Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Health Update

I cannot express how grateful I am to be home from the hospital. It's a beautiful thing to be in your own space. I've had some amazing helpers bring me food, play with Triton, and just send the most loving notes. My Mom has been incredible, even when I get cranky with her, keeping things clean, taking me places, etc. So how am I doing? Here are a few little tidbits:
  • I did gain 7lbs in this last week since leaving the hospital, so we up'd my meds and I've started to lose that again. I can definitely tell it's working. Don't fret if we go out and I disappear for awhile; I didn't get lost in the bathroom, I'm just peeing like the Energizer Bunny....it just keeps going and going and going....
  • The tumors in my armpits appear to be smaller, so yipee for that!
  • I went to Trader Joes on my own today; drove myself, parked, walked the entire store on my own, carries the bags to my car, into the house, and unloaded all on my own. This is HUGE. I NEVER would have been able to do that a week ago. I'm getting stronger, walking better and have more energy
  • I'm still sleeping bizarrely.  I sleep in the late afternoon/evening, then get up, and sometimes am up for hours in the night, and then sleep some more. I think I'm still screwed up from being in the hospital.
  • I've been going visualization exercises to get my body to function properly. I already know this helped dissipate the tumor in m lung pressing on my trachea because I haven't felt it in months. I have no doubt I can use this to heal the rest of my body.
  • I am going three times a week to do the MOPA machine, which sends electronic pulses through your body, killing microbes, which then kills cancer cells. I'm going to say this is contributing to my improved health. 
  • My Cancer Protocols have changed some. I dropped the Budwig Diet, am focusing on the Cellect and working on creative ways to eat it. We just started doing some juicing, I'm doing the B17 (cancer killing vitamin) and several supplements for the heart including Niacin. 
  • I haven't been doing the Vibe machine because stairs are still an issue, but we are looking to move it and that should help. I heard a few stories recently of people who shrank tumors within weeks by doing this, so I'm getting on it!
  • Overall I am improving and looking forward to going to the Harry Potter theme park at the end of October! I KNOW I will be healed to the point that I will be able to fully appreciate the experience. 

I want to take a moment to address something. I received an email (which I will respond to soon!) that suggested I had made a mistake going holistic and that I needed to give it up and go for the chemo to save myself. While I appreciate that this person is concerned for my welfare, I still believe that using chemicals to "heal" is a poor idea. I choose to address this because I think that she is not alone in wondering why I don't just do chemo. A few things a) At this particular moment my heart is not strong enough for treatment, we'd need to wait to build it up b) I have never been told that I could be "cured" by chemo, that is it a life extension, and likely cancer would return and I would have to go through this process, maybe several times c) I've seen what it does to people, and I'm not a fan d) My main issue with western medicine is that the doctors don't encourage you to make any life changes when diagnosed with cancer, in fact, they spend a lot of time making sure nothing has to change. Cancer came for a reason, and by not changing any aspect of my life, even if the chemo eliminate the tumors, there is a reason people always get them back. By doing things holistically I'm not only protecting my body long term from chemicals and not experiencing the harsh side effects of the drugs, but if forces me to change my lifestyle. I've had to improve my diet, face my fears, get in touch with my emotions, and I've learned how to be happy and am on the way to becoming truly joyful. I do not believe this would have happened if I had chosen the other path. For those concerned about stats, just because you don't hear about people healing themselves naturally, doesn't mean they aren't doing it. Big Pharma spends a lot of time shutting people up, many doctors who heal patients with natural medicines have to move to Europe or Mexico. I personally know people who have healed themselves, and follow blogs of several who have either a) completely healed or b) are healing from natural remedies. People are often talked into treatments out of fear, and I've always stuck to my beliefs. I appreciate any concern that certain community members may have, but know this, I WILL heal my body, and when I do I will truly be healed. No damaged nerves from chemo, no fretting over when things will return and if I'll survive the next round of treatment. I will be healthy and happy and well balanced and better off than I started. And this, is why I've chosen to go holistic. Feel free to email me if you wish to discuss this further. 

