Two-Week Update By Lady Patience Grace #BreastCancer #Mastectomy #NailArt #Recipe and #ThursdayDoors

I went to the surgeon’s office last Friday for a check-up, and they said everything was healing satisfactorily, from their point of view. They wrapped me up in an Ace bandage to keep the seroma under control, and said that what I had taken for baby weasels under the skin in front were actually hematomas. So that was a relief.

They also told me — and this is a phrase I never thought I’d construct — to strip my drain bulb tubes to break up any blood clots, so the residual fluid would flow out more freely. I’m telling you these things for your own good, in case you’re ever in a similar situation. You’re welcome.

Just knowing that I was healing within, as they say on Forged in Fire, parameters made me feel better. But I do wish I had been warned about how lumpily ghastly those “two to three weeks” of recovery could be.

A couple of days later, I had a new pain, and Sara surmised that the Ace bandage was giving me a rug burn, so we removed it and applied Neosporin and that pain went away.

Since the only place I’ve been lately is the surgeon’s office, and I already posted pictures of those doors, I have to make do this week with some I snapped when Sara and I stopped on the way home for fast food.

This is a kind of door, right? At least there’s an actual door somewhere behind it.

And here’s a door to maybe a utility shed? There’s another door behind it which appears to be set into a window. I like little buildings like this.

Sara made one of my favorite dishes: pineapple-tofu stir fry. The picture isn’t very good, because it’s hard to photograph something you’re in the process of shoveling into your mouth.

If you don’t like tofu, you could substitute meat. She doesn’t know how to process tofu, so I’ll tell you how I do it: take extra-firm tofu and slice it into rectangles. Freeze them in a single layer. Pull out as many as you need (one is generally enough for this dish), wrap it in paper towels, put it on a flat surface with a cast-iron skillet or something else heavy on it. As it defrosts, the paper towels will soak up the water and you’ll end up with a rectangle of dry tofu. Cut that into cubes, put it in a bowl, and season it. I used a mix of soy sauce and pineapple juice for this dish. The tofu soaks up the liquid and flavor.


  • ~2 TB sesame oil
  • sliced white or yellow onion
  • 1 or 2 carrots, julienned or finely diced
  • whatever other vegetables you want (we had diced celery)
  • 1 can of pineapple chunks in juice* (NOT SYRUP) *KEEP THE JUICE!!
  • 1-2 tsp beef or vegetable broth concentrate
  • ~1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ~1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • soy sauce to taste (I used about 2-3 Tb because I am a salt addict)
  • Mom’s tofu (see above)
  • lo mein noodles (ramen noodles are fine, too)

Heat 1-2 Tb sesame oil in pan over medium heat. Add vegetables and saute until tender (10-15 minutes), drizzling in more oil if needed. Add pineapple chunks, broth concentrate, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup water, and ginger, garlic, tofu with marinade, and pepper flakes to taste. Sprinkle soy sauce over the pan, making sure all the pineapple chunks get a good splash of it. Simmer 5-10 minutes to let flavors meld, then add noodles, reserved pineapple juice, and another 1/3 to 1/2 cup water. Cover. Stir frequently and add water a bit at a time as needed to cook the noodles thoroughly (don’t let the pan dry out!) It helps if you can pile the veg and especially the pineapple on top of the noodles. When the noodles are tender, you’re good to go! If you need more flavor after adding the water, add soy sauce, but definitely taste the noodles first because they absorb a heck of a lot of goodness from the broth they cooked in!

My nails this week were a two-step deal. A dear niece, who is a wizard with press-on polish, sent me some polish strips:

I tried them, but I had no luck. The strips never fit my nails, even though they come in a variety of widths. And, even though I top them with top coat, they always creep away from the edges. (The silver accent nail, I painted myself, because all the strips in this particular set were identical.)

So I removed the strips and painted the other nails as closely to the strip colors and patterns as I could. I painted all my nails with a base coat of Top Shelf Laquers’ Diamonds Are … A Girl’s Best Friend! and covered that on all but the accent nail with a translucent coat of Sally Hansen’s Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue. The blue stamping polish was Maniology’s Flotsam and the silver stamping polish was Maniology’s So Metal. I painted the dots on with a dotting tool. The stamping plate was Born Pretty’s BP-185.

