Biking with Adriana back in April

Dear Fran,

I know I just wrote you back on June 27th, but I was also looking over an old letter I sent to you in 2014.

In reading over the letter to you, I can’t believe how nothing has changed from then until now. In fact, I’m starting the ShapeUp program again today—what are the odds?—so I get to mess around with my pedometer again and… and… realize how much more exercising I need to do.

The picture attached to that letter from 2014 was of me biking. I know I should bike more, but I’ve been mainly sticking to hiking. Hiking and biking. I should probably do both. Whatever I can do to try to prevent this wretched cancer from coming back, right?

So Fran, do you do anything to try to prevent cancer from coming back? Can anyone really do anything to prevent cancer from coming back?

One thing I have decided. Life is too short—threat of cancer or no—to eat gluten-free bread. I have tried to eat it for at least two years and this is what I have come up with: I. Cannot. Eat. It. Anymore.

It might just be me, but I don’t think food should taste like cardboard. And the stress of worrying about every single morsel that crosses my lips is driving me stark raving mad: “Is this going to kill me? Is this going to be the one food that puts me over the edge from living to dying?”

I used to bake bread. It was amazing. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but people used to talk—in awe—about my bread-baking skills. Do I think people should eat white flour all the time? No. Is it good for anyone? Probably not. But, like I said before, I’m stressing myself out about all of these little details and I think stress is more damaging than anything.

Here is the happy medium I have come up with. I’m going to eat homemade bread occasionally, preferably right out of the oven with a thick coating of chokecherry jam or gouda cheese. I will continue to make muffins with non-wheat, whole-grain flours (because they work, unlike bread) and less sugar than the recipe calls for, I will keep eating my daily protein shakes (with cabbage/kale and frozen homegrown fruit), I’m going to keep eating salads every day, and I’m going to eat small portions of meat and lots of vegetables (like I’ve done for years and years).

I will dust off my bike and take it out again. I will keep hiking. I will keep writing you because it makes me happy. Who knows? Maybe someday, we can chat face-to-face over a slice of my homemade bread.

Most of all, I’m going to keep celebrating the fact that cancer did not kill me and I’m going to live my life with loads of joy.

Best friends always,