Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I'm Moving!

Well I did it! It took me all afternoon but I figured out how to blog on Wordpress. I like their blogsite better because it looks more polished. It's easier for the viewer to find certain subjects too. Sooooo this is my last post on this blog... if you want to see more Rectal Cancer My Ass posts, head on over here

See you at the new place!
xo  Inge

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Art Therapy - Part of Cancer Treatment

Creating art is a terrific part of complementary therapy when undergoing cancer treatment --- or any type of treatment for that matter. UCI offers art therapy to its patients, but you don't have to be part of a group to enjoy creating art.

Kirsten is one of the patients I visit with at UCI Medical Center and is an artist. She likes to paint on different types of mediums. She prefers to stay at home and paint. This is a sample of her work:

You don't have to paint, you can write poetry, cook, collage or whatever. I even have a patient who brings a coloring book and crayons to pass the time while she receives chemotherapy.
If you prefer spending time and creating with a group, ask your doctor if there is an art program at your hospital or medical center.

xo   Inge


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Choose Your Treatment Carefully Part 2

In Part 1's blog post I discussed snake oil salesmen who peddle miracle cancer cures via the Internet. I want to discuss on this post my thoughts about alternative cancer treatments, mainly sites who offer raw food cures, oxygen cures and the like. Many of them are outside the U.S. because they are not approved by the FDA.

One of the blogs I followed when I was getting treatment was Green Smoothie Girl   and Kris Carr. They both advocate for alternative treatments. Kris Carr is a cancer survivor and  her cancer was not treatable the traditional way. Her cancer remains dormant after 10 years of changing her lifestyle. I think they both offer sound advice and they are the ones who got me on the 'vegan' wagon. I also learned about juicing and green smoothies from these gals. I see them as credible to get information on fighting cancer, however I still chose the slash, burn and poison route for my treatment as well.

I was at Stage 4 when I was diagnosed. It spread to my liver and the surgeon at UCI Medical cut the tumor off my liver, since it was located at the tip. He is one of the few in the U.S. that will perform liver surgery on a Stage 4 colorectal cancer patient. After the cancer was removed from my liver, I opted for chemo and radiation to make sure the cancer didn't have time to travel anywhere else in my body. Like I mentioned in my last post, we all have different medical histories and we are treated individually. I was lucky to be in excellent health, except for that nasty cancer. I opted to get my "ass kicked' (pun intended). I had an excellent support system and a great team of doctors at UCI who had no problems with me using alternative care as well.

My radiation doctor did ask me to refrain from using herbs while in treatment, which I honored. So in a nutshell the treatment I went with was; liver surgery, chemo, radiation, meditation, juicing, green smoothies, no refined sugar, vegan diet and a huge positive attitude. I still have my colon and I have a permanent colostomy bag because the cancer destroyed my sphincter muscles. The chemo/radiation combo killed the cancer, much to the happy surprise of all involved. The original game plan was to shrink the tumor and then remove my colon.  I believe it was the alternative treatment that  helped me keep my colon. As of today I am cancer free 20 months. I get monthly bloodwork done and a full body scan every six months.

Now, let's say my cancer was not treatable the traditional way, you better believe I would have sought out alternative treatments that were credible. The only downside is -- actual treatment centers are located outside the U.S. and they are not cheap.  Many of the alternative treatments require a health providers supervision.  Reading about, let's say, the benefits of vitamin C on the Internet leads you to believe that taking large doses of the vitamin will cure cancer. It isn't that simple. Further research reveals that the vitamin must be given intravenously and it's still too early to tell if it works.

