Sunday: Sitting Naked Smoking a Joint B/C I Can

Moments ago I sat on our outdoor chaise, smoking a joint out of an Audrey Hepburn like fashion cigarette holder, only mine was good old fashioned Mary Jane, not a ciggy.  The backdrop being pure zen as the Japanese Friendship Garden takes my breath away, although I see it day after day.

Hance park, behind the garden just so happens to be hosting Mountain McDowell Music Festival over the weekend, where the likes of Beck and Animal Collective were a part of the line up.  Being blessed with our location in Downtown Phoenix, we were able to hear the show as if we were present.  It was clear as day, all three days!  Whilst enjoying my smokey treat, the band, The Senators were up, soothing me and the rest of the actual MMMF goers with their song, Music From Another Room and I thought how fitting. 

Here I sit, in another room, per usual because of my resistance to join the rest of the public in fear of my condition.  Just yesterday Steve, myself, my family and a ton of friends went to the horse track, as they held the annual wiener races and we of course now have our little, Zoila — sausage dog.  That morning as we were gearing up to go, I felt extremely fatigued, dizzy, clammy, so on and so forth.  Mind you, within the last few weeks I have had chemo (poison) pumped into my body, switched a total of four large doses of vital medications and was placed on hormone replacements due to going through menopause at the ripe age of thirty.  Intense doesn’t even begin to skim the surface.  Long story short, I put on a brave face, per good form and off to the races we went.

Typically for me, it’s a mixed bag of nuts going out in public, meaning anything outside of Doctor’s visits and affiliate/branding jobs.  Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit nuts myself, but  often times I suffer from anxiety because I shelter myself in so many ways.  I get weirded out and nervous thinking and believing that people are weirded out and nervous by my cancer.  The reality is, that I am able to comprehend that the world does not orbit around me and that it is all in my head.  But, hey, these are the things that go through my head and I’m being honest here.  This is my circle of truth.  Then by that point, once we arrive and I see all of the beautiful faces of my family and friends all of the woes and worries of the world seemingly disappear.  That along with the spirit of my reality and my set of circumstances, as I am able to giggle and escape in which case I would take over a doobie any second.  That is the highest of all highs.  A high that any Doctor or Dispensary cannot provide.

Although we had to leave the races early and take a little visit to the Mayo Hospital, I was cleared and sent home with good news that I was just dehydrated and out of whack due to my recent changes in medication.  But, even if it was for a sliver of a second, I was able to be normal and engage with friends and loved ones, crack open a beer, enjoy the sunshine, smile at strangers, wait in the ridiculously long ladies restroom line.  You know, normal stuff.  It’s the small things, truly.

On our way home from the hospital Steve and I were starved being that we hadn’t eaten, had been in the sun and then to follow had been at the hospital.  We decided to go on a classy date to Chino Bandido, a delicacy for Phoenicians, a Mexican and Chinese combined taker-outeree.  It’s the least classiest place I can think of, but by far the most delicious.  We chowed down, crashed on the bed as soon as we walked through the door and other than watching American Restoration and answering boring emails today, you’re pretty much up to date.

Yet, there is a point to all of this rambling.  As I lay on my terrace on my chaise lounge, listening to The Senators at MMMF, I realized it’s okay that I cannot do it all anymore.  These are the cards I have been dealt.  Instead, I decided to strip down to my birthday suit. You heard me, correctly.  I got completely stark NAKED, smoked the hell out of my joint and escaped to the most beautiful and cerebral place that exists only in my mind.

I live on such an extreme spectrum in life and I’m not quite sure if I will ever figure that spectrum out, or rather if it will figure me out. And perhaps that’s for the best.  Things come to me in other ways; I am so in tune with myself in a rainbow of other ways and at the same time I am a complicated woman, a Scorpio woman at that.  But damn, it felt so emancipating and comforting all at once, to stand in front of the sunshine in my bare, raw state — showing my scars and my body without any shame or guilt for who I was in that very moment.

I can only wish that everyone experiences such nirvana.

Have a beautiful sabbath day if that is your thing, beautiful ones. Otherwise, peace and love, always.

Love forev,

Britt x

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Food Exploration: Vegan Food, Fighting Fatigue with Chef Jason Wyrick

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In the effort to broaden my horizons, as well as up the ante on my health and wellness, I attended a cooking class this afternoon.

