Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Plan Ahead

This is why I haven't wrote a blog in a while. I have been outside for a week straight making this garden. Good thing I have nice Italian skin or I would be burnt to a crisp instead of being golden brown. I'm working backwards with the pictures to have the pretty picture at the top. Finished product.
Here it is with the walls built, stone pavers in, dirt in and everything. My Uncle Danny came up with the design and helped get it all together. I did a lot of work on the soil after this. Added garden soil, peat moss, fertilizer and humus, I aerated it and I added some potting soil too. I'm hoping it's good enough for all my plants to grow.
This part sucked. Digging up sod is a nightmare. I had to call my brother Connor and Kevin to come and rescue me or it would have never gotten done. The sod was all wet and really heavy. I had some major back pains after this part.
This is what we started with. You can see the outline of where we didn't mow the lawn.
Here are all my veggie and fruit plants that were barely hanging on waiting for me to get the garden ready and plant them. ******HUGE gardening tip: Meijer of all places has a TON of organic veggie and fruit plants. Whole Foods does as well. They have blackberry, raspberry and blueberry plants too (which I got all of the above) I looked for organic plants at English Gardens, Bordines and Home Depot and nothing. Remember if the plants you buy are not organic, they have probably already been sprayed. Still better to buy those and not spray them any more than to buy conventional stuff at the market.
Blog Time........

If you have been with me from the beginning (or even from my second diagnosis) you might remember a lot of my history. You might remember the Caringbridge site I used to post everything on (and get a lot more comments). You might remember when I first started to drink green juice or when I started taking wheatgrass shots. You might remember when I finally mustered up the courage to write about my re-diagnosis and the very POOR prognosis I was given. If you remember all of that you might also remember when I finally opened up to all of you about my fear of an early death and how it can get the best of me at times. I wrote about my experience with all my laundry detergent when I broke down crying about my fear that I might not live to see the end of it because I had so darn much of it.
For a while I went about my life like that. Afraid to make any plans to far out in the future. I was afraid to plan a trip without travelers insurance. I would buy summer clothes in the winter and wonder if I would be around to actually wear them. I was afraid to buy or plan anything that wouldn't be used up for all of its value in the next year. I would plan the Bras for a Cause show wondering if I would live to see all the hard work I did. "Would all this work be worth it if I'm not there to see it into fruition?"
I knew the way I was thinking was unhealthy for me and well just plain depressing and miserable. So, I started to rebel against that way of thinking. I'm not sure I completely changed the way I thought yet, but I was changing my actions to go against such a terrible way of thinking. I went out and bought the biggest container of natural laundry detergent I could find (actually I bought two). I started buying summer sandals and all types of clothes a couple seasons off. Kevin had a time when he really thought I was crazy obsessed with shopping and I was causing us to have a lot less money because of it. Honestly though, it was my way of dealing with my mortality fears. I never bought clothes for the season I was in, I bought clothes for the next season coming or the next. You should see the stock of summer dresses I am so excited to wear. (MD Anderson trips to Houston with some great shopping and a lot of mortality issues going on in my head because they treat me like I was just trying to gain an additional 6 months of life on the trial)
June 6th 2007, one month before my beautiful wedding to Kevin, I was told my breast cancer metastasized and the average person with my diagnosis would live 12 to 24 MONTHS!! Yes, it was such a short time, they told me in months instead of years. I'm sure with your quick math you are realizing that all I have to do is hold on for a couple more weeks and I can be one of those people that tells their story saying how according to the doctors, they should be dead by now and instead they feel great.
I tried and tried to stop thinking about this date. For a while now I have honestly believed in my heart of hearts that there is no doubt I would live to see this day (which is also my dad's birthday). Even though I knew this was the case, I still cannot wait to have that day pass. I cannot wait to get it out of my head so I no longer count any days and just stick to living every day the best I can with nothing looming over my head.

I plan ahead now (even before June 6th 2009). I planted tulip and other flower bulbs last fall wondering the same thing I do about everything...."Will I live to see it??" Guess what...I lived to see them bloom. This fall I am going to plant more bulbs especially in the new garden I built this past week. Perennial bulbs everywhere. Kevin and I are going to plan vacations without travelers insurance. I'm getting a new car (since my old Honda died) with a 5 year loan. The Bras for a Cause show is this September 12th and I already have my outfit picked out for it.

I know I am already on the right track in the way I think, but it will be really nice to have June 6th pass so then I can give the day back to my dad and have the only signifigance of that day be his birthday. I'm not sure if I went back in time and knew that the prognosis I would be given would cause me such duress if I would have changed the fact that I asked for it. I am one of those "I have to know...give it to me doc" kind of people. Then again, I am a determined, resourceful, smart, healthy, happy, will never give up kind of person who LOVES to beat the odds because I know I am special. Glad that this will soon be behind me and that the future is unknown.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shannon and Chloe Purina Video Debut

Hey all,

This is a picture of me getting bamboo towels from my Grandma and mother for my birthday. They are so soft. (more on this at the bottom of the blog. Mini health lesson below)
The debut of the Chloe Purina Cat Chow video is coming, but I got a sneak of course all of you get one too. I'm actually really happy with how it turned out. I've been burned by media before (interviewing you for over an hour and then only telling 2 minutes of your story can really skew things if that is what they want) For this 2 minute video there were hours of video footage, so I was really hoping that when it was pieced together it was a true example of me, Chloe and our story.

