’t look like much. In fact, it isn’t much. It’s a simple flourless torte from one of my dog-eared cookbooks. Before cancer, I might have baked this little gem on any given Sunday afternoon.
When I was healthy and living my full, active, happy life, doing things I loved – like baking, walking, and reading—was just a natural part of my routine.
I took these pleasant pastimes for granted, and it didn’t occur to me they could be stripped out of my life all at once.
But waves of nausea, debilitating fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, and numbness in my hands and feet made the simplest of daily tasks, like eating and showering, feel like monumental feats. Anything beyond basic personal care seemed like a long-lost luxury.
Add to that the loss of daily rhythms and social connections, and life suddenly seems small and senseless. You wake up one day and you’ve morphed into Cancer Girl. Cancer Girl spends most of her time and energy going to doctors' appointments, managing side effects, recovering from the latest treatment or procedure, and preparing for the next.
Her dreams and goals seem a million miles away.
Cancer Girl doesn’t surrender on purpose. But the losses—her hair, her strength, her resolve—come at her fast and furious, twisting her perspective and squeezing the lovely parts of her life into the recesses of her mind.
Sometimes taking our lives back – from sickness or sadness or stress – looks like slowly but surely reconnecting with the simplest parts of ourselves, the parts we used to retreat to instinctively when we were young.
It means trusting that the girl I, or you, used to be – the one who loves to bake and laugh and nurture – is still in there. She just needs to be rescued.
And this rescue mission starts with one simple step:
In a small saucepan, combine the butter and chocolate chips and melt over low heat.