I am Fabiana and I am an Italian architect. I have been living in Rotterdam for almost 12 years, transplanted “for love “, not yet accustomed to the Dutch climate and even less by the food! Since last October 2012, I am no longer operative in my architecture company, FT STUDIO, because of cancer treatment, which I am still undergoing. 24 weeks of chemotherapy (12 AC treatments and 12 taxol and herceptin ) followed by a right total mastectomy with lymph node removal, radiation therapy and herceptin until the beginning of January 2014. If I will not make it through, it will mean that in life there are to many mysteries I do not understand! I feel as strong as a lion, and especially since that chemotherapy is behind my back …

I am a Cancer and I am not untrue to myself: I am a dreamer and I like to think that everything is possible. If you do not believe me, ask my husband who, to my statement “I have an idea!” always reacts with a frightened look from which one can read “here we go again…!”.

I certainly have many faults. I have no patience and I am well equipped with what is called in Dutch “temperament” (!) … I do not think the word requires translation! I am a stubborn perfectionist. Fortunately, I also have a couple of positive traits belonging to my character. If I have a passion I follow it through and I am surely not lazy.  Moreover,  if I am in trouble I do not give up easily. I must say that I am a strange being. If I have do not problems I am unhappy, if I have big ones (like the disease), I gather all my strength and I become a brave fighter. That is how I promised to be in my manifesto, the text sent to family and friends the day before the therapy started and through to this blog I want to keep my promise.

I must admit, however,  that here, in my house, I am not the only cook. My mommy, or granny, who has been forced to stay in the Netherlands for a long time due to the unfortunate circumstances of the last period, and like many women from Apulia, often proofs her talent.  And that deserves a place in this blog. She is the true artisan here. She worked in many fields but she finished her carrier in the kitchen of an agriturismo (eco) restaurant where her already inborn talent improved.  Of course she is my favorite chef and my biggest inspiration as well as my faithful accomplice. One of my greatest satisfactions is cooking something new and then getting her feedback, “uhm, ok, it is not too bad…’ . By definition, her recipes are not always healthy when thinking to a disease such as cancer, but they are part of that cultural heritage which, in my opinion, should not vanish.


For who do I cook?

For myself, for my husband – who loves potato just as much as pasta – and my two wonderful children respectively, two and four years old (one day I will mention to you about my attempts to serve vegetables in ” alternative forms ” to them, which often goes hand in hand with an anticancer diet).  Moreover, I cook for granny, even if, when she is here, she replaces me in the kitchen most of the time.

From now on I hope to cook a little bit also for other women who have or have had breast cancer, sharing with them my journey, because I am aware that what I am going to do means not only giving but also receiving, hoping that, together, we can feel stronger.

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