Ivy's Holistic Arts 

Yoga * Barre & Pilates * Yoga Therapy * Holistic Health & Wellness 


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FEAR - Creating Mind Games

Posted by Ivy Miles on June 24, 2014 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (5)

FEAR .....What does it mean to you??

Forget Everything And Run? OR ......FACE Everything And RISE!!!!

We all would like to choose the first option but what does that acomplish?  I regret that it has been a while since you have heard from me.....let me give you a sneak peak into my days and weeks when I am silent.

A lot has happened since my last blog.  This last chemo was REALLY rough on me and I guess I didn't expect it to be.  It would take me down for at lease three days (Fri-Sun) and then coming back to work on the Monday following a treatment was wicked!  I took my meds so I would not get sick to my stomach....they made me feel horible, and I was so weak the first few days I could barely walk.  Getting through all my classes the first week was hard, second week better and by the third week I was starting to feel a bit more normal and then BAM! they would hit you again!

I would come home from class and would need to eat, rest and sleep.  I would shower in the morning and think of writing but when I had a moment my body and brain were too exhusted.

Did I want to get up and run??  Oh, yes I did....every time it came closer to that chemo day!!  But, I made it!!!  My last round of chemo was three weeks ago!!!  I am starting to get my appetite back....food tastes awesome!  And, slowly my energy level is rising!  I did lose almost all of my hair again...ouch!  It bites a bit harder the second time!  I barely have any eye lashes left and I have loss 8 out of 10 finger nails right from the nail bed.....oh, and 3 toe nails.  The wonderful effects of chemo.....but I am completely done with that part of my treatments!!

And, as I do...... I like to listen to my inner soul.......and that inner soul told me it was important to swim in the ocean right now.  So, off Brant and I went to the Florida keys...just for a short 3 days but worth it!!  We walked, biked, ate great fresh food, and swam in the ocean every day!  My inner soul was nourished.  Good thing, I am now preparing for the next phase of my treatments.

I am also ready to........FACE Everything And RISE!!  Once again.







Back to Chemo

Posted by Ivy Miles on May 22, 2014 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (1)

After feeling great for several weeks......getting back to work......I am also back to chemo.

I am back to my full teaching schedule with some slight modifications.  It took me about 4 weeks to rehab myself back into Downward Facing Dog (a yoga pose - for those non-yogis) and just started to work on those push ups I missed so much!!  My strength is not what it use to be (it is pretty close) but I will begin working with more resistance equipment now to build that back. 

It was great being off of chemo for a while...my energy level started to explode and my appetite (although, I have been able to eat very well on the "good" weeks on chemo) so having to go back to chemo was not pleasant.  This new cocktail is really wicked!!!  I have gone through two rounds (every 3 weeks) already and only have one more of this horrible stuff to go!!  The first few days brought me down.....I did throw up for the first time the second round and felt sick for a good week but I was still able to work through it......lots of resting and napping helped.  I may lose my hair again (and it just started to grow back!) .......maybe it will just thin out???  Also, I have begun to lose my nails....only one so far , however, I have several that seem weak and as if they are lifting off the nail bed a bit...I guess we will see what happens with time.

I am focusing on the good as it appears to me even if it is in small doses.  Yoga has helped me so much in getting my range of motion back so I can continue to participate in all my other activities!  I would never give it up for anything!!

I am grateful to be back in class with all my dedicated students!!  I missed everyone when I was off for surgery!!  You really are a GREAT support system!!  Thank your for everything!!!

That's all for today.....I am going to enjoy this day and the wonderful weather we are having!!


Your Wellness Warrior ~ Ivy


Great News!!

Posted by Ivy Miles on April 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (5)

Great news for me last Friday!!

In surgery when they removed the breast tissue and the nodes they send it off to the lab for testing and then we get a Pathology report back on the findings.  Keep in mind that when I went into this (before chemo) I had three very good size tumors in my left breast and two tumors in my nodes (under my armpit).......when they read the Path report to me I almost couldn't believe it!!  There were NO TRACES of cancer cells left in the breast tissue!! (the left side that had the 3 tumors)....they also checked the right side (which we did not think there were any) and Nothing!!  And, they took out 6 nodes in total and ONLY ONE showed microscopic trances of cancer cells!!! (which we already knew there were two good size tumors in) YAY!

