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!


lifeisagrandslam said...

This has more to do with the previous post, but I didn't want my comment to get "lost" since a new post just went up:

Ok, another faux pas, I can't leave this one out!

When I was first dx, Gleevec (a relatively new oral targeted therapy for GIST & CML) was still in clinical trials. It was very lucky for me, because just a few months prior to my dx, there was NO treatment for GIST. So I enrolled in a clinical trial immediately.

Some genius then said to me, "Do you think it's safe to take this drug? I mean, it's so new you don't know anything about the long term effects on your body - it could even be toxic!" I then had the pleasant task of explaining that if I didn't try the drug, I wouldn't *have* a "long term", period!

Callie, I love the way you think - you're a lot like me, in that you try to keep things in perspective. Even though my hubby & I both have cancers that are not yet curable, we're both in relatively good health...not to mention, crazy in love with each other!

Lauren, I have a 7 1/2 year old son & I've never explained my disease to him. He was less than a year old when I was dx, so at the time it wasn't an issue. Now that he's getting older, I've been wondering when & how to talk to him about it. His father (my ex-husband) is really pressuring me to tell him, but I want to do it very carefully so as not to scare him. The LAST thing I want is to tell him Mom has cancer, then have him hear on the bus the next day that his buddy's grandpa had cancer & died...poor little guy doesn't need that kind of stress. I'll be curious to hear more about what you come up with.
---------------- - "LauraKukucka"

Jennifer said...

Kris -

I'm so glad you are back. I've been looking forward to this topic. Every year around August I start to withdraw from society. I don't want to call anyone. I don't want to answer my phone. I don't want to go anywhere. I just want to be left alone. Usually in the spring I start to come out of my funk and function more normally again. I tried a prescription for depression after my second son was born, but I gained about 20 pounds in 2 months and was not about to see how many more I would gain if I stayed on them, so I quit, cold turkey. I almost killed myself shortly after stopping them. Apparently you are supposed to wean yourself off, not just stop taking them. OOOOPS

So now I take St. John's Wart. I start taking it in August and go off in the Spring. It does seem to help. My question is, Is This A Safe Thing To Take?


cancer cowgirl xo said...

Jennifer- Ya know, I'm not a doctor so I really can not answer your question about St. Johns Wart. The first thing that came to mind when I read your comment was perhaps one of those seasonal disorder lights would really help you. My mom has one and she loves it, saw them in the gaiam catalog and almost bought one. Also, are you getting out of the house and walking in the sunshine enough? Are you exercising love? There is still plenty of sunshine from august-november and brisk walks in the crip air do me a world of good. How's your diet? Bad diets
make bad moods.

Jennifer said...

Kris -

Yah, my mom thinks I have SAD. I looked into the lights a few years ago, but was put off by how expensive they were. I will check out that catalog you mentioned. My diet is pretty good, especially now that I'm juicing, and gave up the pop. Although I'm not a vegetarian, I don't eat much meat. I love veggies, and never eat fast food. I'm incorparating a lot more raw food into my diet since reading your book and your blogs.

As far as excersise goes, I do jumping jacks, sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, squats and work my arms a little with weights. I do this everyday, and it only takes me about 10 minutes. I know I should do more, but I've been battling a very painful disease for the last several years that prevented me from doing any excersise, so I'm really just getting back into it, and it really does help me feel better. This year the sad feeling hasn't been as strong, probably mostly because I haven't been in any pain for the last 3 1/2 months.

Now that my youngest is in Kindergarten, every Tuesday my husband and I have a 2 hour date while he is in school, and we go for walks in the woods at a state park near our house. The air and light make me feel high! I mean I just feel so rejuvinated. When I read in your book that you liked to escape to the woods it really made me smile because that is my favorite place to go.

So I think I'm on the right track, but I'm sure I could do more. You have really given me the fuel I need to push myself forward. I just can't thank you enough.


Basic Me said...

What a great post and Terri is fabulous. But what else could we expect from out top cowgirl. I think it is very important to talk about depression now. I think the holiday season can add just that one book to our stack that we just cannot handle and then everything tumbles. The sad fact about depression is that most everyone that has a serious illness will suffer from it at one time or another. Husband cutie pie gets hit alot. Siezures are an organic cause of depression. Once the mind is zapped then you have to work your way thru and arc of emotion. That is never easy. The best thing you can due for people who suffer the gammot of emotions in one day is understand and empathize but not sympathize .. does that make any sense. Since the depression we have here is caused by an act we have to take action to remove it. First we change the tones we are speaking in. If all is gloom and doom and sad you can bet the recovery mood will reflect that. Happiness must be piped in full throtle. If that is happy music, your dog playing with you or just giggling at a funny movie. Laughter heals. Now I am not talking about long term hit you hard depression I am talking about seizure related depression. But I bet just like Bernie Segal always says you cannot laugh out loud and be sad in side at the same time. So maybe that will help.

I love the changing the messages in the brain idea.. how we think does affect everything we do.

And writing. Love that idea.

Well I do not know how you survived these deadlines.. Monday basic missions goes global and I am shaking in my uggs..

Oh another thought on depression. Make sure if you are in pain that you get that managed. There comes a point in the cycle of pain that you just cannot take it anymore and a bit of relief goes a long way. Tomorrow is my day to get my xmas eidurals and after biting the dust at the park two days ago... I am sure I will be shot up and numb from the neck down.. but I need some numbing right now.. Why is falling not just falling after you have had canser.. yukko.

Much love to you all.. and happy spirits. Many Blessings. Callie

Lauren said...

Hi Laura -
I responded to you in the other post, but here it is:
Thank you Laura for your thoughts on my inquiry. I appreciate it.

You should check out some books on the subject because I believe there are lots. It could be helpful I don't know.
I think the American Cancer Society has one about talking to kids and there's a whole workbook included. I can't recommend any books yet from personal experience though. I put lots on my christmas list!

December 12, 2007 1:18 PM

Becky said...

To lifeisagrandslam:

I have a 7 year old too and I was diagnosed this past March. This is just my experience, so please just take what you want from it. I have two older girls as well and we were very open with them about the whole thing. I continued to use the words "boo boo" and "medicines" when I referred to my situation with my youngest (she knew something was going on because of surgery, tears, etc). Well, one day in school, one of her classmates announced that their grandparent had died of cancer....(sound like your bus theory?)....guess who lost it? My daughter. She totally lost it, the teacher had to take her out of the class and calm her down and talk to her (we had told the teacher of course what was going on.)..Well, my little angel knew I had cancer! She knew the "C" word! She said she was afraid I was going to die!

Hmmmm. guess she knew more than I thought. Once she calmed down, she went back to the classroom and told everyone that I had cancer. She also said that I MIGHT die, not that I was GOING to die (go girl!). The teacher called me at home, etc.

