Loaded Mexican Sweet Potatoes

w/ black beans, spicy nacho cheese and sunflower cream

Feeling way more inspired lately, so cooking a lot more.

My chef course is just around the corner so (finally) doing my homework and typing up recipes I’ve been working on.

I tend to think about what I’m having for dinner the next day and soak whatever legume or nut the dish requires. I find it easier to soak the night before, but if you forget or are really in the mood for a particular dish, you can also boil the nuts/seeds/legumes for 10-15 minutes.

I usually just throw whatever I feel like into a mashed avocado to make my guacamole however I know it’s a very personal thing, so please use your favourite recipe.

The sunflower seed sour cream is a great topping for soups or to have in burgers.

Like it’s name, the nacho cheese is AMAZING on top of nachos as well as in burritos and on tacos, or just eaten straight from the sauce pan.

So here it is, hope you enjoy!

I’d love to see your posts so make sure to tag @themotherofvegans on Instagram x x

4 medium sized sweet potatoes, washed well, skins on.

Olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190c / 375F
  2. Using a fork, prick holes in sweet potatoes, this will allow the heat to reach the centre and will also avoid the skin bursting.
  3. Massage olive oil into the skins of the potatoes
  4. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until cooked (cook time may vary depending on the size of your potatoes)

Black beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, brunoise/diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup dried black beans, cooked or 2 cans of drained black beans rinsed really well

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon of salt

1 teaspoon of chilli powder

1 tablespoon oregano

3 tablespoons organic tomato paste

2 – 3 cups water

Method

  1. Heat oil in a heavy base saucepan with a lid and add onion, stir until it becomes aromatic
  2. Add all of the spices and garlic, stir for a few minutes
  3. Add black beans, water and tomato paste, stir well and allow them to come to a boil
  4. Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes

Nacho cheese


1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours

3 tablespoons abode chipotle sauce

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tsp paprika

1 cup water

Salt to taste

 

Method

Blend all ingredients in blender for about 2-3 minutes.

Pour into a sauce pan and heat over a medium heat until it begins to thicken, once at desired consistency, remove from heat and serve immediately.

 

Sunflower seed sour cream

1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 6 hours

2 cups water

2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt

 

Method

Blend ingredients until combined, transfer to an air tight container and consume within 5 days.

 

When everything is done, ASSEMBLE that bad boy, the taller the better!

 

 

 

Vegan Massaman Curry

My favourite Thai curry I can finally eat again!

Massaman is by far my favourite Thai curry and I’ve missed it so much!

I was always going to make the dish without the meat, but when I had off cuts of king oyster mushrooms, I thought I’d throw them in. I’ve also used shiitake mushrooms which are really meaty too!

I’ve used store bought massaman paste I got from the supermarket in the Asian aisle, but you could make your own if you’re game.

Super easy and full of flavour!

My toddlers loved this, I’ve only used 1 chilli for the flavour, however you can use more depending on your spice threshold.

Who’s game to try it? Tag me in your posts! @themotherofvegans

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

1 large onion, diced

3 tablespoon of Massaman paste

250g shiitake mushrooms (whole)

4 large potatoes, peels cut into large chunks

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

400mls coconut milk

2 tablespoons tamarind paste

1 cup chicken stock (massel stock is vegan)

1 chilli, diced

2 bay leaves

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon of vegan fish sauce

1/2 cup peanuts

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 star anise pods

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large pot (with a lid) and add onion, stir for a few minutes.
  2. Add Massaman curry paste and stir until aromatic, about 2-3 minutes
  3. Add Shiitake mushrooms and cook
  4. Add all of the other ingredients, stir well, bring to the boil
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes until potatoes are soft
  6. Serve with steamed rice and greens

Masaman 3

Masaman 4

Masaman 2

 

Follow @themotherofvegans for more photos of my food x

Beetroot Falafels with Quinoa Tabouli

From failed falafels to tasty triumph

After being inspired by @momentsofdi_ I thought I’d give beet falafels a crack!

Attempting to make them on Monday was a bit of a fail: the mixture resembled more of a hummus than falafel mix (thanks Magimix), I decided to make them again, this time pulsing, not blending 😂

The colour of fresh beetroot is so beautiful!

