TMI

I’m going to spare you the details but I had a proceedure today at MGH to check me out further for any issues relating to my Mother’s colon cancer. My mom died very young from the disease and I’ve always been followed closely. My surgeon suggested I get checked bf my breast surgery and I am happy to report that all was good! I knew all that green juice and veggies were good for something! I am so relieved that the test is over and I am all clear! I have to admit that having developed breast cancer has rocked my confidence and made me pretty concerned that something else could show up.
I am happy to report that I am back to dealing with the original issue, and will take the next few weeks to prepare for surgery and whatever steps we take from there.
I am thankful for my doctors and surgeon from MGH and Dana Farber. One step at a time. This step is to keep life as smooth and normal as possible for my family.
Thank you for all the words, support and prayers. Hoping for no more appointments until closer to the 20th!
Have a great weekend and I love you all!
Carlene

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By |October 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

What’s the plan?

Thank you all so much for the overwhelming love and support. I can’t even express how each word has landed in my heart!
Well, its been about 7 days and I can’t even believe this is happening! Matt and I spent the day in Boston yesterday. I had a consult with the plastic surgeon that will work with my surgical oncologist. She is an amazing surgeon and comes highly recommended. That was the lighter part of the day…. even with all the gore of how this will all go down, I am confident that in the end, I’m going to be very happy with the results. Dana Farber was definitley a harder appointment. We met with a medical oncologist at Dana Farber. He went over my biopsy results, pending surgery and next steps after the surgery. We definitely have a clearer picture of how this will all go down and chemo seems to be lurking in the wings. Matt and I are powering through this to get as much information, confirmation, and guidance as we can. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have such an amazing husband!
My surgery is scheduled for Nov20. It will be about 5 hours and I will be at Mass General Hospital. It can take up to two weeks for all the pathology to come back so I will be home healing and waiting for next steps. I know that I will be in the hospital for two nights and can’t do anything for 6 weeks. I will be traveling back and forth to Boston quite a bit. My father and Liz will be here to make everything run smoothly as well as make an endless supply of comfort food for all!
I was scheduled to attend a yoga training in Utah on Nov 6-15. Ive been waiting for this training for a year! I decided I would wait for my surgery date to see if I could still pull it off. As much as I want to be the girl with her middle finger up to cancer, and head out to Utah, I feel like the place where I will get the most strength is home with Matt and the kids. I have amazing family and friends that are truly loving me up! I also have some outrageously inspiring friends who have traveleld this road before me…they are making sure I don’t miss a thing!
My faith and my yoga practice have given me a gift to keep reining myself back into the present moment. I keep coming back to right now and taking each thing as it comes, not focusing on what will be next. I am in good hands, I have a lot of faith and I have some kick ass guardian angels!
Tomorrow I have a proceedure that I need to get out of the way before any of this happens and I would love a little prayer that it is completely uneventful! I also have a dear friend that was diagnosed the day after me! If the prayers are flowing, send her some love too!
I will keep you posted!
Love, Carlene

By |October 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Breaking the news…I HAVE BREAST CANCER

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I went for a routine breast MRI last week. I am followed a little closer than normal because of some risk factors that I have. For 5 years I have been getting breast mri and mammogram 6 months apart. Each visit has come up with something new, not cancer but “some area of concern” or “something to watch”. I had no reason to think that last Thursday would be any different. It was. They called me back and after mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy, I have Invasive ductal carcinoma grade2, estrogen and progesterone positive, HER2 negative (best breast cancer to get I’m told!).

I have an amazing team at Massachusetts General Hospital and feel so comfortable with all the medical advice we are getting. That said, we are also going to Dana Farber for another opinion as well as a second place to view the pathology that comes back after my surgery. Based on my risk factors, the chance I have of recurrence and our doctor’s recommendation, I will have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. It is about a 5 1/2 hour surgery where the surgical oncologist does her thing then the plastic surgeon comes in and does hers. I am told it is about a 6-8 week recovery from the surgery. Once they take the tumor and any lymph nodes for testing (up to 2 weeks) they will make a recommendation about chemotherapy and radiation. This point is where the second opinion will be comforting. Once MGH has tested and looked at all the breast tissue, tumor and lymph nodes, they will send it off to Dana Farber for a second look.