This means that as nasty as that chemo stuff is......IT CRUSHED THE CANCER!!!!  Of course, that does not mean that I am free of treatment yet.....moving to Phase 3....back to the Chemo chair on April 18.  Well, at least I get to have a nice dinner (that I can taste) for my birthday and don't have to spent it having chemo......although, Easter Dinner might not taste very good.

So, as much as I DON"T like putting poison in my body I am grateful for chemo!  When I sit in the chemo chair I visualize the chemo as the dark warriors and my white warriors (white blood cells) going to battle hand in hand for the same cause..........TO KICK CANCER"S A___!!!   And, so they did.  But, this war on Cancer is not over!!!  Together they have to go in now and crush the sneaky cells that are still hanging out!  And, they will!  In the mean time, I will continue to support those Warriors with the Nutrition, Movement, and Breath they need to fight this great fight!!

Like everything in balance we need both the dark and the light, the good and the bad, the strong and the weak, the male and the female....the Ying and the Yang.  Without the dark, without the bad.....would we appreciate the good as much??  Through all the bad times I have had in my life (and I have had my share), it always makes me pause.....change......reflect.......evolve....become more grateful.....and recognize how truly precious each day and each moment really is.

Each Morning We Are Born Again..... What We Do Today Is What Matters Most ~~~Buddha

Your Wellness Warrior - Ivy

Home and Doing Well!!

Posted by Ivy Miles on March 26, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (5)

The Sun is out today and all is well!!

I have been home for almost a week now and feeling pretty good!  Surgery went great (it took a little longer than expected but no surprises) about 3 1/2 hours, went in about 7:30am, recovery room and then a hospital room.  I was up and walking around that afternoon.......which was a good thing.  Didn't get much sleep in the hospital with staff coming in and checking on me every hour or less, the bed was super uncomfortable so I found myself doing some yoga at 5:30am after not really sleeping much through the night......the bed made my back more uncomfortable than my surgery!  Doing some gentle twisting, folding, stretching and deep breathing made me feel so much better!  The Doctor visit was about 6:30am and she said I could go home at anytime!  Ready to go home right then but had to wait for a ride and my paperwork so I made it home about 10:30am.

Boy, did it feel good to be home!!  Took my pain meds and slept all afternoon!  Over the weekend I was in and out of sleepy land but by Sunday I was up most of the day with only a slight amount of pain.  And, although I am honoring my time for healing I also know that my body does not do well just sitting around doing nothing, so this week I have been getting up early and doing some light yoga, pilates, stretching, movement, and deep breathing and then taking it easy for the rest of the day.  I am getting plenty of sleep, going to bed early and sometimes napping during the afternoon.  Of course, food tastes amazing right now because my last chemo treatment was 5 weeks ago....not looking forward to going back to that!!  So, I am getting plenty of lean protein and vegetables in now!  I truly believe that nutrition, movement (yoga & exercise), and mindset has a vast amount of healing powers so I expect to make a quick recovery!!

I miss all my classes and everyone in them!!  Thank you for all your support and I hope to see you soon!!

Ready for Surgery!!

Posted by Ivy Miles on March 20, 2014 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (3)

Well, this is it!!  Tomorrow I go in for surgery....a double mastectomy and node removal.  I am ready.  I am ready to get this Cancer OUT!!!  It has been with me too long and I am ready to get it out of me and move on.  The next phase may be a bit more difficult, surgery and then chemo right away as soon as I am healed enough to handle it...3-4 weeks from now.  I have also been told that this round of chemo could be a harder on me than the first one.  I guess we will see......I was also told before the first round of chemo that I may not be able to work or keep my physical activity up.....but that wasn't true....so we will see.....I am going to take it one step at a time.

Taught my spin class this morning, ran around for last minute items for the hospital and groceries for home.....ready for a great lunch now, shower and I am off to Target to pick up some more pillows to prop me up on when I get home.  I should be set then for a quite night at home and a protein & greens filled dinner.  Early to bed tonight and I have to be at the hospital at 5:30am and surgery is set at 7:30am.  I am glad I don't have to wait all day.

I will think of all of you...sending good vibes and healing energy to help me through this.  I feel so blessed to be with such wonderful souls who have given me so much hope and strength!

I'll update when I am home!


4th Round of Chemo DONE!!

