This Christmas I decided to make some unique gifts for my nieces, nephews and godson. Don’t worry I also got them a present from the toy shop – I’m not that stingy! But I did think it would be quite nice to make them something to do after the Christmas rush is over and that sad, deflated feeling kicks in. So that’s when I decided to make cookie’s in a jar. They simple had to add a few extra ingredients to the mixture and then presto, cookies in less than 20 minutes! It was positive feedback from the adults – “It kept the kids amused and I got a yummy cookie with my cuppa!”
It’s quite amazing how your life can change in a split second. I know that sounds cliche but it’s so incredibly true.
Six months ago I had it all figured out. I was enjoying my last few weeks of maternity leave, I had plans sorted at work, events scheduled with friends and we were already discussing baby number two. Then the headaches started… five weeks of feeling like an elastic band was tied around my head. After seeing a doctor and receiving a blood test, it turned out my white blood count was 44,000. The average person has between 4,000 – 10,000 white blood cells in their body, so it was at this point that I knew something was wrong.
The next twelve days were crammed full of blood tests, haematology consultations, a shit load of Googling and a god awful bone marrow biopsy! The worst bit of it all was the waiting. I was living life in a limbo land of fear, anger, sadness and regret.
I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) and the big C word was then casually dropped into conversation. Just like that my life had done a 360 and I found myself on a completely different path, with no idea where I was heading.
As the weeks have passed I have found myself growing in determination, positivity and strength. I know I’m only at the beginning of this war, but Cancer sure as hell picked the wrong chick to mess with. This Leukette won’t go down without a fight!
Art and creativity have always been big aspects of my life. I studied art throughout school and then specialised in it at university, alongside a teaching degree. I went straight into work after uni and life became more focused on building a home, getting married and having children. I found myself dismissing the art activities I use to love doing and chose to spend my time on other things.
After being diagnosed I suddenly had lots more time on my hands and was determined not to waste it. Although I knew I needed to rest my body, I equally wanted to keep my brain stimulated and focussed. I started doing little projects around the house and found the activities both comforting, and therapeutic.
My love for creativity is back and I am now pushing myself (in a great way) to learn new things and perfect my skills and knowledge.
A family friend was turning 10 – the big double figures! I volunteered to make the birthday cake and then felt the pressure to step up! I did lots of googling and fell in love with the cakes that contain a surprise middle. I decided to try one out with Smarties and the cake developed from there. It was a big success and I’ve had a few requests since then! I plan to stock up in the chocolate aisle next time I’m out
You might be reading this thinking what a plonker…. this chick has just been told she has cancer and the first thing she wants to do is learn to bake! It may seem strange to many but baking is one of those achievements that I have always wanted to master at some point.
For many years I’ve had this vision of being a mum that bakes cakes for the school fetes and for her children’s birthday parties. It was something I thought I would learn to do ‘in the future’ or when I had the time. Even writing this makes me laugh out loud. You see when you’re given life altering news, you realise that the future isn’t guaranteed or promised. Time is a gift and should be cherished and used wisely.
I have no idea how my life will pan out but I sure as hell know one thing…I’m not going to waste another minute putting things aside for ‘when I have the time’.
So here goes! First stop…..cupcakes! Wish me luck peeps!
In the lead up to my daughter’s birthday, I decided I would have a go at making her cake. It was something I had always wanted to do but I didn’t know whether I would have the strength at the time. I spent a few weeks practising and developing my skills – YouTube became my baking guru! I got there in the end and all of the time and patience was worth it.
This cake is my proudest bake to date and I’m looking forward to making many more in the future 💗
This is my spin on a rocky road biscuit. I filled them with lots of delicious treats. The inspiration for this bake was to surprise my friend who has been incredibly tough and brave whilst on her own ‘rocky road’. ❤️