I have always been a reader, writer, researcher, and independent thinker. When I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 1999, that is what I did. I read, I wrote, I researched, I thought.
I was 34 years old and married. My husband worked for Bombardier Learjet in Wichita, Kansas — “The Air Capital of the World”. He was an excellent cook. It’s one of the things I liked about him when we met. I liked eating, but not cooking. It was a chore, like cleaning. One of my goals in life was to be wealthy enough to hire a personal chef and a housekeeper. I spent my childhood and teenage years cooking, cleaning, and being a care provider for my mother and siblings. My brother is an executive chef and credits my ex-husband with inspiring his career choice.
One night when I was twelve, my mother served seaweed soup with dinner and hid the five-pound bag of sugar. I disliked the slimy, salty seaweed that reminded me of swimming among it in the Atlantic City ocean along with jellyfish. I was raised on sugar and was having no parts of her macrobiotic diet. Frosted Flakes cereal wasn’t sweet enough for me. “They’re grrreat!”… with heaps more sugar.
When I realized that macrobiotics was my best option for survival, I was reluctant. It encompassed eating seaweed, cooking, and cleaning. Are you kidding me? What kind of cruel joke is this life? Do you mean to tell me that these are the things I must do to save my life? What kind of life could that possibly be? Is it worth continuing to live under these circumstances? Three of my least favorite activities daily — REALLY?!