Posted by Ivy Miles on March 12, 2014 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (2)


Sorry, it has been a while since my last blog....I have had a lot of appointments, some workshops, clients and classes (and, napping, resting & healing) to get through since my last round of chemo!!

So, 4 rounds of chemo done!  The last round was about 2 weeks ago and it went much better than the third round, I think because I was fighting a cold last time for about 10 days it just took a bit of a toll on me trying to keep up with everything.  I am on the third week since my last chemo session and starting to get more energy back everyday!  Yeah!!  Food begins to taste so awesome right now that I just want to eat and taste all the wonderful tastes of everything!!

I have been able to continue to work and teach 6 days a week and have been able to continue to exercise/participate in the classes that require me to do so!!!  In the beginning I was warned by my medical team that I may not be able to work and if I am that I will be lucky if I can coach through my classes........my Oncologist and the Surgeon were both very surprised that I have been able to maintain this level of physical activity through the entire phase of chemo.  I know it is due to many factors....Yoga, Meditation, Movement/Exercise, Nutrition, and ALL the support I have received......the Energy, the Prayers, & the Positive Reinforcement that I get on a daily basis from everyone!!  Thank you sooo Much!!!  I am certainly blessed to have so many people who care.....I can't tell you how much that means to me and how much it has truly helped!!  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!

My next step is surgery which is scheduled for March 20th.  I have been meeting with the Plastic Surgeon, General Surgeon, my Oncologist and having my heart tested (the chemo meds I am on can be hard & damaging to your heart so they test every 3 months).......now that was just fantastic to see on the ultra sound screen.....I could watch the heart beating and the heart valves moving!!.....hopefully, it is still as strong as ever!!  I should find out on Friday.

Well, one more week and on to the next phase of treatment......I sure am glad to check off the first phase of treatment from my list!!!  Too many more phases to go to think about right now, I am just trying to stay in the moment focusing on each phase as they come....knowing and educating myself about the future but trying to stay in the present.

Shanti (Peace)

Hard Week....

Posted by Ivy Miles on February 6, 2014 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (1)

Third Chemo treatment last Friday and this week has been hard.  On top of all the general side effects, food tasting bad, forcing yourself to eat, no sleep from the steroids for the first three days, nose bleeds, throat sores etc....I woke up Monday night at 2:00am with a BAD headache, as I got up I was dizzy but able to walk in the other room to get the thermometer and sure enough I was running a fever.

Having a fever on chemo isn't the best....the chemo kills off your infection fighting abilities so this can be a bit scary.  Lucky for me I was able to get the fever down in a short time and it stayed down.  Went back to sleep at 4:00am for a couple of hours before I had to get up and ready to go out and teach.

After my morning class and client I was back home, had something to eat and back to bed.  I got up an hour before my evening classes to get ready and again....off I went into the cold to teach my 3 evening classes.  Thank goodness they were all yoga!!!  Just being in that environment made me feel better!!!

Slept ALL night on Tuesday night and woke up on Wednesday feeling a bit more normal.  Normally, I have a light Wednesday....only one am class....not this week ...class, back home to change & eat, client, back home to eat and sleep and back out for another cardio class.  Got home tired ....ate and went to bed.

Woke up on Thursday with my throat bothering me.....I guess Wednesday really needs to be my rest day!  Took some time off to rest and am feeling a bit better now.  Had a bigger dinner tonight than I have had all week....hopefully, that means my appetite is coming back!!

Tomorrow is a light day....only two classes in the morning!!  Lots of time for rest!!  I love the end of a chemo week....each day gets a little better!!! 

Shaved my Head!!

Posted by Ivy Miles on January 29, 2014 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (2)

Well, I have gone through 2 chemo sessions already and at the first one they tell you that you will lose your hair in about 2-3 weeks .......so you wait.....and watch.....and wait.  About the 3rd week I thought "I wonder when my hair will start to go?" ......the very next day as I was towel drying my hair I noticed it was starting.

