Friday, October 12, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Gifts for Jocelyn

Jocelyn is in the middle. This picture was taken at her mother's wedding. 

Because it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and because I love her, I would like to tell you about my best friend Jocelyn.

I met Jocelyn way back in the day, so long ago, we can't remember exactly when.  Sometime before 5th grade.  Her family had recently purchased a house in my neighborhood and we went to the same church - major score!  I don't remember much about the first year we met, we were young, probably just playing like typical children, and then she moved overseas with her family.  When she got back though, our friendship  blossomed.

To me, Jocelyn was the "smart" girl - street wise and intellectually.  Perhaps it was because of her older siblings, but she knew all about movies, the internet, music, and games.  She was interesting and opened up a whole new world of fun for me.

She was also the person who you could tell anything to without being judged or made to feel stupid.  You never had to put up a front with her, never had to pretend you were cooler than you actually were, never had to have the best new clothing or "it" item.  Jocelyn simply accepted you for who you were and boy was she an excellent listener.  So I made her my friend, my best friend, before she had any choice in the matter.

Our friendship continued from then on - through middle school, high school, college, and the post college/trying to find yourself stage of life (a phase I may still be in...).  We have spent countless hours talking, playing games, eating too much junk food, and watching cult films/camp classics.  She was the first person to show me a scary movie that was actually really scary (why did we insist on sleeping in the living room that backed up to the woods?) and she has impacted my music taste far more than anybody else I've encountered thus far.

We haven't always lived near each other and haven't always been in constant communication, but we have always been able to pick right up from where we last left off.  We have been a constant in each others life and I truly hope and pray that it can stay that way.

Sometime last year, when she was only 26,  Jocelyn broke the news to me that she had breast cancer.  Naturally, I was shocked and upset but I began to cling to the hope that she could beat it.  Problem is that Jocelyn has stage IV metastatic, triple negative breast cancer.  Genetic testing results show that she has the BRCA 1 gene mutation and that her type of breast cancer is genetic and uncommon - basically meaning her case is very hard to treat.  She has already had a double mastectomy but it didn't improve her case as much as we would have liked - the cancer had already spread throughout her body and was continuing to do so at a rapid pace.

Jocelyn's best chance now at beating the cancer, or at least extending her life, is personalized treatment geared toward her genes.  This type of treatment though is very costly and isn't fully covered by insurance.  Jocelyn, being fresh out of college when this started, has no funds left to cover the costs and her family has exhausted all of theirs.  She NEEDS this treatment.  It is her best chance.

If you can, please consider donating to Jocelyn.  There is a tax-deductable donation page set up at Setting Them Free for her.  After you click on Donate Now, type Jocelyn Rodearmel in the "This donation is in 'honor of'" field.  This will ensure that your donation benefits Jocelyn directly.  You can donate money at  There is also a Paypal account that has been set up for her -

The money that is donated will be used for two purposes.  First, it will help cover the cost of all treatment that her insurance does not cover.  Second, it will help cover the costs of any dreams she would like to fulfill, as right now her prognosis is, at most, two years.

Please also help spread the word.   Miracles do occur, but the Lord often uses us to make them happen.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dinner Tonight

Sorry for the awful picture.  Quick cell phone pictures with shaky hands are no good.

I made pork terderloin for the first time tonight.   I learned quite a bit about beef, chicken, and steak growing up but I can't remember ever having pork at home.  I personally really like pork and when I ran into the chili lime pork loin recipe over at Budget Bytes I had to give it a try.

I followed the recipe pretty much exactly as written (marinated the meat for roughly 5 hours).  I didn't turn up my oven to 400 degrees though because I was following the instructions on the package but I wish I had because my pork loin took a lot longer to cook than hers.  I am not even sure mine ever reached the internal temperature of 160 degrees but it was close enough.  The less thick parts of the meat were not perfectly tender so I kind of wish I had taken it out a few minutes earlier but it was beyond good enough for my first try.

Verdict:  Great recipe if you don't mind spicy, which I do not.  It was pretty darn delicious and I plan on using this recipe often.

Side Dishes:  Crash hot potatoes from Ree at The Pioneer Woman - Mine didn't look as nice as hers (they fell apart when I mashed them)  but they were still delicious, especially with some sour cream.  I used green onion on top of mine in place of the herbs. Green beans with caramelized onions - A recipe I found on BigOven (a great app).  I didn't follow the recipe perfectly (not on purpose) but they were still really good.  Just don't ask the hubby about them, he isn't a fan of fresh green beans.

Overall, a great dinner to accompany the Presidential debate.