What kind of brain cancer do you have?

It's called a glioblastoma, or sometimes a GBM. Here is a link to the American Brain Tumor Association's information on glioblastomas. Basically, itís terrifying and horrible. (Yes, itís the same one that John McCain was diagnosed with.) Its nickname is The Terminator because it kills most people within a year of diagnosis. I was diagnosed with my GBM in March 2017 and am still alive and endlessly grateful if youíre reading this. So you can do the math.

How old are your kids?

My Henry is six years old and my Theodore is three. Both are complete stinkers and the center of my universe.

How do you come up with ideas for your children's books?

I am most capable as writer -- and most comfortable -- when I write about what I know. Charlie, the protagonist of Charlie the Cook, is essentially my story with a few embellishments. Both Everlasting Creature and its wide-release iteration, Lasting Love (coming from Random House/Rodale Kids in 2019), were born from the intentions I cast for my kids about my love for them lasting in case my body didnít.

How many subscribers/followers did your CaringBridge site have? Or your blog, The Wright Recipes?

I am not being coy when I say I really don't know. I have no interest in figuring it out, either. I donít write for my community, even though I am deeply grateful for their support. I wrote my CaringBridge site for my kids to read when they are older. Tracking how many followers I had would chip away at the purity of my motivation and, in my view, the integrity of the heirloom itself.

As for The Wright Recipes, I write about food because itís a huge part of what makes me feel like myself. Paying attention to likes and numbers is distracting and brings a self-awareness into the narrative that I donít want and have worked hard to remove from my life.

How did you come up with topics to write on for the Caring Bridge Project?

I wrote the memoir and self-published it as a family heirloom-- one I hope I will be lucky enough to read twenty years from now and look back on a transformative period of my life, or left as a window for my boys (who are too little now to remember me well, if at all) to know their mother well. I wrote each passage for them, responding to questions I thought they might have or documenting my fight for them. That I shared my journal for my community and received support is wonderful and incredibly helpful in finding strength to fight every day, but they were not the audience for which I wrote. I wrote for myself and my boys.

How are you feeling now? Do you have a different prognosis than when you were told your diagnosis in February? Are you in remission?

The short answer is that I am feeling great. I feel like the me I recognize, which is amazing. The long, more thorough answer can be tracked through my journal entries on the CaringBridge site or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter. Prognoses in general are kind of tricky because they are based on statistics and I have been an outlier all along. What I can say with confidence is that my doctors are very impressed with my test results and general health so far. I have remained an outlier and am spending every day working with my lifestyle choices to attempt to stay that way. With a GBM, the term "remission" isn't used because it has an 100% recurrence rate over time.

Would you consider writing a cookbook that follows your gluten-free, sugar-free, anti-inflammatory diet?

I am not a nutritionist and don't want to imply knowledge or my health success due to the way I'm eating. However, I write regularly on my blog, The Wright Recipes, about my food choices and recipes that correspond with them. Iím alive and eating well, and writing about it is a celebration of both.

Someone close to me was recently diagnosed with cancer and they donít know what they can do about it. I want to help by connecting them to your story. How did you change your diet? What else did you do?

When my clean scans started coming in and my doctors started to visibly exhale, I wrote a post for my CaringBridge blog that summed up what I had written about for essentially the year prior, the changes I made along my path with my glioblastoma diagnosis. I made a PDF of it here and find myself passing it to newly diagnosed friends-of-friends often. But just so you know Ė for you, the outsideróyouíe already doing such a good job and all you really can do: just be there. It helps immeasurably.

Would you consider speaking publicly at an event about your experience with cancer?

Because of my treatment schedule, appointments, and careful attention to my energy, I am not taking on engagements for public speaking at the moment.

I don't see any social media buttons on your website. Where can I follow you?

I was connected on social media before my diagnosis to support my career as a cookbook author, but once I was diagnosed I pulled away from all social media entirely. My focus is on the present and I protect that in my personal and public life. After a few yearsí absence from social media, however, I started looking for a way to foster communication and connectedness to the world around meóIím alive, after all, and want to be connected to the fullness of that lifeóbut in a meaningful way. So I decided to make monthly newsletters that showcase my work, my food and my life: a true, clear glimpse into what Iím up to. Sign up here. I also update my blog, The Wright Recipes, every week.

Are the illustrations on this website done by you?

I wish! Sadly, I can't draw well. Luckily, I have friends who can. We work together sometimes.

You are a cook and a writer? Can you give me tips on how to do that, too?

I know, right?! It is an awesome career, I highly recommend it. I used to answer emails like this all the time, but now I donít because I donít like to sit at my computer very much, which is already a challenge when youíre paid to write things. So here are the basics of what I used to re-write every time:

My route to my career as it is now was a college degree in literature, culinary school, working in food magazines, then as a freelancer in any way I could within the sphere of food media. My one piece of advice is to work hard and as much as you can and any way you can, even if that means not getting paid. Experience is hard to get when youíre starting out. Oh, and be kind. This business is like any other, and there are a lot of people to choose from that could do what you want to be doingóbeing nice and showing up and doing the work is the secret.

Previous Next