This happened to be out of the ordinary for me, as I am rubbish at cooking or anything having to do with the kitchen. But, it’s a new year and a new me (maybe).  The class was offered by the Cancer Support Community- Arizona and was led by Chef, NY Times Bestselling Author and vegan genius, Jason Wyrick.

Over the years I have been an on and off again vegitarian and have always had an interesting and psychological relationship with food.  Nowadays, I often lack much of an appetite and when I do, it’s usually all of the terrible foods as opposed to the proper, nutritious meals that my stomach can handle due to my colon cancer.

Prior to today, I had zero knowledge of Chef Jason, or the benefits that a vegan diet can bring.  This class was specifically built around fighting fatigue and understanding on a high level how to retrain your palette to the different compounds within organic foods, as well as the antioxidants and super foods that are best to boost your energy.  Seemingly, all of the things that I am clueless about, yet happened to find incredibly interesting and eye opening after today’s course and the three recipes that Chef Jason shared.  Delectable and mouthwatering seems like a cheap shot, considering just how appetizing and healthy his recipes were.

Here are the vegan soup recipes that Chef Jason shared.  I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Green Tea and Shiitake Noodles

  • IMG_56752 to 3 cups of brewed green tea
  • Salt to taste
  • A sprinkle of five spice (Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Fennel, Cloves and Sichuan Peppercorn)
  • 8 to 10 small shiitakes, sliced
  • 1 small package of ramen, udon noodles, or thick rice noodles
  • Cubed extra firm tofu
  • Keep brewed tea warm and add the slat, five spice, and sliced shiitakes
  • Bring to gentle simmer and add noodles, cubed tofu and cook noodles al dente.

Chilmole with Sweet Potatoes and Beans

  • IMG_56764 to 6 guajillo chiles, toasted and rehydrated
  • 3 cups of water
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/2 cup of masa harina
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of rinsed beans
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • Puree chiles and water, transferring to a pot
  • Add pinch of cinnamon and salt to taste
  • Bring to simmer then add sweet potato until al dente
  • Slowly whisk the masa in until the soup thickens
  • Add beans, spinach and serve

Avocado Roasted Garlic Soup

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  • 1/4 cup of roasted garlic cloves
  • 2 large avocados
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of water
  • Puree all ingredients
  • Serve room temperature


Be sure to check out Chef Jason Wyrick and sign up for free recipes, videos and tips to a healthy vegan diet at www.thevegantaste.com!

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Love and yum,

Britt x

#BSMHB – 1st VLOG of 2016

Happy New Year!

The last month of 2015 proved to be crazy — to say the least.  Here’s a little re-cap of everything that went down with my operation and how I am recovering, as well as what’s up for 2016.


Always,

Britt x

#HospitalLife – In Pictures:

I am beyond thrilled to share that I have arrived HOME!  Late last night they determined that I was fit enough to return home and all of my efforts of putting up the fight of my life, certainly seems to have now paid off.  There is quite a descriptive post in the works, to walk through my latest health journey in words and how I feel that I have once again been afforded a chance at life. This has been an entirely transformative experience and one that I never imagined in my wildest dreams.  Somehow, my strength and resilience is at an all time high and because of that I have been peacefully healing —- mind, body and soul.

Here are a few pictures of the

#HospitalLife

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My hemoglobin levels were considerably low, in which case I needed a blood transfusion.  It never really dawned on me how wonderful it is that people donate blood, something I have always been too ill to do even prior to my diagnosis as I have always been anemic.  I ended up using two units of blood which ran for about six hours.  Shortly after I felt like a completely different person; less fatigued, less cold and returned color to my face.  Thank you to those who donate!

Red Cross Blood Bank Centers

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The day of my surgery I snapped an #instax polaroid of my baby, Zoi.  It seemed obvious to me that if I had her adorable little mug looking at me with those eyes of hers, it would push me to do everything in order to make it back home to her.  Aside from all of the tremendous amounts of love I received from people near and far, my amazing friends, family and of course my husband — Zoila was the one little (but actually very HUGE) incentive to show up, kick ass and get back on the road of life and viola! here I am!

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Anyone who follows along on my Instagram knows that my baby Godson holds the actual key to my heart.  He stole it from day one.  When his beautiful mom — my lovely friend, Michele visited at the hospital the day after my surgery, she brought along a one of a kind flamingo and it instantly brought ridiculous amount of smiles — and not just from me, but all of the staff, fellow patients and anyone who saw my trusty IV monitor as I wheeled it by my side throughout my stay.

