I can’t believe that it’s already 2017. Because of how grueling chemotherapy has been these past 6 months, I honestly never thought I’d make it to the new year. But, thanks be, I did it. I survived 6 months of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad endless days, and endless nights of fear, anxiety and pain. All FINALLY done and over with. Which means no more weekly rounds of chemotherapy drugs, no more pills to help me sleep, or eat, or control the nausea and pain. No more hospital stays. NO MORE CHEMOTHERAPY. Because as of right now, I am CANCER FREE! And though I’ll be starting a drug that blocks all estrogen growth within my body, in the hopes to stop the reemergence of my cancer, I am FINALLY back to being me. Back to being independent. Back to living.
I can honestly say that although I was NOT a very good cancer patient, and struggled desperately with mind numbing depression and anxiety, two things became very clear to me within this past half year.
Firstly, I am nothing without my family. My Mom, my Dad, my Mother & Father-in-law, my sisters, my husband, my daughter. No one else saw or understood the many (horrible) things that I endured. My family, who out of everyone else within my small circle of family & friends, were truly & fully there for me, every step of the way through it. Without them, I doubt I would have made it through.
Secondly, I pray that I will never take for granted any of my own independence, ever again. For 6 months, I wasn’t able to drive, or clean, or cook, or be with my own furry kids (my dog & 3 cats, who remained at my own house while my husband, daughter and I lived with my Mother). In nearly every way possible, I lost all tangible forms of independence. Which was horrible. Truly horrible. Something which I am totally ecstatic to have back. Like you wouldn’t believe.
So to celebrate being back in my own little house this week, surrounded by my 3 furry kids, I was super excited about throwing together this new slow cooker Minestrone Soup recipe! Specifically for my husband, as a small thank you for everything he endured last year. Because what says love more than a lovely bowlful of warm, homemade soup? Not much else.
Here’s how, you too, can give some love back to your own loved ones:
3 to 4 red potatoes, cubed
2 stalks of celery, diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large red or white onion, sliced and diced
1 can of diced tomatoes
3 cans of tomato sauce
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can of red kidney beans, drained
1 can of green beans, drained
pinch of salt & pepper
1 box seashell pasta
1 cup shredded parmasean cheese, optional for garnish
Firstly, slice, dice and cube the potatoes, carrots, celery and onion. Cook the cubed potatoes, and the seashell pasta, in separate pots, until just fully cooked through. Drain each pot and set each ingredient aside.
Set your slow cooker to high, for 2 to 3 hours, and add in the can of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, kidney beans, green beans, carrots, celery and onion. Stir together until well mixed. Sprinkle in salt and pepper. Now add in the potatoes and seashell pasta. Let all of the ingredients cook together for the full 2 to 3 hours.
Spoon out into desired serving bowls and garnish with a handful of parmesan cheese!
And enjoy! This wonderful vegetable soup may soon become one of your favorite winter soups, too!
Happy 2017, my friends!