A public diary

Diaries are personal, and somewhat secretive. They contain thoughts and experiences that we shy away from sharing.

Today I came across a notebook, in the MRI waiting area, titled “Draw while you wait.”

The notebook was simple in design, a modest brown cover, with the words written in black.

As I started to flip through the worn pages, there were messages written by survivors, elderly people, caregivers, sick people’s children and people starting their journey into the unknown world of illness.

A few of the messages struck me.

People I had never met wrote messages I could relate to. The messages made me feel like all of these people experienced what I experience and understand.

A few of the messages stood out. One woman said “I had the C’s twice in my twenties. And now I’m in my early thirties but I don’t think it’s coming back anytime soon.”

Another man wrote “I was given 6 months to live but it’ll be 5 years next month.”

Someone else wrote “I feel alone and afraid. I want to go to heaven but I also don’t want to leave my kids and my husband but I’m in so much pain.”

Another lady wrote “A day above ground in a good day.”

The pages were filled with words and feelings that made me feel at home.

What a neat idea to start public diaries in places where people lose their voice. In places where writing, as tears run down our face, is liberating and empowering.

When things get hard, and life seems to throw awful and unfair situations your way – write.

Write when you feel sad, write when you feel happy and write when your thoughts are too heavy to bare.

To know your story is helping others, in similar situations, while bringing personal peace of mind.

Let the struggles of others make you strong, empathetic and accepting.

Use your words, and not necessarily your voice, to help shape the world around you.

I challenge you to start your own public diary, in the form of thoughtful words.

Xox Anyse

you’re not the norm- you’re the exception

Lump, bump, spot, legion and tumour all evoke the same response: fear, anger, distress and cancer (I use cancer as if it’s an emotion lol but in any case it translates to a wide range of emotions so I can justify including it in my list.)

That’s how my appointments went last week; I left with all the above while trying to focus on the assurance that was given to me.

Assurance is something I cling to, we all do, naturally. We like to be reassured that what we’re going through will be okay. In my case, the usual assurance is that my health will continue on a promising path, at least for a brief period of time allowing me to live.

Everyone knows I live for all the little things. The feeling of the sun on my face or the breeze that makes its way under my coat.

The life I am living feels so much more intense.

Today as I ride the bus, I’m trying to understand how I can influence people to feel the sun instead of just seeing it. 

Stop trying to see and understand things just FEEL them.

Sometimes experiences are meant to feel straight up awful- like when your childhood pet dies or you lose a family member. These events are meant to evoke emotions like sadness and frustration. It’s meant to feel awful but that doesn’t mean you should shut out experiencing it.

It allows you to learn and grow as a person.

For your own sake FEEL everything that comes your way: good, bad, awful or wonderful. 

We’ve all heard “just because your problems aren’t as bad as someone else’s doesn’t make yours any less real.” 

This is true and I stand by that but it’s important to acknowledge that people do have it worse than you. Heck I’ve met tons of people that have it worse than me. 

It doesn’t mean your problems aren’t as important or real but it does mean they could potentially be easier to deal with and that is unarguable.

So experience your problems but be sure if you overcome them you realize you’re not the norm you’re the exception.

Celebrate the milestones in your life- big, small & everything in between.

Xox Anyse 

Double Trouble Update

For those who don’t have Instagram; here is a little update on my bilateral mastectomy coming up.

If you’re interested in my daily life @anyselebeau on Instagram is a good place to start.

I’m not usually one for sharing pictures like this because I don’t like the idea of being reassured by likes for my body. My body deserves so much more than likes on a social platform. But I’m posting this one because today I met with 2 surgeons for a bilateral mastectomy: one completes the removal of my breasts and the other one reconstructs my chest. I’m sharing this because we spend so much time hating things about our body but there’s people out there (aka people like me) that would happily take the small oddly shaped boobs or a little bit of extra skin over completely losing sensation. This surgery is particularly different than my mandible removal/reconstruction. My face may be what everyone sees but breasts are a part of ourselves that only few see. Those we have romantic relations with. There’s no doubt in my mind that the person I share these moments with should love me for me but there’s something about losing complete feeling of your chest. I don’t feel like it’s life changing but I definitely feel like l’m losing a part of my sensuality by losing complete sensation. All of this to say, today when you get undressed and put your comfy pjs on- look in the mirror and smile at all the little things you claim as imperfections. Remember sometimes we strive so hard for perfection that we forget that imperfection is happiness🌱💓

Double the trouble

Its been awhile. It’s almost like when I feel good, I get so caught up in living I forget to share.