Matt and I meet with the medical oncologist at Dana Farber next Wednesday. As of right now, I do not have a date for my surgery. There are so many moving parts to come together that it makes my head spin. I am hoping to have a date either later today or Monday. The sugeon says this type of cancer is slow growing and I am not in any immediate danger. I am on tamoxifen which slows the growth as well.

Over the last 3 days, I have met with nothing but professional, caring, amazing people to help me navigate this road! Matt is right by my side, asking a million questions, five different ways! Chloe and Jack are digesting the news and really just going thru the appropriate stages of learning something like this. It is hard for them, so many questions and unknowns. My father and stepmother are headed this way for Thanksgiving so I know I will have an amazing amount of help! I appreciate everyone’s notes, messages, hugs and support. It is all very surreal. I feel like I’m going through a dream. I taught my first yoga class today after finding all this out and it was so great to be back. There was so much support and love and yoga did its magic on me as I taught.

I am so lucky to be in this place right now… Boston hospitals are the best in the world, my husband, kids, family and friends are OFF THE CHARTS supportive, I have a yoga practice that keeps me in reality, not spinning off into a made up land of what ifs and I have my two guardian angles (Mom and Jackie) that guide me every day! Believe me, this is overwhelming and takes my breath away at times but overall I feel that this is a big bump in our road and we will handle each moment as it comes.

I love you all, every last one of you for caring enough to read this post and offer your support. I guess we all take turns in life offering and receiving, I have a really hard time with the recieving so maybe that’s my lesson.

Love Carlene

By |October 24th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

The Boston Marathon Scarf Project

The marathon was a beautiful, sunny, warm April day.  So, why was I wearing a scarf??

That blue and yellow scarf was given to Matt the day before the marathon.  The Old South Church on the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston St in Boston (just beyond the marathon finish line) gave out more than 7,000 of them!  The scarves were made all over the world and in almost every state in the US, sent to the church where they were blessed and given out to the runners!  Volunteers stood in front of the church passing out the scarves for days.  Easter Sunday, walking around Boston, you could see a sea of all different blue and gold scarves.  Complete strangers were coming up to Matt wishing him good luck and God’s blessing for the marathon.

We attended Easter mass at the Old South Church.  The priest handed them out to non-runners and asked that they placed it around the neck of a runner with a prayer for safety and a great run!  Our daughter,Chloe, placed the scarf around Matt’s neck which he wore all day on Easter  Sunday.  On Marathon Monday, I placed that scarf around my neck as I waited for Matt to reach us at mile 25.

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If you knit, you understand.  When I knit a gift for someone, that person is warmly in my thoughts while I am doing it.   I am grateful for the time, effort and care they put into that scarf.  We felt it!  It reminded me of the power of being of service to others and how powerful an act of kindness can be.

Thank you to Ginny, Pat, Myrtle, Carmella, Jean, Elaine, Nancy, and Lee Ann.  Your scarves provided comfort, love and inspiration!  Love, Carlene

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By |April 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Peace in the Present Moment

The Boston Marathon 2014 is complete.  Matt made his best time in 12 marathons, blew away our fundraising goal for Dana Farber Marathon Challenge and it was a peaceful, sunny, memorable day.  I have never run the marathon.  Each year, someone on the course inspires me with their determination, perseverance or possibly a Wonder Woman costume with a tutu and I think, I should do that!  That thought quickly fades and I am happy to cheer on my husband from the sidelines, he is the Marathon Man in our house!  Who knew back in my college days of “watching” the marathon from Whiskey’s on Boylston Street that it would come to have so much meaning in my life.

