Yin and Yang


I went to Butch this morning for acupuncture. It felt so good to hear him say that I look “terrific” because he’s saying it from a medical standpoint, not from a cosmetic standpoint. He said that my yin energy is low so he gave me an herbal supplement of Tang-kuei & Tribulus combination. He said that it would help with my skin repair after radiation.

I understood generally what he meant because I’ve been doing acupuncture for awhile. I know that the intention is to balance the body’s energy. There’s yin energy and yang energy. I knew that yin meant cold, watery and so yang must mean hot, fiery. But I Googled it to learn more. Here’s the low down, if you’re interested:

The basic idea of the ‘yin- yang theory’ consists of two natural, complementary and contradictory forces in our universe, the principle of opposite polarity and duality. Both of the forces are different, but in the best way, they mutually complement each other.Yin characteristics: passive, negative, darkness, earth, north slope, cloudy, water, softness, female, moisture, night-time, downward seeking, slowness, consuming, cold, odd numbers, and docile aspects of things. Yang characteristics: active, positive, brightness, heaven, south slope, sunshine, fire, hardness, male, dryness, day-time, upward seeking, restless, producing, hot, even numbers, and dominant aspects of things.

It makes sense why my yin would be low right now. I just finished 6 weeks of daily radiation in 90+ degree heat and intense sun in the high plains desert. My skin is dry and a little burned. The medicines of chemo have affected my skin. My eyes are dry from chemo. Generally, cancer treatment is harsh on the tissues and blood.

This is where the Tang-kuei & Tribulus combination comes in:

This is essentially a formula for dry skin that itches. To get to the root cause of this condition, one must nourish the blood. This is not as quick a fix as something topical for itching, but when the benefits do arrive, they will last longer than the periodic applications of topical anti-itch creams.

There’s actually an inverted narrative for this formula too. Instead of starting out with a blood deficiency causing skin which itches, there is the possibility of something in your environment getting in or on the skin that has the effect of drying the blood in the skin local to that exposure. This formula also addresses this scenario.

I just started it today, so it will be a while before I see any changes. But I like the idea of correcting a problem at the source and not treating a symptom.

Ego boost

After leaving Butch’s, I went grocery shopping at Vitamin Cottage where I saw Crebs. He practically shouted down the aisle at me, “ERIKA! You look fantastic!” It’s been a while since I’ve seen my favorite “stock boy.” So he was as happy as I was. And then talking to Monique at the cash register, she said she really liked my hair short and I could keep it that way, if I wanted.

Then it was off to the eye doctor. I’ve been a little worried about this appointment because during chemo, my vision worsened, sort of suddenly. My oncologist informed me that my type of chemo can cause a change in the shape of the eyeball (astigmatism), which is usually temporary. Mine seemed to have gotten better but I wasn’t quite sure if it was better or I had just gotten used to it.

Turns out that my eyes are the same as they were before. She did a full exam including photos of the optic nerve and macula which showed to be the same as they were in 2010, the last time I had the photos done. My glasses prescription was quite old as were the frames. I wear them only at night when I take out my contacts. But these ones date back to 2008, so I thought it was time for a new pair and the current prescription. So, I got some cool new fuschia and silver metal frames. The woman who helped me pick them out had good taste. She said she liked these frames on me because they match my short and sassy hair cut. I told her that it was out of necessity that it’s this short and not likely to stay quite THIS short any longer than necessary. I don’t hate it, but I miss being able to do things with my hair. To me it’s as much an accessory as jewelry and scarves and bags. Anyway, whether I want it to or not it WILL grow. 😉


Tomorrow is the first weekday since June 17 that I’ve had NO medical appointments. Tomorrow I have yoga at 1 in the afternoon. Then in the evening I will watch Zach test for this next taekwon-do belt. It’s nice knowing that these days will be my new normal, again.


Today I opened my dishwasher to load something in. The whole thing was loaded backward (as in the plates were all facing to the opposite side)! I wondered what kind of crazy burglar would do such a thing! Then I remembered that I had asked Zach to unload and reload the dishwasher while I was gone this morning. Zach’s a lefty. So to him, it was the way to do it. I didn’t say anything to him about it. It just struck me that a lot of the world probably looks that way to my little southpaw. That’s what we call perspective. 😉


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