I'll wrap this with a little Love and Gratitude:
  • I've been loving listening to holiday music this week, especially the fun songs like Rocking Around the Christmas Tree and Jingle Bells and also loving some of the rarer songs such as Carol of the Bells
  • Conveniently Natural has delicious vegan food, home delivered, and I've enjoyed it thoroughly this week. Gratitude to Andrea for bringing me some and to the owners for dropping off some free samples. What a beautiful community we belong to!
  • Trader Joes quiche is delicous!
  • I am grateful for the comfort of my water bed, love it, always
  • Gabby Bernstein's new book Spirit Junkie comes out in two weeks! Plus, Tori Amos has a new album out the next week AND I have a gift certificate for Best Buy from my Birthday, so freebie for me!
  • I am grateful for the nicer weather and opportunity to chill on my back porch, watching Triton play in his pool, and chase squirrels in the yard
  • She & Him are releasing a Christmas Album this year; I think I'm in geek heaven
  • On Thursday's blog you'll see my pics for Fall TV; there is a TV show based on fairytales. So excited for that one. 
  • I love sleeping with stuffed animals. I'll be sleeping with them when I'm married. They make me feel good. 
  • Did I mention HARRY POTTER THEME PARK IN OCTOBER!!! Yeah, just a tad bit excited
  • The symphony is doing Pops in the Park this weekend. Anyone want to go crazy early and get a close parking spot, have a picnic, chit chat and listen to some kickass music from Star Wars and Pirates of the Carribean? So much fun!
  • Love naps, so refreshing.
  • I am grateful for my parents and everything they do to support me. Love you Mom and Dad
Love and Gratitude,


since feeling is first

since feeling is first
who pays any attention 
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers.  Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than 
your eyelids' flutter which says
we are for each other:then
laugh,leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis
~e e cummings

Monday, August 29, 2011

Guest Post From Rhonda Sandmoen of Awakening Wellness: New Moon Abundance Checks

Today's guest is also my wonderful mother. Today she is going to share how to use the Law of Attraction to create more abundance in our lives. This particular exercise needs to be done during the full moon. Check it out, and don't forget to comment and let us know how you do!

Today is the new moon... a time for new beginnings.  The energies from the new moon to the full moon are increasing energies, making this the perfect time for focusing on the things you want to increase in your life. It’s
also the time to write your New Moon Abundance Check!

An Abundance Check is a tool we can use to create more abundance in our lives and should be written within 24 hrs after a New Moon. I have kept track and notice that on the months I write the check I have received additional, often unexpected abundance, so it does payoff! Surprisingly, you really don't even need to believe that the check will work when you write it. You will however be amazed at the results, as you will see increased abundance in some area of your life. It is not always financial, but certainly in an area that you need.

There is a traditional manner of writing the check which has been handed down and must be followed. If you do not have a checking account you can draw a check on a piece of paper and fill it out in the same way, the results will be the same...more abundance for you.

Here is how to write them:

1) Within 24 hrs after a New Moon, take a check,
where it says "Pay to" write in your name.

2) In the little box on the same line where you would fill
in a dollar amount write "Paid in Full"

3) On the line underneath your name, where you would
write out a dollar amount, also write "Paid in Full".

4) Sign the check: "The Law of Abundance"

Do not put a date on the check.

Do not write a specific dollar amount on the check.

Write your check fully expecting to receive abundance!
Often we are our own worst enemy, allowing doubt to get in the way of receiving. Doubt is like a giant roadblock blocking your abundance. Instead of being able to flow easily to you, it has to squeeze around that roadblock (doubt) and that means not as much abundance for you. So cast your doubt aside and write your check routinely every month. Then open your arms wide to receive all the abundance of the Universe!

Rhonda Sandmoen an energy healer in the Kansas City, MO metropolitan area, offers the Oneness Blessing, EFT sessions, Reconnection sessions, and Intuitive Vibrational Therapy sessions that are personalized with a blend of vibrational energies (Fifth Dimensional Healing, Tuning Fork Sound Therapy, Reiki and more) that bring you relief from stress, pain, fatigue, and illness, and facilitate your highest healing. She also offers distance sessions for you and your pets! Go to her website Awakening Wellness to schedule an appointment or sign up for one of her classes.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Seven Ways to Enjoy Raw Cacao

Cacao (Raw Chocolate). This is chocolate in it's purest form.  The Mayans considered this nut to be the food of the Gods and traded it as money instead of gold. Cacao is nature's number one weight loss and energy boosting tool.  Raw cacao supports supports heart function and contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world! It contains a great deal of trace minerals, including zinc, copper and Vitamin C. It is the number one source of Magnesium, incredibly high Iron content, helps balance blood sugar and oxygenates the blood.  Cacao also produces Serotonin, which helps us feel good. 

Mint Chocolate Smoothie
Blend 1 cup of almond milk or coconut water, 1 bunch of mint, 3 T of cacao and a banana. Makes a delicious sugar free, powerful smoothie!