That day I picked up my girlie and we talked right away. I said, "Hey, I do have cancer, and I am sorry I didn't tell you sooner. I didn't think you'd want to know. But I do have it and I am doing everything I can to make it better..." I told her what tumors were and what chemotherapy was....what a relief for both of us!!!! She now talks about it openly, "Mom, I think you should eat that. It would be good for your cancer." A friend overheard her say to someone: "My mom has cancer but she is going to be just fine!" (Now, I am not trying to ingrain false hope here, but come on! That does sound like positive thinking to me!). A little boy she was talking to had just lost his dad to cancer. I waited with baited breath for the tears on her part and the fear, and she said calmly, "Are you going to get a new dad?" (He by the way responded just as calmly: "No, not right now.")

This works for us. I have someone else in my corner and she is not alone. I feel that by being open about it and using the "C" word, it allows her to process through it as well. It has been such a blessing. SO, again, this is just my experience. Take from it what you want/need, etc.

Good luck! You are a great mom!

Take care.

Lauren said...

I've always thought of myself as pretty level-headed. I had a lot of friends during highschool and in undergrad who had big issues to deal with so I was always kind of that solid piece of furniture friend they could count on.
Anyways, I am pretty grounded and level-headed, but I do have one tiny little issue.
I am 28 and cannot get a boyfriend to save my life and that is depressing! I'm not too repulsive but I can be pretty shy.
Most my friends are married and starting to have babies. I'm really starting to freak out that I'll be alone forever.
I'll have to try the affirmations. I know I need them.

Lindsay said...


I'm only 20 but in a way I know how you feel. I had radiation to my pelvic region because of where my tumor was and some radiation did hit my left tumor. I was devastated when they told my my fertility might be affected. I still hope so hard I will still be able to have children one day. I have decided to take steps to protect my fertility if I need further treatment. It really hurts me and it's something I have cried to my boyfriend about. I know my situation is different but I know what you mean about stressing about relationships/dating/babies in general.

Lindsay said...

****My left ovary.

Oh typos.

Nikki_Trem said...

Hi Terri, Kris and CSC bloggers...Terri you mentioned insomnia. Ever since my thyroidectomy for ThyCa I have struggled with insomnia. It is like my brain changed and it has severely affected my schooling. I am in grad school and want to become a therapist. I went from being able to get my work done on time to needing to ask for extentions and incomplete's. I still have a very decent GPA but I can't ignore the amount of work I am able to handle post surgery.

It is been 9 months since I have been able to fall asleep and stay asleep for 8 hours on my own. The sleep deprivation snowballed into frustration because my doctors kept telling me that Cancer does not cause insomnia.

I do not have a history of depression but I did end up having a host of feelings such as depression and debilitating panic attacks. (This scared the crap out of me!) I have sought counseling myself as I too believe it is helpful to talk to someone who is impartial. However, I must say that reading Kris's book, exercising everyday, praying, and participating in this blog fills me up with positive actions and thoughts to consider (such as juicing which I just started yesterday).

Next week I go though the whole process of thyrogyen injections, full body scan etc. Next month the ultrasound...No matter how positive I feel at this moment, I don't want to hear that I have a reoccurrence, the cancer spread or that I have to go through radiation again. However, the difference between last year and now is that I have you all. Be well. ~*~NIKKI~*~

Lauren said...

Annalin -- you're amazing!
You should take whatever steps you want to preserve your fertility.
I've actually always wanted to adopt because there are so many wonderful kids out there who need homes. Also, I've thought hey maybe I could be a single mom one day. Yikes I'd prefer a handsome fella, but I don't want to feel I have to do things the way general society does. If having a kid would make me happy then I don't think I should have to wait for a guy cuz everybody else does. Hopefully, though after I have the kid -- somebody will come along.
But my point is that people can find their own happiness. I know I didn't come up with that saying :)

apoopslingingmonkey said...

Thanks alot Terri! Good stuff! :) Hope, movin' the booty, writing, affirming positivity are things I do, but always need to be reminded of their importance :) But I do need to look into the essential oils aspect.
Also I know for me, if I'm sad, what helps me is a big fat freakin cup of coffee! :) oh yeah! Also what brings me most comfort and total PEACE, insight, and completely re-centers me is the Bible, especially the book of Psalms. And Lastly what really is like a therapy session at anytime and place I want- instant therapy- is playing the guitar. If I feel like crap, I just grab my guitar, play anywhere from 5 minutes to 3 hours, writing songs, singing, or just not singing or writing any songs at all, but just playing my guitar into a peaceful calm state of mind. And if I'm really angry at the time, then I just play really loud angry thrash music lol or I sit and just play the most sad,depressing chords, and just cry away and play lol My guitar is my therapist LOL my most faithful friend, well, besides God :)

Basic Me said...

Dearest NIKKI,
I have stated often that I am not a dr. and have not a twinkies worth of insight on that little number. I can tell you that long before I had canser I was an insomnic and I may always be one. And sleep is a weapon. Talking with your dr. about a short term solution and see if your thyroid meds are regulated correctly. My mom had her thyroid removed and her body was either running on high and dead stop and she never slept she is better now. I went to a sleep clinic and they said I had a sleeping problem. hahaha.. money down the tubes.. but today I have worked it out with my dr.s help and everynight when I fall asleep I am enormously grateful that I did. I silly as it sounds even panic about whether I am not going to sleep so I run myself in circle's maybe bav can weigh in on the insomnia since she is brillant and knows all.. she is my hero.. I wanted to tell you that cancer has affected every part of my life and maybe you just happen to have insomnia as a side effect. So do check. The reason you got my attention today is oh lordy do I know how you feel about the scans. I am cool calm and collected about everything in my life but canser.. and going to the dr. ( OH THE SECRET IS OUT) I am always scared shitless!! And it is normally fine. I have this wonderful dr. that is a hasidic jew and he was perfect for me.. He tells me.. come on you had it you beat it if it is there again we will beat it again.. Wham.. right on the head of the fear.. but he does it in a gentle way that makes me no feel alone. I hope you know that in my heart I will be holding your hand throughout tomorrow and you will be on my short list as my grandmother calls it. That means that every 15 minutes I set my clock and stop and say a minute pray with you throughout the day. I hope you know you do have all us CSC folks. We love you we know your fear and we are holding you in our hearts. And as Scarlett O'Hara says so perfectly tomorrow is another day. So I always take that to mean that after the hard day.. tomorrow is coming.. Love love love. Callie

Unknown said...

this post SO spoke to me. Especially after the past few days. Oh, this post could not have come at a better time.

*chants to self*
I am beautiful
I am smart
I am healthy
I am good enough

thank you, thank you, thank you

rinne said...

Hi Nikki, fellow Thyca girl!

I've been dealing with ThyCa for 4 years. I totally understand how scary scan time is. I've been told I was cured twice only to find out that wasn't true. They told me they thought the cancer had spread to my bones and lungs. Talk about scary! I had a spiral CT and thankfuly they didn't find any cancer in the lungs and bones. Just stubborn RAI resistant pappilary cancer in my neck. I've had two huge doses of RAI where I had to stay in the hospital in isolation for five days each time. The RAI worked a bit but it did not get rid of all the cancer. That was 2/12 years ago. And guess what? I'm still here! I'm feeling good and I know that even though I may never get rid of thyroid cancer I can still live a long, normal life. I just treat cancer as a chronic condition. I also want to say that ThyCa has a very high cure rate. I know five other friends who have had it and all of them are cured. I'm the only one who still has it. So, Nikki, I think your scans will be clean. But even if they're not, you are still going to be just fine.
As far as not being able to sleep, your thyroid levels may need to be checked again. Your TSH should be kept slightly high to suppress the cancer from coming back but not so high that you can't sleep. I just plain don't feel right on Synthroid or Levoxyl. I have very bad memory problems. I've had friends say they love Armour. It has T3 and T4 in it. My Doc says it's the placibo effect but I don't buy it. I just can't find a Doc in my area who will prescribe it to me. If you can try it you might feel better. Let me know how you are doing. It's nice to chat with someone who's been there!


Robin said...

Thank you so much Teri for all your inspiring words.

I have hit a wall and your words were just the ladder I needed to pull myself out. July '06 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemo/Surg/Rads. This Aug. all my scans came back clear.

I should be elated, but I have let fear stop me from enjoying the life I do have. I have two children and a wonderful husband. I love playing the "then what" game. You are right fear losses its grip when you play it though. It seems that depression is the by-product of life. :)
The trick is not letting it control my life.
The greatest of these is Love
Robin H.

gingercat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RachelRae said...

Hello everyone! It's my first comment here & I'm super excited to connect with people here. I do not have canSer myself, but I have an extensive family history.

This post was very timely for me, as I struggle with a bit of anxiety/depression. Thanks, Terri--I will be using some of your ideas.

I'm sure that I will be getting to know everyone better & looking forward to sharing more about myself.

Joy said...

Thak you so much Kris and Terri:) You know no one tells us that we may become depressed or maybe have PTSD during treatment and/or after. I think the general feeling is wow I beat death and I should be grateful and I am , however I suddenly found myself severely depressed and with anxiety disorder. I asked my oncologist is this normal, do I need meds? He said I was not a candidate(bullshit!!!) I find, the docs(bless em) just treat the illness not ther being. and yes, I am hugely grateful, yoga helps, walking helps, meditation helps, healthy diet helps and my ayurvedic herbs called anxiety-free help too:) It's nice to know that I'm not crazy, well I am but not in the bad way:):)



Nikki_Trem said...

Callie and Rinne...thanks for your advice and support. I have been debating the med/insomnia theory with my docs...some believe it could cause it but the doctor in charge of my ThyCa is keeping it high to suppress the canser. Not getting sleep has such a HUGE impact on my daily life. So, when I get a decent nights sleep with Ambien I am thankful because it does not work every night.

My body is crazy whacked out but I am learning to take control of what I can. Exercise, dance, juice, breathe, pray and find ways to be thankful even when I don't feel like it. an adult adoptee I definitely support adoption. Learn as much as you can about the topic and if you decide to go forward look for an agency that provides an intensive pre-parenting training,support and follow up. Be well. ~*~NIKKI~*~

Jennifer said...

This post is half part depression and half part juicing.

I do get depressed very easily. Lately my life has just been a series of punches, but I know that is true for most of us. In the last year I lost my mother-in-law to liver cancer, my father-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer, and a month ago my beloved rockstar grandma was diagnosed with alzheimers. My grandmother's sister and my great grandmother both died of alzheimers, so I was not only having to deal with losing my grandmother, even though she is still alive and physically well, but that this disease is prevalent in my family and it may be what I have to look forward to. So I have been struggling with SAD and feeling depressed about my loved ones. This morning I was doing some googling and came across this website called WE LIKE IT RAW,
and I found this very exciting nugget:

Drinking juiced fruit and veg 'cuts Alzheimer's risk by 76%

Researchers followed almost 2,000 volunteers for up to 10 years while monitoring their juice consumption and brain function.

They found the risk of Alzheimer's was 76 per cent lower for those who drank juices more than three times a week compared to those who drank them less than once a week.

The powerful results add to a whole raft of research showing that diet can play a key role in the prevention of the disease.

So Exciting Right! Great website too. I bought Natalia Rose's book yesterday because it was on Kris' reading list in her book, which led me to this, we like it raw, website, which led me to this study on juicing! I love life!!!!!!

I left a note for my husband this morning that said "Breville Juicer" and a coupon for 20% off at BB&B. Hopefully he'll take the hint and it will be a Very Juicy Christmas! I already have a juicer, and juice daily, but I'm not liking my juicer, so PLEASE SANTA, bring me a Breville!!!!


livefearlessandfree said...

to all of you wonderful, beautiful an inspiring canser cowgirls i say a big thank you for your kind words...i was a blogger virgin before thanks for being gentle;)
i want to address some of the questions that were pointed my way. jennifer talked about going underground from august to springtime and i think many people feel this way about the change in weather and night starting at about 4 can really be depressing! there is a great book about SAD(seasonal affective disorder) written by DR.Norman Rosenthal called WINTER BLUES. his website is i agree that the light box REALLY helps and kris i saw it in the gaiam catalog as well(how much do i wish i had a black amex to go to town in gaiam land!!!) he has many suggestions and resources so check it out. my understanding about st john's wart is that it is safe(again i am a PSYCHO therapist not an md) and jennifer you found out on your own :(that going off meds alone is PAINFUL and can be really terrifying PLEASE don't try this at home!
callie-thanks for your kind words and insight on depression-it is so helpful to know what works for others. i will being sending you healing awesome energy today (reikking from afar) so be kind to u today.
lauren remember you are a GODDESS -manifest what you are seeking-hold the end result of a loving healthy relationship in your mind. write your desire in the present tense like you already have it and FEEL what that love in your life will feel like.( a little SECRET like laws of attraction in action) you deserve love and happiness-believe like you believe like you believe that it is on it's way to you right now!! YES you need affirmations :)

nikki can we talk about doctors and insomnia and body scans?! first off YOU know how you feel and you know what happened to your sleep cycle AC so don't let anyone tell you your reality is false-whether cancer causes insomnia or not-you can't sleep which is really all we care about,correct?! there are so many things to do to aid in your sleep and using the Lavender oil and listening to a meditation cd is just one. i am also pro certain drugs like ambien. In my experience with clients it has not been habit forming and the damage to your quality of life from sleep deprivation is enormous so i would explore that option. about your scan-i want you to really focus on staying calm and not catastophising (is that a word? you know what i mean) take 5 deep breaths with your oil before you go in as you repeat your positive affirmation-this will help lessen your stress :)

more to say (robin rachel joy) later
client in my waiting room
again thank u thank u thank for letting me into your funky club:)
love your crazysexyshrink terri

Barbara said...

I'm always excited to see a means such as Lavender Oil as a way to calm. Even though I don't have cancer, I can relate a lot to each post on this blog. I need to work on having a positive outlook on life. I had a great grasp on it for a few months, but it somehow slipped me, and I'm in-between the worst place I ever was and the best attitude I ever had.

Jennifer said...

Crazy Sexy Dr. Terri-

You are absolutely right, I should have stressed that, DO NOT JUST STOP TAKING YOUR PRESCRIPTION ANTIDEPRESSANT!!!! It is very dangerous. I don't really want to get into details, but it was a very scarry day for me and my family.
I will look at Dr. Rosenthals website.

The Gaiam website is really great! The light that they have is MUCH more affordable than the ones that I looked at a year or two ago.

I am working on changing my inner dialog. I didn't realize how negative I was about myself. I am very aware of the things I say to my children. I'm always telling them they are smart, funny, handsome, and whatnot, but what I tell myself is so negative!

Thanks Terri!


Jennifer said...


Is there another oil that will work? I reallly don't like the smell of lavander.


Lauren said...

Thank you Terri! You're wonderful. I wish I could hire you :)

Michelle said...

Hi Terri, i just have a quick question...i have been on the same antidep med for quite a few years now and i am just wondering if after a while, it stops working? I do not feel depressed and it is making me think that maybe i can wean off of it...I am following the CSC diet of juicing and eating RAW and i feel so much better mentally. I want off the psych meds all together. Whatcha think?

Anonymous said...

Hey Everyone!!!!!!!!

I have been out of the country for two weeks and boy did I miss you guys! My husband and I had an amazing time. We were in Africa and the experience was like nothing else. But now that Im back its time to get juicing! Its a luxury that we didn't have while we were gone :)

These past posts have been awesome. This is such an amazing place. Kris, thank you so much for giving of your time like this! Its priceless because you continually help everyone here make steps towards HEALTH! No matter where we are along the way! So thank you!

I have a quick question about sprouts. When you add them to your juices-do you juice them in the Breville? I have been doing that but it doesn't give much juice and so I was wondering if you needed a special juicer (hand crank) for sprouts. Or should I blend them and add to the juice?? Ah!

Take care guys! Shake your groove thaang!!!

Nikki_Trem said...

Terri... I know that you know what you know ;-) I have been taking all sleep advice and I will take yours too with the Lavender inhalation before my scan...I love the smell. I am also going to take my Yolanda Adams (concert in Washington) cd into my scan appt since I have to be there all day. The last time I did the full body scan they played some kind of noise I was unfamiliar with...uh no thanks this time.

I am not sure if catastrophizing is in the dictionary but I certainly used the word in my last paper on GAD for school.(smile) Everybody else makes up words and gets away with we can too!!! Thanks for your words. Be well. ~*~NIKKI~*~

Lindsay said...

yeah..GAD is no fun!!

last time I had a full body scan I laid there thinking up names for my future kids lol.

Debbie Young said...

Hi all!
When I am down I vist this site! there is so much love here... also there is a new community site for raw fooders that really rawks! It is So much info, you may be able to meet raw fooders in your area and have a raw potluck.
Now that would cheer me up!
I am 8 weeks raw on Friday and have my onc appt next weds...sitting on pins and needles hoping for a good result!
vist me at:
love and hugs to all of you my heroes!:)

Jamie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamie said...

I deleted my past post as I had some info in there but then ... well then just wasn't comfortable sharing it anymore.

I'll leave it as thank you for this post. I really look forward to the second part on Friday.

Anne said...

This is a very timely topic--thanks, Kris, for bringing us Terri.

My 11-year-old daughter is struggling with anxiety/depression right now and I'm so beside myself with worry about her that I've fallen completely off the CSC wagon and am a big old fat mess myself. My little girl can't get through her schoolday without crying and she's so subdued in the evenings that she doesn't even seem like the same cheerful child she was a month ago. It's been going on for the last three weeks and she cannot say why she cries. We can absolutely not find any obvious trigger--no "friends" issues, no social problems, no traumatic events.

Her pediatrician diagnosed anxiety and suggested we try St. John's Wort.

If anybody has any insight, I'd love to hear it.

Jamie said...


Lauren - you obviously have a beautiful heart so don't loose hope :) I'm 30 and I'm not married and only now am in my first long-term relationship! But ya know - I don't mind. I always wanted to be married young but ... well now i'm glad I'm not :) And my sis is a single mom (not by choice...) and although it's a lot of work - it's great and I love seeing what a strong person she is!

Annalin - I hope that you will be able to have children someday! I know that I will 'have' to adopt. I don't know if I can biologically bear children (as far as I know I physically can) but I have a genetic pre-mutation that has a high percentage chance of causeing a full mutation in my child. It was a hard and yet 'easy' decision for me. BUT that's different because at least for me it's a choice. I feel so much for those that just simply cannot have children. I hope that you continue to take all the steps you need and that you have some beautiful babies in the future :)

cancer cowgirl xo said...

Hi loves..
Annalin - there's a great organization called Fertile Hope. The founder Lindsay Beck is one of the gals from my CSCT cancer posse. You should contact them.

Lindsay said...

Thank you for your comments everyone =) For now, I just focus on feeling well and my new blading!

Kris, thank you I am going to look them up. I'm going to reread the part in your book about relationships also. Makes me feel a little 'saner'

Basic Me said...

Welcom back Justme7 I am glad you had a great time in Africa I swear my soul lives there. It is my favorite place. My grandmother was a missionary there for year and this year her 90th she has gotten both knees and hips replace and is in training walking three miles a day so she can walk the same routes she us to walk in her beloved congo.. She is thrilled and heading out in jan. I wish I could go with her. She is something else.. She has contracted a company to make her ashes into fireworks and her friends in congo are going to shoot them off for her when she dies.. Now isn't that something..Only God willing she willl live forever.

Annalin.... adopt me.. haha.. no I am so proud of you and your dreams.. they are all coming just wait.. they will be here and fulfilled before you know it.

Tomorrow and sat major drama.. Little sis.. getting married without telling anyone.. not good in an "Old Mobile" family... bad bad karma.. another words MOMMA'S ONNA KILL HER! She wants me to be the photographer it is my hobbey if you all here that some little woman has killed her daughters over secret wedding in MObile Al. please have my ashes sent to the fireworks shop and send them up on some CSC get together. In other words. Pray for me.

Hugs to you all..

had my epidurals today and feel wonderful !!! No pain for xmas.

I was wonder Nikki if your Ambien works sometimes talk to your dr. about adjusting your dose and then when you are better you can titrate off and in the meanwhile you will have that sleep that we all need. My husband cutie by was a special ops officer for 20 years and he always reminds me sleep is a weapon.. Sleep. I hope the scan went well with you today. I am still praying for you.

I know this is long but Bav just and update on brother in law.. the orthapedist wont operate without him being off the plavix and coumadin and the cardiac surgeon got suspicious and did a chemical stress test yesterday.. he said he wasn't sure of the outcome of the test yet... but I hate the sound of that he said there was narrowing in the stints that are 6 months old.. that makes me feel like after a year of smoking and eating junk he may have a merry angioplasy to open those stints up again.. he is so angry the shoulder is broken in so many places it need a repacement and the rotator cuff is destroyed. maybe this little scare will give him the jolt he needs. I think he is more scared of being disabled and losing the use of his arm then losing the use of his heart.. doesn't make any sense but God is still working on him so am I. Hugs and thanks for the information and help.. your the best. we have missed you around here by the way!

Now I have to stop procrastinating and get to work.

Love and peace and hugs to you all.

Lindsay said...

Haha sure Callie we will have our own little family! lol

Lauren said...

Jamie -- thank you so much for your encouragement. What you said really means a lot to me. I never like to talk about it, but I've never been in a long term relationship at 20 years old, I mean, 25 -- ok 28
:( so sad. Oh gawd I want to hit delete. But thanks for giving me hope!

Anne I could only make a guess as to what's causing your daughter so much anxiety. I don't know her or what's going on in both your lives so...I personally can't be much help.
But I can throw out a wild, silly idea that you can all laugh at. Has she developed early? Well, since you said nothing obvious has happened then I'm thinking the ans is probably no, but I thought I'd throw it out.

Also, here's some questions that you don't have to answer I guess just something to think about.
Do you think she cries at school because something in that environment troubles her, or does she cry there because she doesn't want to cry in front of you?

Sophie said...

Hey ladies,

Just wanted to take a minute to tell you how amazing you all are. Although i'm canSer free now, I'm still battling with depression and I have to kick my own ass to get out of the house!!! I have to go back to work part time after the holidays and it's been sooooo long... I'm kinda scared...

I just started to exercise again - what would life be without tai chi and yoga??? - and I can feel the energy flowing back. I'll get there!

Reading your posts every day remains one of the greatest medecine of all. I thank you all for that.

I learned two day ago that a friend got diagnosed with thyroid canSer. I wanted to offer her your book, but she doesn't read english. Do you know if it will ever be translated in french?

Also, will you crazy sexy DVD be available in Canada soon? With french subtitles? If ever you are looking for a canadian distributor, may I humbly suggest the National Film Board of Canada ( I work there and it would be totally up their alley.

Thanks for everything again!!!

Anne said...

Lauren, thanks for weighing in on my daughter. She says she just wants to go to school and not feel like crying. She cries plenty at home, too, these days--usually when she starts getting anxious as she thinks about school.

I'm worried it's chemical., that my husband's family history of depression/anxiety is rewriting itself in her gorgeous brain.

She has not developed early (several of her classmates are far ahead of her) but she is a poster child for puberty right now: breast buds, zits, hair in new places.

She's a quiet kid, reserved, dry-humored, well-liked but not outgoing enough to be "popular." She has a nice circle of friends--girls who have been so kind and supportive during the last few weeks that I will love them forever.

Just trying to get her through to Christmas break so then I can assess her moods when school is not a factor. That, I believe, will help determine whether her depression/anxiety is truly related to school, or whether it's there all the time.

Thank God I've managed to keep juicing during all this.

scnewme said...

Another awesome cowgirl taking her precious time to chat and give us all such useful advice, much thanks Terri!

I've had three canser-free months of freedom and am getting ready for the 1st scan day on Monday - talk about sleepless nights and frantic energy, whew! Doing anything and everything to take my mind off of it - serious xmas shopping, returned to work a couple days a week, painting bedrooms...and that was just this week! It helps, but still my mind is on overdrive - can you pray too much???

Also, I've been juicing and making great strides with the raw diet - hey Bav, I got Natalia's book and it is such a help! My main concern at this point is weight loss. I feel so good, yet seem to be dropping a few pounds that I really can't afford. Even friends have mentioned it, which makes me upset and worried as well. Any recommendations for how to continue the diet and NOT lose weight (cookies and chocolates are so very tempting, but I just can't go there).

Anyone having similar issues here? I'd love to hear how you handle them.


Becky said...

I also lost more weight than i intended at my last visit and my husband actually go nervous. I did not, nor did my oncologist due to my healthier eating/drinking, however, a nutritionist came in and suggested that in addition to the juicing, makes soups with organic grains or rices. The book "Healing with Whole Foods" outlines all of these grains and the benefits, etc. You don't have to eat bread or sugar or crap, just add some healthy stuff. I think I may have put back on the five I lost this week just by doing a small amount of soup everyday or so. I also eat almonds (thanks, Kris!) when I am having a sugar craving or I drink a BIG cup of green tea. I am not perfect, I had bread last night but I had it with lightly sauteed mushrooms, snap peas and carrots with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Yum! Those are my two cents on the weight loss thing. If you feel too thin, and/or weak, I personally think it's not good. Your body will tell you. Also, water, water, water, right?

bav said...


Up your "good fat" intake, avocados on every salad, oil-cured olives, nuts. Add hemp on salads, in green smoothies, soups. Are your portion sizes big enough to fill you up, or are you leaving the table still hungry? That yummy salad can be BIG. Stick with proper food-combining. I don't know how raw you eat (all or not), but certainly the high quality grains like quinoa and millet are good. Perhaps you need to reintroduce them a little bit?

In a nutshell, increase your good fats, increase complexity of diet but still with proper food combining, and perhaps increase quantity of what you eat.

And lastly, I'm not sure what you mean by weight you "can't afford" to lose. Does that mean you are too skinny? Based on what info? Or does it just mean you're losing some of your curves, which in women is fat stores, which isn't necessarily unhealthy. Is your doctor concerned?


scnewme said...

Becky & Bav,

Thanks for the comments - I definitely need to rethink how and what I eat. Throughout chemo, I ate whatever I cream, candy, cookies, chips....two young kids at home and it was better than therapy at the time! So now that I'm doing raw - and Bav, I'm probably about 70-30, I find myself bored and eating the same old salads, etc. I do eat sprouted wheat bread, almonds, nut butters, etc...but I guess I need to expand the diet to include good fat and larger portions. I'm not that creative food-wise, but I'm damn good at following recipes!

I've always been petite, but I've lost close to 10 lbs since starting the diet, and could stand to gain back about 5. Curves, boobs, hahaha, don't I wish girl - neva really had them unless I was pregnant!!

Haven't shared yet with my doc, not sure how she even feels about the whole raw/juicing stuff. Will ask when I see her in a few weeks...probably stress from upcoming scan not helping either. Bav, are the best - hope things are going well for you, too!! Hugs and much gratefulness for Kris' blog, don't know where I'd be without it.

Jennifer said...


Do you think the cause of your daughters anxiety/depression could be hormonal? I think I was 11 when I started mentrating. I was a prety happy kid, but when I hit puberty I became a hormonal nighmare. My grades suffered, my family suffered, I suffered! I became very depressed, for no real reason. Just a thought.

Anyone else starting to get holiday anxiety? I think I have a social anxiety problem, as well as SAD. My doctor has prescribed for me an anxiety med. because I sometimes have anxiety attacks, but I usually only take it during the holidays . It started this week for me. I was up until 2:00am last night and up at 6:30am this morning. My mind just wont turn off! I think I would like to start doing yoga to release some of this anxiety. Can anyone recommend a good yoga dvd or tape?


Unknown said...

Wow, what a lot of great and interesting "stuff"!

I am so glad this topic of depression has been raised. My dad, a chemically dependent dentist who died at 52, several weeks prior to my wedding, may have suffered from depression. So, perhaps a family pre-disposition, perhaps not. In any case, canser sure does "pre-dispose" one to depression now, doesn't it?!

I have never had the classic sign of depression- sadness, until this fall. Or, at least I did not allow it to come to the surface in all of my busyness and achievments...

I had a grand mal seizure last Christmas morning in front of the kids to suddenly usher me into the world of brain cancer. There were no warning signs, so to say my diagnosis was a shock is an understatement. I know that I am still processing a lot of it my feelings and thoughts. My releases come out in bits and pieces. I actually never cried or felt depressed after the seizure, after hearing the diagnosis of brain cancer, after ruining Christmas for my family and scaring them all to death with my diagnosis/surgery, etc. I was SO strong, no one could believe how well I was (and still am) doing. However, now I find that certain things make me crumble, and I know that is my psyche pushing out all that I pushed down and in during the past 11 months. My first MRI, three months after surgery, with all the sights and sounds, brought up tons of emotions! I laid there for the entire hour in the MRI machine, my head taped to the cradle, with tears silently running down my face. Certain other events, places and songs trigger strong emotions. I cried hearing the first Christmas song this year on the radio- it brought back such memories and thoughts.

These moments of sadness, however, are not what caused me to feel "depressed". For me, it's the feeling of being overly stressed, not having time for myself, putting my needs last, and finally getting tired of doing it all, and doing it all at a high level! I work two part-time jobs (one at home online, one outside of the home) at odd hours of the day to be able to homeschool one child and get the other to school and back. My work commute is two hours round trip three times per week, my daughter's school commute totals two hours per day five days a week. My hubbie works two jobs, too, so I have all the work to do at home for our family as well. This all used to be okay, say, before December 25th, 2007. Do you know what one of my first thoughts out of brain surgery was? It was "I don't want to spend the rest of my life working myself to death!" So, since then, we have decided to graduallly make some major life changes and to simplify. Hard to do with a family, though... Anyway, the stress of overdoing it causes my depression. It also is important to know how to recharge your batteries when stressed or tired, and then MAKE TIME to do it! For me, that's meditation, reading the Bible, a hike, or any time outside in a peaceful place. Finally, sleep. Those Zzzz are so important! While I think I can function on the 4-6 hours of sleep I get, I am fooling myself. I cannot. When I start to fall asleep driving or sitting in a chair, I cannot deny it any longer!

I also find that it is just not sadness, but anger, that comes into play with depression. This is a revalation to me, and it explains a lot. Lots of unresolved, pent up emotions, anger, hurt and sadness growing up in a family with chemical dependency issues... Hey, but that's why raw foods detox, juicing, etc. really helps! It helps us to get out all those toxic substances, AND emotions!

I appreciate all the insight posted here, and it will certainly help me continue to strive for a "healthy" new year! Thanks Ladies!!!!!

Unknown said...


I have a 12 year old, 7th grade daughter. I feel your pain! When my daughter turned 9, it was as if a switch was turned. Really. She changed. Now that she is 12, looking about 16 in my opinion, yikes, she has her share of mood swings, sresses, etc.

Your daughter could have issues with true clinical depression, but it could also be attributed to being a pre-teen!

My daughter is pretty quiet, humble, sweet, and non-confrontational. She tends to keep it all inside, and then let loose about everything once she hits the wall (hmmm, the apple does not fall far from the tree!). Her personality has changed somewhat since hitting puberty. This time is such a hard time of life. Researches believe that the brain goes through the same amount of major change during the pre-teen and teen years as it did during the infant to toddler years!

And don't forget, she has a mom that is "sick" (I am sorry, I don't know your particular health situation). I know that my daughter would be mortified if anyone at her school found out her mom has brain cancer. I have told her teachers so they are aware should anything come up with my health during the school year, but none of her friends at school know. While my daughter does have a lot of fear about my health, she does not talk about it outside of our family. Being a pre-teen or teen, you just want to fit in with the crowd. Just having parents is bad enough, but having a parent that is somehow different is tough!

Finally, in addition to all the changes she is going through at her age, including major brain chemistry changes, maybe her thoughts and fears about your health are weighing her down. I know that my own fears and thoughts come out of the blue sometimes, making an okay day not so good.

When my daughter allows, I barrage her with motherly love, support, and encouragement. When she wants to be alone (like her mom!), I respect that and don't push the issue. It's definitely a fine line that we walk.

Lindsay said...

I'm 20 so I JUST left my teen years but I remember being that age and oh my lordie was I a ball of emotion. I completely agree with librarymom...there's so much going on in the brain at that time in any issues she may have swirling around in her head but not sure when,where and who to share them with. It's a TOUGH age for sure. Any stressor seems to be huge when you are just trying to fit in and feel good about yourself. I think you're doing a great job just being there, and when she is ready...I'm pretty confident you will get to the bottom of what's on her mind. I'm sending you good vibes!!

thejuicechick said...


I just wanted to share with you what my sister did--before she had her radiation for intestinal cancer she had her insides lined with lead to protect her ovaries. She went on to have a baby girl (who is now almost 16). Her first onc scoffed at her wanting to protect her fertility so she fired him on the spot! Just wanted to give you some hope in that department.

