Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy New Year!

Ok, so I know it's a little early but this crazy sexy cancer cowgirl is headed to Costa Rica for her honeymoon. YUP. A year and a half late, but hey, I've been busy!

Talk amongst yourselves loves. I adore you and I can't wait to reconnect in 2008! I'll be back Jan 14th, will try to send ya a pix from the jungle.

May we all receive buckets of love, wealth, health, and happiness in the New Year. You mean the world to me....

Peace, veggies and big love!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I'm done with book 2!

OH MY GODDESS! My fingers are bleeding and I'm in a pile but I'm finished with my first draft. Pressed send on 130 plus pages (which I had one month to write) at 11:45 pm this evening. Thank you all for your prayers dear ones! Thank you, thank you. Have an amazing holiday.

PS. I sorta need a canSer free zone for a few days. Can we talk about ponnies or war or mutual funds?

PSS. Check out the original cowgirl boots in the top right corner of pix #1. Those were mine as a wee one. I loved chocolate brown even back then - classy. LOL!

Whirled peas and an elegant glass of organic champagne,

Friday, December 21, 2007

Inspirational Messages from Cyber Space

Hi beloveds,

Well, this is gonna be a quickie because I want to throw my computer through a window this morning! For the past 2 hours I have been writing a blog on mood food to finish off our depression posts. My hungry computer ate it. Rrrrr! Oh well, I swore like a bar wench and then giggled. A loud voice said "whatever you do Kris, don't get stressed and depressed! Kinda goes against everything you've been saying". Soooo, I will create it again in the near future but for now I have to get back to writing my book (due SUNDAY!).

Recently I signed up on for daily spiritual jumper cable emails. I love it! Many of you have awesome suggestions and resources for affirmations and internet hugs. Let's share! Please post as many good vibe hubs as possible and please surf around and see what works for you. Post here even if you've posted elsewhere.

We could all use some holy roller, Jesus, Buddha, Elvis etc during the holiday season. Right? A gentle reminder that we are more than enough and that we are healing.

Endless love and whirled peas,

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Our Crazy Sexy Shrink on Depression Meds

So yesterday many of you were talking about medication for depression. We all agreed that no one should go on or off meds without consulting their doctor. After reading some of the posts I wanted to address the doctor conversation issue. One canser cowgirl wrote that her oncologist said she was not a “candidate” for antidepressant medication. If this was based on some contraindications with her treatment then fine but that was unclear to me. My first reaction was to get my panties in a bunch, which brought up the issue of self-determination. When I had my first surgery I was so NOT self determined (hence my HOT reaction J) and just wanted someone to fix it really FAST. I later regretted that decision. I learned through the many doctors I have fired since then and the many wonderful ones I have found, that I am the boss of me. You are the expert on YOU whether you are a doctor or not. You know how you feel and that should matter to everyone on your team. Advocate for yourself like you would for your child or little sister. I read an article published online by The National Cancer Institute about how physicians and oncologists may not be comfortable prescribing antidepressant meds as it is not their specialty. They do not want to be liable or responsible. There main concern is something else. In a perfect world all doctors would take a holistic approach to health, we all know this amazing place is pretty imperfect. So what does this mean? You and you alone are responsible for your mental health.

What is depression? The Diagnostic Manuel used by doctors (DSM4) includes depression as a diagnosable disorder. The signs and symptoms of depression include:

*Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
*A dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
*Fatigue and lack of energy
*Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and inappropriate guilt
*Extreme difficulty concentrating
*Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
*Inactivity and withdrawal from usual activities
*Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
*Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
*Lack of pleasure from activities that normally make you happy including sex
*Low self esteem
*Sudden bursts of anger

…. so why as a cancer survivor is this list problematic? Right, because some of these symptoms may be caused by the diagnosis itself and/or the side effects of treatment The best-case scenario is to go to a psychiatrist who specializes or has experience with canser survivors to obtain a script for meds. Pick your peeps carefully. Expect to be heard and responded to…it amazes how many of my clients did not realize they could fire their doctor. If your doctor does not treat you with the respect you deserve, think about finding a different one. I am not saying everyone on your team needs to be singing Kumbaya, just available and responsive. My experience with depression is that the symptoms can mimic other things so it can be hard to know what is ailing you. Check the list above and if you find yourself saying yes more than no, it may be time to go see a mental healthcare professional to explore your options. When people talk they feel better. When I suggest medication to my clients it is usually because their depression is in the way of treatment…meaning that if we cannot get the baseline functioning to a certain level, we will never get to the root of the issues. We continue to deal with the mess that the depressive symptoms create, rather than the original injury.

