OK, Last minute UPDATE on my Fox & Friends appearance... The good news is it's now going to be 5 minutes long instead of 3. The bad news?
The powers that be had to reschedule the airdate - it's NOT this morning (3/1) anymore... It's now scheduled for NEXT SATURDAY, MARCH 8, between 9-10 am....
As you can see, media stuff can change at the last minute - so please check back in. I'll keep you updated.
Same applies, I will talk about you, wiggle my nose, peace sign, move my necklace etc. LOL!
Also, I have a surprise for you......
You'll know what it is by tomorrow early AM. It's cancer cowgirl and chap Christmas! Ok, gotta get back to it!
Peace and presents,
PS. We will definitely continue with the weigh BS. Thanks again Dee!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Look who's sharin' her story with passion, fire, and "get busy livin" attitude, our beloved Dee. Take it away sassy....
“Wow you look like a completely different person!”
A lot of people enjoy hearing that, hell some people LOVE hearing that. Especially after a break up when you’ve entered a big event looking drop dead amazing. That never hurts the ego right? It does hurt the ego though, when the statement is laced with wonderment, negativity, and almost a ‘what the hell?’ feeling.
Top that little sundae with a glorious dollup of canSer whipped cream and you’ve got what I call, a big ole proBlem. Capital B for blah.
Having been every weight under the sun, literally, 110lbs-250lbs (I’m currently a somewhat normal/healthy range thank you very much) I’ve experienced that ‘weight thing’ probably in more ways than the average person. The times I was at my heaviest (I’m 5’8 ½ ) was because of life saving medicine, treatments, and clinical trials. But did that make me feel any better? No, not at all. My personal sandwich board which read ‘I’m usually not such a cow I have canSer damnit!’ was out of commission and I couldn’t find my ‘this is a medical condition!’ bell to ring.
The first two months were hell, I won’t lie, having struggled with eating disorders (yes that’s plural) at a young age, all this anxiety came rushing back to me. And let’s face it, in today’s society there is pressure everywhere. In my life, it felt suffocating. I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want to see people. Unless I had to, I barely spoke with anyone. I became isolated, uncomfortable and just miserable (a very toxic relationship didn’t help matters either). Why? Why, why, why? How awful of me to be so down on myself! I know that now, trust me, I do, but damn, isn’t that how it always is? I knew the treatment was saving my life, I knew it was the only reason I was still breathing, and yet…in the midst of this massive struggle that literally was life or death, I hated myself for having to wear a size 16 jean. Oh the horror!
I’ve always been a very active, very fit, person albeit more so on the thin side. But before the whole canSer battle, and after my eating disordered days, I had become very strong. I would run fourteen miles without even batting an eye, I lifted weights better than most guys, I won push up contests, I boxed, I surfed, I really loved my body and loved how I felt. I also thought I was just as strong mentally as I was becoming physically. Man, was I in for a treat. A little extra poundage can throw any person for a loop, try adding about 100 lbs in less then six months. People are cruel, people judge, people talk and it hurts. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t moments when I wondered if it was worth it. And then something happened.
My treatment changed, I got back into my healthy eating. Okay a little bit more obsessively than I should have, but damnit I was determined to get back to my ‘self’ (and by ‘self’ I mean the warped perception that my ‘awesome bod’ was the real me, not just the carrier/messenger/cute accessory to the fabu personality). I started slow with the working out, my heart rate had to, and still has to, be closely monitored. The weight started slipping off. Months passed by and then something happened.
I was at a birthday party for a friend, when I overheard somebody commenting on me, saying awful things about how ‘thin’ I was, and that I probably use chemotherapy as a cover up for an eating disorder. And to make it worse, she then stated how she wished she could be as thin as me, if only she had my willpower. Didn’t she understand that I was fighting for my life? That behind the smile, and at that moment, frail form, I was really sick?
I realized then, that no matter what size I was, every one was going to have an opinion. Every one was going to talk. Every body would probably always be wrong and go based off of wrong assumptions and incorrect facts (story of my life man!) and instead of just asking me about it, continue on in their ignorant state of bliss. The only thing I could control was how I responded. Viktor Frankl once said, “the one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance”.
I call that moment, my turning point. I suddenly wanted to hate myself for being so hard on my poor tired body, how selfish was I after everything I put it through, to expect it to perform miracles?! It was being zapped, poked, prodded and scanned, going to hell and back, and there I was, bitching because I couldn’t fit into that gorgeous dress I bought a few months back.
But hating myself, would just continue the self-harm cycle! Yes, that’s right, I said it. Feeling guilty about your body is self-harm. It’s a form of self-abuse, and one of the most common. Four out of five women, at one time or another in their life, has had disordered eating and warped self perception. What we consider ‘normal’ talk about ‘diets’ and exercise ‘these jeans make me fat!’ ‘I hate myself for eating that brownie!’ ‘I had a REGULAR soda my life is over!’ ‘I hate you for being able to eat that!’ do nothing but harm harm harm ourselves.
I wish I could lay out steps and tell you all that being happy with your body is easy, but I can’t because that’d not only be incredibly dishonest, but not the way you should go about it. You should never let anybody tell you what is right for your body and your mind, you need to find that out yourself. That does not mean that getting a work out tip from a buddy, or some healthy food ideas from a friend, is the wrong thing to do. It just means that you can follow all the advice books, self help tapes, and ‘diet’ advice in the world, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be happy with yourself.
