Tribute to Shanna

On  April 23rd, my cbyer-friend and fellow cancer blogger, Shanna Sandmoen, left this world.  Although I had only known her for a short time, she touched my life with her eternal optimism and fighting spirit.

On March 22nd, Shanna very bravely posted this picture of herself, depicting how cancer had ravished her body:

Despite her weakened state, she was excited about her latest health plan and looked forward to recovery.  She wrote: “This July I’m going to Kripalu for Gabby Bernstein’s Loveatarian workshop and I plan on having a lovely head of hair, strong arms, a strong heart, and an much smaller tummy.”   Shanna never lost hope.  Cancer took her body, but her spirit remained strong to the end.  Rest in peace, sweet girl.

Below I have re-posted the guest post which Shanna wrote for my blog on April 4th:

Cancer is not a Dirty Word

by Shanna Sandmoen

Cancer is not a curse or a punishment.   It isn’t designed to hurt us, it’s designed to wake us up.  We stopped listening to our bodies, we pushed our emotions down and where Spirit should be sitting, our Ego has taken the driver’s seat. Cancer is a wake up call; you either make some changes, or you die.

Prior to being diagnosed with cancer I was severely depressed, suicidal, a cutter, and just wanted out of this life. I begged the Universe to take me from this world.  Two months later I was diagnosed with cancer.  I celebrated!  Who would blame me if I died from cancer? Suicides are selfish and leave an incredible hole, but cancer, that’s different.

It spread quickly after that, and if I had allowed it, it would have been only a matter of months before it took me. Then one day I talked to my Dad, and he just lost control and started crying uncontrollably, to the point where he had to hang up the phone. In 25 years I’d seen my Dad cry only once; and that was when we put the family dog down. The man doesn’t cry or show that kind of emotion, and it hit me hard. I realized that my intentions were selfish.  In the grand scheme of things, had I given this life thing the benefit of the doubt?

So I decided to live.  I went on a vegan raw food diet; visited many energy healers, including Ressonance Repatterning, EFT, Reiki, The Reconnection, and others.  I found a Naturopath to work with; took a ton of supplements; did colonics and Vitamin C drips; you name it. Over the past eight years my body has done a lot of healing. Things go up and down sometimes, but that is really  because of me. I would say that I am happy today. I have many things to enjoy: friendships, blogging, getting creative, going to the park, hugging my dog, yoga, etc. Currently, I recognize that it is Spirit that needs the work, and as my Spirit continues to heal, I believe that my body will as well.

Happiness is a choice.  It’s all in how we perceive things. I chose to perceive life as a gift and cancer as my teacher. When things go wrong, I figure out how I’m sabotaging myself, and then do some Spiritual healing. I have my mentors: Gabby Bernstein, Danielle La Porte, Gala Darling, Goddess Leone, Marci Shimoff, etc. who really help me get through the tough times.  I smile at myself in the mirror every morning, and if the going gets tough, I take a deep breath, do some gratitudes, and realize that everything will be okay.

My goal is to heal myself holistically and prove that the health of the mind/body/spirit is essential to a joyous life. I choose to be an inspiration to myself and to others who might be struggling with the “perks of cancer”.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story, and I look forward to being completely healed.   It took cancer to make me appreciate life.

11 thoughts on “Tribute to Shanna

  1. A very brave young woman. I am a firm believer that people come into our lives for a specific reason, despite the length of their stay being short at times. Hugs to you Florence.

    • I did not know her well, but I felt that we had a spiritual connection. She is such a beautiful spirit, so youthful and innocent. I will miss her optimistic blog posts.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. I did not know Shanna other than from her blog and a few email conversations but I truly loved her and how she inspired me. Her post “Cancer is not a dirty word” resonates with me so much. I am so sad that she is gone, but she will remain in my heart forever. I think of her every day.
    Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Shanna.

  3. Thank you for reposting Shanna’s guest post – i was incredibly moved by it as it comes from such a place of real feeling and emotion. Here was someone who didn’t just pay lip service to the cancer is a gift notion – she had stared into the abyss of suffering in this life and how ironic that cancer freed her to truly live her life. This is one of the most powerful stories I have ever read – thank you again for sharing it with us.

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