I strongly suggest cancer patients do their homework before starting any treatment program and have all the facts. Like I said not all cancers are treated the same way. Your life is too important to follow the advice from someone who has a website and doesn't have credible evidence to back up his/her claims.

xo   Inge

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Choose Your Treatment Carefully Part 1

Lately, I have been contacted by a few people recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer. They are in shock, confused and scared. All these feelings are normal reactions to a cancer diagnosis. God knows, the medical profession does not deliver such news delicately. I first heard about my cancer right after my colonoscopy test; I was still drugged up and a woman came up to me and very matter-of-factly said, "Mrs. Scott, you have rectal cancer" and abruptly left. My husband and son were right next to me and you can imagine their reaction. I don't know if it was because I was loopy from sedation or what, but I consoled my loved ones and told them it would be ok. But still, it would be nice if there was an easier way to deliver bad news.

I know the Internet has made access to information much easier and with that comes a great deal of misinformation. I am all for patients looking for information to help them fight cancer; I did the same thing when I was going through treatment. There are also different ideas how to fight this disease including traditional methods and alternative care. I believe its up to each individual to choose their treatment. Its our bodies and we have the right to choose what does and does not happen to it. That being said, there a certain questions I ask to those I coach, especially those newly diagnosed and who are confused which treatment is best for them.

The first line of questions are...

Do you know what kind of cancer it is?
Has it spread?
Do you have a team of doctors yet?
Is there a treatment plan?
How do you feel about your doctor?
What treatment do you want? and why?
Have you discussed this with loved ones?
Do you have a support system?

I take notes and ask some deeper questions depending on the answers. I do run into those who refuse western medicine because they are afraid of it. I completely understand their fear. I felt that way too, until my diagnosis, then I chose western medicine along with alternative care, but I made sure the alternative care did not nullify my traditional treatment. Everyone's cancer is different because we are all different -- we each bring with us our own medical histories and that means everyone's cancer treatment is different.

Like I mentioned earlier the Internet is a wealth of information but at the same time it is ripe with snake oil salesmen who claim to have "miracle" cures and charge a lot of money to buy their products. Personally, I think these salesmen need to be removed from the Internet, but I's their first Amendment right to Free Speech. So I ask the patient to dig deeper into their claims. Are there actual  people cured by their product? What about references? Are there any complaints against them? Why do they think this person is credible? Why do they believe this alternative cure is better than western medicine?

I think everyone has the right to choose what's best for them but they also have a responsibilty to themselves to make an informed decision.

xo      Inge

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Feeling Yin in Winter

don't know about you but during the winter months I get more lazy, especially if it's cloudy and cold. I want to stay in my jammies and either read or watch movies. I definitely have trouble motivating myself to get off my duff.

A friend who is an acupuncturist told me this is the Yin time of year and its normal. She feels the same way and doesn't really start anything new that is time consuming.

I looked it up and by gosh, she is right. You can read more about it here. According to Chinese medicine, winter relates to the feminine, called yin and is considered dark, cold and receptive (I don't know if I like the idea that feminine is dark and cold) but it's also a time to go inward...for reflection, which makes sense to me. Its all about staying in balance and I'm all about that. Spring/summer = energy; fall/winter = rest.

I have always been this way and I just thought I was being lazy; now I know I'm just 'reflecting'...that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I am a sensitive person and it makes sense that I am sensitive to the change in seasons. I just never looked at it that way before. I can now continue with my reflecting behavior and not feel guilty.

xo  Inge

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quiet Your Mind to Get Peace of Mind

I was watching the boob tube yesterday and a story came on about silent retreats. They are vacation destinations catering to persons looking to take a timeout from the *rat race*.   I found more information abut them on the web. Spring is just around the corner so some of you may be thinking of where to vacation when the weather is warmer -- so why not take a silent vacation also known as Vipassana to clear your mind from all the monkey chatter?

But if your like me, who don't have the funds for a lengthy get away or aren't sure if you can stay away from your electronic gadgets for that long, try it for a weekend.

