Friday, January 30, 2009

One World One Heart Blog Caravan

This blogging event has happened for the past 3 years, yet I have just heard about it. I felt it was worth the effort to get more readers and I hope you do too.

to see how to sign up and to find out the rules of getting your blog on board.

I am giving a simmering pot and soy scented candle melts in a drawing for all the readers who make a comment and leave their email address for contacting information later if they win. Comment from today until February 12 and your name will be entered into the drawing.

Check it out.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

60 years of research and information on Leukemia....

Please check out the January 2009 newsletter for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
It can be found at
The leukemia and lymphoma society is celebrating 60 years of research and progress. Check out the site for the newest information on clinical trials, sucess stories, and the newest treatments.
Celebrate 60 years of reliable information and progress.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Notes Left Behind by Brooke and Keith Desserich

Notes Left Behind...135 days with Elena

authors: Brooke and Keith Desserich

ISBN: 978-0-9817264-5-8

Publisher: Pen and Publish

I blogged about the website the cure starts now
last week. It is a site devoted to kids with glioma brain tumors and raises funds for research for this type of cancer.

The book notes left behind is a journal written by the parents of Elena Desserich. It is a heartfelt journey through diagnosis and treatment, but it is also the journey of living for these parents and their girls.

This book shares what it is like for parents when fighting to keep your child with you and a disease slowly ebbs that same life away. It is happy, sad, and truthful. I recommend this book for parents going through this same fight, but also for readers who have never experienced a loss so deep. It gives great insight into this kind of loss.

The book may be purchased through the website,, or your local book store. Part of the purchase price goes to help fund research for this type of childhood brain cancer.

Check it out. It may change you and it will help research too.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Look for interviews coming to this blog.....

I am thrilled to tell you that the author of Screwball has consented to an email interview for my blog. She is a former teacher, nurse, and freelance writer who has chosen and been successful on the same path I am working to travel down.
I visited her blog recently and found the entry about Ashley, an avid softball player, who is dealing with leukemia. (Check my blog from last week to link to her Caring Bridge site for her progress.)
Please visit for more on this author and look for my interview next week.
I will also be sending an email interview to Linda Della Donna, the author of the blog on grief which can be found at
Check it out. You will find both of these blogs inspiring, whether you are a writer or whether you are dealing with a loss. These authors are truly a blessing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Grief... a blog to check out

Grief is painful, personal, and can seem never-ending. I have linked below to a wonderful writer who knows grief and can put it into words, and by putting her feelings into words... she helps others in the same position.

Please check the previous links to her blog to read two very heartwarming entries about two different grief experiences, one the loss of a spouse, and one the loss of a child.

I will be interviewing Linda Della Donna in the future so she can share more of her knowledge and experience in dealing with grief, but until then, please check out her blog. You will not be sorry. She is heartwarming and real. She puts into words what others are feeling and don't know what to do with.

And she cares. Like me, we want to reach our readers with words that show we care, we want to help, and you matter.

Grief is painful, personal, and real. The grief of loosing a child is different than that of loosing a spouse but it is still deep, painful, and agonizing. Our job as writers is to show you there is hope and that life does go on.

Check out her blog and refer others to her blog as well as mine for more information and resources to help you get through your grief experience. And leave comments so we know more of what you need.

Griefcase: From the Griefcase E-Mailbag

Griefcase: From the Griefcase E-Mailbag

Griefcase: Surprise! You're Husband is Dead! Expect the Unexpected

Griefcase: Surprise! You're Husband is Dead! Expect the Unexpected

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Leukemia... a simple definition

What is Leukemia....? Simply defined, it is a cancer of your body's blood forming tissue or bone marrow where the white blood cells are affected most often.

White blood cells fight infection for us. When you have leukemia, those cells are produced by your bone marrow in an abnormal form, hence they no longer fight infection.

Leukemia can cause a great deal of concern and treatment can be very complex. Leukemia does not only affect children, adults can be diagnosed with the disease as well.

There are different types of Leukemia and it can be acute or chronic. The acute forms need the more aggressive and timely treatment. The chronic types may go unnoticed or undiagnosed for years.

