Sara Pisak

Medication Cookbook


1 can (19 oz), Progresso Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

8 tablets (5mg), Methotrexate

1 child using a red crayon to color a picture of a football  

2 parents pacing between the microwave and an oak kitchen table


Use an antique cranking can opener with the choppy gears and the knob which looks like a fashionable bowtie to open the can.

Place entire 19 oz can of soup in favorite, handmade, red clay, bowl. A bowl too heavy for four year old-muscles to bear.

Cover the bowl with Saran Wrap and heat in GE microwave, setting the chrome knob for 60 seconds on medium/high heat.

As you look at the back of the tiny, brunette head now grasping a blue crayon, let cool for roughly another 60 seconds.

Once cool, parents ensure each spoonful teems with chicken, rice and vegetables.

Garnish with one small, football-shaped (yellow572 or orange604, whichever Weis Pharmacy had that month) 5mg Methotrexate tablet.

Don’t worry! The orange pill resembles a carrot.  

With shaking hands, feed to stiff and swollen four-year-old girl in Bugs Bunny pajamas and 101 Dalmatian socks she picked out herself.

Repeat until recommended dose, usually eight pills, is gone.


Progresso Beef Barley soup, Progresso Minestrone soup, Mrs. Grass Extra Noodle Chicken soup, Motts Applesauce and Fruity Pebbles.   


I didn’t know what real food tasted like until the age of eight, when my parents and doctor switched medications and food’s taste drastically improved. When the prescription changed from football-shaped yellow572 or orange604 pills to a translucent and soluble liquid, there were fewer carrots in every bowl of soup. However, water acquired a sour taste.

Author Photograph

[Image Description: Black and white photograph of a young white woman in a patterned shirt and black pants, who reads while seated in front of a bookshelf.]

Author Biography

Sara Pisak is a recent graduate of Wilkes University with a degree in English Literature and English Creative Writing. Sara participates in the Poetry in Transit Program and is a Region 1 Winner in general column writing from The Society of Professional Journalists. Sara was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of two. She uses her writing to explore the varying perspective of illnesses from childhood and adulthood. When not writing, Sara can be found spending time with her family and friends. You can follow her writing adventures on Twitter @SaraPisak10.