It affects everyone!

It affects everyone!
Three Baskets of Asheville

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Three Baskets' Visioning Retreat - A Huge Success

On March 23, 2012, 11 DYNAMIC women gathered together at the Light Center in Black Mountain ( ) for a Visioning and Planning Retreat for Three Baskets. What a POWERFUL experience! The synchronicity was strong, the energy high, and because of the passion and commitment of this group, Three Baskets has been brought to the next level.

Led by internationally renown organizer and activist Linda Stout ( ), the following people joined forces for Three Baskets: Aditi Sethi-Brown, MD, Janet Weiss-Quate, LPT, Laura Rand (counselor & cancer survivor), Jan Howard (cancer survivor), Kimberly Doyle (cancer survivor) , Nancy Kehr, DC, Susan Hayden, founder, Susie Sloan, RN, LMBT, Janice O'Brien, and myself, Terri Balog, LMBT.

After an intense weekend of getting to know one another, building relationships, teamwork, creating a common vision and strategizing, Three Baskets now has a strong Board, a number of very passionate advisers, a very proactive fundraising and program committee and a goal of raising one million dollars for development of the Three Baskets' Cancer Information and Resource Center here in Asheville by the end of the year 2012!

Stay tuned for more exciting news as this extremely progressive nonprofit becomes a household name, and more importantly, achieves it's mission of providing resources,support and collaboration of health care services for the mind, spirit and body of all of those affected by cancer, their families and the entire community!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Three Baskets: Living in the Light

Three Baskets: Living in the Light

Living in the Light

Living in the Light

By: Laura Hankins
You probably don’t remember me, but I wrote an article about my own breast cancer experience in 2004 for WNC Woman ( I will celebrate 10 years out from my diagnosis in February—so much has happened since then—and I have a lot more to say about living in the light of traumatic illness.

While I physically survived my breast cancer, I found very little emotional and spiritual support during my dark days and thereafter. I decided to go against standard protocol, and after my surgery to remove the lump, I decided against chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone treatment. Doctors called, friends and family fretted—but I simply found I could not follow through with the standard treatments. I had done much research and felt confident for my own particular case that my body could take care of itself, could rest and heal itself.

I believe I made the right decision. I do not give advice to others about what they should do. How could I know what is right for someone else? So I quietly went my own way.

I decided four years ago, however, to do something along a different line to help others going through the trauma of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. I went back to graduate school. I pursued a degree in mental health counseling at Western Carolina University and now am a licensed counselor. My goal was to open a private practice working with cancer patients and their families, as well as those with other illnesses and life transitions. I am not a doctor and do not give advice about treatment. I do, however, understand the trauma of a diagnosis such as cancer. I can sit with those going through the questions of mortality and identity, their concerns about such things as work, family, finances, spirituality. I can identify with their fears for themselves and those who love them.

When I woke up from my lumpectomy, my mother came into the recovery room to see me. I remember grabbing her and saying, “I just want my children to have a mother.” When my four children saw me, I was all smiles. The surgery had gone well. I was ok. I could not let them see the internal struggles and pain I was feeling. I needed to be strong for them. But who could I talk with about how I really felt? I wasn’t sure. I didn’t want anyone close to me to worry. I felt quite alone during this time, putting on a show of strength.

What I needed was a therapist. What I needed was a trained, compassionate, yet dispassionate person who would not be disturbed when I expressed my deepest fears. Someone who could hold that space with me while I processed my life.

Asheville is blessed to have a plethora of cancer resources including hospitals, skilled doctors, nurse navigators, and support groups. I am getting to know many in this community who are offering services. They are sincere and tireless and provide help and hope. I have gotten to know the Beauty through Cancer folks and find their focus on physical restoration and inner beauty to be inspiring. I am also involved with a fairly new endeavor called Three Baskets. Three Baskets’ mission is to offer family retreats, referral services and health fairs that introduce local Integrated Medical Professionals and Holistic Health Practitioners to those living with cancer, their families and the entire community as a complement to conventional medicine.

I have been meeting with cancer support groups around town and the inspiration I find there keeps me focused on my goal of standing by and with cancer patients and their families.

We often think of mental health as something we have or lack. Even when I talk with some medical professionals, they assure me that if a cancer patient is having mental health issues, they are referred to therapists. My concern is this: Isn’t it “normal” for someone who is going through the trauma of a cancer diagnosis and treatment to have questions and concerns without being diagnosably mentally ill? I believe that “normal” includes questioning and struggling with issues of mortality and identity. For women, in particular, our breasts are closely tied with our identity as females. They are right out front, where everyone can see. They are symbols of femininity and fertility and sexuality. Isn’t it “normal” to struggle with the loss or scarring of such potent representations of our gender? I believe it is.

In a perfect world, I see our Western medical model shifting to include other modalities, such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, herbs, and mental health. I see some movement beginning to happen as some of these are beginning to be integrated with Western medicine. When I was going through my cancer experience, no medical professional referred me for any type of emotional support. I felt disconnected from my body, as if I were split in two. I needed help. I needed to talk and process the trauma of my diagnosis. I needed someone to help me integrate my emotions with what was happening to my body.

Body, mind, and spirit. We in the West are beginning to learn that we cannot, and I say must not, split ourselves and treat only the body. We are whole people with feelings and questions and spirituality. I would have benefited from someone to help me identity, clarify, and explore what was happening to my body and to my inner person. I believe others in similar situations need the same.

