Monday, April 25, 2011

Of Cheese Addictions, Easter Candy, and Cancer

First off, Happy Easter to all my readers!  I hope your kids got jacked up on as much candy as they could before you had to usher them out the door to the Easter church service of your choice.  Because mine did, and I'd hate to think that anyone missed the fun of having to hiss every 2 minutes, "Sit still!  Stop growling, you're not a dog.  Don't give me that face.  Pay attention to God, He's the reason you're here, but I'm ready to send you back!"

Really, I can't blame anyone else except myself for the Kiddo getting a high on sugar.  I'd split up the jelly beans, gummy bunnies, Peeps, and malted milk balls between 24 plastic eggs, so he was obligated to open each egg to discover the treasure within.  What I didn't realize at 1AM as I filled these 'spring spheres' is that he would insist on having to taste test all the contents within.  Before I realized it, he had in inhaled 4 peeps, a fistful of jellybeans, and a half dozen bunny gummies.

So between fighting with a fidgeting child, rolling my judgmental eyes at some of the Easter 'fashions,'and struggling to stay focused on the homily and wondering if the Deacon would drop the chalice, I didn't really have a holy experience at Mass.  I know the graces were there, but I didn't have any happy warm fuzzy feelings.  Guess that's why it's a good thing I am already intellectually convinced of my faith.  Because if I had to survive on the warm and fuzzies, I'd be out of church so fast, I'd set a new land speed record.

Speaking of religion and graces, I'm happy to announce that Brenden McGuire received some very promising news regarding his tumor.  Per his post on Facebook, "The bad news first--the treatment method for my cancer will be extraordinarily intense inpatient chemotherapy, plus surgery (-ies) at some point over the summer. So I will be in the hospital, off and on, for the next nine or ten months. The good news, however, is that the tumor has been confirmed to be non-metastatic (i.e. it hasn't "spread" to my lungs, brain, liver, etc.). Thus, according to my oncologists, the most likely outcome of the treatment will be a cure. That can keep one going through anything."

Thanks so much for the prayers for this young man.  Please continue to pray for his recovery and that his family will have the strength for the long haul ahead of them.  Within the next month or so, I will be working to establish a foundation for donations for the McGuire family.  When I get that up and running, I hope you'll be as generous as you can.  He's the sole breadwinner and will be impacted as the months continue.  The college will work with him to keep his job available, but cancer treatments are anything but cheap.  

Now for the hardest part of this post, admitting my shameful addiction.  I am a cheese whore.  I LOVE cheese.  The sharp smell of red hoop cheddar, the creamy textures of fresh mozzarella, the chalky rind on brie tantalize my senses.  When I picked up Edward Trencom's Nose: A Novel of History, Dark Intrigue, and Cheese from the dollar bin at Books-A-Million I didn't expect much, but I really was enchanted with the colorful, intoxicating descriptions.  I had found a novel that verbalized my insane fascination and desire for all things dairy.  (When I was expecting my son, I had the most insane cravings for semi-soft cheeses, forbidden to pregnant women.)

When I go to the grocery store, I'll linger in the 'fancy' cheese department, which sadly consists of 1/4 of a display case.  (I almost married a boy who lived near an incredible food market with a fancy cheese section that was larger than my entire apartment house.  We might have been unhappy, but I would have had some awesome cheeses to console me).

So if you'll excuse me, I'm off to eat a wedge of brie and an apple.