Chloe does look a little fat with the way I am holding her in the video. I had to explain to her that the camera adds about 10 lbs. : ) No really, she just has so much fur that she looks way bigger than she really is. There's just an 8lb skinny kitty underneath all that hair. I can tell I look made up more than usual, but it doesn't look like nearly as much makeup they actually put on me so that's good. Every time I watch, I want to go in the video and rub off all the makeup from my face though.

The video is a little sappier than I am used to. The music in the background almost made me get a little sentimental. I guess that's what they're trying to do; pull at your heartstrings. Anyway, I think the video is great and I proudly share it with you. Thank you Jennifer and Jennifer of JSH&A.

Click here to watch the video.

Other quick news....
The day after my birthday my trusty 1996 Honda Accord with 152,000 miles decided the birthday presents I got so far were not enough. It decided that I needed a new car too and it died on me. The transmission is gone. I've been car shopping since. Hectic, but fun.

In addition to getting a car (hopefully soon) I also got an Iphone from my in-law family (Wendy, Kevin, Keith, Jen and Roger and Edie) Thank you so much!!!! I LOVE IT. What a fun toy. I have been searching apps, adding music and pictures etc etc. What fun. Anyone have any favorite apps?

My grandma and mom got me some bamboo clothes from a store we saw in Scottsdale when I was in Arizona. Not sure if any of you have ever felt bamboo clothing, but oh my, it is softer that organic cotton. It feels so nice.

Mini health lesson. Here is why bamboo clothing is so good for you and the environment:

It's soft - more breathable than cotton. (nice for women on hormone therapy for cancer who get hot flashes at night). They actually say it is thermal regulating. Warmer in cold weather and cooler in warm weather.

It's antibacterial - bacteria cannot grow on the fiber (no mildew or mold either)

Naturally organic - Bamboo grows so friggin fast pesticides and fertilizers are never used on it (cotton is the #1 plant in pesticide use in our country which is why organic cotton is so much better to use)

It's 100% biodegradable

It's hypoallergenic (if will not give you any skin issues or cause you to be allergic to it)

It dries easily - will not use as much energy to dry.

Anyway, I hope you like the video
Peace and kisses to our kitties (or dogs or whatever pets that keep us happy)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lesson #10 Colon Health AND Happy Birthday to me!!! 29 Baby!!!

Go Shannon. It's your birthday!! See I can have cake.... When it's watermelon cake. Yummy!!

Today is my birthday and I got to watch my nephew Miles earlier in the day. He couldn't be more excited that it was my birthday.

This past weekend I was out working on getting the garden ready. Very excited to start it. I can't wait to try some new veggies.

Well, it's my birthday today and I have some very exciting birthday health news about me. I went for my oncologists appointment yesterday and had the tumor marker blood test drawn. Last time it went up which is bad. Ultrasounds showed new spots on my liver but the larger spots had shrunk by 25%. Didn't know how to feel about that news. The last time my blood test went up by 100 points in 4 weeks which is bad. I had gone 6 weeks since my last appointment (I love to stall them) and my blood test came back the same. YEAH!!! Yes, stable and staying the same is a good thing for me. I am so super excited. I'm staying on hormone therapy and we will re-test in one month. Can I get a hell Yeah??

What a great way to celebrate my birthday. I'm finally posting my colon health lesson. Let's talk about poop and the colon. Get ready because there is a lot of good info in this entry. (nice drastic subject change huh?)

There are so many studies, books, and people that will say an unhealthy colon is what causes disease. A healthy colon one of the keys to living healthy and disease free.

Googelers BEWARE!!! If you go searching colon health online, there are a lot of pictures out there of what has come out when some people do enemas and other colon cleansing stuff. At least don't be eating when you do research.

A healthy person should be going #2 about 2 to 3 times a day. Do you????

What makes an unhealthy colon??

Over the years we eat crappy food and are exposed to toxins. We also take many drugs (prescriptions count as taking drugs) that are toxic in our bodies and also cause constipation. I learned that the hard way when I started chemotherapy and was on viccodin after my surgery for a week straight. I think a whole week went by without a bowel movement.I was pretty miserable. The level we are exposing our bodies to these toxins are much higher than our bodies have the capability to get rid of. Our liver, blood, lymphatic system and all our other avenues of detoxing can not keep up. So, all these toxins end up traveling through the colon and get caked up on the sides where they are reabsorbed by your body sometimes doing twice as much damage to your body. We end up with loads of excess crap on the sides of or colon that never get properly eliminated. Our large intestine/colon is about 5-6 feet long. That's a lot of area that excess waste can build up on.