Superfood Cereal
This delicious cereal is my favorite of the raw cacao based cereals on the market. It contains: Organic Buckwheat Sprouts, Organic Coconut, Organic Clear Agave Nectar, Organic Dates, Cacao Superfood Blend (Organic Cacao, Organic Maca Root, Organic Mesquite Pod Powder, Organic Astragalus Root and Reishi Fruit Body), Organic Currants, Organic Sunflower Sprouts, Organic Flax Seed, Organic Vanilla Extract and Himalayan Crystal Salt

Trail Mix
Cacao nibs go great in trail mix. There are several on the market, but you can make your own. Suggested items include goji berries, various raw nuts, dried bananas, sunflower seeds, etc.

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies come from the Sunny Raw Kitchen Forum.

For the cookie batter: 1 3/4 cups cashew flour, 3/4 cup ground oats, 1/2 cup agave, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
For the Chocolate Chips: blend 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1 cup cacao. Put mixture into freezer than chop into chunks.
Assembly: In a large bowl mix cookie batter ingredients by hand. Fold into chocolate chips. Form into balls, roll into cashew flower and refrigerate. Note: I have also warmed them in the dehydrator for just a bit after they set up in the fridge.

Raw Chocolate Bars

Chocolate Orange Cake (From the Sunny Raw Kitchen)
Check out the recipe here

Chocolate Mocha Ice Cream (from the Sunny Raw Kitchen)
Check out the recipe here

David Wolfe and Shazzie have written the ultimate cacao book. With a history, nutritional chart, and several unique recipes, you'll be eating healthy chocolate every day! 

Do you eat raw cacao? What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy it?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I Need Help With: A Guide for Those Who Have Requested Info on Aiding Me on My Healing Journey

Asking for help. Doesn't it just make your skin crawl? I'm a superhero dammit! I was even given a Wonder Woman award at work for being such a power house and leader. The past seven years, until recently, I have taken myself to every cancer related appointment. I picked out my protocols, I told my parents the cliff notes version of what was going on to protect them from the doctors often harsh words, and I worked full time, sometimes more than 40 hours a week running my father's company. Then a few years ago I had serious fatigue issues. I couldn't make it to my appointment on my own so my parents took me. My organs were failing, and I had days, maybe weeks to live. Oops. Guess I should have slowed down a bit eh? I had a choice to make; let the cancer take me, or live, and allow others to aid me. I chose to live.  I became part-time at work, I slowed down a bit, I allowed my folks to attend some of my appointments and I healed. Over time as I felt better my do-it-yourself gene kicked in (really, it never went away) and what do you know, I got deathly ill again. This time, I don't think I have the option to fiddle around. It's heal or die  To my surprise, the community stepped up, without me saying a word. Suddenly, I had a Chip-In account, which as of today has over $800 in it. I had someone loan me a juicer, a Vibe machine; people I've never met have brought me food and volunteered to walk Triton and so much more. I've had to acknowledge that I simply cannot do it all on my own. Even with my parents help, it's been taking a toll on them as well. My Mom is clearly getting overwhelmed, and my Dad is on vacation right now to help him get it back together. We all need help. One of the community members suggested that I post a list, updating it frequently, of what I need. It seems many people would like to help, they just don't know how. So I'm adding a module to my blog, just under the Shanna Sandmoen's Healing Fund Chip-In link on the right hand side, that will be updated regularly with my needs. And friends, I am humbling myself to ask for help. I am incredibly grateful and moved by everything that has been done so far, and I KNOW that this time, I'm going all the way and I'm not stopping until I'm completely healed. And when that happens (which is a goal on my 31 Things Before I Turn 31), I am going to throw a huge bash, and you are all invited. Thank you for your support, and located below is my initial list and some links to previous posts regarding my cancer journey for those of you that are new to my situation.