I know what works for me, I know what keeps my weight up (or down, depending on the treatment) and I know how to listen to my body. If my body needs some more weight on it, then so be it. If a new treatment makes me gain weight again, bring it on and I’ll keep smiling! My body’s got enough crap to worry about, the added stress won’t do anybody any good, least of all me. Being comfortable in your own skin is a challenge, it’s something you learn mostly from trial and error (kickboxing and I, are not friends, however Krav Maga and I, enjoy a torrid affair every once in awhile, and normal boxing and I, run away together constantly). I always say that life is what you make of it, you are what you make of yourself. If you don’t like those extra pounds, okay, you can run those extra miles and you can jazzercise your nights away, but once those extra pounds come off, will that just make you want to lose more? Or will you realize that extra pounds or not, your body is the physical embodiment of your entire life, and you should be proud of it. You should strut that bad boy out every day like the fabulous amazing souls you all are with a big dose of ‘hell freakin yeah I’m HOT’. Your body is your badge of honor, your story, your life, all wrapped up in limbs, bones and flesh.
We are our own worst enemy, we always will be unless we retrain ourselves, and learn to love ourselves, and be well, happy with ourselves at any size. It can happen, I’m living proof that it is possible. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.
Educate yourself, branch out, try something new. Move your body, move your soul, move your self, just move, move, move. Don’t make any more excuses! Embrace yourself and your flaws. You’ll never know what you can accomplish by spending your time sitting on your butt. Excuses are the currency of the lazy person, consider this your warning that the currency is no longer accepted (kind of like the Euro and how it swooped in and took over! The poor Lira didn’t have a chance…).
This community/group/family is amazing because of the support everyone has for each other, use that to your advantage. Support one another, lean on one another, help one another, move forward with one another. You all have it in you, it’s just a matter of whether or not you have the cohones to bust it out, embrace it, love it, smother it, and never let it go. The possibilities of what you can become are endless, but nobody can make those possibilities a reality but you. You owe it to yourself to at least try, I promise it will be hard, and I promise it’ll get harder before it gets easier, but I also promise that you will never, ever, not even for one moment, regret it. You may ask, ‘what’s there to gain/lose?’ and that’s just it, everything. Isn’t that worth it?
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Hi LADIES! - And the few brave gents willing to put up with this post. LOL!
This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Wow, the government has given us the green light to vent! They are sooooo kind, doing such a great job too (massive sarcasm). So without further adieu, I give you a delicious rant on LBS....
The scale is a bunch of numbers that mean nothing and EVERYTHING. That pesky, dangerous box is a booby trap full of good and bad news math. I hate math, I hate the scale. When I was a bun-head ballerina I would weigh myself everyday and then punish or praise myself accordingly. On punishment days I'd yack. Tis true, tis pathetic, tis my history, a golden nugget that makes me wise and human. However, that BOX is just that, a small container to cage ourselves. Prison is not sexy. No matter how cool it looks in the movies, prison is not a place to voluntarily visit.
Food: We adore it, despise it, worship and pray over it, we obsess and curse the voodoo grip it has over us. Food is the worst and best kind of lovah. Just when we think we've got it all figured out, stress and/or an emotional poop pie welcomes a malaise that lulls us into a state of gluttony. Or does this just happen to me?
Back in my meat eating days I would speed through the drive-through dragging my scratched-up sage voice behind. "STOP! PLEASE! You're gonna regret it!" she'd shout. "Fuck off you damn goody goody, I'm chowin'." Been there? I'll share another lovely reminder of the issues in my tissues. My recent scan was really good. HOWEVER, the scale barked numbers that I had never seen before. I KNOW, IT'S RIDCULOUS, but I couldn't help but wonder how the heck this happen? Where was I when those LBS hijacked my temple? PS. No Deb, I'm not preggers. You are naughty.
How is it possible that I'm not perfect? I've spent 3.5 gazillion dollars on high quality therapy and people pay me for my thoughts. Even if I hid in a cave, wore a loincloth and tattered bra and meditated forever, there would still be times when I craved heroin and cupcakes. And guess what? Some days I have the damn cupcakes - heroin, not so much.
CanSer creates an enormous pile of stress in our lives. Most of us developed a bunch of eating issues long before the wake up call. Now canSer. The little “c” can make you feel like you have no more excuses. Yeah, OK, but the power struggle with food still exists - perhaps more than ever.
After much trial, error and Scream Fests ('03, '04, '05, '06 - the reunion tour of '07 and now '08), this is what I know for sure: Eating is a source of comfort and happiness for everyone! When life is out of control the easiest thing to grab is a snack. Snacks and feedbags = control. When babies realize that they have control over what goes in and out of their bodies, all hell breaks loose. Like everything else, it's a practice; it's a life long compassionate experiment. I can't amputate my problems, but I can work to get in front of them, to issue spot and see them coming a mile away. When the storm brews it's a sign that I am out of balance. Ok, great revelation, but the damn storm is coming so what do you do? Prep yourself.
Hurricane Twinkie pig-out check list:
1. Junk OUT of my cabinets and fridge. I cannot be trusted.
2. Healthy snacks on hand, pre-cut/washed veggies and juice stuff prepped and ready in Tupperware containers.
3. Quick and easy side dishes ready and waiting to accessorize my big nightly salad. Rice pasta, quinoa, sweet potatoes, millet, soba noodles, garden burgers, hummus, Ezekiel bread, manna bread, etc.
4. Other staples, almond butter, tahini, nuts, oil cured nuts, great oils, hemps seeds, flax seeds, avocados, avocados, avocados...