Here are a few more places that offer weekend retreats and longer ones you might want to check out if you live in California:

Joshue Tree Retreat Center

Pine Mountain Buddhist Temple & Meditation Retreat

The California Vipassana Center offers retreats for kids and teens and they are free! (Donations gladly accepted)

If even those places are too scary for you, how about a one day silent retreat in the comfort of your own home? But no cheating! Give all your electronic devices to a friend to make sure you won't be tempted to check your email or facebook page. It will give you a taste of what your monkey mind does to your thought process all day long. We go through our days on auto-pilot and don't even realize how many negative thoughts go through our mind each day. Spending time just with YOU will be hard at first because we really are addicted to constant *input* and spending quiet time will help you realize it.

A lot of the problems we have start with our thought patterns, which create beliefs (many false) "a belief is only a thought you keep thinking."   If you take time out to just 'be' you will eventually be amazed how your outlook changes. You will stop reacting to life and instead respond, which is much better for good health.

xo   Inge

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This post is a continuation from Feb 1st. -- so to bring yourself up to speed just scroll down to that date.

If you work a typical 8-10 hour day (not including a hefty commute) you probably don't have much time to do something for yourself, or at least you don't think you do. Remember from my earlier post -- the most important thing in life is to stay healthy and part of that is to focus on staying grounded throughout your day?

Are you sitting behind a computer screen at work? maybe sitting in a cubicle? Time can get away from you when you are on the computer...I know it happens to me all the time, but I am working on taking a break every hour for 10 minutes. If you sit for hours and don't walk around periodically, it affects your health.  You don't have to walk all the time, instead do some yoga stretches at your desk.

If the weather is nice spend time outside during lunch. Maybe spend 5 minutes meditating or read something inspiring.

When you get home make yourself a green doesn't have to be anything fancy... my favorite easy-to-make smoothie is:

1 banana
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 spring water
handful parsley
handful kale

blend and drink up

put your feet up and relax for at least 30 minutes...or what I call decompressing from work.

Now you have the energy to do what you normally do in the evening. Before bedtime...turn off the television and read (nothing scarey or dramatic) and then when its time to turn out the lights, imagine yourself sleeping peacefully.

Namaste!   Inge

Monday, February 4, 2013

World Cancer Day

Its World Cancer Day. Get the facts about cancer....and pass it on. And while your at it, sign up to volunteer at your local cancer center or go to   to help someone fighting cancer or if you know someone personally...cook them dinner, mow their lawn, buy them groceries....

xo    Inge

Friday, February 1, 2013

Last night I had some crazy dreams. I don't remember exactly what they were about but I woke up -- not feeling rested. In fact I woke up a few times with a throbbing headache. I didn't take anything to relieve it because I try to stay away from medications and hoped the pain would leave on its own. It never did until I gave in and took an Ibuprofen.

I do practice yoga, meditation and read inspirational writings, but lately I found myself back on board the 'crazy train' of daily life and not taking care of myself like I know I should. My body has a way of telling me to get back on track and I now  I work at paying  better attention.

I believe the most important thing in life is our health and that we should (I try to stay away from that word, but in this instance I think its appropriate) do anything and everything to maintain good matter what.

I mentioned before that its important to keep our body, mind and spirit in sync to live a healthy life.  I am doing good with my diet but sometimes I fall off the wagon when it comes to my mind and spirit. These days there are lots of things going on to distract us and keep us away from ourselves...meaning taking away our time to just 'be'.

Our society is geared in such a way that we believe we must be lazy if we aren't 'doing' something every waking moment. That concept is bad for our health. If our minds are out of whack then our bodies will follow shortly. Our minds are easier to fix but once the body is sick, it takes longer to heal.

I talk with many people who tell me they don't have time to even meditate for 10 minutes a day and I say they do have the time. Its not about having enough time, its a time management problem. I believe the best time to nurture ourselves is first thing in the morning. I know we all love to sleep in to the last minute before we have to jump out of bed and rush to get to wherever we have to be, but this isn't good for our mental or physical health. Taking time for ourselves sets the tone for the rest of the day. I know because it works. If I take at the very least 30 minutes for myself -- first thing in the morning my day goes a lot smoother. I am more focused and relaxed. I can deal with whatever comes up and not get caught up in any drama that may try to sneak its way into my day.