It’s something I need to work on because sharing is so rewarding, whether my story resignates or not, it allows me to let go of everything I’m feeling.

So here is my current obstacle: a double mastectomy.

Double is good when it comes to double the snacks, double the dogs, double the time but NOT when it comes to double mastectomies.

When talk of a double mastectomy first arose, during the end of my chemotherapy treatments, my boyfriend tried to enlighten the conversation by telling my oncologist (may I add pediatric oncologist)  “at least she can get the fake boobs she’s always dreamt about.” In that moment I was MOST definitely embaressed. That was far too much information for my oncologist yet he laughed & I too did.

The conversation was short, for the current battle was beating the cancer I had already been diagnosed with, not PREVENTING a new one.

But here we are, almost a year and a half post active treatment and these preventative steps are now on the forefront.

I saw my new genetic doctor just over a month ago and I already have an appointment with both the surgeon who removes the breast tissue & the surgeon who completes the reconstruction.

The thought of losing my natural breasts doesn’t make me feel like any less of a woman BUT it still sucks (a whole frickin lot.)

I can’t feel half my face (no change there) but now losing feeling in part of my chest is daunting & somewhat overwhelming.

Follow along for this new adventure (I use the term adventure loosely.)

But basically, by the end of this journey, I’ll be a bionic woman.

xox Anyse

Jour 8

FRIYAYYYYYYYYY

Ou who doesn’t love a cozy fun Friday after a long week?? I know I do.

Fridays as a kid were cheat days, my mom always cooked a delicious fresh meal every night BUT Friyays were 99% of the time restaurant dinner. (I’m not complaining, I was always allowed to order whatever I wanted so Friday dinners were always a treat!)

Even though I’ve decided switch to a plant based lifestyle I still want fridays to consist of a little less healthy alternative to my weekly dinners. I want to some of the less healthy ingredients, like pastry or bread because quite honestly I love a good carb dinner once in a while.

DAILY TIPS

Don’t push your choices down anyones throat… Nobody likes the pushy vegan who points out every reason they’re vegetarian/ vegan. Let the results do the talking. When someones asks you how you cleared up your skin- Plant based lifestyle. When someone asks how you have so much energy- Plant based life style. When someone asks how you’ve lost that extra 10 pounds you just couldn’t shake off- Plant based lifestyle.

Someone recently said to me: “You never meet a vegetarian/vegan without knowing they are.” Unless you’re at a restaurant and you need to clarify the ingredients in a dish DON’T say anything. I’m not saying you should be ashamed of the lifestyle you’ve chosen but, you can’t force anyone to be or do what you want them to.

DAILY RECIPE(S)

Puff Pastry veggie triangles
(A me recipe)
4 triangles + leftover filling for another 4 (I always freeze leftovers)

  • 1 cooking onion diced
  • 3 carrots shredded
  • 5 mushrooms blended
  • 1 zucchini blended
  • 1 head of broccoli crumbled
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 4 kale stocks (leaves only) cut into small pieces
  • 1 can of red kidney beans blended
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable broth or water
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 tsp of dried or fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp of dried or fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1tsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (or homemade pastry)
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven at 400 F
  2. Blend mushrooms, zucchini, red kidney beans and vegetable broth together- set aside.
  3. In a medium size saucepan (on medium heat) add butter, oil, garlic, onion and all other spices until fragrant.
  4. Once fragrant, add blended mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat.
  5. Once hot add the shredded carrot, crumbled broccoli and tomato.
  6. Once the mixture is hot, let cool before rolling the triangles. *If you’re in a rush to eat like me 99% of the time the rolls can be rolled while the mixture is still hot but the texture of the pastry isn’t quite as fluffy.*
  7. Once the triangles are folded, squish the edges to insure the mixture stays inside. (I use a fork.)
  8. Cook the triangles until golden brown. *Approximately 40 minutes*
  9. Pair with your fav sauce and/or garnish with cheese (mine is hot sauce yum yum)