April 14, 2013 on the car ride home from Boston, I can’t say I was surprised when Matt stated his plan was to run again.  Deep down I would expect nothing less from him and I had no energy to argue after hours of not being able to find him during the chaos of that day.  I secretly hoped he’d just forget to train.  The past year has been one of his quiet determination after being stopped just minutes from the finish line. I wrote as a way to process the marathon day last year.  I learned this year, this marathon day, peace in the present moment.  True peace is in the present moment.  Each time my memory was stirred, my heart fluttered or my pulse quickened as I was brought back to the events of last year, I said to myself, “ be HERE now”.  When I am in the present, I am not reliving stories from the past or trying to predict the future.  Although I am proud of my very first blog post,   , it is now just a story from the past.  This Marathon Monday, I chose to experience the marathon in the present moment, reminding myself to “be here now”.

Cheering Section! Nephews Aidan, Cole, Sister in Law Lisa, Chloe and me. Mile 25!

Sending a big thank you for the encouragement, love and support of friends, coworkers, family, neighbors and people we have never met.  Thank you to all who supported our fundraising efforts for Dana Farber and who shared precious names of the people close to their hearts who are fighting or have lost their battle to cancer.  There were too many names to fit on his shirt this year so we wrote almost 175 names on a piece of paper he carried.  Matt carried those names all 26.2 miles but more importantly, the meaning they have, carried him.

Wishing you peace in the present moment.  

By |April 28th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

SeacoastPowerYoga 10 Day Green Drink Challenge Recipes

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Why wait for Jan 1st to begin feeling healthier and taking the steps you need to incorporate some healthy new habits into your life.  We are holding a 10 day green drink challenge at the yoga studio where I teach.  I am using this post as a place to keep all our recipes for easy access.  Feel free to join by adding one green drink into your day.  Follow the link below to join the group and continue to get recipes and tips for the 10 days.  Smoothies require a blender and juices require a juicer.

https://www.facebook.com/events/252632508227540/

 

JUICE

GREEN MORNING JUICE ~ juicer needed (makes one large glass) (see video on FB page)

5-8 leaves KALE (remove thickest part of the stalk/down low)

1 CUCUMBER (peel if not organic, otherwise leave the peel on)

1 head of ROMAINE (cut bottom off)

2-4 stalks of CELERY

1 GREEN APPLE (cored/not peeled)

1 LEMON (peeled)

1/2 inch piece of GINGER (optional)

Send all ingredients thru the juicer and drink immediately. Ideally, fruits and veggies are organic. Peel non-organic produce. Enjoy the liquid sunshine!

 

MAKE JUICE NOT WAR GREEN JUICE (juicer)
 from kriscarr.com

2 large cucumbers (peeled, if not organic)

A big fistful of kale and romaine
(or spinach, chard, etc.)

4 – 5 stalks celery

1 – 2 big broccoli stems (adds sweetness)

1 – 2 pears or green apples (optional)

 

KIWI JUICE (juicer)

6 kiwis peeled

6 celery stalks

1 pear
(kids might like this simple sweet juice)

 

IMMUNITY BOOSTER JUICE

2 stalks celery

2 carrots

1 clove garlic

1 green apple

1/2 piece ginger

1/2 lemon

 

GREEN GODDESS JUICE  from Crazy Sexy Kitchen, Kris Carr

2 stems broccoli

1 cucumber

1 green pepper

2 sprigs fresh parsley  (parsley should be avoided during pregnancy and in cases of kidney inflamation)

 

SMOOTHIE RECIPES

GREEN SMOOTHIE ~ Blender (I love this smoothie as a light lunch or an afternoon snack)

8 leaves KALE

2 handfuls of BABY SPINACH

1 frozen BANANA (I keep a bag of peeled, frozen bananas in my freeze

2-4 pieces frozen PINEAPPLE (cut and freeze fresh pineapple in large chunks)

handful RAW WALNUTS OR CASHEWS

coconut water and ice

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth consistency. Delicious!

 

I love this one! MANGO BASIL GREEN SMOOTHIE (blender)

8 ounces almond milk

2 – 4 leaves of kale
 (stalks removed)

½ cup frozen mango

5 – 6 basil leaves

1 slice of lemon

Prep and wash all produce.  Blend and serve.