But I am human and that means I forget... and sometimes I sleep in to the last minute and jump right into my day and rush around like a mad woman... feeling drained and off balance. This morning my body reminded whats important and its to stay matter what. 

The first thing I do are yoga stretches...nothing strenuous but enough to loosen up my muscles. I used to be much more limber before my cancer treatments but everyday I can stretch just a little bit more. Yoga isn't about doing the poses perfectly, its about doing it the best you can and stay in the moment...breathing in and breathing out. Its about 'being' with yourself.  Since I have a balance issue I use a chair or wall for the standing poses and then I do a few poses on the floor. It takes me about 10 minutes.

Then I sit for 10 minutes and just focus on my breath. I do use guided meditations but not in the morning. I want to focus on being in the 'now'. It helps me stay present during the day and if there is a 'snag' I can respond to it and not have a knee jerk reaction.

After that, I read inspiring writings either from books or on the Internet. The great thing about the Internet is that we can follow the writings of just about anyone, because most authors or inspiring Teachers have a blog. Today I am reading the writings from Thich Nhat Hanh. I found some books on Zen Buddhism at the library and they carry alot of his books. Zen is something I resonate with. Its a form of Buddhism that I like following, but spirituality is a personal thing. Find something you resonate with and contemplate its teachings or words of inspiration. There is no right or wrong.

I met a woman at the hospital where I volunteer, getting cancer treatments who is also a yoga instructor. She is Christian and calls her practise 'yoking with the Lord'. She likes to read books by Christian authors. She resonates with her belief. I resonate with eastern philosophy. There is no right or wrong. There just 'is'.

If you do these 3 things first thing in the morning on a daily basis, I know your day will go more smoothly. If you have a family that needs your attention first thing in the morning, wake up 30 minutes earlier than them. You are worth the time and effort and your body will thank you for it.

My next post will give you tips on staying grounded throughout your day.... stay tuned!

xo    Inge

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I started buying coconut water and organic soy milk from my neighborhood 99 cent store ( I am sooo happy they exist and sell these, regular markets charge sometimes 3 times as much for same brand) And by the way I buy WestSoy soy milk bec...ause it does not contain carageen...if you don't know whats bad about carageen, Google it. Anyway, to save more money I freeze the coconut water and soymilk (in seperate) freezer trays and use the cubes in smoothies. I usually add 3 cubes coconut water and 4 cubes soy milk. I throw them in after I add everything else and let them melt -- then I blend them together. Yum!

I make a smoothie's the recipe for the one I'm drinking right now.

3 cubes frozen coconut water

4 cubes frozen soy milk (organic)

1/2 cup parsley

1/2 banana

2 large carrots (juiced)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup spring water

teaspoon ground flax seed ( I use Bob's Red Mill) I don't have a grinder right now.
Throw these into a blender
Allow the frozen cubes to melt; it takes about 15 minutes and then blend mixture
xo   Inge

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Many Uses of Salt Water

I threw out all commercial cleaning products when I was diagnosed and only use homemade products now. I want to know exactly what's in products I am using in my environment. You can find a list of household and personal health uses for salt water here.

xo  Inge

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Homemade Hand Sanitzer

I use alcohol based hand sanitizers alot. I keep a bottle in my car and always use the wipes available outside the grocery stores to wipe down my cart. Lately though my hands are constantly dry...maybe its the cold weather. I don't know but I do know I don't like dry hands, so I scoured the net to find out if there is something better than store bought to sanitize my hands. Its not only cheaper but I know whats in the product. I do not want to be exposed to anything toxic anymore.

Washing with soap and water is always my first choice but its not convenient if I am out running errands. I found one that is easy to make and works:

Here's the recipe:

4 oz. Aloe Vera Gel
1/2 tblsp. Witch Hazel
1 Vitamin E Capsule (poke hole in it)
essential oil -- (optional) you pick your favorite fragrance

Mix together aloe vera and witch hazel. Squeeze vitamin E capsule into mixture. Stir up more and pour ingredients into a bottle. I just use the empty sanitizer bottle from the store bought one. That's it!