5. Lots of yummy teas and lemon for my groovy lemonade which I sip constantly - (lemon, water, stevia).
6. Time carved out for smoothie/juice breaks.
7. A wee bit of fruit and a few healthy sweet treats (even though CanSer doesn't like sugar, I do and I can't always say NO).
8. A clean bathtub to hide in - with candles.
9. My rebounder OUT and ready for jumping.
10. A long walk ASAP.
The rains will pass, and when they do - get back on track. 80/20. Which for me means that I am raw till noon and then 80% of every meal I eat is raw and 20% is cooked. Better translated: Look at your plate and break it down like a pizza pie. 80% is salad and raw delight. 20% of the portion is your side dish. Make sense? PS. Dee had a great description of this on the last blog.
It’s easy to see the neglect and “bad” choices. It’s hard to see the good stuff, to pat ourselves on the back for our triumphs. Those "good" things contribute to our energy bank account. I guarantee that you are making more deposits than withdrawals. Lighten up (I’m speaking to myself too). This "raw/vegan/health thing" shouldn't feel like prison or deprivation, there must be room for being human. As I recently said to a good pal, let's focus less on our bodies and more on our perception of our bodies. Whoa. Aren't we our harshest critics? Someone or something beat us up long ago. That moment has passed and yet we still carry the Louisville Slugger – and the scale.
For many of us, a healthy weight is not the one we’re constantly chasing. It’s the one we’re at when we say, “Oh, if I could just lose five or ten pounds . . .” When I stop criticizing my numbers I have more free head-space to make and consume better meals.
I feel better now. Thanks.
Peace and scale stomping,
PS. And while we're at it, throw out the magazines that pollute our body image. They create what I call the seesaw effect. One week we’re too thin, the next, too fat. These magazines target and magnify the cellulite on unsuspecting vacationing celebrities. How dare she let down humanity! Let’s stop, drop and roll. When we judge miss starlet we're measuring and judging ourselves. We’re contributing to goddess oppression. Free her!
Monday, February 25, 2008
Hi team sexy!
Rrrrr. The show ended up being a local affiliate, which really suck-ola-ed because I talked about YOU!!!! The anchors were super nice and the segment was still rockin. I promise to get a copy and post it. However, I am so sorry that many of you got up at the ass crack of dawn to see it, hope you went back for more snores or got motivated and trotted out n' about. I wish I could drive our pick up truck to each of your castles. I'd make you breaky in bed as a thanks. Until I then, here's my favorite canSer cowgirl flap jack recipe. It's flourless, wheatless and yumful. Remember, 80/20, so have a big ole green drink first and then fire up the griddle.
Kris loves Seed Pancakes
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw flax seeds
1 cup ground millet (use a coffee blender to transform the millet into a flour)
1 1/2 tsp of baking soda (or try baking powder)
1 tsp sea salt
1 packet stevia (or more)
Use unsweetened soy milk to thin batter - I use westwood unsweetened vanilla, don’t love soy, perhaps you might have a better substitute
Mix with passion
Cook the cakes in coconut oil – the best oil for high heat.
Museum day was worth its weight in gold for me and Brian. I had no idea how depleted we were until we gorged on images, ideas, and art. The birthday boy was giddy (he did have a beer with lunch). We went to MOMA and blew our heads open at the "Elastic Mind" exhibit. Then off to the public library for the Kerouac exhibit which celebrates the 50th anniversary of On The Road - a delicious masterpiece. I majored in english and the Beats were my obsession. My final paper senior year was on Ferlinghetti, the lit king who started The City Lights book store in San Fran. Ferls was a cornerstone of the movement. Kerouac was the dude who injected a heavy dose of spirituality into the arm of the revolution.
I got an "A" but most people thought I was a freak because I turned down the lights, played jazz, and read my paper aloud with DRAMA and languid mental masturbation. I was 19. I may have worn a beret as well.
Now it's happy Monday and my goal is to take a bit of that fun and freedom of yesterday and yester-year and thread it through my work week. I really need another techno detox big time!
I also need to blog about the damn scale. Anybody want to chat about those pesky numbers? Confession: I had a mini meltdown getting ready for the boob tube interview. Oiy. Aren't I more advanced at this point? Dee made me smile by encouraging me to rock tight jeans. Then she said a lot of other nice things that made me feel silly and purdy. We love Dee.
Peace and Oopsies,
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Just a quickie to let you know that I will be back on The Today Show tomorrow at around 7:40 AM. Why? The DVD comes out March 4th! I'll blog more about this next week. The DVD is wicked cool and includes over an hour of new footage including an amazing 25-minute yoga routine for canSer peeps led and designed by award-winning instructor, Rodney Yee. Plus deleted scenes, extended interviews from the original film, new how-to material like basic meditation skills, juicing and health tips as well as simple detox methods. Add it to your library if ya like, or send to someone who needs a little inspiration.
The DVD will be available nationwide in stores and online. You can also purchase it on my website, crazysexycancer.com We'll be selling DVD's as well as signed books. If you'd like a personal note, you got it. All the proceeds from the sales will go towards maintaining the site and our new FORUM. Thanks gang!
So if you're up and sippin tea (or whatever else, I won't tell), check it out. No worries if you want to sleep in, you've heard my rap a zillion times. Lol! I was thinking that maybe we could come up with a funny signal to let you know that I'm saying HI FAMILY. Since I only have 3 minutes I need to stick with my talking point. Darn, I'd rather chat about YOU. What should I do? Rub my eye? Place my hair behind my ear? Fake sneeze? I will not pull a Britney (flashing bits and pieces) so don't even think about it. Sheesh.