A cancer diagnosis has an emotional impact no matter what. You have a choice of how you will deal with that. Some people stay so busy not to feel anything. Of course this catches up and your body will MAKE you stop if you do not give it the rest it needs. Some people deny it and their feelings for the sake of their families at the expense of themselves. But then some people like you fabulous creatures, use it as a catalyst to grow, change, explore, get real, get raw, share, evolve and LIVE. J

Thanks for sharing with me.
Your Crazy Sexy Shrink,

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Depression chat w/guest blogger Terri Cole!

Hi loves!

As you can imagine, my book deadline is chasing me and I am running fast! Sorry I've been the missing cowgirl. UGH!
Time to dish about depression. This will be a 2 part blog. On Friday I will post the 2nd half which will be about diet and depression. My best pal Terri Cole is one of the original members of my cancer posse and an awesome Crazy Sexy Shrink! We’ve been friends and accomplices for decades and her boot camp strategies for living a balanced, fulfilled life have been a blessing to me. Terri’s advise pulls me out of the black holes and sends me back towards the sunshine. Here’s what she has to say (a sneak peek from the new book) about how to get stable footing on the slippery slope called depression….

"There are many reasons cancer survivors may be vulnerable to depression. When I was diagnosed I was sad and angry that my innocence, the “it will never happen to me” phase of my life was abruptly cut short. I struggled with integrating my diagnosis with my self-image of being strong, able to handle anything, and HEALTHY. This took time and work with a fantastic therapist. I looked at therapy as a gift I could give myself. One hour a week with a person who did not need ME to be anyone or anything for HER…an hour to acknowledge my fear without the fear that SHE would fall apart.(of course I AM a therapist so I did not have the resistance to seeking help that many others may have.)

So let’s talk about tools for managing depression. First and foremost you must connect with the power of your mind and your thoughts. What do you say to yourself? Are you kind? Are you punitive? If you are not sure, take time this week to listen to the language you use to talk about yourself and write it down. What you say about yourself is what you “affirm” which influences your subconscious mind.

An affirmation is a statement you declare to be true. Look at your subconscious mind as an excellent executive assistant in your life, ready to help you achieve the goals you; the boss and your conscious mind have set. An affirmation may be positive or negative in nature. It is how we talk to ourselves.
I am smart
I am fat
I am healthy
I can’t do this
I will do this

The above statements are all affirmations…what are YOU declaring in your life? Once you decide on some positive affirmations, your executive assistant will seek out every opportunity to reinforce them. For example if I affirm,” I have a fat butt”. When I am walking down the street and someone looks at me I will think, “See they are looking at my big fat butt.” This thought will make me feel shame, embarrassment and self-loathing. Conversely, when I affirm, “I have a beautiful healthy strong body that I love” and someone looks at me, I think, “ How nice they are appreciating my beautiful bod” which leaves me feeling empowered.

For affirmations to be effective in your life you must get rid of the negative self talk and replace it with positive self talk. The things that are repeated most in your mind are the ones that stick. If you are trying to stay away from sugar because it is bad for cancer and bad for depression and you find yourself in a bakery and your affirmation has been, “I only eat desserts that are healthy for me”, then you look at the desserts and hear a little voice repeating, “I don’t want those because I only eat desserts that are healthy for me”. Your ever-alert subconscious has latched onto an opportunity to achieve your goal, and enforce your self-instructing affirmation. You can use affirmations in every situation in your life…you have the power to change your mind so do it!

Another pitfall to be aware of is the danger of over-exaggerating. We all do it, as it is a current popular speech trend in this country. But there is a danger in not talking straight. How many times have you uttered the phrase,” I just can’t take another second of …having the WORST day ever…nothing ever goes right in my life…” Realistically none of these statements are true at any given time. None of these statements or the pessimistic thinking at the base of them is the things you want to re enforce in your life. I had a personal experience with the challenge of not over-exaggerating when I got into family therapy with my husband and our 3 boys. They had lost their mom years before so I had married the whole kit and kaboodle of angry, acting out teens. The therapist noted in session one that we were a family that did not talk “straight”….huh?! I was confused until she pointed out how sarcastic and exaggerating all of us spoke. She explained that it was a way to veil the hostility we were feeling. The positive changes that happened within my family system from just learning to “talk straight” were amazing.

