The Restorative Powers of Veal Scallopini

My husband and I went to a movie today!  Yes, as in a movie in a theatre! With actual popcorn! Up and out and enjoying ourselves like a normal couple on a Sunday afternoon – how great is that?  And then out of the dark theatre and into the sunny, breezy spring air, on a hunt to satisfy my latest craving: veal scallopini! (It’s almost always Italian these days, but even I was surprised by the veal.) 

Needless to say I had a great day.  I am feeling much better, and for that I thank the vino(relbine.)  Although a glass of Barolo would have been nice with the veal…

I’m as happy as I am relieved, since I had thought that by last night I’d have seen a bit of an improvement, but didn’t, and began to worry.  In fact, I was feeling so unwell last night that I made the mistake of introducing a new painkiller into the mix and ended up sweating and hallucinating on my bed for three hours.  Nothing too evil, just some white ostrich feathers waving at me from the bedroom ceiling, but still, who needs that?  And unfruling white ostrich feathers? That’s not even my hallucination — surely it belongs to my daughter’s very fabulous choreographer godfather. (Obviously from now on I’m sticking with Big Daddys.  We understand each other – I follow the ‘script, Daddy takes the pain away, and no ostrich feathers on the ceiling.)

Once I emerged from my bad painkiller trip, the worry was still there: maybe I wouldn’t get the bounce-back this time like I did from chemo last week.  I wasn’t really feeling the energy come back like it did two days after chemo last time and I began to fear it wouldn’t happen again, that perhaps it had just been the excitement of Detroit and all the hope we felt that had somehow infused me with a perception of improved health…

It was a depressing thought. But sometimes, when it’s been nothing but painkillers and lousy sleeps and gasping for breath it gets really hard to believe that it’s not always going to be that way.  That it’s not always going to suck that much.  I started to wonder how long I could sustain it, because the only time I wasn’t feeling miserable was when I was asleep, and that only ever lasted three hours at a time.  Those nights can be long, and the thought kept returning, If this is how it’s going to be, how long can I possibly last?

So now that I feel the return of my energy, I’m embracing it – but also trying not to burn out.  Trying, if I can, to store it up so I have some chutzpah in reserve for the next nose-dive.  It feels so good to feel almost normal; it makes me think I can do this. Whatever comes next, as long as I’m not doomed to be a bed-ridden vegetable for all my days, I can do this.  I can come back from this, find a way to beat back the cancer, get it out of my lungs, breathe again, and get my life back. 

Seriously, that’s what a matinee and some Italian food can do for me. Imagine what I’d be like if I got into the champagne?



Filed under Living with Breast Cancer

17 responses to “The Restorative Powers of Veal Scallopini

  1. Julia

    I hope every day will be as good as this one! You are one tough cookie and I have so much respect for you and the way you handle all of this.
    I check your blog daily and you are a lot of times in my thoughts!

    Sending you good vibes and energy!

  2. Eva

    I am so happy for you! It is a really good idea to store your energy and try not to use all of them when you are well.You have to play “energy -saving” with your body!!! Please, rest as much as you can and eat lots of veal scaloppini, but probably ignore the champane for the moment!Big Daddy might does not like it!
    Lots of love Eva

  3. franny

    As my daughter would say/sing followed by these cool hip hop moves she does “oh yeah, ah huh, oh yeah!” So happy you had a joyous weekend!

  4. Tess

    I’m so happy for you that you had a good day!!! That makes my day. Always thinking of you and sending positive reinforcement your way. Here’s to another fabulous day!!!

    Big Cheers, Tess

  5. Gwen

    And I second all of the above!

  6. Diane

    Picture Julian and I cheerleading . (Okay not Julian. Very uncool Shhh.)

    Love you, love you, love you!!

  7. Jennifer

    Wow. It’s amazing to read your posts as if they were my own words. Briefly, I have Ovarian c and have been in treatment now, non-stop for 3 1/2 years and,as you say “if this is how it’s going to be, how long can I possibly last?” I was pretty functional for most of it but got pushed off the cliff this spring and felt like it was all over…but had a great weekend too and it sure restores the sense of “oh yeah, this is who I used to be!” Here’s to Veal scallopini!

    Thanks for sharing the up and downs, and know that people like me take HUGE comfort in knowing that our experiences are shared, our reactions are okay (esp the dark ones) and we are not alone.

    Sending light and love,


    • Leanne

      Hi JENNIFER:
      There IS a lot of comfort in knowing you’re not alone — a ton of it. I know because I benefit from every comment from someone like you who is living her own version of this rollercoaster through hell’s theme park. And (unfortunately) there are a lot of us. There are also a lot of readers who don’t have cancer at all, but are just gigantic-hearted specimens of humanity who like to check in and rally us onward. And yes, by god, its okay to have the dark times — if you didn’t admit to them I believe you’d go crazy, and there’s enough about this disease to take you in that direction anyway. So I’m glad you’ve found us. Welcome to the nuthouse!

  8. Laura

    Yay for date days that involve movies and veal scallopini. Yum! I say demand more date days. 🙂

    Hang in there!

  9. Phoenix Deb

    Huzzah! If you’re craving any other particular Italian thing, say the word and I’ll deliver.

  10. Sarah Milke

    Well I’m going to hunt me down some veal. I think I also need one of those hammers to flatten it. Yes, that’s what I’ll be doing later. Actually, now that I have my mind on it, it’s becoming an obsession. I think I’ll have it with orzo and a salad … . I’m out of here! With love, Sarah M.

  11. Lisa B.

    Truly, I’ve always believed Italian food cures all. Keep up the fight, Chickie. We’re all still buckled in — the good days, but especially the bad ones. xoxoxxo

  12. Doona

    Hey Leanne,

    What movie did you see? Thinking of you. Glad to hear that you had a good day.

  13. Dimithri

    Leanne, it’s great to see that some of your energy is back and spirits up!

  14. Jen T

    Shine on you crazy diamond…and keep eating Italian! Thinking of you every day.

  15. Veronica Van Rooyen

    So happy you had movie, popcorn, sunshine — and a great dinner! A beautiful day for a beautiful gal!

  16. Doona

    Hi Leanne,

    Hope you had another good day. Sending vibes to you. Take care.

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