What I Need Help With/Things I Need

  1. Pre-made Meals. I can always used pre-made meals. Whether it's your own delightful home cooking, something from Whole Foods, Nature's Pantry, Conveniently Natural, etc. it helps a lot to know I always have something on hand and most things can be frozen if I get an overload. Note: I am allergic to fennel, tumeric and simply detest mushrooms. Otherwise, as long as it's vegetarian, I'll probably like it. 
  2. Dog Walking. I have a 140lbs great dane/newfound named Triton who loves to go for walks, run around the backyard, and have his belly rubbed. If you are a strong brave soul, he would love to hang with you. 
  3. Laundry: I have a laundry room in the basement. Sadly, I no longer have the strength to carry the basket up and down the stairs. I usually always have things to wash, as I have to wear my giant clothes right now because of the fluid issue. 
  4. Light Housework: My Mom does what she can, as does my Dad, but Triton sheds a lot, so dog hair piles up quickly, dishes need to be loaded/unloaded frequently, and of course there is the bathroom. 
  5. Juicing and Smoothies: I'm just learning to juice, and I do green smoothies. Some days I don't have the strength to make them. I'm always open to help juicing and creating delicious smoothies. 
  6. Rides to Appointments: I have healing appointments in Lee's Summit 3-4 times a week. My Mom has been driving back and forth to take me to appointments and it's taking a toll emotionally and on her gas mileage. Any help, even just one direction or the other would be greatly appreciated.
  7. Mow Lawn: My lawn hasn't been mowed....well I'm not sure when, early summer. I don't own a lawnmower, but if anyone is up for it, Triton probably would appreciate it. 
  8. Afternoon Social Outings: Ok, so this is not really help, but it can get incredibly boring being stuck at home all the time, and as I'm limited to my driving/walking right now, I would LOVE to occasionally get out in the afternoons and go to a local coffee shop for an hour or so and just have some good conversation. One More Cup, Mud Pie and Coffee Girls are all great places that offer local, organic and vegetarian/vegan options. Entertain me please :) 
  9. Dog Food:  Triton needs a 50lb of organic dog food, they sell brands at Petsmart, Petco, and even some grocery stores. I can reimburse or provide money upfront, I simply don't have the strength to get and carry the bag in and out of the store and pour it into his bin.
  10. Raw Cacao Powder: I'm almost out, and I use it to flavor my rather disgusting daily mineral lifesaving powder I drink. This is one item that I can't get at any place near me, so I'm afraid I might run out before I get a chance to get to Whole Foods. If anyone is going to the store this week, I'll reimburse you the cost if you pick me up a bag and drop it off.
And of course, any donations to Shanna Sandmoen's Healing Fund are very welcome.

Those are immediate needs, as I said I will put up a sidebar and update. Other things that come up would be going to the grocery store, I can sometimes walk the store, but I can't carry bags. Triton needs food every 4 weeks or so, I almost always need Kleenex, obviously certain toiletries, and whatever random things that might come up. Again, GRATEFUL. You are all beautiful, thank you.

Love and Gratitude,


P.S. Here are some links to my cancer journey

Films That Bring The Funny: Laugher is the Best Medicine

Recently a friend of mine did a Doreen Virture angel card reading for me. One of the things that came up was that I needed to incorporate more laughter into my life. So just for fun I created list of movies that make me laugh out loud, and I hope they have the same effect on you.

Remember this 80's classic? Who could forget the Elizabeth Shue singing the "babysitting blues"?

This movie is as ridiculous as it gets, and never fails to crack me up. Guy to Sigourney Weaver's character when she tries to pet a "cute" alien, right before it tries to eat her, "Don't you people watch this show?" Tim Allen, Allen Rickman and Tony Shalhoub, how can it not be hilarious.

Abigail Breslin doing a strip tease at a children's beauty pageant, I couldn't breathe I laughed so hard!

This little known film has mobsters, a black bag mix-up, Marisa Tomei, and tons of wackiness.

Munchkins, Japanese tourists, an albino, hitmen, and Chevy Chase and Carrie Fischer in this madcap screwball comedy. One of my favorites.

Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn are at their best in this comedy of errors, which includes losing a tiger, destroying ancient dinosaur bones, and madcap chases. This is a classic.

This farce takes religious enthusiasm to the extreme. Jena Malone sleeps with her boyfriend in an effort to "de-gay" him and ends up pregnant. Mandy Moore is a super-christian who tries to destroy Jenna, and in the process ends up destroying herself. This is a must see.

I had a difficult time picking just one Doris Day film, but this one is especially great. Highlights include Doris in a mermaid suit getting reeled in by a fisherman, a kitchen robot attacking her, and a spy setup gone wrong. This is classic screwball comedy at it's best.

This comedy features an albino, a dwarf, Japanese tourists, belligerent Grandmas, and Goldie Hawn. Goldie's character gets involved in a conspiracy to kill the pope and Chevy Chases' character is assigned as her bodyguard. I never get tired of watching this.

Another madcap adventure, Barbara Streisand gets Ryan O'Neal in trouble by pretending to be his fiance. They get involved in a crime ring, burn down a hotel room, and have one of the best chase scenes in tv history. Don't miss this cornball comedy.

What are your favorite funny films? Have you seen any of the ones on this list? Did you laugh out loud?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Love and Gratitude: August Edition

I am grateful for all the people who came and visited me in the hospital last week, for all the gorgeous flowers, the balloons, the donations to my Chip-In account, to my friends who came to visit this past weekend, my Mom for bringing me food so I didn't have to endure to many hospital meals, the support of my Dad, the phone calls from my Spirit Junkie ladies and all the community members that have volunteered their services, including the artist who is donating a sculpture to my cause, the gorgeous raw chef that is making me meals, dog walking volunteers, etc. I am grateful to be part of such a wonderful and caring community.