Tomorrow is also Brian's birthday too. The crazy sexy hubby turns 42 years young. We're going museum bopping after the show. Soaking in some art for the soul. I hope you have time to do something fun tomorrow. Make the time loves.
Peace and media manners,
PS. Check your local listings, perhaps the show is on later in your area. :) Hope so.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Meet Crystal (my Kitty) and Olivia (my new friend who lives at the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary). www.woodstockfas.org
Hey, take a peak at their website and browse through the wealth of knowledge available. While you're at it, coo over the angels who live there. We're so lucky that badass farmer Jenny Brown (that's her real name) and her groovy hubby Doug Abel are our neighbors! They birthed this beautiful oasis for rescued animals and Olivia the goatess is one of their treasured Queens. Olivia is also a cancer cowgirl (so is soulfull farmer Jenny).
Winters are tough in the mountains and Olivia's Lymphoma isn't making it any easier on the girl. So Jenny and Doug brought her inside to hopefully bide her some more time. Enter Crazy Sexy Olivia's Revolution.
On a recent mid-afternoon hooky visit to the farm, Jenny and I brainstormed about her healing. Why not try some wheatgrass? Bingo! My awesomely educated vegan BFF rang up our local veggie hut for a mat poste haste. Wellllll, guess who took a turn for the better? Guess who went from not being able to stand to walking again? OLIVIA! If it works for a goat...hmmm....Jenny also feeds Olivia a healthy diet, herbs, lots of good greens and buckets of immune boosting love.
Olivia is the poster child for why they need to build an animal hospice, which will provide a warm, clean facility for incoming animals that must be in isolation and those with special needs. Please support WFAS in their efforts to provide care for animals like Olivia. Again, check out their website and if you're feeling generous send a little of YOUR green to Crazy Sexy Olivia's wheatgrass fund! You don't have to be a millionare to make a difference. AND if you're in NYC on March 24th, check out their "Komedy for Karma" benefit. It will be massive fun and hopefully hubby and I will be there so we can all hang out!
Now on to Crystal, my hairy daughter of 15 years. This kid is ridiculous! Fun for days but lately not so much. Well, if a lifestyle upgrade works for the goat Queen, how about for mine? Enter the wheatgrass. She starts today. Zen kitty. Check out the needles in her noggin! Zoinks. We found a kickass complementary vet so yesterday was all about getting her chi flowing and glowing. Right now she's lives in snot and sneeze city. I gotta say we went the western way and no luck. In fact, she's worse. Not that it's their fault but the problem is bigger than the symptom. Sound familiar?
Crystal and I will now be going to acupuncture once a week (if I'm gonna haul out the cash for her I better damn well do it for me). Plus, her diet is in for a major change. This morning she looked at me with that knowing pit in her stomach. I think she feels like death row kitty and that last night was her final junky big Mac meal. She's right. If healthy eating is good enough for NY city prisons, it's good enough for kitty - and for you and me too! These kids make me want to step it up in my own life. If I’m going to take the time out of my day to care for my hairy child then maybe I can do a bit more for me too.
Do you ever put other people first and forget or shelf yourself? Do you ever feel like you just don't have time for you? Priorities.....
Peace and fur (on the folks that need and truly own it),
PS. Guess what!?! We have a Guest blogger from the Humane Society who wants to give us more skinny on their triumph. How cool! I hope he's done with the post later today or tomorrow.
Bye for now. Talk amongst yourselves. :)
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Hello Healthy Town!
After the post V-day blog I realize just how big we are - YES! This electric town rules and within a few days we'll being flying on swings in our village green! But until then it's BOOK CLUB time.
Ya’ know why previous generations ate better for the most part? Because food was food. Food wasn't a multi billion dollar industry driven by corporate greed, manipulation and government subsidies. The food business has been overtaken by the chemical companies. And their inbred cousins the pharmaceuticals are standing by ready to mop up the damage – all the way to the bank.
As King Pollan so eloquently says, we've entered “The Age of Nutritionism.” What the heck is that? In a walnut shell, this refers to all the nonsense on the spaghetti box. If products on the grocery shelves could speak, this is what you'd hear....
“Buy me, I have omega 3's!”
“Oooh, pick me, I was injected with anti-oxidants! And I have less calories than the fiberless bee-atch next to me, I mean who does she think she is?”
“Oh yeah, well I'm fortified with calcium AND vitamin D, and I reduce cholesterol and toe fungus!”
“Big whoop, I've had the fat liposuctioned out of me and you Soccer Moms can too!” “Purchase me and you'll have more sex ‘cause you’ll be skinner and happier, and then you'll make more money and go to Paris and buy Gucci and meet Johnny Depp...and...and..” (the package is thinking)....”OH YEAH, (drum roll) and you'll solve global warming because I’m in a green box! Screw Al Gore, BUY ME!”
In this age of nutritionism, we’ve lost sight of the forest for the trees – i.e., the kale for the vitamins. Scientists assume it’s the isolated elements of kale that matter. But what if it’s kale itself – in all it’s glorious complexity - that somehow works? What if we applied this dissection to people? What if I cut myself into pieces and sold you just my foot? Would that help you walk and navigate your cancer journey better? You need the whole thing, body/mind/spirit – your thoughts, your ideas, experiences; your eyes, your heart. We’re all greater than the sum of our parts – you, me, broccoli.