Brant was gone and I tried calling the hair stylist that does my hair (I cut it pretty short right when I found out so she knew what was going on....I figured I better get use to not having hair and short was the first step....it did make it easier) ....anyway, she was out of town....well, I knew I could go a few days with it falling out slowly but did not want to go for too long with it like that.  The next day  (Wed) I had a Port put in (this is a device they surgically put under your skin by your collar bone to make it easier to administer the chemo).....off to the hospital I went with my mother-in-law (she is wonderful by the way) and as I sit and wait for the procedure, I get up and sure enough there was a ton of hair left behind on the chair.....yuck!  The next few days I spent cleaning hair up from everywhere......decided I could not stand that anymore so I borrowed a clipper from a dear friend and on that Sunday (Brant was home by then) told Brant I needed to "Get it Off!".  In the bathroom we went, he asked if he should do it and I really wanted to do it myself until I need his help with the back.  I started right down the middle and started shaving it all off!  I must say when you do not have power over something or control it feels good when you can......and it did feel good to do....a scarf is better than cleaning up hair from everywhere in my opinion.

Now, almost 4 weeks later, it is continuing to fall out SLOWLY and mostly the sides BUT the weird thing is .....it is growing on top!!  And, that is quite the fashion statement!

Lots of warm hats and scarves for me!  I did get a couple of cute ones with OM symbols on them!

Bye for now.....

Time to Breathe? Not really .....

Posted by Ivy Miles on January 12, 2014 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (5)

So, after the news everything happened very fast for me.  I barely had time to wrap my head around it or to "Breathe" and I was trying to fit a ton of appointments in my calendar while still trying to work.....my 22 class week plus.......clients.....plus..... which ends up being a 50 hour work week......plus the holidays were coming......plus well,...life.

First let me go back a bit.....

When I found the mass in my breast I was concerned but as life does it gets busy and you think oh, I will call for an exam next week.  Well, as that happened (not for long about 2 months) I started having some very strange signs come to me.....now I won't go into those but after 2 what I call "mini" signs I was in yoga and in bow pose.....turning to the side for side bow and I could REALLY feel it and it did not feel good!  That to me was a "BIG" sign!!  Right then I thought....no more waiting call on Monday! (it was Saturday that day)

When I called for an exam they were great!... knowing my history they got me in right away (a few days later) and the day of the exam I was showering to get ready to go when I found two more lumps in my armpit area.  Now, I was worried.  I went in to my exam, told my story, had the exam and yes, they were very concerned as well.  In a few days I was in for a mammogram, an ultra sound and a core needle biopsy.  It took a little over 24 hrs from the biopsy when I received the call....it was on a Friday night......I asked them to call me because Brant (my husband) was leaving for Korea on Saturday for 9 days and I did not want to receive bad news if he was out of town.  I was home alone when I got the call and knew as soon as I saw the caller id that it was not good news but hearing the words are the worst.  After a short conversation they already had an appointment for me to see the surgeon early Monday morning and begin planning for additional appointments during the week..... MRI, Oncologist, Node Biopsy and Surgeon again. 

It was fast and furious!  The following week a CT scan to make sure there was no other tumors else where....none!  The node biopsy came back positive and the mass in the breast is actually a cluster of 3.....one fairly large and two smaller "off shoots".....not good.

I have a great medical team right now and am really happy with my oncologist!  He did not want to mess around and did everything possible to speed things up to get me started with treatments as soon as possible.  The plan is chemo first and surgery after that.......chemo again, radiation, and then hormone therapy. 

It's going to be a long year.............

Breast Cancer - Who would of thought?....

Posted by Ivy Miles on January 5, 2014 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (1)

I understand that it has been a bit of a shock to many of you when you found out that I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  Well, let me tell you I too was in shock.  I knew is was very likely considering my family history, however, I did believe that I had more time if it were to happen to me.  After going through two bouts of Breast cancer with my mom and before her passing in May of 2012 we helped her fight a great battle for the last 3 1/2 years of her life.  During those times and after I have been quite actively aware of prevention methods, which is how I found the tumor in my breast and thank goodness I did.     

I learned a lot helping my mom but I have learned even more in a short time going through this experience personally.  The one thing I learned is that everyone who has to go through this experience is different.  Everyone's Cancer is different, everyone's treatment is different, everyone's experience is different, everyone's own chemistry is different, everyone's mindset and thoughts are different and just everything about one persons experience with cancer is different that another BUT there are many common threads.......

My hope in this blog and through my experience is to help others.  And, I know with my education of experience of this disease, my gift of strength & perseverance, my knowledge of Holistic Health & it's important role in healing, the support & friendships of many (some whom have gone through this as well), and my family by my side I will be alright.

More later....