Food has always held an important place in my life. I am not a cook but I am Italian and I was raised by parents who really enjoy good food. Moreover, my mom is a fantastic cook!
I have always heard people saying that I can cook very well. Though, because of my work as an architect, I have never taken the time to devote myself to cook seriously. At regular intervals, preparing homemade pasta with my mom or a group of friends, as my grandmother did or my aunt still does, is something I always would had like to do, but that I had never taken the time for.
Then the disease. Last October, in 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, a carcinomatous mastitis or better know in english as IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer). About six months of chemotherapy (followed by a modified radical mastectomy and the removal of lymph nodes) have affected my taste buds and, due to the side effects, I had to change my diet, drastically. However, I did not give up the desire of eating tasty food, ” het lekker eten”, as it is called here in the Netherlands.
There are several theories on the relationship between food and cancer. My intention here is not to propose a new one. I am simply looking for “my truth”. By this I mean the right balance between healthy and tasty. For this reason, the name “bye-bye salsiccia” (litterally translated “bye-bye sausage”) ironically indicates my attempt to slowly move away from all that food that… I adore but that, unfortunately is not very healthy.
The recipes that I propose do not have the presumption of being always healthy, surely if put in relation to the illness, but they are interesting if put in relation to my healing journey and the change in lifestyle that slowly and progressively I have been making. They are my culinary diary: they surely are of great value to my children, and possibly also to other people who find themselves in a situation like mine or for whom want to avoid finding themselves into such one. There is still no scientific evidence that a proper diet can prevent cancer. Rather, we know that eating in a healthy way can not guarantee cancer prevention; but it has been proven that a proper diet can certainly lower the chance of getting sick. Therefore, I think it is very important to become aware of what – eventually – can help us stay healthy, before and after cancer. I am still investigating it and I would like to take you in with me on this journey.
It may sound very strange, but I must say that thanks to this disease I now have the time to dedicate myself to something I really like. I start by giving it the form of a blog because I believe that my journey can help other women not only in maintaining a healthy and varied diet, but also in staying informed about their disease. I want to share all those valuable information that I had collected along the way with much effort and the dedication of a researcher. This information, assembled under the title of “notes ” are almost always linked to the relationship between cancer – breast cancer in particular – and often, but not exclusively, food. This blog is meant to give culinary ideas but also tells the story of a woman who did not give up and continues to believe that there is a way to deal with something as terrible as cancer and emerge from the disease stronger than before.