Friday, October 25, 2013

October Craziness is Settling Down

October craziness is settling down here at The Pink Ribbon Shop.  Our little league football season is almost over, as is high school marching band season.  That means more family time for us, at least for the next few weeks!  Yay!  We enjoy being active and busy, but it's good to have some down time, too.

This week, I am scheduled to have my every-3-month scans and tests.  Whole body bone scan, CT scan of the chest, abdomen & pelvis, and labwork including tumor marker studies.  I have some anxiety, as usual!  I know that God is in control (of everything!) but being human, it is difficult for me to not worry about what the results might be.  Not sure if I've mentioned it here before, but for the last 4-week cycle of Abraxane, Dr. Coscio reduced my dose by 10%.  This will be a permanent change ... well, for as long as the Abraxane is working I guess.  The peripheral neuropathy symptoms were getting more severe, and I was just plain tired of being without energy.  And also the chemobrain ... I can't remember anything!  It is frustrating to be a (relatively) young woman and to have such a bad memory. It's like I have this cloud of fogginess in my brain.  I feel like I can never be totally sure of whatever facts I'm trying to communicate.  It's a very bad feeling.  And I feel sorry for my family who has to deal with my fogginess!

Next week, I am scheduled to see a new doctor.  Dr. Moulder is a breast cancer oncologist who works at the main campus at MD Anderson.  She is one of the investigators on a research study being conducted that Dr. Coscio wants to get me signed on to.  Although the Abraxane is working for me now, she wants me to get set up to participate in the study, so that when I need to, I will be good to go. I don't know all the details, but the way I understand it, they will run some additional genetic testing (I've already had BRCA-1 & 2) on my tumor cells.  They will then use information gleaned from that testing to determine which treatments I would most likely benefit from and which ones I would not.  High tech, cutting edge stuff!  I am SO, SO thankful that I'm being treated at the #1 cancer treatment center in the world!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pink Ribbon King Cake

It's breast cancer awareness month!  Time for all the pink ribbons to come out, time for the NFL to turn pink, and time for pink ribbon king cakes!  What's a pink ribbon king cake?  I'm glad you asked!

Simply put, a king cake is a New Orleans-style pastry that's popular during the Mardi Gras season.  A melt-in-your-mouth Danish dough, braided with cinnamon and sugar, is baked to perfection and topped with fondant icing adorned with colorful sugars.  But unlike traditional New Orleans king cakes, the pink ribbon king cake is breast cancer awareness ribbon-shaped!  And unlike the traditional purple, green & gold coloration of Mardi Gras king cakes, the pink ribbon king cake is topped with pink sugar and sprinkles.

I am excited to announce that for the second consecutive year, world-famous Haydel's Bakery in New Orleans is offering their pink ribbon king cakes in support of breast cancer research.  For every pink ribbon king cake sold during October, Haydel's will donate $5.00 to The Pink Ribbon Shop Fund for Breast Cancer Research.  Woohoooo!  Thank you, Haydel's Bakery!!  (As I write this, I am watching my New Orleans Saints take a big lead in Monday Night Football ... WhoDat!)

This partnership is a huge honor for us.  Growing up in the New Orleans area, Haydel's was our go-to bakery for the best king cakes, chocolate doberge cakes (my personal favorite birthday cake,) and other sweet goodies such as petit fours and eclairs.  So to have the Haydel's family create the pink ribbon king cake and have its proceeds benefit our research fund, well ... it's just plain wonderful.

And I'm not done yet.  This is my blog and if I want to talk more about the pink ribbon king cake, I will, LOL.  I personally think that it is one beautiful cake!  However, last year, a Facebook fan of The Pink Ribbon Shop commented that it wasn't a very pretty cake.  I was highly offended!  Who, in New Orleans, would EVER think that a king cake was unattractive?  I get it, though.  If you're not FROM New Orleans, you may think that the only cakes that are pretty are tailored and fondant-rich.  You just don't understand.  Pretty cakes (on the world's standards anyway) don't have the back history of the Mardi Gras culture.  There's nothing tying their flavor to a lifestyle, to a particular time of year, to the sights & smells of Mardi Gras.  If you don't know about king cakes, if you haven't experienced Mardi Gras as a New Orleans native, you don't GET it.  And that's OK ... just don't talk bad about my king cake, before you try one!

And now that there are pink ribbon king cakes in honor of breast cancer awareness month, it's the perfect time to try one.  Not only are Haydel's king cakes the BEST, but you don't even have to live in NOLA to get one.  They ship!  Geaux get you one before October is over.

Lastly, Haydelicious (Haydel's Bakery blog) posted a very nice feature last week on the pink ribbon king cake and ME.  Check out the favorable press from our home town!