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I’ll admit, my biggest complaint about surgery is that you are forbidden the basic human need of drinking water (or anything for that matter), prior to the procedure.  In my case, I was told that I couldn’t have anything from midnight until later in the night after recovery.  Quickly, my mouth became a desert and my need for water seemed like life or death.  Of course that is an exaggeration, but it is certainly how I felt.  As soon as I got the green light, which was about twelve hours later, I ordered “sips and chips” and I felt like I stumbled upon an oasis.  Dreamy does not even begin to describe the feeling of when the ice water cooled my lips for the first time.  Sometimes it really only takes the small things to make you feel a sense of nirvana.

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Before I had even been transported to my room, my two best girls had flowers ready and waiting.  Prior to my surgery, I couldn’t find the strength to speak to them.  Distancing myself for selfish emotional reasons seemed to be the only way I could cope.  I felt that if I spoke with them, I might expose that I thought I was going to die and that we’d never have an ABC reunion again.  Without fail, they stood by my side no matter what and made sure that I knew they were there with me, showering me with their love and non-stop support.   I love you both.

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I felt so much power behind this operation.  Power from prayer and positivity and all of the amazing thoughts that were put out in the universe in honor of getting through this operation with a successful outcome.  I feel cheesy every time I say it, but there is no way I would have been able to do it without all of you.  Every single person that took it upon themselves to take the time out of their day to wish me well and include me in their conversations with whomever they have faith in.  It would be fair to say that I feel endlessly blessed.  Seeing this gleaming photo at St. Joe’s Hospital and Medical Center seemed like a fitting vision for the morning after the operation.  What a beautiful sight to see (I can even see my neighborhood if I look really close).  

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On the same glorious walk as pictured above, I was marching along the halls with the most important women in my universe.  They guide me through every struggle and challenge and proudly walk by my side, even in the darkest of hallways.  There are not many words that can do this picture justice, other than, thank you and LOVE.

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Further exploring the hospital, my home away from home, I walked past my favorite piece of art adorned on the walls in the lobby of the Oncology ward.  This particular wall decor always seems to catch my eye.  I appreciate creativity and try to search for it wherever I may be.  I can especially appreciate when it’s in unexpected spaces and places.  Well done, St. Joe’s.

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Just two short years ago, Steve and I spent the night at the hospital on Christmas.  It was by far one of the more depressing of holidays.  I feel very fortunate that I will be able to spend this Christmas with my family instead of inside the hospital walls.  However, they do their best to make you feel in the holiday spirit.  To those who will be spending your holiday in the hospital, my Christmas wish is that you are surrounded by love and joy.  It will get better.

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One of my favorite little cheerleaders, Kambrell joined me at the hospital a few days after the procedure.  Seeing things through her eyes and the way she expresses her love for life, makes me feel equally alive.  She is one of the most special little girls I know and I’m so grateful to be a part of her world.

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Just a few of the many gorgeous flowers I received. THANK YOU! I was able to enjoy them everyday and smile thinking of each person and the memories we have shared.  I chose to donate the flowers to the Oncology ward of the hospital once I was released.  They were all so beautiful and I wanted other cancer patients to be able to enjoy them as much as I did.  Please know that your kindness has such an impact and made many others smile, as well as me.

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Last but most certainly not least, my Steve sent this to me the second night, once he returned home to our dogs, Keg and Zoila.  He always knows how to make me laugh, as he was wearing my #ASU hoodie and my satchel to carry Zoila, all in an effort to take Keg on a walk. He takes care of all of us so very well and I am the luckiest person to have such a brave, selfless and loving man.  Thank you seems so insufficient.  What else can I say? You’re top notch, my love.

HospitalLife

More to come soon.

Love,

Britt x

B.K.O. for #BSMHB – Donate a Photo:

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if I told you that YOUR photos could help a charity in need?  ‪#‎JohnsonandJohnson‬ have created an amazing app, making it possible for you to donate one picture per day, and they will contribute $1.00 to the trusted cause of your choice (list provided in app). What a better way to kick off the season of GIVING by being able to give everyday! Download @donateaphoto via the App Store. 

B.K.O. for #BSMHB

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Love,

Britt x