I found this recipe on this site...they have other helpful tips you might find interesting...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Its Cold and that Means Chili!

Its cold outside and that means its time for chili. Here's my recipe for my famous vegan chili.

First of all I soak 1/2 cup of raw black beans. Its ususally takes a few hours and then they are ready to be cooked. I sometimes soak them overnight...whatever is easiest for you. The beans are ready to use in chili when you can easily smash it with a fork. 1/2  cup dry beans will turn into a little over a cup of cooked beans.

Now take out a large soup pot and pour olive oil on the bottom...enough to sautee a chopped onion. When the onions are carmelized, add a 16 oz can of tomatoes. I use organic diced from Trader Joes. Then I add 1/3 bag organic corn from (you guessed it...Trader Joes). Sometimes I throw in an organic chopped potato or green pepper.

Sooooo, where's the chili seasoning? I used to buy ready made but after reading what is in processed foods these days, I want to know whats in my food and that includes seasonings. McCormicks, which is the chili seasoning I used to use only lists a couple of ingredients and the rest are "natural". The word "natural" is not regulated and since they spent a great deal of money fighting Prop 37...I no longer give them my money.

I found a terrific recipe from this blogger and you can find her over here...

For this recipe I use 2 tablespoons of chili seasoning. You can always use more or less.

Here's how to make your own:

4 tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sea salt
4 teaspoons black pepper

I keep it stored in a ziplock baggie.

xo      Inge

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I was in Mother' Market the other day and I was hungry so I bought myself a smoothie. I decided on their breakfast smoothie, even though it was late afternoon because I never had one with granola in it. It was really good but expensive....$8 for 16 ounces. I figured in the future I can make my own at home.

Here's my recipe: 1/2 cup mixed berry organic juice, 1/2 cup organic soymilk, 1 banana, 1/2 cup Nature's Path Hemp Granola Cereal. Blend in blender and you got breakfast or snack you can take with you.

xo Inge

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I have been looking through several "eating healthy" facebook pages and ran into a few that claim food alone will cure cancer. I have trouble with that statement because I think it depends on the type of cancer and what stage it is. For me, I chose western medicine because I was diagnosed at stage four and time was of the essence to decide which way to go. I believe everyone should be able to choose which treatment is best for them. If someone chooses to use alternative or only eat foods rich in anti-oxidents to fight cancer, thats fine, but they should have access to stats that tell them the survival rate first. I don't like hearing from those people who give a knee jerk response to anything western medicine before looking into the facts. I got some advice from well meaning individuals about some plant based treatments when i was sick, but when I researched them, the information was too iffy. It didn't resonate with me. Maybe I would have thought differently if my cancer was not as advanced. I decided to go the western medicine route and understood it would be brutal. If anyone tells you it isn't that bad, they are lying and I am willing to bet, even those who went the plant based route will agree... having cancer sucks... there is no sugar coating it, but sometimes things suck in life and we do the best we can to get through it. Cancer treatments have come a long way and the survival rates are higher. I am all for incorporating treatments to include body, mind and says so on the "about me" page. I do understand there are cancer survivors who... for whatever reason chose to do the plant based treatment, but I can only think of two for sure. I don't know if they are the norm. I guess what I am getting at -- is this. If you are diagnosed with cancer, look at all the alternatives and make the best choice for you. Don't listen to those who tell you that all western medicine treatment is bad. They might change their minds if they were in your shoes. The internet is a great place to do research on really anything. If you find an article that sounds too good to be true -- it probably is. Also research the author. Are they selling their cure? Are there actual testimonials from real people who had cancer? After a while, you will get to know those you can trust. What I do completely agree with these facebook pages is this.... eating healthy food is good for you and will fend off disease....that is a fact and science is catching up with that idea. Eat a healthy diet before you are diagnosed with a serous illness. xo Inge