(watch I get an email, "Hi Kris, you are so awesome, I would like your foot, and please send ASAP. Best wishes, Flavs". Oh, and treat cancer with my isolated, age of nutritionism, product - imiediently. :) *Shit, we're gonna get hammered now! Sorry gang.
Here's where we're different from our grand folks: WE’RE LOST! Do I eat a tomato (assuming you can find a real one) or do I eat a partially hydrogenated hubcap with a hundred year life span? Well, I’m confused, because I read about a new study showing that the Hubcap has more lycopene! Whatever that is - more must be better!
Who the heck really knows how all these invisible ingredients work when they are isolated in a lab and then jammed into a noodle? They can glue some fiber to the jumbo sausage but that doesn't mean it's good for you. We've been brainwashed to believe that we no longer understand our bodies, they do.
Because it’s all so confusing and scientific, we need a master's in nutrition to get through dinner. But who has time for that? Enter the EXPERTS - they'll clear it all up and give us a trusty shopping list. Well, here we are with all this EXPERT help and where has this gotten us? Fat, sick, broke, unhappy, dying early, and screwing up the planet on our way out the door.
From Michael Pollan:
"All our uncertainties about nutrition should not obscure the plain fact that the chronic diseases that now kill most of us can be traced directly to the industrialization of our food; the rise in highly processed foods and refined grains; the use of chemicals to raise plants and animals in huge monocultures; the superabundance of cheap calories of sugar and fat produced by modern agriculture; and the narrowing of the biological diversity of the human diet to a tiny handful of staple crops, notably wheat, corn, and soy. These changes have given us the western diet that we take for granted: lots of processed foods and meat, lots of added fat and sugar, lots of everything- except vegetables, fruits and whole grains."
Hope I don't sound too negative, but follow the money...
…And I'm the dangerous one? Thank you all for your kick ass comments about that. I appreciate it.
Peace and broccoli,
Friday, February 15, 2008
How did the entire day go by? I was trying to peel away and be with you from the moment I cracked my peepers and I said hola purdy world - I love you. Five years ago today my fancy big life was pushed into the shallow grave of oh well, never mind, not this time toots, you’re a sick person now. I banged my fists and fell into a puddle of tears and then I said, “fuck that!”
Fast forward. If I only knew then what I know now. Yesterday I handed in the final copy of my second book and I feel great. I had to giggle and say, “wow, look how far you've come, sassy cat.” Think about it: without the "little c," I would never have met and fallen madly for you or my hubby. Nothing means more to me.
OK, so enough gushies, you've all been chomping at the bit for the news. So without further adieu....
I haven't actually been the most honest cancer cowgirl.
Confession time: Remember when I was on Oprah? Two weeks later I landed in the hospital. Pneumonia. I had pushed it to the limit. As Brian sometimes says, I write “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do” self-help books.
There I was, hooked up to a ventilator-like thing and editing my article for Natural Health Magazine. It was 3 in the morning and I started to laugh so hard it hurt the puss in my lungs. Enter my aha - something’s gotta give – moment: Cancer isn’t killing you, the Crazy Sexy Cancer Industrial Complex IS! In walks the doctor, “WOW your chest x-rays revealed some serious stuff.” “Yeah, yeah, I know its cancer, relax; can I get out of here?” The girl who never takes an aspirin loaded up with drugs and took off in our pickup truck.
Cut to last month, my big annual scan (I was really nervous so I kept it to myself). What if it's worse? How can I lead my family if I'm tanking? Stress is bad and I’d been bathing in it. What if there are tumors in my toes, nose and all my bits and pieces!?!
Lay your burden down girl - it is what it is and you are healing. I touched the scan bed like I do before I strut on a plane and I prayed. Prayed hard.
In walks my groovy oncologist, Dr. D. He hugs Brian (who's closer to the door) and while locked in embrace, Doc happily says, "things look better than ever” Huh? Yup. In fact, my lungs look great. Most of the beauty marks on my liver are a bit smaller. Maybe it was my position on the scan bed, maybe it's no big deal, but to me it means a lot. Nothing is in my nose, toes etc. However, a few of the tumors do look slightly bigger. But since I have 24+ tumors, this was great news.
But I want to give the right impression. One Dr (not mine) told me that I am "dangerous" - my message is dangerous. What if people stop going to chemo because of you Kris? You have no idea if you are helping your body at all - no proof.
Hmmm. I reminded him that my message is about self empowerment and by no means do I advocate an either or mentality - that's what you do sir. I encourage both worlds to come together and for patients to see beyond their illness and make and plan a healthy life anyway.
With slow moving dormant cancer it's hard to see tangible progress, hard core proof. I'm a patient patient though and I choose to look at small victories (no substantial growth and some regression) as an enormous accomplishment. Makes me happy. Makes me drink more green juice.
Whether it’s the nature of my disease or the nature of my choices, here I am: still strong, still stable. I’m doing the best I can. Remember, healing (and/or curing) takes place in a centrifugal force. You have to stop it before you can turn it around. I think of all of you and I see myself as an amalgamation of your experiences. Good bad, happy sad, here we are, so let's go!
Now for the freakiest news. Dr. D thinks that my stability is stronger than ever and therefore it’s OK to chat about next steps. Yup, you were right, crazy sexy MOMMY!
Until Brian, I never thought momminess would be for me. I used to see kids as very short people who scream in restaurants. Now for some reason I look at them and my knees get gooey. Brian is a natural, if you could see him with wee ones, you'd know how special a mini B and Me could be. And to be honest, I think a little vegan revolutionary would make me damned proud.
