Super Soul Sunday
Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT
A Note from Kris Carr
Posted: Wed 10/19/2011 11:12 AM
Greetings OWN fans!
It’s been nearly 9 years since I was diagnosed with an incurable, stage IV cancer on Valentine’s Day in 2003. So much has changed since that time. I had no idea how much cancer would shape my life and my work. Because I’ve never had the opportunity to be treated, I made it my mission to learn as much about my body as possible. If I couldn’t be cured, perhaps I still could be healthy. But boy did I have a huge learning curve! I knew nothing about how to eat, manage stress, build my immune system or even how to be kind to myself. Cancer changed all that.
When the first doctor I spoke with suggested I undergo a triple organ transplant (I have tumors in both my lungs and my liver), I knew that wasn’t for me, and I’d have to learn how to be my best advocate and friend. I often tell people that I learned how to become the CEO of me. I hired, I fired, and I ultimately built my Crazy Sexy longevity team – a team of doctors and practitioners that keep me on the wellness track!
Speaking of the title, Crazy Sexy. I bet you’re wondering where I got the name...
Well, it started as the subject heading for the mass emails updates I would send family and friends. I wanted them to know that even though something very serious had happened, I was still the same young woman with a wicked sense of humor, who liked to challenge the status quo, and who would refuse to be defined by a disease. Later Crazy Sexy took on new meaning. Crazy = out of the box, forward thing, stigma smashing. Sexy = empowered and whole. Cancer was and is my teacher. I may always live with this teacher. But the operative word is definitely LIVE. And thankfully in the years that I have lived (like I really, really mean it) with cancer, it has been slow moving and often stable.
I used to call myself a Survivor. But that confused people. No one sees you as a Survivor when you still have active disease. Now I’m more comfortable with the term Thriver, as I am definitely thriving in the face of this adversity. That feels much better. But I did work really hard to get to this place spiritually, and it wasn’t always easy. I’d wake up in cold sweats before many doctors’ visits wondering “what if.” Ultimately I didn’t let the “what if’s” alter my life. And in many ways I am grateful to cancer. Without the knowledge of this nasty disease biting at my ankles all the time, I never would have changed my diet, my crazy (not so sexy) lifestyle or my mind. In fact, I used to be afraid of everything. Now I say, it ain’t cancer, do it! And though I currently feel super healthy and strong (which is 100 percent due to the dietary and lifestyle changes I made – trust me, I used to eat like crap and abuse the heck out of my body), I know that one day that could change, and I’m OK with it. I have to be OK with it. Otherwise I’d be living in a holding pattern, constantly circling the runway, always afraid to take off.
What’s your pain point? We all have something. Cancer asked me to use my biggest obstacle as opportunity. When I said yes, it was game on! Though I had been in film, TV and theater my entire life, I had no idea how to make a documentary, let alone sell it to a major network. I also didn’t know how to write books, though I had a serious daily journaling practice. But I did know how to tell stories and how to move people. I also knew that I had nothing to lose. The film took 4 years to make, and little by little I taught myself how to do it. Well, I did have some amazing help from friends and from Brian, our editor and producer, who is now my husband. Yeah, we figured that we survived the filmmaking process, so why not get hitched!
What? Cancer was my matchmaker? Yeah, believe me, I was shocked too. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: If you want to make God laugh, tell him/her your plans! Dating with cancer scared the heck out of me, so I certainly wasn’t looking for Mr. Right. Plus, in the beginning I was only given 10 years to live. This bag of damaged goods didn’t seem like such a catch! Once again, I had to change my mind about my situation. And Brian’s capacity to love me no matter how long we have together has always blown my mind. He is tough and brave and sensitive and strong. He’s also a pain in the ass (hey, we’ve been married for 5 years now!), but I am grateful that my eyes were open enough to see him.
I’ve seen a lot since my wake-up call. One thing that I hadn’t expected was the out pouring of love and the desire for personal change that swallowed my inbox. Thousands of folks from around the world have connected with me since the film aired and since my Oprah appearance in 2007 (wow, was THAT amazing, a total dream come true! Oprah couldn’t have been cooler!). I’ve heard the same thing time and again. I have Crazy Sexy (fill in the blank), and I like the way you’re eating, drinking and thinking, and boy, could I use a piece of your optimism. Because many of the people who reached out to me didn’t have cancer, we created Crazysexylife.com – a hub for all wellness warriors. Our website is filled with daily inspiration and articles on health, spiritual wealth and happiness. My latest book, Crazy Sexy Diet, is also for everyone interested in longevity, energy and optimum health. I basically took everything I learned as a patient and created a prevention manual.
Speaking of prevention, many people have asked me why I haven’t started my own cancer organization. To be honest, I don’t believe we will find a cure in my lifetime. The war on cancer has been going on since I was born in 1971. As a result, my focus, my mission, what makes me happiest and most alive is teaching people about prevention. Because I believe that prevention is the only lasting cure.
I hope you enjoy my film. I hope you come to believe that taking care of yourself is an act of love that has a profound effect on you and on the world around you. Because, believe me, you are the one you’ve been waiting for. I wish you a long happy life. Come visit me if you want to learn more.
Peace & veggies,
Crazy Sexy Cancer premieres on OWN Sunday, October 23 at 8/7 a.m. CT