We also have taken our diets from being fiber rich to being refined and almost void of fiber. There are doctors out there who will argue against colon cleansing saying that it is unnecessary. They say our bodies naturally remove toxins. Well, the amount of toxins in our environment and the sad state of our diets is not natural. Our bodies cannot keep up. Fiber plays a very important role and acts like a broom that sweeps all the crap (literally) off the sides of your colon. Without it, all the yucky stuff stays inside us.

Why is it important to have a healthy colon???

Fecal mater can get stuck on the walls in an unhealthy colon. Some of this matter can be stuck to the sides for YEARS. Not only is this coating not good for you, it also prevents the absorbing of nutrients. Yep, we absorb nutrients through our colon wall. So when I do a wheatgrass implant, I completely absorb the wheatgrass through your colon wall getting all the nutrition as I would drinking it. (just an example of how the colon absorbs)

The problem grows and grows. Once you are constipated, you go to the bathroom less, making your colon weak from lack of exercise, in turn making it harder for you to go.  As a result you end up going even less often.

Some ways to make your colon healthier:
Eat better - More organic foods and less processed foods

Eat more fiber (perhaps an apple a day) - stop taking the skins off of food (but choose organic if you eat the skin). Eat apples, cucumbers and potatoes with the skin still on them. Fiber is in the skin. Lots of veggies and fruit have fiber (this is for the people who only think of cereal when fiber is mentioned)

Enemas and implants - you can do filtered water enemas as often as daily and wheatgrass implants too. I'm just giving you all the info. I'm throwing it out there. If you don't like it, you can throw it right back at me. I feel great after doing an enema. It really works to get some of the built up stuff out of you. I have a little mental "hell yeah!" when I know I got some toxic stuff out. The bad stuff usually makes your stomach hurt when you are going. I do the coffee enemas because the coffee stimulates your liver to purge toxins, so you could also consider doing those. Just make sure you let the coffee cool. I don't want anyone suing me like McDonalds.

Colonics - Monthly is recommended, but even yearly will be better than nothing. 1 colonic is equal to about 30 enemas (If you want to know what a colonic is like you can email me or go on youtube. I found a guy who video taped his whole colonic experience) There are a couple different kinds you can get. One I did not like at all and the other was perfect for me, so remember to shop around.

Supplements for colon cleanses - If the enemas, implants and colonics are not your thing there are some supplement packs you can get for cleansing out your colon. You buy the set all together with a bunch of supplements that you take a few different times a day for about a week. This is a much less invasive way to get some colon cleansing done.

Probiotics - keep the good bacteria in your digestive system which will make your colon healthier and will help you break down food

Drink LOTS of water - water is the best way to prevent constipation. The more water you drink the easier your bowel movements will be. It keeps your colon hydrated and soft. In addition to drinking lots of water, avoid soda, coffee and other caffine drinks that cause constipation.

Squat when you go. I always think of my nephew, Drew, when I think of this. He's just getting potty trained, but when he used to go in his diaper, he would stop what he was doing and squat down really low. It was a dead giveaway that he was going. He has it right though. We should have our knees higher when we go because it is the best direction for our bowel to eliminate. Some people get a stool in their bathroom to prop their feet on. Knees up.

Lay off the drugs - okay, not like you guys are drug addicts, but those over the counter ones and prescription ones cause all sorts of havoc to your system. Most cause constipation - especially pain pills.

Relax man - People can get so stressed out and uptight that they actually tighten up their colon wall therefore making themselves constipated

When you do go, it should be relatively effortless. If you are straining then you are constipated.

Here's another interesting tidbit. The morning poop is supposed to be anywhere from 1 foot to 2 feet long. (I read in some places up to 4 feet, but I'm not sure that ever happens or that any toilet could handle that) Holy crap!!! Ha ha. I love how literal all these words I am using are. Also, your poop is supposed to be soft but not runny. S shaped means your colon is healthy too. You shouldn't have to strain to go and it shouldn't take you long to go. I am always proud of myself because it takes me no time at all to go. So, there are some things to look for. Now, when you go to the bathroom, you have a goal. No more being ashamed of pooping. Go do your #2 and be proud.

It's funny. I used to think pooping was bad. I was almost ashamed to do it and I'll be damned if I did it when anyone was around even in my own house. The less I went the better as far as I was concerned. I spent a good majority of my life being constipated and not really realizing it. It's amazing how things change. Now, if I don't go in the morning, I am crabby for the day. Things are a little off. If I have a "successful" experience in the bathroom, I walk out of there with a smile on my face and a skip in my step no matter where I am. I get so happy and appreciative that my bowel is working correctly and getting rid of all the waste my body no longer needs. I love how I feel after and I go at least twice every day.

Once again, I am not a doctor or nutritionist. I'm just someone trying to stay alive for as long as I possibly can so I have done loads of research and talked to many people who have naturally cured themselves or other people. I love sharing what I have learned, but I am always the student as well.

I am doing something SUPER cool for my birthday, but it will be a little delayed. Stay tuned.....

29 and Feeling Fine

Shannon : )

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