I haven't had the inclination to post here for quite some time as we have had some very bad news in our lives. My dear husband, after weeks of uncharacteristic behaviour, was diagnosed with a brain tumour and after surgery the pathology came back only to inform us of the worst possible news, the tumour is a glioblastoma multiforme. Which is an ultimately incurable cancer so treatment is for life extension, and who knows how long that will be. The surgery was very invasive and so a lot of 'trauma' took place in order to remove the tumour- which resulted in a much longer than expected recovery. So for the last six weeks I have been in hospital every day, sometimes in and out up to 3 times and between making sure my kids are cared for and organised and feeling in a pit of despair, I have not felt like cooking or baking. Besides which, I have had the most amazing support from my family and friends, who have been feeding us so well, keeping the cake tins and freezer full. I am constantly amazed by the outpouring of kindness that has flowed since we got the news, I feel utterly humbled by the love that has been shown us.
I have always turned to cooking or baking in times of stress, but this news has just blown everything out of the water. The idea of being alone with my thoughts is more than I can cope with so cooking has been off the agenda!
We have in the last few weeks been in a more positive place, Glen is regaining physical strength and building stamina so he is more mobile and consequently more upbeat. This has flowed over into his mental recovery and we have seen amazing progress recently which fills me with hope. He has had a couple of overnight visits home and we hope to have him home at the end of next week. He starts treatment of chemo and radiation next week, which will likely slow his recovery, as all his energy is likely to be sapped by it. We are taking one day at a time, it is the only way to stay sane, as every time I think ahead I absolutely lose it as I contemplate not only how this disease is likely to play out (cruelly, by most accounts), but the idea of life without my lovely husband and my children's life without their awesome father.
So right now the focus is solely on what we CAN control, not what we can't. Which brought me back to baking.......the staff on the rehabilitation ward that Glen has been on for the last 3 weeks have been amazing, encouraging and supportive to both of us, so I felt the need to spoil them and bake some cupcakes for them. I used some gorgeous wee paper cases my lovely friend Fran from Violet's Pantry had sent me. When I got them I had the feeling that I would never make use of them as the idea of baking again seemed so far away, but here I am, using them, and the gorgeousness of how they look is just a small thing that has the ability to bring joy to a day. And that is about as good as it gets!!!!!They were devoured instantly, so that brought some joy too.
I used Jo Seagar's Best Birthday Bash Choccy Cake - the recipe is here- it is a lovely moist cake that made in cupcakes works very well too. I made a basic ganache icing to pipe on top and topped them with smarties (colour co-ordinated of course!).