So here we are at the top of the mountain. No one else with my cancer has ever had chicklings – not that the top doctors in the world know of. I'd be the first. Gulp. And yet I know its gonna be OK. Am I nuts? It's a lot to think about and we do not take this lightly.
Thank you for allowing me to chat. Thank you for caring. You are my inner circle and you've made Valentine's Day magical.
Peace and hearts, champagne in the morning too…
PS. Dhrumil is still working like a maniac. Hang tight, our playground is almost open.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Good morning peaceful warriors!
Give up the love of power for the power of love. - The Reverend Jimi Hendrix
Goddess, I adore that man!
Just a sunshine quickie to let you know that I am thinking and loving each and every one of you...
Some news: Our AWESOME forum is almost ready and though I want her to go live tomorrow, she's shy and lonely and needs a little more prep time before her coming out party - this weekend. So in order to make her feel better we need to fill the pages with chatter and delight.
So I would like to invite the first 20-30 people who email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with FORUM in the subject heading to stroll around, have a private sneak peek and start some delicious conversation. Anyone interested in pioneering with me? Talk to us! We will contact you with directions on how to log in and some high fives.
Big post tomorrow (my cancerversary), good personal news (I had my scans a few weeks ago but there was so much going on that I didn't want to steal any of the thunder).
Have a lovely day lovely. Remember, start by tying your shoe THEN put one foot in front of the other and LIVE.
Peace and FORUM!!!!!
Monday, February 11, 2008
I just got back from a POWERFUL weekend of personal transformation and rocket growth. If you live in South Carolina please check out the new Jivamukti in Charleston some time, and if you live or visit in NYC, well then you have to go to their studio downtown -your mind will explode and your life will change. I started practicing yoga at Jivamukti in 1992. Back then I was a dancer with lots of injuries and few solutions. A friend suggested I try yoga. Yoga??? Hmmm. I wanted something hardcore, not gentle stretching for aging hippies. My only exposure to anything like yoga at the time was a video and a book my mom had. To be honest, it seemed like a snooze fest. But I trusted my friend and reluctantly trucked down to the east village. What happened next planted the seeds for the self-designed healing plan I would create 11 years later (when cancer came).
Jivamukti yoga is a form Hatha yoga. It physically challenges you to your core, but what's different about this form of yoga is that David Life and Sharon Gannon (the founders) created a modern practice rooted in the ancient wisdom found in the Upanishads, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. They believe that liberation is possible in THIS lifetime. But how?
Many of you know that yoga means to yoke, union with the divine. Think about the old black & white images of Oxen being yoked together. They are connected, walking in the same direction, however there is still space between them. In essence this is what a good marriage is: a union, commitment and understanding that we are independent souls, and though we move forward together we must allow space for growth between us on our unique journey.
David and Sharon teach that to yoke our individual experiences as small selves with the source of our being (god, Jesus, Buddha, Elvis, cosmic consciousness -whatever floats YOUR boat) is the ticket to overcoming our illusion of separateness from that source. Wow! Think about it, what if we really are all connected, all of us? If we truly digest and understand the repercussions of “otherness,” then maybe we can understand the very essence of healing the planet and ourselves.
Kick-ass, uplifting music, meditation, chanting, scripture and real-deal talks about vegetarianism, the environment, politics etc.: this is what ya get at a Jivamukti class. I loved it from day one. My mat became my church.
Fast forward to nearly 5 years ago (this Thursday) when I was diagnosed with cancer and told there was no treatment. I knew in that moment that cancer would be my guru, my teacher and that those little and big tumors were asking me to change my life. The teachings of yoga held the first clue and pointed me in the right direction. The part equals the whole. Return to nature. Why are the asanas named after animals, the sun, and the moon? To remind us of nature, the earth source, is the cord that connects to the higher source. I think we can agree that the destruction of our bodies and the planet are the results of our society wandering astray (food, environmental pollution, war, hate, slavery, violence, murder and on and sadly on). These collective wanderings alter us, to me that's cancer. When I lose sight of my path, I get scared and make foolish or self centered decisions. But when I come back to the mat and to my own personal tenets, I am reminded that the only way to achieve true power is through kindness.
Patanjali says that through continuous practice of kindness, strength is attained. That's what we're doing here in this little Crazy Sexy Community. We are awakening to the fact that we can't return to health by forcing, taking, and cursing, or by controlling the lives of others. We are mama earth's Mini Me. As the green earth turns brown, so do the precious insides and organs of the peoples (furry and feathered too) who walk and fly the surface.
After this great weekend (12 hours of yoga in 2 days – ps: Epsom salt is my best friend) I am newly inspired to re-commit to building a better, sustainable me. I'm vowing to remove the NEXT layer of obstacles from my life so that regeneration, clarity, peace, and vibrancy can flow and glow in my crazy sexy temple.
Healing, true healing is a remembering. We get out of our way and let the sun in. We move, love, acknowledge, accept AND revolt. We fill our bodies with the fuel (physical, mental and spiritual) needed to shake off the barnacles and remove the darkness. Cancer isn't your fault (I've said this many times, in many posts), but now that it's here we have this great opportunity to learn powerful tools for this life and the next. We have a chance to heal and maybe even cure. But even if the cure part doesn't happen, we can still be liberated. Beautifully, soulfully liberated.
