Brandon's Story (part 2) - Diagnosed

One of the reasons that I'm participating in "Summit for Wishes" is to honor the memory of what my husband and his family went through when/after he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 1985. Their story has touched me in so many ways - and so I'm sharing it with you...

In "Brandon's story - part 1" I gave a very general introduction to this series. In part 2, I'm telling you more about when he was actually diagnosed.  

Like so many children who get sick - Brandon was an active and healthy toddler who became lethargic, tired and cranky almost overnight.  Confused by the change in his demeanor, his parents took him to the doctor and were basically told that he was just spoiled. Unfortunately it wasn't that simple... 

The day Brandon was diagnosed, he wasn't even at the hospital for himself. His older sister had hurt her ankle. When they knew they were going to the hospital to have it checked, they called ahead to see if they could have blood tests done on him since they would be there anyways (despite the "spoiled" diagnosis, they were still very concerned about the changes in him).

After a small finger prick... the doctors knew that something was terribly wrong. And within an hour, Brandon's parents found themselves sitting at a table with hematologists, oncologists and psychologists; hearing words like "cancer", "your son" and "treatment" in the same sentence. The official ALL diagnosis came a little later that day. His first blood transfusion came that evening.

a.o.k. "trial" groumet (28) Smells yummy over here!

I can't believe it's taken me so long to get this post up. Well I guess I can. As my doctor put it so well the other day... I'm not "depressed" I'm "sur-chargé" (ie. I've got a little bit too much on my plate these days... gee... no... ya think?).

I have many excuses... but  all I can say is I'm very glad this blog of mine isn't paid gig because I would have lost my job by now (so much for 52 weeks straight of new recipes and getting posts up at leat twice a week!)

My dear readers, I feel like you've missed so much these last couple of weeks - cute moments with the girls, our may long weekend camping experience, my 40-day fast (maybe that has somethign to do with a.o.k. gourmet taking a back seat) and more...

Trust me, although I'm up to my eyeballs (or past there by now) in fundraising activites, fitting in summer vacation plans and the regular day to day life of being a working (part-time) mom... I've still got so much that I want to share and I'm still cooking... and I'm planning an a.o.k. "trial" gourmet come back... soon. Like maybe in September - once we get past the crazy month of August that's just around the corner.


At least we start with a mini-vacation in beautiful Tremblant. ...So you know, I'm planning a nice long solitary hike sometime during those 4 days - to officially begin the proces of breaking in my super cool hiking boots (!) and to get away from it all (myself included - I hope)

With that said... let's move on to the food.

I love potatoes and I love garlic, so when I spotted this recipe for Roasted Smashe Greek Potatoes on the back of the 3lb bag of red potatoes a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to try it. The recipe calls for an entire head of garlic (I re-read it 3 times and then checked it in french to be sure that I wasn't confused) and I absolutly loved the bites of feta which were mixed in at the very end.

The recipe is below - along with the other "components" of our meal (shared with B's parents). A very yummy meal in my opinion and Layla at an ENTIRE pork chop!

Roasted Smashed Greek Potatoes (

2 lbs red mini potatoes
1 head garlic, peeled (yes. 1 entire head)
4 sprigs fresh oregano
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • In a roasting pan - Toss raw potatoes together with peeled garlic cloves, 1/2 of the oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Roast in a 400 degree oven until tender (approx 40 minutes)
  • Transfer to serving dish and lightly mash potatoes.
  • Stir in feta cheese, remaining oregano and lemon juice.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, serve warm.

Green Beans with Color (fresh from the garden!)

2-3 cups of fresh green beans
3/4 cup of grape tomatoes
2 small shallots, sliced finely
olive oil
  • Bring water to boil and add green beans until just tender
  • Heat olive oil in pan and brown shallots/onion
  • add grape tomatoes (2-3 minutes)
  • add green beans (2-3 minutes)
  • Transfer to serving bowl or serve immediately

Apple/Maple BBQ Chops (and my very first original BBQ sauce recipe)

6 pork chops (at least 1/2 inch thick)

Andrea's "random" bbq sauce
1/4 cup ketcup
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp apple sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
salt & pepper to taste

BBQ (!)

The many faces of Layla

On vacation for a few days...
but lots coming when I get back... recipes... camping experiences... etc. etc. etc.

Busy busy busy....

Wondering where I've been and why I haven't been cooking lately? 

Among other things... I've been very busy planning a range of summer fundraising activities to contribute to "Summit for Wishes".  There's still so much to do... promote the events, find sponsors and volunteers... etc. etc. etc.  but here's an idea of what's coming (before the end of the summer)... a garage sale, a BBQ at my local IGA (grocery store) and a special "ladies brunch" ...

Check out my "Kili2011" blog for all the details!

Canada Day in BLUE and WHITE

A "Summit for Wishes" Fundraising Activity

I was a little concerned when we decided to do "face-painting" during the Greenfield Park Canada Day festivities. Not only was it going to be my first real "face-painting" experience (other then what I've done with Layla at home... for no one to observe or critique!), when I picked up the Make-A-Wish t-shirts from the Montreal office... I was thinking... perfect colors... for St-Jean-Baptiste Day!

Oh well... the show must go on. And it could have been much worse... it could have been red and white shirts on St-Jean-Baptiste-Day. :-)
Related Posts with Thumbnails