Here are common leukemia symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • persistent fatigue or weakness
  • frequent infections
  • loss of appetite or loss of weight
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • easy bruising or bleeding
  • shortness of breath when you are climbing stairs or very active
  • excessive sweating especially at night
  • bone pain or tenderness

The severity of symptoms depend on the number of abnormal white blood cells and where they collect. Symptoms may go undetected at first because they resemble the symptoms of the flu or other common illness. Persistent symptoms should be checked by your physician. It is important to follow your instincts as well. If you feel there is something more serious going on with your child or yourself, discuss this with your doctor. Second opinions may also be sought.

If in doubt, check it out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Business that gives more than it kids and others with cancer

I don't usually promote commercial businesses unless I have investigated them and know they are fair.
This candle business is one you can be proud to be a part of....I know, because I am a distributor for the candles..but that is not why I am writing this....I want to tell others that this business gives more profits to worthy organizations than I have found anywhere in the home business arena. Here is where they give and support, all causes I am passionate about.
  • Make a Wish foundation-gives wishes to terminally ill or seriously ill children
  • Children's Miracle Network- provides funding for children's hospitals
  • Susan G Komen - foundation for the cure of breast cancer
  • Jonathan Grulla Foundation - a foundation to raise funds for kids with leukemia (Jonathan died in 1998 from complications of leukemia)

The product line includes soy candles, soaps, and melts. I personally will be giving a portion of all my online sales to these organizations and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well. Visit the site at for a complete line of candles and melts, but also to read about the company and their goals. I believe in the organizations this business supports and have seen first hand in the pediatric intensive care how the funds can be used. This is my way of contributing throughout the year.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Organization to help find a cure for childhood brain tumors

This is a new year and a perfect time for us to step out of our comfort zones and learn about or contribute to a cause that makes us feel uneasy and I have found a great cause for us to begin with.

No one wants to think about children having brain tumors or suffering horrible deaths from a disease there is no cure for. Childhood brain tumors can be very difficult to treat, leave the child with deficits, or lead to an untimely tragic death.

But there is something everyone of us can do. First, go to and visit the site to learn more about brain stem glioma brain tumors which affect young children. Look at the photos and read about each of the brave children who have suffered from a brain stem glioma or who are currently dealing with the painful treatment.

Then decide what it is you can do. Here are some ideas:

  1. Visit the site often and learn all that you can about this type of tumor
  2. Donate time to do a fundraiser in your area
  3. Purchase note cards, holiday cards, or the book titled NOTES LEFT BEHIND
  4. Leave an encouraging comment for the parents
  5. Pray
  6. Find or support another cause that you are passionate about

I ordered the book, NOTES LEFT BEHIND written by the parents of Elena Desserich. This six year old suffered from the brain stem glioma and passed away in 2007 but not before she left notes for her parents throughout the house, painted beautiful artwork, and showed others how to love. I will review the book here on the blog as soon as I get it and read it through.

For 2009, let each of us reach out to someone going through a tough time or find a cause we can be passionate about, write about, and support. I know in my heart that we will be the one's to be blessed if only we reach out of our comfort zone and into a place we have never been.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Reflect on Last Year but Move on to 2009....

The life of our two alpacas is the same last year, the year before that, and it will be the same this year. Eat, sleep, haircut in May, nails trimmed in April and September, and teeth grinding in May with the haircut. That's it...nothing to change, nothing to improve on, just eat, sleep, poop, and eat again.

We humans are different. No two days are the same, let alone two years or months. We spend endless amount of time thinking about and listing what we need to do and what we want. That is okay if you don't spend too much time knocking yourself for what you didn't do or what you felt you failed at.

I propose you take less time to think about all you didn't get done and move on to what you have in front of you. Here is what you have, regardless of what your personal situation is or how sad or how serious or how lacking you feel your life is.