No dis-ease can thrive when we are at-ease. So my goal is to carve that path, create my owners manuals and do unto others, as I would want done to me.
There is only one way to really do that folks.
Dismantle the present culture and then rebuild it.
Peace and warrior pose,
Ps. See you on the mat.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
I hear there’s a party going on in here. I’m not sure which bar I should hit first, the wine or the wheatgrass… My globetrotting wife Kris is in South Carolina for the weekend - in the middle of an all day yoga class as we speak - so I thought I’d kick things off with our little book club.
For anyone just dropping by, we’ve begun reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.
First off, I love Pollan’s writing. He has such a talent for digesting (pardon the pun) our familiar world and reflecting it back to us with a fresh, clear perspective. You see connections where you hadn’t before, and learn that there are deliberate forces, often political, influencing parts of our lives that we assumed were the domain of chance.
We live in a strange time, food-wise. As our world shrinks, our food options grow larger. Consider the produce section at your mega-grocery: it’s brimming with exotic choices our parents and grandparents never even heard of, let alone had access to. And this bounty is available season after season, all year around. We take this so for granted that we need a leap of imagination to realize just how novel and unnatural this is. As they say, “it’s always summer somewhere.” This, of course, brings up a variety of related issues: the connection between chow transport and global warming; the reliance on preservatives and GMO for longer shelf-life, to name a few.
Pollan talks about how much our diets have changed over the past few generations – for good and bad. He describes his Grandmother’s diet in the 1940’s, his Mom’s in the 1960’s, and now his. We all know our family stories – who, when, where - but do you know your food story?
My Mom grew up during the 1930’s and 40’s. Her relationship to food was probably typical of an upper-middle class American family at the time. (Hi Mom. I know you’re out there but either too shy to comment or can’t figure out how to sign in. Or both.) When she was a kid, it was a special occasion to have citrus fruit, for example. At Christmas they’d get a bag of oranges - all the way from a place called Florida!!
Back then dinner was a sit-down family affair, and she continued this tradition when I was growing up. We had a big old farm bell in our suburban front yard. You could hear it all the way to the edge of my known world, and when it rang, you’d better haul your ass home to dinner. Of course my brother, sister, and I tended to resent this tribal obligation. While many of our friends were free to wander home whenever they pleased and forage for leftovers or TV dinners, we were stuck in Family Land, talking, laughing, and passing around hot casseroles. In hindsight, from the perspective of nutrition, some of the food was unhealthy. But the meal - the overall experience - was infinitely nourishing.
As Pollan writes in the intro: “We forget that historically, people have eaten for a great many reasons other than biological necessity. Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world, and about expressing our identity.”
We know instinctively that food and community are inseparable, but we struggle so hard in this drive-thru age. Incredible advances have been made in nutrition – not all old habits are good just because they’re old - and I for one am happy for the variety today. But with 1 in 6 Americans eating lunch in the car, how do we change the system and reclaim a holistic definition of EAT?
What was a meal for you growing up? Talk to your families – hopefully you’re lucky enough to have a few generations still hanging around – find out what they ate. And how they ate. And why. What about your distant ancestors? What is your Gastro-Geneology?
Would love to hear your thoughts on In Defense of Food.
PS - thanks Dhrumil for a great blog!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Green drinks, chemo and my aunt’s journey
In the summer of 2004 my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a total of 8 tumors and they were growing in size each week. Doctors told her that surgery followed by an intense schedule of chemo were her only options.
This was the first time that anyone so close to me had been diagnosed with cancer. I was a little sacred, but I have to admit, I was also a little excited.
Since August 2001 I had been eating an exclusively raw food diet. I wasn't sick, I just wanted more energy, mental clarity and better skin. And boy did I get it! What I also got was an opportunity to see first hand how much of a difference diet can make for individuals who have a chronic or degenerative disease. My college roommate, who had really bad Asthma from the time he was a little kid, started eating raw with me and in less than 4 months his Asthma mysteriously disappeared. He also lost about 60 pounds of extra weight and got rid of at least two different types of allergies. His doctors couldn't believe or explain Mihir's transformation. They gave him the standard, "We have no clue what's up, but hey, if it works for you then keep it up!" It was then that I knew I was onto something powerful.
If the right attitude combined with a raw food diet helped Mihir with his asthma, what possibilities were in store for my aunt Hema?
Hema was well aware of my self-healing and raw food escapades. On our second conversation about her diagnosis she put all her cards on the table. "I have to live. I have to be strong and I have to thrive. Not just for my spirit, but for Neer and Namir (her children). I have to do this and I'm willing to get unconventional. I'm still going to go through with surgery and chemo because that's the doctors plan. But I want to make healthy eating and spirituality my plan. Will you help me?"
That was the first time in my young life that I had been asked of something so grand. But without hesitation I replied with a big fat, "Yes! Let's do this!"
A central part of Hema's healing journey revolved around a green drink. Very similar to the one Kris made for Dr. Oz on the Oprah show. For the first month after our conversation, in addition to eating exclusively raw meals, Hema was drinking two 8 ounce green juices a day. She was rocking and rolling! If this Crazy Sexy Cancer blog had been out then, she would have been on this page lighting up the comments with little tid-bits of how great she felt.
Four months into the plan Hema was doing amazing. She had already gone through one surgery (with an excellent and speedy recovery) and was now gearing up for chemo.