 

 GREEN COLADA SMOOTHIE from Crazy Sexy Kitchen, Kris Carr

2 cups cashew or any kind of nut milk

1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks

1 orange peeled

1 frozen banana

1/2 baby spinach

Ice, Blend and serve

 

 

By |December 2nd, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

To BE or not to BE…

To_Be_Or_Not_To_Be____by_lateatnine

BE.

DO.

HAVE.

Three words that pack a lot of power and can transform your life.

What do you want more of in your life?  We are all pretty clear on the “HAVES”.  I want to have better relationships, I want to have more time, patience, adventure, excitement, fulfillment at work … fill in the blank.  I know I am pretty clear on what I want to have.  One of my big “haves” is that I want to have a peaceful home.  I want it to be a place where my family feels safe, nurtured and supported.  A place that they want to bring their friends, filled with joy, laughter and love.  I can see exactly what that looks like.  The issue is that I’ve skipped all the way to the “HAVE”.  I must start with the “BE”.

If I want a peaceful home with all the qualities I just listed, I need to “be” that first.  We think we have to wait for the right time, environment and circumstance to have all that we want.  That isn’t true and that time is not coming!  The good news is when I start with how I am showing up in the situation, I can see exactly why I do or don’t have what I want.

When I hold this “want” so tightly, I am controlling, perfectionistic and uptight about everything from homework being done to the perfect dinner, clean house, chores done.  This is usually anything but peaceful in my own body/mind and how I am interacting with my family.  I am looking to all the wrong things for my own peace and a peaceful, joyful home.  ‘

I really just keep checking back when I hear that inner voice say… I wish I had…blah blah.  That is my want, loud and clear.  Now I ask, “How am I being?”  If I want more time, how am I showing up in this moment?  If I want more affection, am I being affectionate?  If I want more ease, am I at ease?  If I want more respect, am I being respectful?

Be.

Do.

Have.

That is a powerful equation for me!  As soon as I back up to the BE, the DO is clear, and the HAVE will begin to show up!  Try it!

Thank you for reading and may you BE all that you desire!

Love Carlene

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By |November 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Did she say Yoga or Yogurt??

She looked at me from her mat and said, “If we can do this wheel for 20 seconds, I can handle that test tomorrow, NO PROBLEM!”  We both popped up into wheel and began counting together with the class.  Honestly, I could have held it forever after my daughter looked at me from her mat.  Now, don’t get any romantic notions that she and I practice yoga together regularly or talk for hours on end about the power of yoga. She basically asked me “how much longer?” most of the class.  She is 14.  I’m not sure why, on that day, she agreed to come to yoga with me.  I ask all the time.  My invitation is usually met with an eye roll and a definite “NO”.  This particular night a few things came perfectly clear to me.  Keep trying.  Intentions are powerful stuff, when you set your intention for something greater than yourself, you can move mountains!  You can take what you do on your mat and empower your entire life!

The next morning we sat in the parking lot, my daughter was headed in for a 3+ hour test.  Right on cue,   “I can’t do this!  Lets just go home and reschedule the test.  Please, I can’t do this.”  The panic in her face was real and now typically translates into my own silent panic in my gut and the center of my chest.  There is what we call a “nervous Nellie” gene in our family and I seem to have passed it on to my daughter in full force.  I reassured her, and then remembered what she said to me the night before from her mat.  I looked at her and said, “You held a wheel for 20 seconds!  We never hold it for that long!  This is your wheel!”  No lie, it still required some poking, prodding and a lot of reassurance to get her into the test but she did it.  It was my wheel too.  I could have stayed there all night, for no reason other than it was for her.  She needed to see that we could do this pose that may be out of our comfort zone, breathe through that moment of panic and accomplish something that our first instinct may have been to say no to.

Here is my simple yoga recipe for today.  Try it out next time you step on your mat, open the door to your office, begin cooking the same dinner you have made 1,000 times… you get the picture, it works everywhere.