My sister had active cancer at the time of conception (as did I--my colon cancer wasn't discovered until my baby was 20 months old).

goony-I have a wonderful oil called "Joyful Spirit" consisting of Orange, Maychang, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Vetiver. It's made by Wyndmere. I carry it in my bag and take a whiff whenever I need an attitude adjustment. It truly works.

Also, I read somewhere that if you put a smile on your face the mood will follow. This works too for the blues....can't say for full-blown depression.

I also read somewhere that cancer can cause depression. Kris, do you know this to be true? It makes sense to me personally since I think I was a bit depressed before I was dx'ed. It took me a long time post dx with lots of detoxing of toxic emotions, body toxins, and spiritual toxins (legalistic church situation) to be free of the blues.

I am by nature an upbeat and positive person so I believe my "depression" was a combo of cancer and toxins because post surgery when I was "cleaned out" in mind, body, spirit my spirits soared once more.

It took some work though......can you say coffee enemas? ha!

It feel so good to be back in here! I haven't posted since the beginning and after not having much on line access for a month I am soooo far behind on all the posts!

I feel like I have missed so much going-ons!

Kris, we have all that snow for dogsledding now cowgirl!

peace, emily

livefearlessandfree said...

hi ladies-
so much good stuff happening on this blog...hard to keep up. I know kris and i are going to post the 2nd part later today but i still have so much more to say about what all of YOU have to say.
it's amazing to me how clueless brilliant doctors can be about depression-joy how could you NOT be a candidate...WHAT?!
michelle asked about going off her med now that she is juicing and feeling better-kris and i will address this later today but what i can say is if you want to go off do it with your md as a partner and i say yes why not try if you feel you want to get off of them.

jennifer thank you for the alzheimer's info (i read it while i chugged my green juice:)

robin was talking about the "shoulds" of being happy and how fear gets in the way. i believe that there is pressure to act a certain way, especially when you get a clean bill of health but just know we are all individuals that experience canser differently. there was a mourning period for me after mine...just grief that i would have to deal with this for the rest of my life...that a lump on my neck would now make me run to the doctor all the time resenting the FEAR that would just overtake me like a tsunami!!(it was a muscle knot-stess much?!) this was NOT me i am not afraid...of anything or so i told myself till canser kicked me down the stairs. so all that to say we all deal in our own ways and no matter how you feel it is one has to understand it have a right to exactly how you feel and honoring it without letting it take over your life as robin said in her post, is the way to go.
great website for you all about aroma therapy and depression for those who do not like the smell of lavender they have many other ideas
go to then aromatherapy then depression.
anne-i wanted to give you my 2 cents on your daughter-the responses have been wonderful and really insightful-the only thing i will add as a therapist is to really create a safe environment (and it sounds like you have) for her to tell you the absolute truth about the possibility of a precipitating event. any new kids in her life? is she online, myspace or facebook? bullying? anything inappropriate with an adult? teacher? etc etc these are the questions i would ask if she was my client.
thanks again-
your crazysexyshrink terri

thejuicechick said...


I just wanted to share with you what my sister did--before she had her radiation for intestinal cancer she had her insides lined with lead to protect her ovaries. She went on to have a baby girl (who is now almost 16). Her first onc scoffed at her wanting to protect her fertility so she fired him on the spot! Just wanted to give you some hope in that department.

My sister had active cancer at the time of conception (as did I--my colon cancer wasn't discovered until my baby was 20 months old).

goony-I have a wonderful oil called "Joyful Spirit" consisting of Orange, Maychang, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Vetiver. It's made by Wyndmere. I carry it in my bag and take a whiff whenever I need an attitude adjustment. It truly works.

Also, I read somewhere that if you put a smile on your face the mood will follow. This works too for the blues....can't say for full-blown depression.

I also read somewhere that cancer can cause depression. Kris, do you know this to be true? It makes sense to me personally since I think I was a bit depressed before I was dx'ed. It took me a long time post dx with lots of detoxing of toxic emotions, body toxins, and spiritual toxins (legalistic church situation) to be free of the blues.

I am by nature an upbeat and positive person so I believe my "depression" was a combo of cancer and toxins because post surgery when I was "cleaned out" in mind, body, spirit my spirits soared once more.

It took some work though......can you say coffee enemas? ha!

It feel so good to be back in here! I haven't posted since the beginning and after not having much on line access for a month I am soooo far behind on all the posts!

I feel like I have missed so much going-ons!

Kris, we have all that snow for dogsledding now cowgirl!

peace, emily

thejuicechick said...


I just wanted to clarify my comment--

I mean that cancer can physically cause depression--not the emotional cesspool having it can create.

Can anyone weigh in on this? I don't remember where I read it.

peace, emily

Michelle said...

Hi Terri, thanks for your response and advice...i saw my psych doc today. I have been on 300mg of effexor for the longest time and i nicely asked her if we can decrease it to 150mg..she said absolutely not! She, instead decreased it to 225mg..I told her i am anxious to try to wean off and she is totally against the idea! I guess its time for a new doc???? This is my life and my body, i think i should have a say in what i put into it!!! So, what now? Thanks Terri and Kris!!!

Becky said...

I have been on depression meds for 12 years. I am going to stay until I am in remission. At that point, I'll continue with this new lifestyle and see if the meds can go. I wouldn't fire your shrink, but maybe get a second opinion. If you like her/him, don't jump ship!

Lauren said...

Hi Anne,
Just want to piggyback on what the other bloggers are saying. Adolescence is definitely tough with all the hormones, and having to fit in with the crowd. I think each generation of Adolescents have it harder. Look at their role models: Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan etc. Sad I know.

A classmate of mine did a paper on 3 generations of Adolescence. She talked to her mother, grandmother, and explored her own adolescence. When her mother talked about her adolescence she spoke of all the fun, happy times. My classmate finally brought up some negative aspects of adolescence and her mom was like "oh yeah, i did go through that. it was horrible!"
So my point is that adults probably do forget what it was like, so they really do have a hard time understanding the
intricacies of that period.
Another thing, I researched adolescents with Type 1 diabetes and everything I read was how important it was for adolescents to hide their disease and be like everyone else. Adolescents with diabetes have a hard time managing their care because of this.
Also, most adolescents don't have to think too much about their own mortality as much as kids with diabetes do, so this also affects their development.

It's true that maybe she is starting to think about your illness more. She's getting old enough to understand the complexities. Kids in middle years cannot process things in the same way adolescents do.

Jamie said...

Hi Michelle J. I just wanted to say I agree with Becky. I've been on meds for a long time and I want to go off them so badly. But at the same time, I understand the importance of them in my life. I would rather be alive and on medication then to drop in to a depression where I can't function and end up taking my own life. I'm hopefully that eventually I'll be able to beat this and go off my meds (like Becky said). But even if you do, go off very very slowly. And Becky's right - get a second opinion. Your Psych is probably just looking out for you. Dropping from 300-150 is really a large drop.
Take care of yourself girl :)

Lindsay said...