Dried chickpeas are so much nicer than canned ones (even the organic cans), I’ve really noticed the difference since starting to use dried ones.

If you have to buy canned make sure you remove the skin. It can be painstaking, but I guarantee it’s worth it. If you have friends or family that say chickpeas make them gassy, it’s the skin! I find planning really helps and I even rope my husband in to help with skinning the chickpeas so it’s done faster and then all I have to do is throw the ingredients in a food processor and then roll the falafels out, which takes about 15 minutes, plus, left overs for lunch! Quick and easy weekday meal.

The sesame seeds coating reminds me of biting into a crunchy bread roll, who doesn’t love a crunchy bread roll?

This recipe yields around 18 depending on size you roll.


Falafels

Ingredients 

1 cup dried chickpeas, cooked or 2 cans, drained rinsed and skinned (about 3 cups)

1 large beetroot, peeled roughly chopped

Juice and rind of 2 lemons

1/2 bunch of fresh parsley

3-4 cloves garlic

1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 – 1 cup of besan flour

Salt to taste

Sesame seeds to roll

Method

  1. Place parsley, onion, garlic in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add beetroot and half of the chickpeas and pulse until blended, but still chunky
  3. Add lemon rind and lemon juice and pulse again, be sure not to over blend
  4. Transfer to a large bowl, stir in the remainder of chickpeas and add 1/4 cup of besan flour at a time. Keep adding besan flour until the desired consistency is achieved. The mixture should be able to hold together by itself
  5. Form balls (about 2 tablespoons) and then roll in sesame seeds and place on a lined tray
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius

 

Quinoa Tabouli 

Ingredients

1 cup white quinoa, cooked as per instructions

1 large organic tomato, diced

1/2 bunch parsley (just the leaves) rinsed, finely chopped

1/4 bunch of mint (just the leaves) rinsed, finely chopped

Lemon juice

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, adjusting seasoning to liking.

 

Follow my instagram account @themotherofvegans for more!

Asian inspired dinner party

Inspired by The Buddhist Chef’s Fried Tofu recipe, I thought I’d try cooking my tofu without pressing it.  To say I was nervous was an understatement especially because I chose a night I had invited friends over to try my cooking (#brave). I then learned he never presses it, EVER. I must learn his secrets so it doesn’t turn into mush. On this occasion however, and to my relief, it worked and impressed my guests.

I always like to look at recipes for inspiration and follow loosely a) because I’m ADHD and get distracted way too easily and b) it’s way more fun that way!

I’ve wanted to make san choy bow for a while so I made that and needed something else to tie everything together so I whipped up a vermicelli noodle salad with spicy dressing. Yum!

Everything can be made ahead of time, so saves you running back and forth from the kitchen meaning you can actually enjoy your company. I started frying the tofu just before my guests said they would be here so it was cool enough to eat when they did.

 

Salt and Pepper Tofu 

500g firm tofu, diced into 1.5 cm cubes

1/2 cup arrowroot flour

1/2 cup besan/chickpea flour

1 tsp bi carb soda

1 tsp white vinegar

1/2-3/4 cup soy milk

Rice bran oil for frying

Seasoning – Chinese 5 spice, salt + pepper

Dipping sauce 

Juice of 1-2 limes

4 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoon maple syrup

1 chilli, finely sliced

1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil

Method

  1. In a shallow bowl or dish, combine all of the ingredients, bare the tofu and whisk together until well combined, adding more milk if necessary.
  2. Heat enough oil in a wok to deep fry and bring up to heat. To check if its hot enough, use a wooden skewer, it will bubble when it’s hot enough.
  3. Coat tofu in batter and place in oil straight away, cook until golden brown (I did 2 batches). Remove and place on paper towel.
  4. In a large bowl, place 5 spice, salt and pepper and then toss tofu to coat. Best served immediately.
  5. For the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a jar and shake until combined, adjusting the flavours to balance, you may need more sweetness or saltiness depending on your preference.

