Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Grief blog to check out

The grief blog is a resource for anyone going through the painful loss of a loved one. Here you will find parents blogging about the loss of their child or a wife blogging about the loss of her husband.

  • Grief comes in all forms and here you may find some ideas about how to deal with your own grief. There are other links and tabs to search for more information on loss and pain.

  • counseling
  • books
  • healing

Check it out and let me know if it is helpful in any way....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Check out this month's newsletter from the Leukemia organization.....

You all know that I have a passion for kids fighting Leukemia and Lymphoma. I often refer you to the website for more resources.
Again, I will refer you to this months email newsletter if you do not subscribe. One article indicates that although the economy is in the toilet, the newly elected 111th Congress may delegate more funding to Leukemia and Lymphoma research and treatments.
This is of course, good news. Check out for the complete information and other equally interesting resources for families dealing with these treatable blood cancers.
Also, I will be finding resources for other cancers as well. More funding and research is needed to treat other cancers but is sometimes not as available because those cancers affect fewer numbers of the population. Pancreatic cancer lacks funding because it affects much fewer people than say breast cancer. Not a good reason to have lack of funding and lack of information.
Stay tuned to this blog for more current information on other cancers and sponsoring websites.
Continue to check it out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How do you feel about kids deciding on their own treatment options...?

How do you feel about kids deciding their own treatment options or having the right to decide to stop treatments? At what age is a child able to decide he or she does not want to continue painful and dreaded treatment options?
Check out the following website for an article which addresses these questions. Make sure you scroll through to read the comments and make one of your own if you have a strong opinion.
Parents who have not had to deal with a serious illness may have a different take on the questions than a parent whose child has a terminal illness or needs to make a critical choice in their future medical treatments. It is certainly something to think about and discuss with family members regardless of how you feel.
Check it out and let me know what you think.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just for the fun of it..... I have been tagged.....

I have been tagged by children's author, Suzanne Lieurance. Her blog is at

Being tagged requires you to list 7 things others may not know about you or why you write.

In the spirit of fun, and because everyone needs to have a little fun in the midst of the sadness of terminal illness and health crisis, which is what this blog addresses most of the time, here are my 7 things.

  1. I have three children and 4 step-children, two grandchildren, and 4 step-grandchildren.
  2. My husband and I have been married 25 years.... (and they said it wouldn't last)
  3. I have been an emergency room nurse, school nurse, neonatal nurse, and an adult intensive care nurse in the past 33 years
  4. We have 11 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 alpacas
  5. I owned a quilt shop for 2 years and have a passion for fabric and quilts....
  6. I am also a fabric-olic with enough fabric on hand to last me the rest of my life
  7. I collect journals, books, and fabric.... and I mean piles of each. You can never have too much fabric, I always need a journal for my writing, and I never want to be without a good book.

I have tagged the following blogs for authors and writers I admire and learn from on a daily basis. Check out their blogs for recipes, information, and all around fun information.

Check it out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and this website gives you some great information on the disease, the current research, and links to visit to support funding for pancreatic cancer research.

Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease with very little successful treatments or advances in the past 30 years. Research is limited because funding is limited.

Check out this website for more information, but here are just a few facts.

  • Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer related deaths since 2003
  • This year 37,680 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease, 75 % will die within the year
  • Pancreatic cancer s difficult to diagnose because symptoms are not significant until the cancer has spread, it is difficult to diagnose, and research is limited for lack of funding.

Pancan can be reached at for more information. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Flu season is serious

The flu is serious business. Please read and check out these sites for more information which has been shared by one of my writing associates from

Families Fighting Flu ( is a non-profit, volunteer-based corporation established in 2004 that is made up of families and health care practitioners. Each family has experienced first-hand the death of a child due to the flu or has had a child experience severe medical complications from the flu. As we enter Flu season, Families Fighting Flu wants to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated.
Today Families Fighting Flu (FFF), the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP), and the Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition (CIIC) are launching their second annual childhood flu awareness campaign, “Fighting Flu in Child Care Settings: Building Blocks to Increase Influenza Awareness,” to decrease the spread of flu in child care settings and increase flu vaccination rates around the country. You can learn more about this campaign here (, where you can also download a Flu Fact Sheet and the results of our Child Care Survey.
If you think this message is important, we hope you will spread the word to your blog readers.

Check this out. The flu can be serious and even fatal. It is important to keep your child home if he or she runs a fever, or has flu symptoms. Encourage frequent hand washing to help prevent the spread of viruses and bacterial infections. I appreciate this information and thank the writer for the email. I hope you consider looking at the website for more flu facts.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Laughter as Medicine......

