May 22nd, 2011
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A relative who is also a close friend was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and while visiting her she introduced me to the awesome books written by The New York Times best-selling author Kris Carr.

I don’t know how I missed her but I am now totally taken with her philosophy of assessing your personal priorities in order to successfully battle cancer and become a “wellness warrior.”

Carr’s blueprint for self-examination helps you to take stock of how much you actually exercise (not enough), what you actually eat (room for improvement) and what you should eat (more veggies) to how much stress (too much) and fun (not enough) exists in your life.

Kris Carr is all about empowerment plus she mixes it up with a fantastic sense of humor using terms such as “cancer posse” to describe those who have helped and supported her since her diagnosis, “CanSer babes” referring to herself and other women united in the battle against cancer and “Froot Loop mentality” noting the lack of nutrition in the standard American diet that is chock full of processed and sugar ridden foods.

Kris Carr

Kris Carr

I have never been diagnosed with cancer and I pray to God that I never am, but I am also fully aware of the risks of cancer in my family.  Relatives on both my mother and father’s side of the family have fought various cancers and sadly, some have lost the fight.

But you don’t have to be a cancer patient to appreciate and take advantage of Carr’s information.  I immediately found her positive attitude and approach to life incredibly uplifting and was also struck by how adaptable her philosophy could be for people who are in various stages of grieving.  Reading the “Crazy Sexy Cancer” book series could recharge your inner you and perhaps give you a friendly kick in the butt to move yourself forward.  I know it did  for me.

 Just to fill you in a bit about Carr, she was diagnosed with a rare and incurable stage 4 cancer in December 2003.  Doctors said chemotherapy, radiation and surgery could not help her.  “This whiskey tango foxtrot moment (that’s military lingo for WTF?!) sparked a deep desire in me to stop holding back and start living like I mean it!,” Carr said.  She then went on a deep healing pilgrimage and discovered a nutrient dense plant-based diet that put her in remission.

Carr has an amazing talent for crystalizing thoughts about life.  A sentence which immediately jumped off the page for me was: “Catastrophic moments in life force you to focus in on the immediate.”  Wow!!  Is that ever true!!!  Everything shifts when you are handling a trauma and things that you once thought were important get deleted from your priority list.  You only have so much energy and you find that it has to be directed towards the catastrophic event in your life, not the things that drain you.

Being diagnosed with cancer is certainly a catastrophic and traumatic moment as is the death of a loved one.  When either of these things sadly occurs, you are feeling so many things at once it’s hard to get a grip on what is happening to you.  That is why Carr’s take-charge attitude is so helpful.  Ask for help, find help, keep looking for help and eventually your situation has got to improve if not physically, then mentally.

Another sentence in Carr’s books that grabbed my attention was: “When you are living like you mean it, you are a force of nature.”  It’s very difficult in the beginning of grief to live your life like it means anything because you are in pain and have no enthusiasm.  At that point, all the cards have been thrown up in the air and you have no idea which way to go or what to do.  It’s enough to throw on some clothes, try to eat and maybe go to the grocery store or call a friend….and sometimes the day turns into a lot of time spent sitting and staring at family pictures and wondering what happened.  That’s okay too because it’s all part of the healing process.

Create your own pace and slowly, and slowly but surely, you will begin to feel that it’s possible to put one foot in front of the other and, as Kris Carr says, you will meet yourself and begin a new journey.

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