On Monday, Oprah had a "special report" with Dr. Oz on cancer. One of the guests was Kris Carr a young woman from Brooklyn, NY who is living with cancer. Her story struck a cord with me, besides the obvious, for what you'll probably think is a strange reason; my maiden name is Carr. It's not a name I see in the media often. And though I'm plus size, I'm also fair like she is. This special episode focused on mortality and how cancer often forces us to face it. October is an appropriate time to discuss cancer and it's emotional as well as physical effects since it is Breast Health Month here in Canada and the United States.
Kris Carr was diagnosed with rare slow-moving stage four cancer around her liver and lungs in 2003. If you are not familiar with the stages of cancer, stage four is the highest you can go, there's no stage five. She was only thirty-one. Kris didn't take what the medical profession said as the end-all-and-be-all. She wanted to make an informed decision that involved more than just organ transplants and radiation. She chose to deal with her plight in an unlikely way, being in the movie business, by filming herself as she researched for alternative methods and altered her lifestyle.
It is not a self-centered portrayal of someone dying of cancer. Kris interviewed field experts and other women with similar issues, concerns and life lessons they wanted to share. She called the documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer and it chronicles her four year journey through treatment and self discovery. The documentary aired on the Learning Channel and Discovery Health early this year and because of such a positive demand will re-air on TLC Wednesday, October 24 at 8p.m. and 11p.m. If you missed it you can order it from Gaiam. It's a thought provoking film that would be of interest to anyone who has had cancer touch their lives, directly or indirectly.
Kris also wrote a companion piece titled, Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips. It is being toted as a "must have" book on rising above bodily disease. The foreword was written by Sheryl Crow who also went through a cancer scare in 2006 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The book is a combination of memoir, tips, motivation, inspiration and a touch of humor (where would we be without that). It's not all rant from Kris though, she's brought thirteen other women into the limelight with her. Kris shows no signs of slowing down and is currently working on two other books in the same vein: Crazy Sexy Journey and Crazy Sexy Diet, both of which are sure to be welcomed with open arms.
Looking at Kris sitting there smiling at Oprah you wouldn't think she has cancer. She's bright eyed and dare I say... happy? Not a word often associated with living with cancer. But the clincher is that Kris isn't focusing on living with cancer. She's focusing on living her life to the fullest and not letting something she can't see ruin the opportunities life offers; like getting married. While Kris is still living with the cancer, she is in stable condition and enjoying life with her husband, whom she met while filming the documentary.
It amazes me every time I see a person with such personal strength and ambition. I often wonder what kind of person I would be in such a situation and of course am thankful not to be one of the one in three. But if I were I would hope I could live my life with the same grace, dignity and joy that Kris Carr seems to exhibit.
Purchase Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips from Amazon.com.
Purchase Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips from Amazon.ca.