DAILY MEALS

Breakfast

Veggie nuggets- recipe will be featured within the next few days. (Weird I know but I woke up wanting them lol)

Lunch

Leftover white kidney bean, chickpea and spinach curry.

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Dinner

Veggie pastry featured in daily recipe.

Snacks

Chia seed pudding, chocolate zucchini muffin, grapes and some raw nuts.

Drinks

Water and half a can of coke

Xo

Jour 4 et Jour 5

JOUR 4

Eeek l know l said l’d post a blog a day but yesterday was a little crazy! l didn’t get home until 11:30 and l just couldn’t be bothered to post (bad l know, but my bed was just calling my name.)

l did a HUGE grocery shop, l bought so many vegetables, l think people thought l bought half the produce section lol

l find that l need to eat larger quantities now that my diet is 80% veggies.

JOUR 5

Today was another hospital day: appointments & scans- the usual.

My biggest challenge so far with this lifestyle is finding delicious AND nutritious meals when I’m out & about.

I actually ate at Spring Rolls and was impressed with their vegetarian dishes. They used numerous vegetables to dress up the plate. I appreciate a variety of vegetables instead of just the typical carrots and broccoli (boringggggg.) *Pictures are posted under lunch*

DAILY TIP(S)

I had a few hours in-between hospital appointments so we decided to grab some food. I have my favourite restaurants around the hospital, that I ate more meals at than I can remember. That being said, my favourite meals at those restaurants include meat and are not plant based meals.

I believe it to be more promising if you go to new plant based restaurants OR restaurants you have never been to- this way you’ll discover new favourites instead of relying on your old meat based favourites.

The comfort in knowing you like a dish is great but when you order it meatless it might not be quite the same.

DAILY RECIPE(S)

Zucchini Chocolate Muffins
(My good friend Google- I altered the recipe to my liking)
12 medium size muffins

  • 1 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder (I mixed them)
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 2 melted tbsp of coconut oil (be sure to let it cool a little bit)
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed meal substitute)
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of agave
  • 1 cup of shredded zucchini
  • 1 ripe banana mushed (you can also use a 1/4 cup of applesauce works just the same)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 of you fav chocolate chips (I like semi sweet)
  1. Preheat oven at 350 F
  2. In a medium size bowl whisk together ALL dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips)
  3. In another bowl, whisk together ALL wet ingredients (this includes the zucchini)
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix.
  5. Once mixed, add the chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for approximately 25 minutes (the time varies depending on the size of your muffins.)

DAILY MEALS

Breakfast

My fav- Chia seed pudding with blueberries and almond slices!img_0507.jpg

Lunch

I had two appetizers and one main (I promise I didn’t eat all of the food- there was SO much!)

Mango salad (bottom left), veggie rice cold wraps (to the right) & vegetarian pad thai (top left).

Dinner

Dinner was a late one, so I had some left over homemade chilli I had frozen. I defrosted it in the pan and put it on top of some rice. As the chilli was defrosting I roasted some veggies (sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and asparagus.) I tossed them in some olive oil and put a medium amount of pepper. I baked the veggies at 380 F for 45 minutes. They were so good, even my boyfriend who is not a fan of those veggies loved them!

Rookie me forgot to take a picture of my roasted veggies- next time I promise.

Snacks 

Apple and some peanut butter.

Crackers and some cheese (my first time having cheese in almost a week.)

A freshly baked croissant (gosh darn I love pastries.)