Out of the entourage of doctors that my aunt rolled with, it was the Oncologist who worried the most about her diet and specifically the raw greens. His biggest concern was bacteria. He was worried that an infection could occur while her immune system was vulnerable. He did his best to educate my aunt about the risks, but she was steadfast! After doing her own research and talking to a few raw food friendly docs, Hema new first hand that 1) the greens contained little to no bacteria and 2) staying raw and drinking her green juice would speed up her bodies ability to heal from the drugs.
Hema also took precautions to make sure that her food was totally free of anything that could harm her system:
* She bought only organic greens: Conventional and non-organic produce is more likely to contain bacteria because it has a greater chance of being grown next to conventional animal farms, (also known as factory farms).
All of the recent spinach-ecoli incidents occurred at non-organic farms that shared water with factory farms. Organic farms have very strict restrictions on how close they can be to conventional farms. For that reason organic produce is safer, better for the environment and better for your health.
* She called upon the power of hydrogen peroxide: Everyday Hema added a half a cup of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide (it is very important that it is food grade and NOT the stuff from a drug store) into a big sink and washed her vegetables in it.
Hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, is a strong oxidizer and kills bacteria in a fast and safe manner. It is multi-purpose and has been used for many years by people in the health community as a non-toxic cleaner, mouthwash, toothpaste and vegetable soak. Before you start using it though, you may want to read up on the power of H202. A great book is Hydrogen Peroxide: Medical Miracle by William Campbell Douglass.
Chemo Session 1: Hema's oncologist at Lankenau Hospital (just outside of Philadelphia) reluctantly agrees to her staying on a raw diet, but is happy she is taking precautions. He gives her drugs to take to counter the nausea and vomiting that many people feel after chemo. Hema reluctantly takes them, but notices that aside from some slight discomfort, she feels fine.
When her oncologist called the next day to check-in, Hema shares that she has no nausea, hasn't vomited and actually feels okay - a little tired, but still okay. He's amazed! Hema even tells him that she's thinking about chucking the aftereffect drugs starting tomorrow. He doesn't think it's a good idea, but at this point is open to new possibilities.
Since my aunt anticipated that her recovery would be much faster than what most cancer patients experience, she opts for a speedy chemo routine. Session after session her diet stays the same and her green drink recipe taste better and better. Which is good, because it becomes tougher for her to stick with the routine as the chemotherapy continues. The chlorophyl and alkalinity from the green juice and raw diet encourages the body to continuously detoxify. And since the chemotherapy drugs are quite toxic, she goes through spurts of not wanting to drink her green juice. But Hema sticks it out. Her hair still thins and Hema has her rough days emotionally, but overall the doctors are amazed at her recovery and can't believe her blood work.
Fast forward 4 months and Hema is still feeling amazing. More importantly her spirit is thriving. She no longer feels at the mercy of a disease, she is in control and now sees cancer as exactly the thing she needed. It opened her eyes and become the calling that led her to drop all of her old stories. Stories of why her life was or wasn't a particular way and how she wasn't in control. Now Hema is at the driver seat and totally loving the ride.
At around the 1 year mark Hema receives some fantastic news. Her cancer is officially in remission. We throw a little raw food party to celebrate!
Fast forward to today, February 2008 and Hema is still great. Her diet has stabilized at around 80% raw food and 20% vegan cooked food. And of course, she still has her daily green drink. Cancer is still one of the best things that ever happened to her.
Thanks for being the crazy, sexy woman that you are Hema, I love you very much.
Dhrumil Purohit is team lead and editor of welikeitraw.com, a blog about the transformational power of raw food
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Before Dhrumil the pied piper revolutionary behind "We Like it Raw" and Give it to Me Raw" dazzles us with his kick ass guest blog (tomorrow), I'd like to take a big ole Crazy Sexy Poll. You see, Dhrumil does way more than just educate and unify the raw community with his electric social hubs, he and his gang are the web wonder men in charge of creating OUR forum.
The Crazy Sexy Community Forum will be going live on my 5 year cancerversary, this Valentine's day - February 14th! It will be a very big day for me/us. Sooo, if you could take a moment and toss some of YOUR ideas out there, the Crazy Sexy team we would much appreciate it. What would you like to see in the village green (the place we gather to chat n' chew) on day one?
Here are some examples from my brain:
Crazy Sexy (fill in the blank)....
Intimacy (XX) :)
Welcome (for new members)
Peace and brainstorming,
PS. If there are any forums that you really like, let us know, we'll take a look and see if we can add some of their helpful tips to our special community.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Good morning and GO GIANTS!!!!!
Quote for the week: All serious daring starts from within....
There is so much to blog and brain dump about! I'll try to jump in and chat daily but if I shorten your great conversations then just roll them over to the next post. Before I share some of my good news, let's all get on the same page about the book club. Shall we chat n' chew about our books on the weekends? Seems like we all have more time when the Saturdays and Sundays roll around. This week we'll have a few guests and one or two from yours truly. I'll be on the road again this weekend, another speaking gig, this time in Charleston, South Carolina at the new Jivamukti yoga studio (formerly Satsang). Please come by if you are around!
If ya like the idea to gather for the book club over the weekend then I ask that we hold the conversation till that time so that we're not all over the place.
How many chapters should we cover? Do you think that 1-2 a week will work in your schedule?
Have a delicious Monday full of vibrance and flowing (unpolluted) rivers,
PS. Congrats to healthy bright Becky and high five to Glenda (our little green solider bringing the juice to the front lines).
PSS. The Crazy Sexy Hubby aka Brian will be joining us for the book club and a guest post. A lurker right in my own home!Thankfully he is ready to come out of the closet. :)