San Choy Bow

Ingredients

3 portobello mushrooms, diced

4 white button mushrooms, diced

2 carrot, peeled and diced

1/2 cup water chestnuts, diced

1 cup cooked brown rice

2 tablespoons soy or tamari

1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Thumb of fresh ginger finely grated

1 small chilli, finely sliced optional 

Juice of 1 lime

Sesame seeds for garnish

Lettuce cups to serve

Method

  1. Add oil to a large sauce pan and add carrots cook until they soften
  2. Add mushrooms, cook for a few more minutes
  3. Add ginger, garlic and chilli stir for a few more minutes until garlic is translucent
  4. Add water chestnuts and stir for a few more minutes, then add all of the other ingredients and stir well, remove from heat.
  5. Divide into lettuce cups to serve, garnish with sesame seeds and extra chilli.

 

Vermicelli noodle salad

Ingredients – all washed and finely sliced length ways

Raw snow peas, green beans, red capsicum, red cabbage

Vermicelli noodles, cooked as per instructions

Cashew chopped roughly for garnish

Dressing I used some of the dipping sauce for the tofu

 

 

 

Creamy pumpkin and pecan pasta

I’m typing away furiously, trying to eat my lunch, book my dogs haircut, pay bills all while the toddlers nap, so forgive me if this is rushed! #mumlife

This meal is a complete protein with the pecans and gluten free pasta which is made of corn flower and the crispy sage adds another level to it! Seriously how good is sage AND pumpkin and sage together!!

I know a lot of people who can’t stomach cashews, so pecans make a fantastic alternative. They are on the sweeter side, so I have added sumac and salt to balance the flavours.

I had roast my pumpkin cut in half vertically for two hours lathered in maple syrup and olive oil and it last 3 meals for 4. The texture was so creamy just like (vegan) butter! I topped 1 half with pearl couscous salad, used a quarter for a beetroot and pumpkin risotto and used the remaining for this dish.

Ingredients

Olive oil

1 small red onion, brunoise

2 cups of roast pumpkin (as mentioned above)

1 packet of gluten free spaghetti, I’ve used the Barilla brand

1/2 – 3/4 cup of boiling water

Pecan sauce

1 cup of pecans

1/2 cup soy milk

1/2 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon sumac

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3 gloves of roast garlic

1 teaspoon salt

Crispy sage

10-12 sage leaves, washed

1 tablespoon of vegan butter or oil

Method

  1. Cook spaghetti as per instructions
  2. Place all of the ingredients for the pecan sauce in a blender, blending until it becomes smooth.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat oil and add onion, stirring until it becomes translucent. Add pecan sauce and pumpkin and stir for a few minutes adding water until it becomes your desired consistency. Remove from heat
  4. In another small sauce pan, add oil or butter until it’s hot or melted. Reduce heat to medium-low and then add sage and cook until crispy.
  5. Add spaghetti to sauce stirring until well combined
  6. Divide pasta, using your hands break the sage over the top and crack some fresh pepper and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Zucchini + Chickpea Moussaka

A spin, on a spin, on a spin…

I was fortunate enough to spend last weekend attending Veet’s Vegan Cooking School in Mullumbimby and I learned so much! If you have the time to attend one of the foundation courses she runs (link here), I suggest you do it – your family and friends will thank me in advance.

On the last day we had to put a spin on a dish we found in a cook book or invent our own using the skills we picked up. We went on to the recipes amongst ourselves, as she said “recipes belong to everyone” and that pretty much sums up Veet’s generous nature. Here I was thinking my spice rack was extensive, it wasn’t until I saw Veet’s I was put back in my place!

This is Mel and Max’s moussaka, originally made with eggplant and a few exotic spices so I’ve made it with zucchini as it was available from the market and what I could wrangle in my cupboard and fridge at home! The recipe my classmates used had molasses in the chickpea layer, so to get sweetness into the sauce I used dried figs and maple syrup.

One thing I learned is dry beans/legumes are best if you soak them overnight, I will do this moving forward in my posts, I did not want to waste what was in my cupboard! (I have posted the conversions where possible).

Soaking eliminates phytic acid to allow more minerals to be absorbed into the body while digesting, it will also make you less gassy: win, win!

