By the time Jane won star baker in the first episode of Season 7, I'd already rooted through my cabinets to concoct a lumpy mixture of Oreo pretzel brownies. I wept as Pastor Lee was squished between Sue and Mel in a farewell hug before being sent back to Bolton to work on his genoise. "Right. Come on Candice, sort yourself out. No more crying," eventual winner Candice Brown told the camera. "Same," I told myself, wiping tears from my lashless eyes.
The brownies were a bust, simultaneously dry and gummy and filled with soggy Oreos; it wasn't just my chemo mouth that thought they tasted gritty, even my partner, Max, couldn't get through more than one. But I didn't care about eating them. I dumped the pan in the trash bin and started over. By my doctor's appointment the following week, I was through as many episodes of Bake Off as I could work into a day, cheering Ruby and Howard in Season 4 one hour and Nadiya from Season 6 the next.
My life became dusted with white flour and filled with chants of "Ready, set, bake." On Bake Off, nothing is more serious than getting yeast dough warm enough to proof or a perfect crack down the center of a Madeira cake. Not work, not family, and certainly not cancer.