  1. You have YOU.... a unique individual with talent, skill, and wisdom.
  2. You have control over how you react to your situation.
  3. You have can choose to be positive or you can choose to feel gloomy, but you do have a choice. That goes for any choose how you feel... admitting to your choices is sometimes the hard part.
  4. You were designed to do something special with your life, for some that is being a mom, wife, teacher, nurse, writer, aunt, or any number of things your life includes- so be present in whatever moment you are in right now. Do your very best with the moment, then move on to the next moment.
  5. Set goals for yourself, but make sure that they are goals you can attain. Don't set yourself up for failure.
  6. Be open to whatever comes, for some of us it will be good things and that of course is what I wish for all of you. But for some, the new year will bring sadness as well. Last year I lost my dad, a very sad time. This year is a new year and to honour my dad, I will work hard at my writing, something he was proud of. For you, the new year will bring something different. Be open to what comes....

Make 2009 the best it can be by making positive choices about how you react, how you set and attain your goals, and by being present in every moment of everyday. In a nutshell, enjoy your life and be grateful. Blessings for 2009.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

RSV season in full swing.....

RSV, or the respiratory syncytial virus is in full swing. I know, because we had 11 patients with it in our unit this week and several of those required intubation and artificial ventilation.

  • While the virus may just cause cold like symptoms in older children, it can be very serious for infants, premature infants, and toddlers. It can also cause more serious complications in children already compromised by immuno-supression from chemotherapy or other treatments.

The symptoms of RSV are: irritability and poor feeding, cough, difficulty breathing, wheezing, low oxygen levels and lethargy. Visit for a more complete discussion about RSV by their resident pediatrician, Dr. Vincent Iannelli, MD

Call your pediatrician or family physician if you think your child is getting worse or having difficulty breathing. From experience, I know that RSV can be serious so don't hesitate to consult your doctor.

Prevention of course goes back to hand washing and avoiding exposure. Keep your child home if he or she has a fever, runny nose and cough, and other symptoms which may be contagious to others. When your child's fever is gone for 24 hours and he or she is feeling better, remind them about hand washing, covering their mouth when coughing, and using Kleenex for the runny nose or sneeze. The cough may last well past when the child feels better so continued hygiene is important to prevent further spreading of the germs.

Check out the site for other helpful health related information or consult with your family doctor.

So You Want to Be Published: Start without excuses

So You Want to Be Published: Start without excuses

Sunday, January 4, 2009

An inspiring teen....

Winter can be such a fun season with snow ball fights, building snowmen, and sledding, skating, and snowmobiling. It is hard to imagine then, that a child or teen who is dealing with a serious illness may be hospitalized for 100 days or more in the effort to get well and not be outside to experience the season at all.

  • Ashley Runion is one of those teens who was diagnosed with Leukemia in June and has spent the greater part of summer, fall, and part of winter inside getting well. Ashley, who is an athlete, made it home for Christmas and her story can be read on her Caring Bridge site at

Her story is inspirational and encouraging for parents, kids, and teens who are dealing with the same diagnosis and or any kind of chemotherapy or treatment which is zapping the dickens out of them.

Caring bridge is a free site where patients can have a web page to update family and friends on progress and where visitors can leave messages of encouragement. Check that site out if you have a family member or friend who may benefit from creating a page or to connect to resources for diagnosis or treatments of many conditions. Caring bridge can be reached at

The site was brought to my attention from another writer, Keri Mikulski, who happens to also be a nurse as well as a published author. Her newest book is entitled Screwball. You can check out her site at

Thursday, January 1, 2009

book Review

Punk Wig

  • Author: Lori Ries

Illustrated by: Erin Eitter Kono

ISBN: 978-1-59078-486-0

Boyd Mills Press 2008

ages 2-12

This is a loving story of a young boy who helps his mom through treatment with " alien blobs" for her cancer. On a good day, when mom is feeling less tired, they go together to Harriett's Hair for a wig day. The book is fun and warm with humor weaved into a delightful story of how a boy supports his mom through chemotherapy.

This is a great book with colorful pictures showing children the process from going to the hospital, to feeling tired and sick, to loosing hair, to wearing the Punk Wig, to finally getting better in the process.

This book is a must read for parents and children who are experiencing this same scenario, and a good read for children who just want to know a little something about loosing your hair.

Check it out.