Ingredients

For the sauce

Olive oil

2 dried figs, soak in boiling water while you prepare everything else, then chop finely

1 x 400g can of organic chickpeas or 125g (3/4 cup) dried chickpeas (soaked overnight and cooked here is how to)

2 x 400g cans organic crushed tomatoes / 800g fresh tomatoes, brunoise (fancy French word for dicing that I learned :P)

5 spring onions, brunoise

1 small leek, brunoise

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp cumin

2 cloves of garlic, crushed finely chopped

1 cup of chiffonade/shredded kale

Zucchini layer

1 large BBQ zucchini or 6 medium zucchinis (I think mine weighed about 800g :|)

1/3 cup almond meal

1/3 cup arrowroot flour

1 teaspoon sumac

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Bechamel 

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup arrowroot flour

1/4 cup wholemeal flour

2-3 cups soy milk

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Additional almond meal for the top

 

Method

  1. In a wok or large frying pan, add olive oil, leek and spring onions over a medium heat, stir until fragrant
  2. Add cumin, garlic and kale, stir for a few more minutes, then add tomatoes, chickpeas, figs and maple syrup, bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 190 degrees C / 375 degrees and line two baking trays so they are ready for your zucchini
  4. In a shallow bowl, whisk together almond meal, arrowroot flour and spices
  5. Slice the zucchini(s) length ways about 8-10mm thick and dip in flour mixture on both sides and place on the trays, repeat until all the zuchinni is coated
  6. Bake for 10 minutes each side. While your sauce is simmering and your zucchini is in the oven, make your bechamel
  7. In a large sauce pan, add oil and flour, whisk over a medium heat until well combined and a paste is formed
  8. Start adding milk when you see the oil and flour thickening, it will happen quite quickly so have enough milk standing by. Add as much as you desire, the consistency should be like a runny yogurt. Turn heat off
  9. Add nutritional yeast and salt to taste (you might not need a lot of salt as the nutritional yeast is already quite salty) and stir until well combined
  10. Finish your tomato sauce off by adding the lemon juice and then you are ready to layer
  11. Starting with the zucchini on the bottom layer, add the tomato sauce, then another layer of zucchini, tomato and finish with the layer of bechamel
  12. Sprinkle almond meal on top and bake for 40-50 minutes

This can be served once cooled, but it’s best served the next day when the layers have fully set.

Follow my instagram for more food @themotherofvegans

Enjoy x

Maple Tofu Bacon

This recipe is seriously the tits.
I’ve made vegan bacon before using Shiitake mushrooms for pizzas and have always wanted to try with tofu.
When I was making tofu last week, I accidentally cut one of the slices too thin and after cooking, I remember eating it thinking, I need to make this into bacon!
If you’ve followed my Instagram, you know I cook tofu like this all the time, I just slice thicker and add a different marinade.
Ingredients 
500g form tofu
Soy sauce to brush
Marinade
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoons MCT oil or any other neutral oil
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Method 
1. Remove tofu from packaging, wrap in paper towel and place between two chopping boards or trays. Place something heavy on top and leave for an hour or so. This step is called pressing and is really important to remove excess water from the tofu as you will see when you wring the paper towel.
2. Once your tofu is pressed, slice into 5mm slice length ways and place on lined baking tray.
3. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius
4. Brush strips of tofu with soy sauce (just one side) and place in oven for 10 minutes.
5. Remove from oven, flip over and brush the other side of the strips and bake for another 10 minutes,
6. While that’s cooking, place ingredients for marinade in a small bowl and mix until well combined.
7. Remove tofu from oven and turn grill function on high.
8. Brush the tofu with the marinade and place under the grill for 5-10 minutes, depending on your oven, keeping a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
Serve as desired, I’ve served with the Fry’s Family Chicken and Waffle recipe!
chicken and waffles

NO-MEAT MEATBALLS

No-meat meatballs that are packed full of vegetables, protein and flavour.

Simple ingredients, limited kitchen equipment and quick to throw together.

I am constantly being asked how my two eat so many veggies.

Few tips that work for them:

  1. Mix it up!

Some days they will devour a certain vegetable and the next day they won’t eat it, so I always make sure I change up their veggies and retry veggies they refused previously. It’s so perplexing and frustrating, I wish I knew what was going through their brains!

  1. Grating is great!

The grater is always on hand so I can put (read hide) grated veggies in their pasta, muffins or risottos.

  1. Don’t be afraid of flavour!

I’ve found my two LOVE spices (including chilli) so don’t be afraid to give them what you’re eating or adding spices to their foods.

