Madhulika Sikka

Underneath railway arches on a nondescript street in North London, you'll find an old warehouse that's the epicenter of the Ottolenghi food empire.

Jerusalem-born food impresario Yotam Ottolenghi and his business partner, Sami Tamimi, started out over a decade ago with one restaurant in London selling fresh, Middle East-inspired food. The business now encompasses several restaurants, an expanding online food business and some cookbooks that have been wildly successful on their home turf and here in the U.S.

I am 51 years old and have had a yearly mammogram, more or less, since the age of 40.

I got them despite the fact that there is no history of breast cancer in my family. I did it because that was what my doctor and others, including the American Cancer Society, recommended.

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in situ breast cancer after a screening mammogram. I underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy. The doctors say my prognosis is good.

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi own four wildly popular London restaurants and have authored runaway best-selling cookbooks for omnivores and vegetarians alike.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, it was clear that I would be thinking about a lot of things — myriad doctor visits, multiple tests, surgeries and chemotherapy.

Here are some things I knew about chemotherapy going in: it is unpleasant; it poisons your body; it makes you nauseated.