I Dreamt of Sausage
Perfect Bound Softcover
Corinna Borden writes of her tumultuous path toward recovery from Hodgkin’s disease in I Dreamt of Sausage. Though it is considered one of the most curable cancers, her search was an arduous one. Borden was not there to follow orders.
From the moment of diagnosis, Borden invites the reader into her head. Along with her experiences with the Western system of health and healing, I Dreamt of Sausage travels with the author from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Tijuana, Mexico, as she investigates and experiences alternative forms of cancer treatment. Through her personal journal entries and inner-voice discussions, Borden immerses the reader in the emotional and spiritual challenges of cancer treatment with unflinching honesty.
I Dreamt of Sausage is divided into three parts: “Body,” “Mind,” and “Spirit.” “Body” introduces the patient, her diagnosis, and her experiences with chemotherapy. “Mind” delves further into Borden’s frustrations with traditional cancer treatments and her decision to pursue alternative medical care. “Spirit” illustrates her newfound ability to witness her thoughts in any medical situation and her broader understanding of health.
I Dreamt of Sausage offers a unique perspective on illness. Borden illustrates the transformation an individual can take from being overwhelmed by physical suffering to choosing internal peace. As Borden says, “The story is about recognizing the voices in your head and choosing which ones to listen to.”
“Survival behavior relates to one’s personality characteristics. Corinna’s book shares many of these factors and makes them easy to understand because she is a native who has lived the problem and can share her experience. It is real and practical and useful for those confronting cancer and other problems.”
—Bernie Siegel, MD, author of Faith, Hope & Healing and 365 Prescriptions for the Soul
“This is a MUST-read for anyone dealing with cancer or involved with anyone who is. What do you do when your life is shattered by a cancer diagnosis? What forms of treatment do you choose? Why did you get cancer in the first place? Follow one woman’s amazing journey as she shares her innermost thoughts and feelings on her quests for wellness.”
—Carolyn L. Mein, DC, author of Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils and Different Bodies, Different Diets
In Media Res (extended)
The night I ate macrobiotic apple pie, I dreamt of sausage. I stood amidst booths at a fair, surrounded by people wearing shiny aprons glowing with grease stains. I looked at the big sausage in my hand and breathed deeply. The Italian sausage lay with onions, peppers, and chilies - surrounded by a toasted bun. I took a bite. The grease coated my mouth, heated my tongue. I groaned with happiness. I knew I was not supposed to be eating the warm, meaty sausage, but I couldn’t help myself. I woke up feeling satiated and full – guilty and confused.
We made the pie from a macrobiotic cookbook. The recipe seemed harmless enough, whole-wheat pastry flour, barley malt (for sweetness), corn oil, and apples. The crust was cardboard. The fruit alone was tasty, probably embarrassed to be surrounded by such a mockery of flaky crusts. Perhaps the apples were themselves dreaming of sugar, lard, cinnamon.
It is March, and I am undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I want to feel as though I am being proactive and taking ownership. Not feeling I am simply along for the chemotherapy ride and hoping it will never come back, and I will live to the ripe age of 100 by accident. Thus, the macrobiotic apple pie.
About two weeks ago I went to my pre-infusion meeting with my oncologist, six out of my twelve treatments behind me. I was over the hump and looking forward to finishing my life as a patient. The tumors were shrinking on the CT scans. I felt emboldened to ask my oncologist the 400 million dollar question.
“So when I finish this protocol, do I sit around waiting for the cancer to come back?”
The kind young doctor looked at me with a smile. “No, go out there and live your life and forget about it.”
Later, as I received my infusion, I sat in the acrylic la-z-boy and pondered what she meant.
Go, live your life and forget about it, what a nice idea. What a shortsighted, annoying response.
What do I want to do with my “life?” I have been a waitress, I have been a teacher, and then I got married and moved to the freaking Midwest with George’s job. This small town has few opportunities for an overeducated English Major without a network. Yes, I am currently working in the corporate world because I want to wear power suits. But still, my whole plan to get pregnant has been derailed by all of this craziness.
I sat there and got more and more unhappy about not knowing what I want from “life.” Capital L freaking “Life!” The doctor upped the ante from my 400 million dollar question and retaliated with “life” capital L!!
I knew talking to George about “Life” was not going to be helpful, so I talked about “Life” with Dr. Roth, my holistic doctor. Dr. Roth recommended I attack my diet first and we would continue to chip away at the “Life” question.
Yesterday, my father asked me for a simple way to think of Macrobiotics. My response was “It is Vegan on crack.”
“I mean, Dad, lymph nodes are the part of the body designed to flush out toxins. Given that I am attacking the lymphatic garbage men, perhaps I should put in less food garbage?”
This was why I dreamt of sausage and cheese, and wow – fried eggs on hamburgers with sautéed mushrooms and bacon. French fries with mayonnaise, fourme d’ambere omelet with spinach and truffle oil, and even just hot chocolate from a vending machine – frothy, warm, and too sweet.
Ooooh, and my mother’s steak au poivre – the butter and fullness of the brandy anchoring the bite and citrus overtones of the pepper. The sauce so delicious you want to lick the plate and bathe in it.
This whole story, in fact, started with steak au poivre.
Drawing on lessons from her book, I Dreamt of Sausage, Corinna Borden has participated in the local food movement as a writer, farmers’ market manager, Master Gardener, and backyard chicken keeper. Born in Washington DC, Corinna is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Cambridge, England.
Perfect Bound Softcover
Dust Jacket Hardcover