What’s Your Sh*t Pickle?

As part of my blog series about Pink Medicine, I wanted to share with you the story of an exceptional patient, who I’m blessed to have as a friend. This woman has made straight A’s in activating her Inner Pilot Light and being her own healer. She’s a rock star woman who has earned her honorary white coat like nobody’s business. You’ve met her before in her posts on Owning Pink and in the interview I did with her. Meet my friend Kris Carr.

Kris Carr was 32 years old when she found herself in what she calls “a shit pickle.” She was diagnosed with a rare type of blood vessel cancer for which there is no cure. Her cancer was stage 4 – meaning it was all over her body in her blood vessels. And there is no wham-bam-thank you ma’am treatment for this kind of cancer. No surgery. No chemotherapy proven to work. Basically, she sought out the best medical advice she could find, and her highly educated doctors told her that her tumors were likely to be slow growing, and the best thing she could do was take good care of herself. Which was all Kris needed to hear to radically change her life.

Healing 101

Until she was diagnosed with the big C, Kris was an actress more obsessed with staying skinny and drinking cocktails with the Hollywood set than with healing or curing. But once she saw those tumors in her liver light up on a CT scan, she signed up for the fast track of Healing 101 and set about changing everything because Kris believed she would not only survive, but thrive.

Kris didn’t just ditch the Cosmopolitans, Big Macs, and potato chips and ditch the “Unwrap, nuke, GO!” strategy.  She also said adios to chicken breasts, cheese, eggs, fish, white bread, and milk and howdy to fresh-squeezed veggie juices, salads, quinoa, nut butters, and other cancer-fighting raw, alkaline, and vegan delicacies. Kris went about learning how to turn a grocery store into a pharmacy lickety-split, but she didn’t stop there.

She also started doing yoga, meditating, getting 8 hours of sleep, surrounding herself with people who support her, and getting in touch with why she’s here on earth and how cancer could help her change the world.  She filmed a documentary called Crazy Sexy Cancer, which, in addition to spawning three books, landed her on Oprah and catapulted her to super stardom. The film also introduced her to the love of her life, who is now her beloved husband. Now Kris helps teach those who want to use food as preventative medicine how to heal themselves and leads a healing community of hundreds of thousands of people who are trying to live more vital lives.

As she describes in Crazy Sexy Diet, “Through some down-and-dirty personal exploration, I met my Inner Physician. She’s smart, curious, and highly intuitive (plus she looks lovely in a white coat.) The prescription she offered was simple. ‘Renovate your life, kiddo. Be a self-reliant detective and put the pieces of your health puzzle together.’”

And so she did.  Kris says, “I exchanged road rage for prayer, fast food for fasting, swapped martinis for organic green drinks and a compassionate vegan diet.”

That was back in 2003, and Kris still has cancer, but her tumors lie dormant, not growing or spreading. Kris says, “Cancer or not, when I dumped the junk and aligned myself with my higher purpose, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. There’s no need to wait for the bad things and bullshit to be over. Change now. Love now. Live now. Don’t wait for people to give you permission to live, because they won’t. That permission is your birthright, hot stuff; grab it!”

Amen, sister! (Can’t you see why I adore her?)

In Crazy Sexy Diet Kris asks, “So…what’s your cancer? Are you overweight, depressed? Do you have heart disease or diabetes? Is your cholesterol too high? How about regret, procrastination, or maybe even a crazy (not so sexy) divorce?  What the shit pickle happens to be doesn’t really matter; it’s what you do with it that will transform your life. Let it be your guru rather than your jailer. Let it ignite your gut wisdom and introduce yourself to your own Inner MD. She’ll straighten you up just like mine did.”

You can see why Kris and I are soul sisters. As far as I’m concerned, Kris has helped more people heal their bodies, minds, souls, and spirits than many MD’s in their white coats who are prescribing drugs without listening to the whispers of their hearts.

Many of my patients and friends who have followed in self-healing journeys will tell you that cancer (or heart disease or divorce or losing a beloved or divorce or whatever ails you) is simultaneously the worst and best thing that ever happened to them. I know that was true for me. My Perfect Storm, as tragic, heartbreaking, painful, and tumultuous as it was, changed my life because it woke me up from the complacency of my mojo-less existence. It shocked my system into action and made me realize that life is short and precious, and it was time to quit procrastinating and start living.

Maybe you’re in crisis too. Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with an illness. Maybe you’re getting divorced. You’ve lost a loved one. You got fired. You’ve been raped or molested.  You got arrested. You or your partner is having an affair. You’re suffering from an empty nest.  You’re an addict. You’re a victim of domestic violence. Your heart is broken. You’re depressed. You’re bankrupt. You’re in the midst of a dark night of the soul.

But you can heal yourself, my love.

What’s Your Shit Pickle?

Are you ready to take matters into your own hands and be done with this? You can. I believe in you. Let us support you in your journey and tell your story here.

In awe of people like you,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.comPink Medicine Revolutionarymotivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.



Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe4 years ago

I think we've all been in Sh*t Pickles through the years. Some are easier to get out of than others.
We just have to keep working at it, to get out of them!!

Ruth P.
Ruth P.4 years ago

Yes, I absolutely agree that all cancer victims deserved their fates for not being positive about their terrible lives, eating expensive food you can't afford if you're undergoing cancer treatment and saying things like "made straight A’s in activating her Inner Pilot Light and being her own healer. She’s a rock star woman who has earned her honorary white coat like nobody’s business" (how does your life get to the point where you think stringing words together like that is a good idea?).

I'm glad Kris Carr's cancer has become dormant. But surely she knows that people have smoked and drunk their way out of stage 4 cancer, too? It's rare, yes, but so is surviving several years after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. There's false comfort in believing that we can control these things, but real freedom comes from accepting just how little control we really have.

Kymberlee F.
Kym F.4 years ago

I have read a lot from Kris Carr and she is just great. So positive, happy and just all herself!

Dale Overall

Fascinating article!

Lika S.
Lika S.4 years ago

I'm very glad she found herself. :)

Butterfly K
Butterfly K4 years ago

Yes we can heal ourselves to a certain point, change diets, excersise more, relax, etc, I do like that expression - shit pickle, may have to use that sometime.

Sandi C.
Sandi C.4 years ago


Tom Y.
Tom Y.4 years ago

The sh*kle was a corporate washout -- plus the realization I've got around thirty years left to get going on what I always wanted to do instead, all along. Tandem to that, I'm on an ongoing switch to an organic diet, working out a lot more, and struggling to drop some old dietary cheat temptations. The work I'm doing ultimately won't just be for me.

Penny C.
penny C.4 years ago

Im with her on this.It is important to eat non processed healthy foods to avoid cancer.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for the article.