This logo and mission statement have been used with the gracious permission from founder Sherry Dunay Hilber. I use it with gratitude for both the use and their work for kids and adults who are in pain.

Mission Statement:Rx Laughter is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. The mission of Rx Laughter is to prevent, reduce and eliminate trauma, pain, suffering and illness by implementing enjoyable film and television entertainment into health care in innovative ways. We do this through therapy, research, education and evaluation. We work closely with the entertainment industry, technology experts and health care institutes to achieve these goals.

I have found ( thanks to my writing friend Carma, at a website that touches my heart. They use their talents and resources to help children with cancer and pain to be entertained and distracted. Their mission statement is listed above and clearly outlines their goal for both adults and children suffering from pain and trauma..... and they gear much of what they do to programs that distract and entertain to achieve these goals.

Founder, Sherry Dunay Hilber has done a great job in organizing and reaching her goals of implementing projects that help patients who are suffering an enormous amount of pain.
Please visit the website for Rxlaughter to see what they do and maybe find a place you can contribute.

Check it out at and let me know what you think. My grandma always told me to keep laughing and I believe it to be true. Laughter is the best medicine for what ever ails you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Screening Guidelines for Healthy Children

Parents often wonder just how often to have their children seen by their family doctor when they are healthy and do not have any complaints.

Here is a guideline:

Initially, infants are seen at 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, and 18 months for immunizations and height and weight screenings.

Age 2-6 children can be seen yearly

Age 7-10 children can be seen every 2 years unless there is a problem

Age 11-18 children should be seen yearly again. This is the growth span and puberty time when hormones are changing, eating disorders become of more concern, girls start menstruating, and boys may grow taller and bones may need evaluation. Yearly exams at this time of growth and development helps to prevent or recognize potential problems during the teen years.

Vision screening should be annual for children aged 5-18

Hearing screening should be done before age 5 and repeated if a problem develops

Scoliosis screening should be done during the physical for children age 10-18

Pap smear for females 10-18 if sexually active. ( I know I believe a 10 year old is too young but unfortunately, in the real world, 10 and 11 year old girls are more sexually active then we want to believe and their health is at risk for this behavior)

Screen for depression, family violence, and drug or tobacco use with every physical exam

Blood pressure at every physical exam or more often if a strong family history of hypertension

Lead screening at 12 months for high risk infants and at other ages if symptoms warrant

Dental exams 2-18 yearly for health and prevention of dental cavities.

This gives parents a brief idea of when those physicals are needed. When your child appears healthy, you may be tempted to skip a well visit, but I encourage you to keep the well visits as part of your child's growth progress. It is those physicals where a physician or nurse may pick up on subtle changes or symptoms that may indicate a potential problem. Prevention is so important in early diagnosis and treatment of otherwise potentially dangerous childhood illnesses and cancers.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Holidays are approaching......

Thanksgiving will be here soon and the Christmas holidays are fast approaching. I have started crafting a Santa or two myself.

What I propose to you is this.....

Take time this holiday season to think about children who may be dealing with a serious health crisis this holiday and make a difference. Here are some ideas to start your creative juices flowing:
  • Make holiday cards for a pediatric unit at your local hospital and send them there to be given out to kids who are hospitalized over the holidays.

Local nursing home residents would benefit from the same idea if there are not pediatric units in your area.

Donate a toy to be wrapped and given during Christmas to a hospital. Most Emergency rooms, clinics, and urgent cares will give out presents to children who come in for care at that time of year. Small tokens like coloring books and crayons are also appreciated and used for distraction at any time of year a child being treated in an emergent situation.

Locate and donate to a local Leukemia or Cancer Society, hospice center, or other group who may be low on funding at this time of year. A local food pantry would also benefit from a few cans of food, which directly helps kids in need.

Look for coat drives for kids in need.

Donate a blanket to your local fire department or ambulance service. These folks are the first on scene at vehicle accidents and house fires where victims need warmth and protection in an emergency situation. What better way to share the holiday spirit?

It really doesn't matter where you choose to give or how much or to whom. What does matter is the time and effort you spend thinking about someone else in need. There are so many kids out there dealing with illnesses and diseases that most of us haven't even heard of .

It would be in the spirit of the holiday to share just one small part of yourself this holiday season. And be grateful for all of your blessings as well. Gratitude really makes the season better.

Let me know where you choose to share. I will pass it on to others. If we all do just one tiny thing during our own celebrations, it will truly make a difference, I promise you. I see it everyday in the lives of the kids I take care of in intensive care. Caring matters.

Blessings to all. The month of thanksgiving is upon us, and I am grateful for the readers of this blog. Thanks to you all.