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I found this inspiring woman's story on another blog...don't ask me which chemo brain took over and I forgot, but I did remember to bookmark it. Her story kicked started me into practising yoga again and my body is thanking me for it.
Do you live near a Dollar Store or 99 cent store that sells food? Check the shelves and even the frresh produce section because they are selling more and more organic and healthy choices. I found organic plain soymilk from WestSoy and Parro...t coconut water. The other day they had orangic lettuce and arugala in a package. I made myself a green smoothie with 1/3 rd of the can of coconut water and I poured the rest in an ice tray to use later.

In case you are wondering what else I added to smoothie:

1 banana, 1/2 cup kale, 1/2 cup parsley, 1/2 cup spring water and 1/3 can coconut water. Yum!
xo     Inge


Parsley isn't just a pretty garnish. Do you know it has anti-oxident properties like luteolin, a flavonoid that searches out and kills free radicals in the body? It contains an organic compound called myristicin that can stop the formation o...f tumors (like in the lungs) and helps fight against colon and prostrate cancer. Two tablespoons of parsley contains 153% of the RDA of vitamin K, which is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the composition of our bones. It also prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to cardiovascular disease. Parsley contains vitamin C an effective anti-inflammatory agent within the body... inflammation is bad news for our bodies. Oh, I almost alkaline! Anyone who knows me -- knows alkaline is my favorite food group.
Parsley doesn't taste so great to me so I add it to my daily green smoothie. I am drinking one right now.... I threw in 1/4 cup parsley, 1/2 cup kale, one banana, 1/5 cup spring water, 1/4 organic soymilk, and splash orange juice.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Save Mike Atta!

I had something different planned to write about today but I just got wind of this and decided it moves to the front of the line.

Here is the story.....

You can donate online here....

Please amount is too small!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! There are millions if not zillions of terrific bloggers out there and everyday I run into someone who I completely resonate with. They inspire me and give me ideas how to live a healthy life that I probably would never have thought of on my own. Have you heard the phrase, "No man is an island?" Well, I think that's so true. We are all interconnected... sharing ideas and insights is important to me... so I put together my favorite blogsites to share with you.

1. Kris Carr -- comes in at number one. I don't remember how I found her website in 2011 because I was pretty drugged up on pain meds during that time... I was in the middle of my cancer treatment and I wanted to find out how I got this disease. Back then her site was called Crazy Sexy Cancer... she posted her story about living with cancer, that included an online support group for anyone facing health challenges. Kris is one of my online heroes. She got me started on my journey to wellness.

2. Flaming Vegan -- Its all about living and eating veganstyle. Did I mention I'm vegan?

3. Purpose Fairy -- I am convinced that we have to keep our minds healthy along with our body to stay in balance. This can be tricky at times because we can come in contact with lots of negative junk when we venture outside our home or even when we turn on the television. I am also a believer that we create our own reality and I want to work on being happy... no matter what. This gal's site is packed with tools to help me stay on that path.

4. Louise Hay -- I was introduced to Louise Hay when a friend sent me her book, "You Can Heal Your Life". It helped me get through my cancer treatments and I still use it as a reference book.

5. Cherie Roe Dirksen -- Cherie always seems to write about topics that are relevent to my life. She is all about self-empowerment and offers tips and solutions how to stay balanced.

6. Positively Positive -- This site is packed with inspiring stories by different authors. Need I say more?

7. Food Babe -- This gal knows her stuff when it comes to finding healthy eats. I found her blog when I was working to get Prop 37 passed...the right to know what we are eating initiative. She is anti GMO...just like me...but thats a whole other post.

 Well, thats my list so far. I'm always finding something wonderful on the web and as soon as I do you know I will share with you.

I hope the New Year is everything you hope for. As for me ... I am focusing on my emotions. I am learning that I control my experience. I cannot always control outside forces, but I can control how I respond. My goal is to feel happy no matter what.

xo   Inge