The no-meat meatballs are one of my favourite creations to date because they have so many vegetables in them, but are also packed with complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre, so it ticks all the boxes. These are great on their own or served with spaghetti and a tomato sauce to recreate spaghetti and meatballs!

Ingredients

1 can lentils, drained

3 button mushrooms, roughly chopped

Handful of fresh parsley

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

2 teaspoons of ground coriander

2 teaspoons of paprika

2 teaspoons of minced garlic

2 teaspoons of tamari

2 teaspoons of liquid smoke (optional, you could substitute for 2 teaspoons of beef stock powder)

1 medium sized carrot, finely grated

½ cup passata

½ pureed beetroot

1 ½ cups of cooked brown rice

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1 cup gluten free flour

 

Method

  1. Place lentils, parsley, mushrooms, spices into a food processor and pulse until combined
  2. Turn into large bowl and fold through the other ingredients until well combined
  3. Roll into balls (about 2 tablespoons) and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow to bind
  4. When you are ready, preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius/390 degrees Fahrenheit
  5. Optional step: if you desire, you can pan fry in olive oil before placing in the oven to get them really crunchy
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes
  7. Allow to cool before serving

 

Follow my instagram for more food @themotherofvegans

 

Cauliflower, pumpkin and chickpea salad

If you’re like me, you’ll plan your meals meticulously and then change them last minute!
I planned to make Moroccan chickpea patties for dinner one night this week, but didn’t quite get there and I needed a quick meal for a hot summers day yesterday.
I’ve been researching Moroccan cuisine for the last week and I took away that it uses cinnamon really well to complement savoury flavours, so that’s in there, everything else was kind of thrown in on a limb, ha!
The tangy lemon yogurt dressing cuts through the subtle chilli wonderfully.
The crunch of the chickpeas give the salad texture and the hemp seeds also add texture and protein.
If you don’t have salt reduced chickpeas, that’s fine just use less salt when baking.

 

All of the ingredients take about 25-35 minutes to roast depending on how caramelised you like them and the salad is delicious warm or cold.
Ingredients
Baby spinach
1 can organic salt reduced chickpeas, drained (make sure you keep the aquafaba, it’s liquid gold!)
1 medium head of cauliflower, washed and cut into small florets
250g butternut pumpkin, sliced into 1cm slices, skin on
Olive oil
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
Spice rub for cauliflower 
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
For chickpeas 
Pink salt + paprika + olive oil
Dressing
3 tablespoons of coconut yougurt (I’ve used the Nakula plain yogurt)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of pink salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
2. In a large bowl, combine spice rub for cauliflower and mix. Add cauliflower and transfer to a lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil.
3. Place drained chickpeas in a lined tray with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and paprika depending on your taste. On the same line tray, place sliced pumpkin on a tray with olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Place the trays in the oven for 25-35 minutes checking occasionally.
4. While the veggies are roasting, place the dressing ingredients in a bottle or a jar and shake until well combined. If you don’t have a bottle or a jar, a bowl and whisk will work or a blender.
5.  Toss the spinach in some of the dressing and extra olive oil and then assemble the rest of the salad placing cauliflower, pumpkin and chickpeas on top. Drizzle more dressing over the top and then the hemp seeds.
6. Serve warm or cold and perfect for meal prepping!

ASTROcytoma GIRL

My brain cancer journey

2017 was my dedicated year of learning, I could have never anticipated just how much I would learn.

One of my goals this year was to talk about my experiences about brain cancer to hopefully spread awareness about the horrible disease, so here it is.

In March 2017 I was diagnosed with brain cancer, IDH mutated grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma to be exact. 

For those of you that don’t know a lot about brain cancer *slowly raises hand* it’s one of the better ones, apparently.

Let’s talk about symptoms..

I had my twins in April 2016, so a lot of my symptoms looking back aligned with pregnancy or post natal depression; headaches, tiredness and lack of energy. I thought it was lack of sleep or too much coffee as anyone would right?

