This.

thyroid cancer ribbon

I don’t normally read, much less post, things from foxnews, but these words about being a cancer survivor could easily be my own.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/04/22/what-do-120-cancer-survivors-have-in-common/

Balsamic Vinaigrette (LID)

Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is a super simple Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe. I really like it on mixed greens (like a Spring Mix).  You can elaborate on this dressing, if you wish. Sometimes I’ll add finely minced garlic and/or a dried Italian herb mix.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 ounces balsamic vinegar
2 ounces olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine all the ingredients in a small Mason jar with a lid. Screw on the lid and shake until combined. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator. Allow to sit out at room temperature a little bit before using again.

The Results Are In

Never Be Ashamed of a Scar

It’d been a week since my whole body scan and I still hadn’t heard from my oncologist. My stomach had been in knots all week.

I finally mustered up the courage to call my cancer center and asked about my results. I left a message and someone actually called me back in less than 3 hours. The lady (not my doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse) read the report to me.

The report read that there was no visible thyroid. There was uptake in the salivary glands, liver, and GI tract, all which are considered to be normal. There was “no abnormal distribution!” I asked her if the lymph nodes were clear and she repeated that the report stated that there was “no abnormal distribution.” This is good. This is very good.

Easy White Bread (LID)

Easy White Bread (LID)

It’s my last full day of LID. Yay! I’m so happy about getting off this diet that I’m not even worrying about my whole body scan tomorrow morning. I have more important things on my mind. Like, where am I going to eat lunch after my scan?

I think the last 4 or 5 days of LID are the hardest. You are tired and probably not feeling that great after the Thyrogen shots (even worse if you’ve been off your meds for 6 weeks). And then there is the RAI. It’s stressful. The extra thought and work the diet takes is just another thing. I don’t need another thing. I’m done.

This bread is great because it is delicious and really easy. I’m happy with the way it turned out. It’s great for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (which is what I had for dinner tonight). This recipe doesn’t make a very big loaf. I haven’t tried doubling the recipe, but I don’t see why you couldn’t.

Easy White Bread

Easy White Bread

3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Put the ingredients into a bread machine in the order given. The yeast should be the last ingredient going into the bread machine. Set the machine to the dough setting and press start. Let the machine do the mixing and kneading for you. Once the machine is finished. turn the dough out into an oiled bowl. Let the dough rise for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Punch the dough down and turn out on a floured surface. Shape the dough into a loaf. Place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 35 or until golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.

If you do not have a bread machine, just mix the ingredients together by hand. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary. Place the kneaded dough into an oiled bowl and let rise 1 hour. Bake at 350°F. for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.

LID Round 2, Day 15

I did not sleep well last night. I kept waking up to check on my son. My 5 year old came home from school not feeling well yesterday and by the time we went to bed his fever was 102.3 degrees. It was a long night. He didn’t go to school today, so my husband had to stay home to take care of him. I got my tracer dose of radioactive iodine this morning and I couldn’t snuggle my sweet boy or kiss his forehead. It was hard. He seems to be feeling better now. Hopefully he will be able to return to school tomorrow.

Everything went fine with taking my tracer dose of RAI. I’ll go back to the hospital on Friday for my scan.

About an hour after I got back from the hospital after taking my RAI, my husband stated that he was feeling tired (this is a very common thing…he’s always tired). I told him he needed a check-up and then he said that I was probably irradiating him. He was not joking. Seriously!

Spaghetti and Salad

What I ate today:

Breakfast:  Water (I couldn’t eat or drink anything but water 2 hours before and 2 hours after taking my pill)
LunchCrockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup and Baked Chicken Taquitos with Avocado “Cream” and Salsa
Dinner:  Spaghetti with LID Spaghetti Sauce and Spring Mix Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

 

Crockpot Beef and Barley Soup (LID)

Crockpot Beef and Barley Soup

I got my first Thyrogen shot this morning. I feel okay, but it’s been a long day and I’m exhausted. I’m getting my second shot tomorrow and I will probably feel worse and not up to cooking. I put this soup in the crockpot tonight, but plan on eating it tomorrow. Nothing is easier than cooking in the crockpot.

