Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0967 - Cancer, Chocolate, Fruit and Wine

That may well become my new mantra over the next few months.

Yes, cancer - that's the reality check. MCRC (metastatic colorectal cancer), to be precise.

Chocolate - life is so much sweeter with the end product of grinding cacao beans into a paste (thanks to my niece and family for bringing along tasty treats as a gift today - we enjoyed bits and pieces all the way back to Kitchener from Grimsby; thanks to my friend, John, for a full box of Xocai nuggets; and thanks to my colleague for some hard-to-find Ritter Sport dark whole hazelnut chocolate).

Fruit - making the trip to Stoney Creek and Grimsby today meant stopping for fresh blueberries, plums, and sweet cherries fresh from the trees of the Niagara fruit region. What makes it even sweeter is knowing that such treats, along with chocolate, help fight and prevent cancer growth.

And then there's wine - Puddicombe Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, to be exact. Despite many years of enjoying the fruit of the vine, Puddicombe Estate Wines are new to my wife and me...until today. After surgery, of course, I won't be drinking wine for at least a few weeks - liver resection might mean an even longer hiatus from vino. And most probably, during chemotherapy, it might also make sense not to drink wine. Whatever - the rest of the time, apart from tea, I will constantly remind myself that there is no beverage with a longer and better association with civilization than wine. And do I need to say this? I am a civilized man!

Yes, cancer is an ironic reminder of mortality (ironic because cancer threatens life precisely because cancer cells have achieved a kind of immortality in the body). But what makes life so special for civilized men and women is the nourishment of good food, drink, and companions.

Today, my wife and I enjoyed visiting with family, especially seeing our grand nieces and nephews. We also enjoyed discovery of Cibo Osteria E Cafe in Grimsby, an Italian restaurant with wonderful panini and infused fruit tea - raspberry and peach for today.

So, there it is. People and passions...maybe the best one-two punch against cancer that there is.

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