  • Set your intention.  Decide that you are doing this for something or someone greater than yourself.  We’ve all had those moments of “WOW, I don’t know how I did that!”  It’s because we were doing it for a greater purpose.
  • Keep coming back to that intention.  Stop, breathe, let your mind be quiet and clear, reaffirm that intention.
  • Dream big.  Dreams don’t need to be small, safe or judged.  Reach for it!

wheel

Wow… one Friday night hour of power and I am completely reinvigorated in my teaching and practice!  Truth … I did have to take her out for frozen yogurt after yoga.  That was part of the deal.  I agreed as long as she didn’t tell anyone… she did, she told everyone.

Wishing you health, happiness and whatever it takes for a little yoga…maybe even a frozen yogurt!

Love, Carlene

By |October 14th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Juicing and Blending ~ 101

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The sun is shining and the veggies are fresh!!!  Now is a great time to dust off that blender or juicer and finally experiment.  I am definitely not a nutritionist and not particularly proud of the damage I can do to a bag of Lays potato chips.  What I do know is that when I eat whole, clean foods and stay as close to Mother Nature as possible, I feel so much better physically and mentally!

Here is a quick 101 on the differences and benefits of Juicing v. Blending.  I will also share my two favorite recipes.

Juicing removes the fiber from fruits and vegetables, leaving behind nutrients that are easily absorbed by the body.  Juicing is good for digestive health, curbs your appetite and increases your veggie diversity.  Your body is constantly moving on a scale from alkaline to acidic.  A glass of green juice in the am brings you right to alkaline.  A more alkaline system promotes healthy weight, skin, reduces sugar cravings and enhances overall health.  Juicing will boost your immune system, help your body resist and fight infections, reduce high blood pressure and high levels of bad cholesterol.  I use a Breville juicer.

Don’t pollute the juice!… The best time of day to have a green juice is in the am.  You have been fasting all night and your system is empty and ready to absorb all the nutrients.  It’s best to have an empty stomach and not to introduce food, coffee, tea, etc for at least 30-60 minutes so your body gets the max benefit from all that green goodness.

Blending smoothies leaves all the fiber and nutrients in your drink.  Smoothies are nutrient dense, hydrating, easy to make, and can work as a meal replacement.  Blending smoothies with the proper ingredients can give all the same benefits that juicing does to varying degrees.  Blending is definitely more filling and will deliver more calories.  The consistency when blending is a thick, frozen drink while juicing gives you a thin liquid.  I use a Vitamix blender for smoothies.

Here are my two go to recipes;

GREEN MORNING JUICE (makes one large glass)green-juice

  • 5-8 leaves KALE
  • 1 CUCUMBER (peel if not organic, otherwise leave the peel on)
  • 1 head of ROMAINE (cut bottom off)
  • 2-4 stalks of CELERY
  • 1 GREEN APPLE (cored)
  • 1 LEMON (peeled)
  • Send all ingredients thru the juicer and drink immediately.  Ideally, fruits and veggies are organic.  Peel non-organic produce.  Enjoy the liquid sunshine!

 

GREEN SMOOTHIE (I love this smoothie as a light lunch or an afternoon snack)glowinggreensmoothiemainjpg

  • 8 leaves KALE
  • 1 frozen BANANA (I keep a bag of peeled, frozen bananas in my freezer)
  • 2-4 pieces frozen PINEAPPLE (cut and freeze fresh pineapple in large chunks)
  • handful RAW WALNUTS OR CASHEWS
  • coconut water
  • ice
  • Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth consistency.  Delicious!

Here are some more resources online;

http://kriscarr.com/

http://healthandwellnessjunkie.com/

Just think of all the crazy foods you’ve tried!  Fried Oreos?  Worm in the tequila?  Foods with a shelf life of years instead of days?  Give this a try.  You will be amazed at how you feel, how your cravings change and all the options you have for juicing and blending!

Wishing you health, happiness, yoga and a big green juice every morning!

Love, Carlene

 

 

 

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By |July 16th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Welcome to Health ~ Happiness ~ Yoga

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“Like” the facebook page and subcribe to the website to recieve regular updates.

Thank you for reading!  Love Carlene

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By |June 10th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments|