The Power of Cancer

We lost a friend to cancer yesterday afternoon. Crissy was the wife of one of my husbands high school best friends. She had a daughter, Gracie, six years ago and then found out just shortly after that she had cancer. Cancer has been a part of her life since then. Crissy fought a very valiant fight… always keeping things real and soldiering on.

Tonight, as I reflect on Crissy and her life, I cannot help but think what power cancer has over people. The power of cancer is a scary thing.

  • Cancer has the power to make a woman who is full of life… outgoing, boisterous, and funny… lose all of her external spark and vibrance.
  • Cancer can make a mother, who knows that her time is short and fearing the memory of her will be lost, plead with people around her to “No matter what, please let Gracie know I was a great mom and I loved her very much.”
  • Cancer has the power to make a man throw out the notion that showing emotion is not acceptable. Distraught at the thought of life without his partner, cancer has the power to make a man overcome with the desire to make things better and to wish that he could do anything to turn back time. A widower at the age of 34, cancer has the power to make us all realize how truly unfair life can be.
  • Cancer has the power to make a husband cling to his wife. After spending time and being witness to what his friend is going through, cancer has the power to make a husband plead with his wife “no matter what happens, please don’t die before me.” Cancer makes us realize how lost we would be without one another.
  • Cancer has the power to make a precious six year old girl, who has never known her mom without cancer, be forced with the harsh reality that this time it is different. Mommy won’t be coming home with you tonight to tuck you in and dry your tears.
  • Cancer has the power to bring people together, to fight for the cause and to hopefully bring a cure home soon. Like the LiveSTRONG day A Taste of Yellow Event, hosted by winosandfoodies…I can guarantee the food blogging community will do their part to raise the awareness of the devastation and power of cancer.

I know that Crissy is now a spunky, beautiful angel, lighting up heaven’s gates. Crissy will be missed by all who knew her, and will be remembered for her strength, smile, character and most of all… the impact she made on her daughters life in the short amount of time.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

45 min | 20 min prep | SERVES 10 -12

1/2 cup sweet creamy butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 grated lemons, zest of
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg yolks, one at a time.
  4. Beat well after each.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating two times with the buttermilk, then lemon juice, and then vanilla.
  7. Beat just until smooth.
  8. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  9. Gently fold them into the muffin batter until blended.
  10. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, 3/4-full.
  11. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.
  13. I sometimes sprinkle the muffin mixture with sugar prior to putting in the oven just to add a little extra sweetness.

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  1. says

    You have me sitting at my desk at work, bawling like a baby. I’m so sorry for your loss – and for Gracie and for Chrissy’s husband. She is obviously a woman that will be missed, but one that left in imprint of her life here on earth.

  2. says

    Life truly is unfair sometimes. I can only hope that your friend’s little girl will feel her mother’s love everyday through the people who knew and loved her. What a thoughtful post Kristen, it made me realize that I should be even more thankful for all that I have, thank you.

  3. says

    This is a very moving entry. I am sure the food blogging community will do its part to raise awareness of the devastating power of cancer.

  4. Stacy says

    I am so sorry to hea about your friend. I believe your Blog was a wonderful tribute and my thoughts go out to her family.

  5. says

    I’m sitting her crying, your words are so true and so touching!!! I’ve lost many family members to cancer and I know how hard it is, your words are a testament to Chrissy and her husband and daughter.

  6. kathryn says

    Cancer came to our house. I thought perhaps this would be the ‘other side’. Thinking of you.
    Cancer is so limited…
    It cannot cripple love.
    It cannot shatter hope,
    It cannot corrode faith,
    It cannot destroy peace,
    It cannot kill friendship,
    It cannot suppress memories,
    It cannot silence courage,
    It cannot invade the soul,
    It cannot steal eternal life,
    It cannot conquer the spirit.

  7. says

    Kristen you have no idea how powerful you post is. I had considered not running A Taste Of Yellow next year…..until I read your post. You have made me realise how important it is to keep the awareness out there. Thank you so much for supporting LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow.

  8. says

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss that you and your friend have suffered. It seems so wrong that someone so young is taken but I can only have faith that God is in control. What a precious gift that little girl is right now to the grieving husband.

  9. says

    Oh Kristen, what a moving post. It breaks my heart to learn of Crissy and her family’s suffering. I will pray for her, for her daughter and her husband…that the family she left behind will eventually find peace in their memories and that love and happiness will persevere over all sadness and despair.

    It is simply devastating to lose someone you love, no matter how old or young you are, and my heart goes out to Gracie and her father.

    Life can be so hectic, so maddening…and so impossibly beautiful. And there are times, like now, when I am reminded of just how fragile and delicate the balance of life really is.

  10. says

    beautiful post. i have to admit, i skimmed parts of it – i lost both parents to cancer and have had it myself, and felt myself starting to get teary at my desk.

    i really need to get off my butt, i want to participate in the livestrong event.

  11. says

    I have tears in my eyes, Kristen. Beautiful post. I’m sorry for your loss but love the way you remember your friend.
    I was 1 year older than Gracie when I lost my mom to cancer. I wish her all the best, truly do.

  12. says

    Kristen, I am in tears. It reminded me of what my dad said at my brother’s funeral “parents should not be burrying their children…it’s just wrong” and he fell apart, an army man who had never diplayed emotions. If only one good thing came out of it is that that day I really met my dad.
    Words won’t work quite well in the coming weeks but hugs and actions will speak to her husband and her daughter. I wish you and them all the best in this difficult time.

  13. Lisa says

    Heaven’s a little brighter these days huh? If that’s possible it is. Cancer is viscious. Life seems so unfair at times especially when a 6 year old loses her mommy. Keep those memories alive, she’ll need them later. Take care…

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