Yes, my skin is very dry. That’s the least of my worries at the moment.

Sara, meanwhile, went crazy with the reverse stamping Art Nouveau. With reverse stamping, you pick up the outline of the design, then use a dotting tool or detail brush to paint within the lines on the stamper, then put a coat of sticky base coat on your nail and apply the design. I think she’s a genius. This is gorgeous AF.

The plates she used are exclusive to Mani X Me members, but they might turn up on resale sites: Maniology’s MXM071 and MXM072. I asked what colors she used, and she said, “At least ten.”

See you next week!

Thursday doors is under the direction of Dan Antion, photographer extraordinaire and critter daddy. Visit his site, enjoy his wonderful photographs, follow his directions, and enter a world of doors.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Failing at something someone else is wonderful at.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Two-Week Update By Lady Patience Grace #BreastCancer #Mastectomy #NailArt #Recipe and #ThursdayDoors

  1. Michael Hodges

    January 27, 2022 at 11:24am

    Glad to see that Grumpy McSavagebritches is slowly (dare I say “gracefully?” I dare) being replaced by the company of Lady PatienceGrace McFlurrynails, and glad to see the process (and progress) of recovery is coming along.

    Never underestimate the wonders of the miracle drug Neosporin. That stuff is biblical. Medicinal mana, I tells ya!

    While I have no story to accompany your prompt (I suck at so many things one cannot see an individual tree for the whelm of the forest), I will point out that Nailed It! is one of my favorite concepts out there on teh Interwebz. I’ve never seen the show based on the rise of the internet shares, but I rather imagine it’s spectacularly dreadful, and a form of human “omigod” right up your alley. You may already appreciate real artistry, and that’s good; but after some of those not only will you REALLY appreciate artists, you’ll feel so much less alone in the realm of mere mortals.

    Which I believe is what the Internet is actually supposed to be for. Why else would we so easily recognize the subject matter of memes? (Sorrowful good-byyyyye little red Hyundai Elantra I’ve been driving behind for a hundred and thirty-eight miles and with which I’ve formed a completely illogical and unreasonable emotional bond…)

    We should be brought together by the undeniable truth that we are more alike than we are different, such a holy revelation!

    Instead we argue with strangers —

    “Are you coming to bed?”
    “I can’t, not yet.”
    “Why not?”
    “Someone on the internet is wrong.”

    … and share pictures of cats, and perhaps of our lunch.

    So go look up some “Nailed It!” and feel part of humanity, while getting some laughs.

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  2. Dan Antion

    January 27, 2022 at 11:57am

    I”m glad you are healing within parameters. Commander Data would be proud. The stir fry looks good, but I’m seeing chicken where the tofu is. Cool nails.

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  3. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    January 28, 2022 at 1:25am

    Thanks for the update – pulling for you to be over with the ‘discomfort’ part (I wish the surgeons had to go through that WITH every patient).

    Chugging along here, always wishing I were faster, and then going in a circle and telling myself if I were someone else, I wouldn’t be writing THIS story, and it’s almost there, and I might as well git ‘er done.

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  4. acflory

    January 28, 2022 at 3:50am

    Progress is progress, no matter how slow and unpleasant. Each day is one day closer to being normal again. I like the recipe, but I think chicken too. I do like your method for dealing with tofu though.

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  5. circadianreflections

    January 28, 2022 at 10:13am

    I’m so happy to hear that your are healing well according to your doctor! Your sense of humor is still intact which is brilliant!!

    I haven’t done a stir fry with noodles in ages. Last time I did a stir fry oh, a few months ago it was just shrimp and a whole lotta veggies. Yours with noodles looks and sounds yummy!

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  6. Damyanti Biswas

    January 29, 2022 at 3:55am

    Love those gorgeous nails! Thanks for keeping us updated, Marian, and so glad you’re healing well! I make stir fries often here in Singapore, and might just try out your recipe. Sending HUGS.

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