The power of realistic vocabulary to help fight depression is great. What will REALLY happen if you don’t meet that deadline, make it to that meeting etc? As cancer survivors we are truly dealing with life and death and missing any meeting or deadline will surely not end your life. I have a THEN WHAT exercise I do with my clients. It is an invitation to play out the catastrophic fantasy. When you play it out it loses power over you. To be aware of negative over-exaggerating is to be more authentic in your language and in your life. This alleviates mental stress and gives you more brain space for the good stuff.

Essential Oils…do a brain chemistry good
There are many amazing essential oils out there that do an array of things. I use them with my clients as a mood lifter. My favorite is Lavender Essential oil. It is amazing for lessening anxiety, depression and insomnia. You can use it anytime you need a lift in mood. You take 5 deep breaths of the oil while visualizing breathing in positive peaceful energy and exhaling negativity, stress and depression. Buy a meditation cd. (I like Dr.Brian Weiss Meditation Relaxation Regression) and get committed to 20 minutes a day to listen to that cd and breathe in your oil. Over time you will train your body to associate complete relaxation and good feelings with your essential oil so when you are out and about in the stressful world, one whiff and your body will respond by relaxing and releasing stress.

Move your Booty
Exercise has is another extremely effective tool in the fight against depression. Do not set yourself up to fail. You don’t have to participate in an IRONMAN. You just have to move. Commit to 20 minutes a day of walking briskly. Get a pal to go with you (it is harder to blow it off with your friend waiting for you on the corner of 82nd and Broadway) it will lift your mood and increase the serotonin levels in your brain.

Do Your Morning Pages
Write write write and then…write some more. Julia Cameron talks about the healing effect of writing “morning pages” in her book,” The Artists Way”. She suggets that you wake up and write 3 unedited pages before your green tea, before your super ego has a chance to change what you would write…before the “shoulds” wake up. It is a morning mind dump that will clear your head of clutter and negativity. Honor yourself with some sacred AM time and you will feel lighter and better for it.

You are not a bear…so don’t hibernate
Social interaction with supportive friends and family is a must…even when you don’t feel like it. Being with people who love you feeds the soul. Ask for what you need from the close relationships in your life. Maybe it is just a back massage or an empathic ear to listen and NOT fix (shout out to all the mothersJ). Be clear and honest about what you can and cannot do. Don’t be committed to the false self for everyone else’s sake. This is exhausting and alienating to you. Tell the truth…it really will help.

Most important …Never give up hope
Know that your effort to feel better will pay off. Take these tools, use them and come up with your own winning formula. Know that you are the only person on this planet with your DNA. There will only ever be one you. You matter, you’re worth the effort to work for a happy and fulfilled life. Just decide you won’t take no for an answer NO MATTER WHAT!"

Thanks Terri! Isn't she top shelf? Can't wait to see what you all think and share? So much love and man do I miss you!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More canSer faux pas'...

Hi Beloveds! Hi JENNIFER! :)

This is a quick mini post. I'm writing more Cancer Faux Pas' in the companion book I am scribbling for you. Remember that funny blog I wrote about what to say when people say the darndest things? Well I'd love to include more of some the silly, crazy, dumb ass stuff people have uttered when they hear we have cancer. Any interest in contributing? Please note that if you post then that means you give us permission to use your story in the book. I will change your name of course! Clean up the typos too. Come on share! I'll tell you if you tell me. LOL!

xo and giggles...

OK, here's one from the new book - hot off the press - a little teaser for ya. That is if they let me print it! :)

"When I went on my book tour my publicist gave the local media and radio stations a list of acceptable prep questions. They were ready and so was I. Most of the interviewers tossed the page into the office shredder, but at least they hovered in the general direction of respectful. Of course there were a couple of cancer faux pas frontiers men who opened mouth and inserted foot or cheap high heel.

Example: A God awful early show in the middle of boon dock America. I show up and the host treats me like I have the plague. I fake sneeze in her direction just to make myself chuckle. Then I asked her to give me the heads up on what questions she would be asking me. The wench flat out said NO. Huh? Didn’t she want the interview to go smoothly? It wasn’t like I was asking her to cheat on her SAT’s. The crew mic’d me up and as the cameras rolled I began to sink in horror as she looked straight down the barrel of the lens with this tragic, car crash look on her face. “Wow, we’re here with Kris Carr, the author and filmmaker who bravely recorded her tragic life and possible death. Good morning Kris, how are you feeling dear?”