Thanks Emily! My radiologist really worked hard to make sure they mapped out everything perfect so that the majority of the radiation directly hit my tumor. Obviously a little is going to jump to other organs. A little went to my intestines...although I had no side effects, and a little hit my left side effects and once I regained weight after surgery I started getting my period normally again. So it's a toss up. They think my right got little radiation if any. I'm just worried about if I need chemo in the future how that will hit them. So thats when I'm going to step in even stronger and get some advice on saving those little guys.

P.S. I'm on Effexor too..I like it a lot better than Lexapro.

Michelle said...

Hi guys...Jamie and Becky thanks and i do agree that i have to take it slow but i really do feel good now!! Yes, i know maybe its because of the meds but in my heart i feel its the new CSC lifestyle. I feel so much more alive and happy since i started juicing and eating about 85% raw! The way i see it, whats the worst that can happen? If i get weaned off and feel lousy or depressed or scared i will go right back on meds. Maybe a different med. I just need the help of my shrink to wean off. Her words were "you are in remission because of the medication" and i am not so sure i agree???? Thanks guys!

Anne said...

Everybody, thank you so much for your comments regarding my 11-year-old daughter. I actually am not ill--I'm here because I'm eager to live the lifestyle, which I believe is the healthiest way for anyone--with or without cancer--to live.

Today has been a good day for my girl. Right now her two best girlfriends are over and they've been working on art projects and playing Conga all afternoon.

Hoping for a good weekend--for all!

Sandra said...

Oh, friends...I have much to share on the depression post, ('tis my numero uno ish) but I haven't had a chance to read all of your comments yet. I'll weigh in after I do. Thanks to Terri for the terrific tactics, though. Great stuff.
Coach Carr, I confess I haven't been writing, but I've been stuck in a car for three days. We drove to LA from Little Rock...oy. Great to be here in the sunshine, though. Amazing how the sun melts away the blues. I am a big Seasonal Affective Disorder Chica. Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. :)
By the way, there will be no auditioning for me while in LA-LA Land. Like you, I've had enough of the ups and downs of the shmacting thing. I haven't got time for the pain. I'm just hanging out playing road wife while my husband does a national tour and I am, of course, writing a book. I'm going to get my ass in gear on it, I swear. Thanks for continuing to inspire. I love you, girl.
PLEASE answer me one brief but urgent question. I'm getting my first colonic tomorrow. Am I supposed to tip the therapist? Is twenty percent okay? I'm going in the morning so I hope Kris or someone will clue me in so I don't embarrASS myself.
Loving you all, Sandra

Becky said...

You are in remission due to your lifestyle change too. Your instinct is right on about that. I too feel so much better with the new juicing! That is real for sure. So, on her comment about your being in remissions because of the medicine is probably out of lack of experience on her part.

rinne said...


I was wondering if you could help me understand why I start to panic and have HIGH anxiety every time I think about juicing. I have juiced on and off for four years and always feel better when I stay consistant. I know it's very important to juice to stay healthy but when I think about going to the fridge and making my green drink for the day I start to get this intense overwhelmed feeling. When I first got cancer I started juicing hoping desperately it would help save my life. It has helped me which is why I'm so confused as to why I feel this way. I'm wondering if I feel like I have to eat uber healthy or I'll die and I'm psyching myself out. I know this whole thing sounds silly but I just want to feel drawn to juicing and eating raw without the panicy feelings.


Lauren said...

Hi Rinne, I'm not sure what to say since I have no personal experience with your situation, but I bet checking in on this blog often will really help you out. In addition to how positive and inspirational everyone is here, everyone here talks about raw diets and juicing a lot. Maybe all the positive energy will calm you.

James Frame, Dr Henry Meissner, Dr Peter Bablis, Jan Roberts, Dr Corey Schuler and Dr Christina Youngren said...

Hi Annalin,

When you are ready to look at having children an amazing lady and protocol to look into is Jan Roberts and Better Babies.

Jan is in international speaker and author on wellness but particularly pre conception, fertility and babies. She is a pharmacist with a degree in clinical nutrition. Her co author is a top Naturopathic Doctor Francesca Naish and over in the US much of their work is presented by Angela Haywood.

Her website is

To give you an idea they have an 85% success rate for conceiving naturally and their protocols are used by some of the top IVF clinics as it isn’t just about conceiving but having a healthy full term pregnancy and baby. Her protocols look at nutrition, environment (removing toxins, EMR etc), exercise and attitude (empowering through knowledge). FYI - the miscarriage rate in their clinical trial was 3.5% versus the standard in the US of 25%... I can go on but you are better off looking into her website or buying her book.

The only other thing I would mention is that from a genetic perspective we are seeing with certain health conditions such as breast cancer genetic predispositions. The good news is that there is an ability to reduce the potential of certain adverse health conditions being expressed, even if in the genes of both parents, through preconception healthcare.

If you want some more info let me know and Jan will be touring next year presenting to doctors and patients across the US.



treat cancer said...

Treat Cancer with Flavonoids:

Mary 50 said...

Depression is hard to avoid while waiting for a dx. I hate being in limbo, I should find out by February 14th or so if I have ovarian cancer or not.
Mary C.

Mary 50 said...


The post by Kris that talks about the "beautiful bod". got me to thinking about my body. Not in a good way. One I have had three breast biopsies within a short time. Each breast is taking a turn. It is the right breast turn next. They want me to :think:( about bilateral breast mastectomies to go with the total abdominal hysterectomy. It felt like I was at a restraurant and they asked me "Would you like pepper on that salad."

I am starting to feel hollowed out.

To keep myself from depression....I need to think of myself in a different way. Where then is myself located. I would like to think my heart. But even here I am having heart failure. (physical)

My self is located in my Spirit. It is that part of me that has butterfly wings. My body won't be the same. Canser scars are ugly, so I thought I would tattoo the one I will get on my belly. I was thinking of a intertwining weeping fig. Or a huge rubber tree plant. but how would butterflies looks. Since I love to do art and draw. I may just design one special non-depressing tattoo to celebrate this rite of passage.

Mary 50 said...

Went for pre-op. Surgery date 2/5/08. I have just been waiting since 11/07 for a booking. I should have got an agent. To bad all the blood work still hurts.

The surgery and outcome is becoming more real now.

Go militant shopping tonight for the softest PJs I can find. Maybe with weird colors or saying. Or a variation for when I find out the results. so I can sulk alittle. I asked for wet slides so that I would know results before I leave the hospital. They will know while I am on the table so that I can more out if needed. getting freaky now.