The Little Things I Love:
Zucchini Cake from Eden's Alley, the movie Stardust, watching Triton circle around three or four times to find the perfect spot to chew his favorite bone, taking a shower and being able to use both hands (no IV!) and being able to wash my entire body, being home from the hospital, raw cacao smoothies, listening to my Spirit Junkie Meditations, catching up on Eureka, , sleeping in my own bed, cucumber from the farmers market

What's on Your Love and Gratitude List?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Eden Alley: Kansas City's Greatest Vegetarian Restaurant

For most vegetarians, and especially vegans, going out to eat consists of a poorly made salad, side dishes, or maybe choosing from the one entree the restaurant has providing for veggies. Eden Alley is a delightful change for vegetarians. The entire menu is vegetarian, mostly vegan, with most of the food coming from local farmers. The staff is always friendly, the service quick, the food consistent, and the atmosphere comfortable. Located in the basement of the Unity Temple on 47th and Jefferson on the Plaza, Eden's Alley provides meals that satisfy any foodie, regardless of their vegetarian status. I've taken many die hard meat eater and skeptics over the years and I've yet to have anyone who was not impressed by the food. There is something for everyone on the menu.

The standard menu consists of a variety of salads, falafel platter, tacos, smokey tomato bruschetta, sweet potato burrito and several other delicious staples. They also have a daily specials menu, which can have anything from pasta's, to soups, Mexican fare, a raw entree, and my favorite, the Zucchini cake. And the desserts, to live for. Most of them are vegan, and range from the All About Chocolate, to carrot cake, various forms of bread pudding, raw tars, coconut cakes, etc.They also serve brunch on Saturday's, giving you even more options to choose from. This weekend I went to the restaurant with a group of friends; check out these drool worthy photos.

Mung Bean Soup

Tomato Bisque Soup

Cinnamon and Raisin French Toast

Ultimate Garlic Grilled Cheese (vegan)

Egg Salad Bruschetta

Avacado Vera Cruz

Falafel Platter

Zucchini Cake with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sadly we ordered our dessert to go, so I did not get any pictures, but I guarantee they are just as mouth watering. I highly recommend checking out Eden Alley any time you are in Kansas City. They are open for lunch on Monday and Tuesday, and lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday.  

Have you been to Eden Alley? What's your favorite dish?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My 2011 Intentions: How I'm Doing

At the beginning of the year, I created a list of intentions for 2011. We are a little more than half way through the year, so I thought it was time to check in on my goals.
  • I intend to create a daily practice of yoga, meditation and journaling
  • I intend to drink at least one Green Smoothie daily
  • I intend to do 35 minutes or more of cardio exercise at least 4 times a week, this includes dog walking, rebounder, etc. 
  • I intend to focus on growing my blog this year, including number of followers, investing in SEO program, creating regular posts and updating the look
  • I intend to write and publish my first book
  • I intend to focus on my Spiritual practice, which could include taking classes at the Rime  Buddhist Center, increasing my meditation practice, Spiritual reading, prayer, and creating my own Sacred Space.
  • I intend to start the year with a 21 Day Adventure Cleanse, and do mini-cleanses throughout the year
  • I intend to continue to build and grow my friendships and schedule at least one social outing each week
  • I intend to attend a Vipssanna meditation retreat as part of my healing and Spiritual growth
  • I intend to take a vacation this year, location TBA
My Success:
I drink green smoothies almost everyday, and really enjoy it. I attending a Spiritual retreat called Spirit Junkie, started A Course in Miracles, and have been learning to be more Spiritual. I blogged about my 21 Day Adventure Cleanse experience. I have made several new friends, made an effort to get social at least once a week, and have done fun things like the Roller Derby, chit-chat at a local coffee shop, and going out to the movies. Read here about my Vipssanna Meditation experience. I took a vacation to Portland, you can read my blog post here.

In progress: 
I started off the year on a good path regarding Yoga and exercise, but sadly my health has taken a turn lately and prevented me from doing so. Hopefully as I build up my strength again, I can start small by rebounding. I also have not been very diligent about journaling, although I've done it a bit, and I've only recently increased my meditation practice. I will continue to focus on these two things. I have not had the mental clarity to focus on a book, so this may roll-over to 2012, once I am healed.

Overall I think I'm on the right track. How are your 2011 Intentions going? 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Spirit Junkie Meditations: A Review

My guru and friend Gabby Bernstein has recently released a meditation CD. I downloaded it a few weeks ago, prior to my Kripalu Spirit Junkie Adventure. These 12 tracks are fairly short, 6-10 minutes long, which is great for people who claim they have little time to meditate. So far I think that "The Bridge" and "Spirit Junkie" are my favorite meditations. I admit that my Ego has prevented me from taking the time to do the "Forgiveness" and "Cord-Cutting" meditations. My goal for this next week is to work on a least one Forgiveness letter, and do the meditations to release, then burn the letter and send it to the Universe. This is such a powerful technique, one which I've done before, and I believe the meditations will be a great aid. I highly recommend downloading her new album and get your meditation on!

  1. Chapter One: Honoring Yourself Meditation
  2. Witnessing Meditation
  3. De-Special Meditation
  4. Asking Meditation
  5. Forgiveness Meditation
  6. Relationship Meditation
  7. Great Rays Meditation
  8. Accepting Your Invitation
  9. The Bridge Meditation
  10. Releasing Meditation
  11. Cord-Cutting Meditation
  12. Spirit Junkie Meditation

Coming in September is her new book, Spirit Junkie! I am so excited! This will be a great follow up to her first book, Add More ~Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness. Part memoir, part guide, Spirit Junkie is a must have. Pre-order from Amazon today!

    Check out my other blogs on Gabrielle Bernstein here.  

    Have you read anything by Gabby? Do you meditate? What are your favorite meditations? 

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    50 Ways to Lift Your Spirits

    1. Make a gratitude list
    2. Bake cookies; share them with a friend
    3. Take a detox bath: 1 cup epsom salts, 1/4 cup baking soda, your favorite essential oil, soak up the happy
    4. Play with a dog, if you don't have one, borrow one from a friend
    5. Dance it out to your favorite song
    6. Go to the mall and get a free makeover at one of the department store makeover counters
    7. Read the blog Hyperbole and a Half
    8. Watch Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase in "Foul Play". 
    9. Read "Good Omens" by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman
    10. Get out your markers and create your vacation vision board. Post pictures of your fantasy destination, write mini-paragraphs of what you did, and post it where you can look at it daily
    11. Buy yourself some flowers
    12. Take a walk in the park
    13. Drink a green smoothie
    14. Download Gabby Bernstein's "Dialed Up" lecture and get inspired
    15. Write yourself a love letter
    16. Watch the "New Adventures of Old Christine" in reruns on Lifetime
    17. Enroll in Gala Darlings "Radical Self Love" Bootcamp
    18. Sing in the shower
    19. Get out your list of things you've always wanted to try, but never get around to, pick one, and DO IT!
    20. Paint your toenails
    21. Call a friend you haven't spoken to in months and catch up
    22. Order some Indian carryout, curl up with a stuffed animal, and watch your favorite Julia Roberts movie
    23. Go to your local art museum and explore; make up stories about the characters in paintings and laugh out loud
    24. Meditate
    25. Go to a yoga class or do a DVD at home
    26. Go to your favorite shoe store, try on the most outrageous shoes, take pictures, and post them on your Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.
    27. Check out Brad Yates EFT videos on You Tube and get happy
    28. Go to your favorite restaurant and go crazy; get the fizzy drink, appetizer, your favorite dish and dessert.
    29. Write affirmations in lipstick on your bathroom mirror
    30. Have a media black out day
    31. Write a forgiveness letter to someone, meditate on releasing yourself from that issue, burn the letter and send the ashes out into the Universe
    32. Create an inspirational playlist and put it on your MP3 player
    33. Have some friends over for a potluck
    34. Watch a favorite movie from your childhood
    35. Get a book of Mad Libs and go crazy with your BFF
    36. Take yourself out on a date; go to dinner, a movie, buy some new shoes, pamper yourself
    37. Donate to a good cause, even if it's only $5 bucks
    38. Bounce on a rebounder
    39. Buy a puzzle book and challenge yourself
    40. Schedule a Reiki session
    41. Write a letter to the Universe
    42. Try out a new recipe
    43. Go to your favorite coffee shop, order your favorite drink, and write in your journal
    44. Give yourself a hug
    45. Go to the farmers market and get some fresh veggies, bread, eggs, etc Thank your farmers for all they do. 
    46. Smile at yourself everytime you look in the mirror
    47. Buy a pair of sexy underwear for your eyes only
    48. Read poetry by e e cummings
    49. Get a massage
    50. Look in a mirror, tell yourself "I love you" and believe it
     What other ideas do you have to lift your spirits?

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    The Fluid Monster Returns to the Hospital

    In my last post My Trip to the Hospital or Adventures of the Fluid Monster I discussed spending a few days in the hospital. Well, Friday night my Dad took me back to the Emergency Room, where it seemed I had gained 12 more lbs since my discharge on Tuesday! Yikes! I was admitted into the hospital for a longer care period this time. They hooked me up to an IV drip of the diuretics, started some heart medication, and basically monitored my progress. Thankfully, I seemed to have lost quite a bit of the fluid. Unfortunately, I don't have an exact amount as each scale seems to be wildly different. However, I can walk fairly normally now, though I still have a bit of swelling in my feet and legs, and my abdomen and butt are considerably smaller. There is still probably an extra 20lbs, but I am hoping it continues to drain off. I was released on Wednesday, with a list of prescriptions for getting me to pee like crazy and strengthen my heart. I am so glad to be home! Now I can finally get my program in gear, in conjunction with what the hospital gave me. I am weighing myself daily to make sure I am shrinking and not blowing up again, plus I'm restricting some of my liquids.

    I want to take a moment to say how GRATEFUL I am to all the beautiful people who stopped by my hospital room or called. Being in the hospital is about as boring as it gets, and your visits/calls really lifted my spirits. I am also grateful for the package from Gabby, Zoe, and Elisa, you ladies are so lovely!  Thank you. I am also blown away by the continued donations to Shanna Sandmoen's Healing Fund. I feel so blessed. This is such an aid to my family and I appreciate every cent.

    This weekend I have a lovely group of ladies from St.Louis and Columbia coming to visit. It will be a beautiful weekend of Eden Alley carryout, chick flicks, girl talk, etc.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    My Trip to the Hospital or Adventures of the Fluid Monster

    This past week I started filling up with fluid. I had had some fluid on my abdomen, gained 15lbs over several weeks, but last week I gained another 20lbs of fluid that has filled my legs, feet, abdomen and butt. Basically, I'm a cross between Santa Claus and the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, with hobbit feet, and a Beyonce booty. Monday I called my doctors office as the fluid had gotten so bad I could barely move myself around and started having breathing issues. They told me to go to the ER. My Mom took me up to St. Luke's East in Lee's Summit and we only had to wait 20 minutes in the ER before being admitted. That started five hours of extensive testing including blood and urine tests, chest x-ray, cardio angiogram, EKG, etc. After that, I was admitted into the hospital. What a swanky room! I swear it was bigger than my living room, with two flat screen TV's, a futon, bookcases, several chairs, etc. I guess if you have to stay in the hospital, do it in style, right. And while the hospital was not my favorite vacation destination, I was impressed at how attentive the staff was.

    Monday night and Tuesday I went through more tests, including sonograms and an echo cardiogram. Essentially they determined that the fluid in my body was in my tissue and could not be drained. I found this very upsetting as I hoped to get some relief. They also believe that the cause of the fluid is that my veins are not holding fluid and leaking into my tissue. This is because of the stress of the tumors on my body and the fact that I'm not producing enough hemoglobin and protein cells. I also have congestive heart failure and my heart is operating at 15% efficiency. They also noticed that I was breathing through the right lung, but in the left I only had air coming through the back of the lung. I was discharged Tuesday night, with a prescription for diuretics. At this point all they can offer is to monitor my heart closely and hope that the fluid starts to come off.

    I am kicking my healing plan into high gear as this is the only way to combat this at the moment. I need to release some of this fluid, which will take pressure off the heart and lungs. Right now I'm taking a mineral/vitamin compound called Cellect that should give my cells the tools they need to start creating proper cells, building amino acids, which will strengthen my body. I am also taking vitamin B17, which eats cancer cells, drinking green smoothies, using an frequency machine that kills the microbes in cells, essentially killing cancer cells, and much more. I am determined to turn this around. I am grateful for all the support that I have received so far.

    A friend of mine who also healed herself holistically has created a Chip-In account for my family. Doing everything holistically is extremely expensive; insurance does not cover any of my holistic treatments. If you feel moved to donate go to Shanna Sandmoen's Healing Fund


    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Spirit Junkie Playlist

    One of the things on my list to increase my Spirituality and bring joy into my life is to create inspirational and moving music mixes. This is my first one I did last night.

    1. Kaleidoscope Heart--Sarah Bareilles
    2. Dear God--Sarah McLachlan
    3. Living Proof--Cat Power
    4. Not a Pretty Girl--Ani DiFranco
    5. Let Go--Frou Frou
    6. Angels Collide--Amy Correia
    7. I Love Myself Today--Bif Naked
    8. Get Your Shit Together--Beth Hart
    9. Something Like a Hero--Charlotte Martin
    10. Man of Golden Words--Mother Love Bone
    11. Giddy On Up--Laura Bell Bundy
    12. Like a Prayer--Madonna
    13. Joyful Girl--Ani DiFranco
    14. I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor Cover)--Cake
    15. I Am Not a Robot--Marina and the Diamonds
    16. Defying Gravity--Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenowith (Wicked)
    17. Everything--Lifehouse
    18. Don't Rain on My Parade--Barbara Streisand (Funny Girl)
    19. Calling the Maker--Aimee Allen
    20. Prayer of St. Francis--Sarah McLachlan
     Enjoy! What's on your Spirit Junkie playlist?

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    My Kripalu Spirit Junkie Adventure

    This past weekend I went to a beautiful yoga and health resort in the Berkshires of Massachusetts called Kripalu. I went to see ~ing diva Gabrielle Bernstein. I had applied for a scholarship earlier this summer, and low and behold, they selected me! My seminar and room and board were paid in full, and Gabby even helped with the flight. Now, if you've been following along, just two weeks ago I was told to prepare for hospice care, I could barely move, my body was shutting down, etc. So how on earth did I have the energy to maneuver my way through four airports and a large resort? Willpower baby! Since my Cancer Update post, I've started a new program (which I describe here) that has given me energy, more strength, and better breathing ability. I also knew that I NEEDED this experience. Part of my challenge with healing myself is that there has always been this little piece (ok, so it was GIANT in the beginning) that wants to die. I needed this experience to help motivate me and eliminate that piece. Right before I left, my Mom and her friend Kelly brought over a beautiful shaman named Rainbow Moon who helped me shift that piece. I resisted like crazy at first, but we did some powerful work, learning to connect and identify with the inner spirit self (a major theme to this workshop) and to silence the ego. The persona I created for my Spirit is a cross between Xena Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She's a kick ass courageous warrior goddess who loves life and is a powerful healer. My Ego, computer dork. Who do you think is going to win in a showdown? Shanna Warrior Princess that's who!

    So I had this understanding of my ~ing and Ego before going to the workshop. The workshop was called "Spirit Junkie" partially in honor of Gabby's new book out next month. She also recently released a Spirit Junkie meditation album, which has some great, and short, meditations. You can download from her site here. Anyway, I had an amazing weekend. We had orientation with a Q&A on Friday night, workshop most of Saturday, with time for other activities such as yoga, swimming, hiking (none of which I did) for those that could. I spent my free time journaling. Sunday morning we did a lot of group prayer, danced things out, and learned how to pass the lessons on to others. I met so many beautiful people who I hope to develop even stronger relationships with.

    Some of the lessons I took from this experience:

    1. The ~Ing and the Ego. Learn to recognize when your Ego is giving you shit, feel it, then let your ~ing guide you to a better place. Your Ego is the one that tells you that you can't do something, you are ugly, things are not going to work out, etc. Your ~ing supports your decisions, lets you know what a beautiful person you are. Which voice would you rather listen to? Remember, the computer dork is never going to be stronger than the Warrior Goddess. 
    2. De-Special Relationships. Sometimes we make someone more important than us. It could be a boyfriend, your kids, a celebrity. Remember, we are all one, all equal. No one is better than you, and you are not better than anyone else. If you are making someone more special than you, sit down and find out why? Then find that strength in yourself. And realize that we are all human, with human limitations, even the most perfect seeming people have their issues and imperfections. You are a beautiful spirit; don't forget that. 
    3. The F-Word. Forgiveness is such an important topic. I blogged about it previously here. I learned this weekend though that forgiveness is an ongoing process. There are always new issues that come up. Gabby has a great forgiveness meditation. I recommend writing a letter to the person or situation you need to forgive. Get nasty, let it all out. Then, finish the letter by forgiving the person/situation. I would then do the Forgiveness meditation from Gabby's Spirit Junkie Meditation CD, and then the Cord-Cutting Meditation. I suggest cord-cutting, because even after forgiving, we can still be "attached" to that person. This cuts any negative binds. Then, I would burn the letter and send the ashes off into the Universe. Forgiveness is the first step in any form of healing and growth. 

    Overall, an incredible experience. I am re-motivated to work on my Ego and ~Ing, and now I have a posse of Spirit Junkie ladies to aid me with this. I am grateful to have had this experience and look forward to my continued growth and emotional, physical, and spiritual healing.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    The Loveatarian Diet

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    David Wolfe's Raw Granola Recipe

    This is a super simple recipe for a delicious raw granola. I've modified it some from the original recipe.

    2 cups almonds (soaked 8 hours)
    1/2 cup raisins
    2T lemon juice
    2T cinnamon (I might increase to 3 if you really dig cinnamon)
    2T Bee Pollen
    3T Cacao Nibs
    Optional: Raw honey, fruit, for toppings

    In a food processor, mix almonds, raisins, lemon juice, cinnamon and bee pollen until reaches a granola consistency. Remove from food processor and stir in cacao nibs. Top with honey, bananas or any other kind of fruit and serve!

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