I wanted to stab her in the eye with a shrimp fork, to foam and cuss. I wanted to light her hair on fire with a can of Aqua Net and a Bic lighter flame thrower. Was she raised in a barn? Did she have a mother who taught her manners? You know, like elbows off the table, say please and thank you and don’t harass the cancer chick? I was trapped. Coifed and camera ready as they zoomed in on my victim close-up. I felt humiliated for catching cancer and for “bravely’ sharing my story with the world.
Just then, my sass kicked in. Oh no, not today Suzie. You are messin’ with the wrong babe and I can play dirty too bitch. “Wow, that was pretty fucking dramatic for 5 am don’t ya think? Good morning city X, how’s it hanging?” OK, so I didn’t say “fucking” OR how’s it hanging because I was afraid my publishers would tan my hide and did they spent a lot of money sending me on the bus-and-truck cancer tour. But damn I wanted to!

You might get slain but more than likely those incidents will be few and far between. Humor helps tremendously so do lies! Sometimes when I just don’t feel like telling people my story I pretend that I write about bees. Or that I make porn, that always shuts them up."

PS. Depression post this weekend. We really must dish the blues. Right? Especially now that we're stuck inside for the winter. XOXOX

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Detox Symptoms

Good day posse!

Cool pix, right? Wish it was mine...

So many of you have been cliff diving, reading, writing, educating and flying (like the magic happy birds)! Most of your ka-splats are just great examples of the retox devils shriveling and cowering in your presense - especially the headaches. Here's the sitch, poisons, toxins, and garbage drain your energy. When you release them you also release their patterns - including the mental, emotional and spiritual chaos. Crap tend to concentrate in the brain, liver and digestive tract. Unfortuanately in this day and age toxins are abundantly found in our food, environment, air, water, and blood streams. We are so bombarded that our body becomes insufficient in the metabolic ability to rid itself of all that we encounter on a daily basis. Enter you, the twinkie fighting super hero!

Get this, you release about 60% of your accumulated waste in the first 7 days of a cleanse! WOW! No wonder ya'll feel like crap. Your body uses the enzymes, oxygen, phytonutrients and chlorophyll found in a mostly raw diet to mop up the waste deep within every cell of your temple. If the symptoms are too much, peel back, especially if you are on chemo. Too much too fast will only set you back. Symptoms of illness during a detox can be really frustrating but stay the course. Plain and simple, you won't reach your goals without a little discomfort. Runny nose, constipation, irritability, colds, pimples etc.

Each day the body rids itself of waste is another day closer to health. Some tricks to smooth out the elimination process: Drink water with lemon upon rising, add a pinch or so of cayenne. This helps to open the circulatory system and alkalize the body. Up your green drink intake. Remember to add sprouts to the mix for a good dose of oxygen and protein! Enemas (with wheatgrass implants if possible) and colonics can really move the junk and relieve your symptoms pretty quickly - especially headaches.

Crank up the rock and roll, play the bongos and dance like you are draped in a red dress and surrounded by spanish hotties and christmas lights. Sweat it out chicas! Your skin is your largest organ and it's the queen mum of elimination. Lodged poisons are released through low impact aerobics, saunas, rebounding, yoga etc.

Dry brush! Ooh la la you will feel tip-top fantastic! Get this, we dump between two and five pounds of toxins per day out of our skin? Your skin needs to breathe, so dry-brush it with a natural-bristle brush (which you can find at any health food store) or loofah. Dry-brushing (which means you do it outside of the shower when you aren't wet) helps keep the skin pathway clean and clear so that waste can leave the body easily. It also stimulates the lymph and helps break up my other favorite topic—cellulite. Now I bet you’ll all run out and get one!

Also, sleep, snooze, snore and nap. Your body repairs during slumber so you night owls please try and peel it back and get some more shut eye. Cutting down on the JOE will help with that big time. If you've already eliminated my favorite drink (COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE...Mmm, did somebody say COFFEE?) then your cleansing process will be easier. Green tea is a better substitute at first then try and move to twig tea then herbal when and if you can. Sometimes the length of your detox depends on how long you've been tripping the light fantastic. Have faith, it's a practice and a process. Again, ease on the brakes if it's just too much. It's not a race. And guess what? When you get "there" you'll have to start again because we live in a damn precious and imperfect world, so don't make yourself nuts. No matter what you can not fail at this. So relax, release, rejoice and renew.

Peace and peas,