Fresh Mango

Blue grapes

Drinks

Water

Chai latte from Starbs made with coconut milk. Honestly, I can’t do the almond milk in my lattes but the coconut milk taste the same as regular milk!

Xo

*Jour 6 will be posted tonight- February 28th*

Jour 3

Sundayyy Fundayyyy! Today wasn’t your typical lazy Sunday seeing I had to leave the house by 7 to make my 9:30 appointment at Sick Kids.

Before hitting the road I had some chia seed pudding with fresh strawberries and almonds slices on top. Honestly before I even started this journey it was one of my favs. Theres two reasons I love it: the flavour (yum yum yum) and how filling it actually is.

After the head and neck MRI, I grabbed some water and a treat from Starbs since my stomach was a little uneasy from the contrast. An upset stomach inevitably calls for some carbs, they always seem to help.

The weather was beautiful but I was so tired after spending a good portion of my day at the hospital, that I wasn’t all that productive once I got home. I managed to clean out my car (well my bf managed to clean out my car) but who wants to know the details anyways?? lol

DAILY TIP(S)

It’s important to meal prep, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes life happens. If you’re having a crazy morning and you need to grab breakfast on the run… THAT’S OKAY! Just remember to pick something that won’t have you feeling crummy afterwards.

This doesn’t mean you need to pick the spinach salad when it’s 9am and you really want the bagel. It means pick a bagel but throw some peanut butter on it or drink a less calorie  dense drink. It’s important to enjoy at least some of the stuff you eat, just be mindful of the ingredients and the effects on your body.

DAILY RECIPE(S)

Chia Seed Pudding 
(“Feel Good Food” cookbook by Giada)
4 servings

  • 1 cup of vanilla- flavoured unsweetened almond milk (I tend to use unsweetened regular almond milk it tastes just as yummy)
  • 1 cup of plain low fat (2%) Greek yogurt (I use coconut milk in the can- the thick stuff I put in about half the amount of yogurt it requires because the consists is much thicker)
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup (alter to sweetness level desired)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (I tend to put more since I don’t use vanilla-flavoured almond milk)
  • 1/8 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds (I use organic and throw in an extra 2 tbsp)
  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds (or nuts of choice)
  1. In a medium size bowl whisk together the almond milk, yogurt *or coconut milk*, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until just blended.
  2. Add chia seeds and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Stir to distribute seeds if they have settles and refrigerate overnight.
  4. When ready to serve at strawberries and almond slices. (If you desire a sweeter pudding, drizzle maple syrup on top of the strawberries)

*I forgot to take a picture so the next time I make it, I will include a picture in my blog post.*

DAILY MEALS

Breakfast

My fav- Chia seed pudding and half a jalapeño bagel (actually one of the best bagels I’ve ever had.)

Lunch

I had leftover vegan meatloaf but fried it. It was 100% better. I cut individual pieces and squished them into a flat rectangle before frying them with a little olive oil. The outside was really crunchy, it resembled a hash brown. I had two pieces and dipped them in hot sauce… They were delicious.

I would totally make the vegan loaf again as long as I fried it after baking.

{I would even freeze some slices to fry up in the morning for a healthy fast breakfast.}

*Photo is featured image*

Dinner

Dinner was a late one, so I made a simple cashew pasta sauce with broccoli and a side salad.

The cashew recipe I use is easy and really filling. If you prefer a heavy quantity of vegetables the recipe can be altered to your liking by adding extra veggies and spices.

IMG_0494

Snacks

I don’t if it was because I wasn’t feeling great or the anxiety from having a scan but, I really didn’t snack much.

I had a treat at Starbs after my MRI (it was almost like a cinnamon bun).

Some leftover bruschetta (this was more like a meal because I ate so much- oops)

Also had a handful of homemade trail mix (cashews, peanuts, walnuts, semi sweet chocolate chips, sunflower seeds & pumpkin seeds- the seeds and nuts were all unsalted & raw)

Raw veggies.

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Drinks 

Water, water, water & more water.

Ou also a cup of grapefruit perrier with lunch.

Xo