After the boys started sleeping through, the same symptoms started  reappearing, but at the forefront were the head aches, always the headaches. This time I put it down to the polyps I’ve always had on my sinus or that my anxiety had developed into depression. I saw 3 or 4 doctors until finally they put me on antidepressants. I felt like I was going crazy and no one was taking me seriously. I kept telling everyone something was wrong and even said to my husband at one stage “what if it’s a brain tumour” in jest of course, looking back now not so funny.

My tumour is a primary brain tumour, and therefore it started (and will end) in the brain, it would be extremely rare for it to spread to other parts of the body. For all the doctors know it was likely there for 10 years or more.

It wasn’t until I had a seizure at midnight in bed thankfully, an ambulance ride and a scan that they confirmed a tumour the size of a golf ball in my left frontal lobe.

Here is my husbands account, I am so thankful for his quick thinking and ability to act, I don’t know if I could have done the same, I probably would have just frozen.

 

Emma suffered what is called a tonic-clonic seizure at 12:01am Sunday 13th February.
Our lives are about to change forever.

I woke up to Emma seizing and after 30 seconds of not knowing what the hell was happening I managed to call 000.

Thankfully the operator knew it was a seizure but I still thought Emma was dying in front of me. It was a truly frightening 4 minutes.

The ambulance arrived 10 minutes after that, Emma completely confused as to what was happening still, but alive.

Zac and Ash (our friends) got to our house faster than the ambulance and looked after our sleeping buttheads.

Emergency room.
“Oh it is probably a build up of all that stress that led to the seizure, that is what google is telling me”
Emma replied something like “it says it could be a brain tumour”
“Don’t be stupid, don’t say that”

After a good 5 hour wait at RPA emergency Emma went in for a CT scan.

I had to go and meet Rhonda (Emma’s mum) who was driving over to look after the boys.

In what can only be described as a comedy of errors, Rhonda had had a car accident.

While we waited for Ken and the tow truck, Emma assured me via text that everything was fine and to come back to the hospital to pick her up after she had another test.

We also just found out that Ellery James, our first nephew, entered the world that same morning.

(right?)

I returned to the hospital only to find Emmy standing there with a drip in her arm. She burst into tears and I knew something terrible was found. A moment I will never forget.

“A 4cm lesion is showing on her left frontal lobe…”

We both went into a private room and the cry faces were not pretty!

What a day.

 

As terrible as that day/night was I am so lucky to have had my seizure when and where I did. I always say to myself, imagine if I was driving with our babies in the car or if it happened while I was showering while the boys napped. I am so grateful everyday for that.

So I spent my 28th birthday in preoperative admission for 4 hours to prep me for 10 hour brain surgery and then went on to have 100% of MRI visible tumour removed. Happy birthday to me!

I’m also young(ish), female, and stubborn; all favourable factors.

The location of the tumour meant it was more favourable (as far as tumours go), and it didn’t affect my speech, motor functions or anything really. I was and still am extremely lucky.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, result time!

I guess I was really naive to think that because the tumour was all removed it meant I could just move on with my life, but that wasn’t the case.

I was told the recommendation of the RPA tumour board was for me to have radiation and chemotherapy, that in itself was a lot to digest and I just broke down in tears. What’s worse they left a staple in my head from surgery that I had to go and get removed afterwards pretending like nothing was wrong.

The next few weeks were pure fucking hell. Between all of the doctors appointments, it was like I was mourning my life.

No one wanted to leave me alone because I was at risk of having another seizure.
I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t be left alone around my sons by myself, I couldn’t not have my phone on me at all times otherwise people would worry I couldn’t even shower without someone being home. There were a lot of ugly tears, arguments and “why me’s”.

I didn’t want to have chemotherapy, I didn’t want to be sick. I didn’t want to go to the hospital everyday for rounds of radiation, well to be fair I didn’t want to catch the bus to the hospital everyday when I felt well enough to drive. I felt completely useless, like a failure to my family.

Thank god for Ryan, my husband. He just immersed himself in everything. Medical marijuana, clinical trials, the best treatments for my particular type of tumour (seriously hit him up, he’s practically a doctor now).

He wanted to make sure I made the decision as my own presented with all of the facts.

I will post about how I came to my decision in the next couple of days as I am getting really emotional, but I will end with if you are having persistent headaches or feel something just isn’t right, please push your doctor for a referral for a scan.

Emma x