This soup is good for LID. It’s easy and comforting. Using lots of veggies and barley bulks up this soup so you can use less meat and still feel satisfied. Serve with some homemade bread. Beer Bread or Irish Soda Bread would be good.

Crockpot Beef and Barley Soup

1 pound lean stew meat, cut into bite-szied chunks
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 ounces white button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1/2 cup pearled barley
32 ounces unsalted beef stock (I like Kitchen Basics brand)
2 cups water
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Place all of the ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low 8 hours.

Southeast Asian Cabbage Salad (LID)

SE Asian Cabbage Salad (LID)

I took a salad that I absolutely love and adapted it slightly for LID. It’s fresh, crunchy, colorful, virtually fat-free, nutritious, and very flavorful. This salad keeps fairly well in the fridge for up to two days.

Southeast Asian Cabbage Salad

1/2 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 cucumber, seeded, peeled, and chopped
1 carrot, grated
2 (or more) fresh chiles, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

crushed unsalted peanuts

Combine cabbage, cucumber, carrot, cilantro and chiles in a large bowl. Mix garlic, rice vinegar, sugar, and kosher salt together in a small bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage mixture and mix. Sprinkle with crushed unsalted peanuts right before serving.

Roasted Cauliflower (LID)

Roasted Cauliflower

I love cauliflower. Roasting it is one of my favorite ways to prepare it. Roasting it really brings out the sweetness. Plus, roasting is super easy. I’m all for easy.

Roasted Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Heat the oven to 400° F.

Rinse the cauliflower, remove the stem and leaves, and break into smaller florets. Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the florets and then season with kosher salt and black pepper. Toss to coat all the pieces.

Pour the cauliflower onto a baking sheet and spread out to form a single layer. Roast the cauliflower for 20 to 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, or until tender and browned in spots.

Peanut Butter Cookies (LID)

Peanut Butter Cookies (LID)

These cookies turn out a little crumbly, but they taste great. Letting them cool completely helps them stay together better. My family ate them up quickly. I don’t even think they know they are on this low iodine diet with me. Ha ha ha!

I have found that many of the commercially available peanut butters do not contain iodized salt. I have verified with the manufacturers that both Skippy Natural and Peter Pan 100% Natural peanut butters do not contain iodized salt. Yay!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup creamy (LID safe) peanut butter (about half a 16 ounce jar)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon flour
2 egg whites, lightly beaten (or 4 tablespoon liquid egg whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix the sugar, baking soda, flour, and  peanut butter together by hand or with a mixer. Add the egg whites and vanilla and blend well. If the dough is too soft at this point, add a little more flour (like 1 tablespoon) to firm up the dough.

Take 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place balls of dough on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart (I put 12 cookies on each baking sheet). Using the tines of a fork, press down lightly to make a crosshatch design on top of each cookie. If the fork sticks, just dip it in a bit of flour.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen.

LID Round 2, Day 11

It was raining this morning, so the T-Ball game was cancelled. I defrosted a couple of pieces of Zucchini Bread from the freezer for breakfast. Then I spent the day snuggling with my kids in bed and watching movies.  I did a little cooking too.  I cooked a batch of Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup for lunch and made a batch of Peanut Butter Cookies. I cooked a batch of basmati rice and roasted some cauliflower for dinner. I thought dinner turned out really well. I love days like this.

Still not suffering on LID!

LID Day 10

What I ate today:

Breakfast: Coffee with non-dairy creamer and Zucchini Bread
Lunch:  Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup
Dinner:  Quick fried thin-sliced pork chops with mushroom gravy, brown basmati rice, Roasted Cauliflower, and green beans.
Snack:  Peanut Butter Cookies

Roasted Cauliflower

Peanut Butter Cookies (LID)

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