That is my motivation, at age 58, to make a new path for myself—and to offer help to others finding their paths. The world looks different to me now. The poet, Rumi, wrote: “Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.” Centuries ago, he understood that there is a direct relationship between our wounds and our awakening. That is the journey for us all as we navigate the transitions of our lives. Yet that is what we are called to do by those wiser than I am. And in that turning, we ultimately find our souls healing and the light entering. Our scars can remind us that there is more work waiting—and there is more light ahead.

Laura Hankins Rand is a 10-year cancer survivor and licensed counselor. After writing this article she was hired by Park Ridge Hospital as a counselor on their oncology unit. She has a blog at: and a website:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Medical Herbalist: Cheri Wagner


One of only 16 academically and clinically trained Medical Herbalists in America today, her background encompasses four years of coursework in anatomy, biochemistry, botany, materia medica, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and physiology. She acquired over 500 hours in clinical training at the Clinic of Herbal Medicine in London. She completed her internship with Kerry Bone at MediHerb in Australia.
She went on to play a major part in establishing one of the nation’s first fully-integrated wellness centers in Rochester, New York. Following this, Ms. Wagner moved her practice to Fairfield, Connecticut where she worked alongside Donald Yance at The Well-Spring Clinic specializing in Cancer and Chronic Illness.
Now in her fifteenth year of practice in America, and her unusually high rate of success with patients, it’s no wonder she has become both nationally and internationally recognized by her peers as a leader in herbal medical care. Her honors also include a grant from the TVA and the state of Virginia for the promotion of Alternative Crop Options for Farmers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Three Baskets: Essential Oils Cancer Research – Part 2

Three Baskets: Essential Oils Cancer Research – Part 2: Posted on January 15, 2012 | 1 Comment 7 Votes Jackie McLaughlin – Oils guru Some of the information I am sharing with ...

Three Baskets: Essential Oils Cancer Research – Part 2

Three Baskets: Essential Oils Cancer Research – Part 2: Posted on January 15, 2012 | 1 Comment 7 Votes Jackie McLaughlin – Oils guru Some of the information I am sharing with ...

Essential Oils Cancer Research – Part 2

Posted on  | 1 Comment
7 Votes

Jackie McLaughlin – Oils guru
Some of the information I am sharing with you today in Part 2 of our discussion of Essential Oils Cancer Research comes from Nicole Stevens‘ publication called:  Essential Oil Cancer Research.  To order a copy of her work and to see the results of the screening, go to
               Keep in mind that when I am discussing the effectiveness of essential oils in a therapeutic environment, I am not talking about oils that you can purchase at a health food store or online that say things on the label like:  “For External Use Only”.  These oils are not therapeutic grade, even if they say they are 100% pure and organic.  Please refer to my earlier blog “Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils” for a more indepth explanation of the differences.
              In Nicole Stevens‘ Essential Oils Screening Study, 69 oils were tested.  Of the 69 oils tested, 58% were active against at least one of the cancer cell lines by at least 70%.  Thirty-four percent of the 69 oils were observed to inhibit one or more of the cancer cell lines by at least 50%, while not affecting the healthy 3T3 control cells by more than 25% – indicating a cancer-specific inhibition.  Seven oils demonstrated inhibitory action against two or more cancer cell lines.
               Of particular interest in the study were essential oils that did not inhibit healthy cells while they did inhibit the cancer cells – as some of the problems with cancer drugs is, they can be very toxic to non-cancerous cells in the body.
               According to the Essential Oils Desk Reference it is important to note that many natural therapies – especially those using essential oils – work best in the early stages of cancer.  In fact, citrus oils, high in d-limonene, including orange, grapefruit and tangerine, work better as cancer preventatives than cancer treatments, although they have been shown to have powerful anti-cancer properties on all stages of cancer.
               The Essential Oils Desk Reference also states that a 1996 study at Charing Cross Hospital in London, UK, achieved close to a 15% remission rate in patients with advanced colon and breast cancer using doses from 1 to 15 grms of d-limonene from orange oil as their only treatment.  In patients with only weeks or months to live, limonene treatment extended patients’ lives by up to 18 months in some cases (Vigushin DM et al.)
              Emotions play a huge role – in fact, it is suggested that emotions can contribute to the onset of disease and may enhance its spread.  Any kind of negative emotion – anger, fear, rage helplessness, abandonment – can worsen a cancer prognosis and hasten its spread.  Essential oils used as the core of an emotional treatment program can have powerfully positive effects in improving emotions and potential disease outcomes.  Essential oil blends, such as Young Living’s White Angelica, Release, Grounding, Inner Child, Trauma Life, Peace and Calming and SARA can be a tremendous help when used as the core of any emotional treatment regimen.  You can search the product catalog to see more about these oils here.
              In my next post, we will be talking about using therapeutic grade essential oils for emotional health – not only critical when battling cancer, but also as a preventative from many other diseases, including cancer.
               In the meantime, if you would like to see Dr. Suhail’s interview about his success with Young Living’s Sacred Frankincense and his cancer patients, click here.
            Jackie McLaughlin is an essential oils educator whose passion is to make a difference in the world by helping people find natural, healthy ways to support themselves physically, emotionally & spiritually through the use of essential oils and oil-enhanced products.  As an Independent Distributor with Young Living, Jackie is available to assist those who want to purchase the products at retail, or help them establish a wholesale account and save 24%.  For those who choose to try Young Living through her sponsorship, she offers free guidance and training in the use of essential oils for better health.  Purchases can be made through her sponsorship by clicking HERE.

Three Baskets: Three Baskets' Vision and Planning Meet-Up a Great...

Three Baskets: Three Baskets' Vision and Planning Meet-Up a Great...: What a exciting night! The enthusiasm was high, and the participation was inspiring. The first Vision and Planning Meet Up was well attend...