Gift in the New Year


is an INSIDE job.

We need

to nurture


every once

in awhile.


Oh how difficult it is to STOP doing for others

when that is what we are programed to do.

Cancer gives us the excuse to say “NO, I can’t right now.

I am taking time to heal.”

For the New Year,

take your brand new calendar

and circle a random day in each month,

or go into your electronic calendar

and pick a random day and

make a note 12 times–

one day in each month.

Draw a smiley face and write “Today is the day!”

On that day is a reminder that you WILL give a

gift to yourself!

This is your New Year’s Resolution!


Instead of listing a     L   O   N   G   list of “Have-to” New Year’s resolutions

Make a List of simple things you love to do

that would be gifts

to give yourself

and allow Happiness

to grow inside.

Something that makes YOU feel happy on the inside!

Here is a small basket of gifts I can draw from on my

“Today is the day” day from my calendar for 2013:

1. Take a bubble bath and read something delicious.

2. Spend an afternoon at the Library just browsing.

3. Pajama DAY! Eat soup, drink cups of herb tea and read by the fire or outside on a lazy chair all day!

4. Paint nothing but just colors.

5. Read children’s literature.

6. Write a letter on pretty paper and send it snail mail.

7. Feed the animals at the park

8. Go for a slow walk and find treasures for an art project.

9. Stitch wool felt.

My First Gift Day is randomly Jan 21st!

The mind and body are not separate and it is a fact that if you are feeling in a happy state of mind then you protect your immune system. Happiness has an affect for good in your healing!


Mrs. Claus

Mrs. Santa Claus

is always there

every year

to house clean

the magic sled

after Santa’s



on December 25th!

She seems to always find

that one left present

that fell out

of the velvet bag

and slid under the seat.

So she takes her red VW bug

(old fashioned)

and slips out

with Rudolf

to place

that one last wrapped gift

under the tree

on New Year’s eve


all the hoop-la and Pan banging

over the

New Year.

Oh What Fun…to find just one more gift to unwrap!


A simple healing gift

Oh what fun

…Making spirits bright…

Laughing all the way…

The gift of Laughter! 

Go rent an old knee slapping,

belly rocking,

happy tears,


sort of show

and sit and laugh

with someone you care about.

Now that is a wonderful gift!

It is also healing!

That is the best—

to laugh

with someone


you both


the same things

are funny!

Gloria Vanderbilt


Surviving The Holidays with a Difficult Diagnosis

Dear Readers,

I have recently

become acquainted

with some new friends

who asked to


their message

of hope and gratitude

on my blog.

It is often difficult to express with words the gratitude we feel

to family and friends who help get us through difficult times.

Thank you does not seem to express the deep intensity for the blessings of help.

Thank you to all those who love and serve and care for those who have Cancer!


I hope you enjoy…

Here is their Christmas story.


Surviving the Holidays with a Difficult Diagnosis

I’ve always enjoyed the holiday season.

It means spending time

with friends and

giving thanks for all we’ve been given and following our family’s traditions.

My wife Heather and I were expecting

Christmas 2005 to be even more special than it
had been in the past because in August,

our only child Lily was born.

We knew
which traditions

we wanted to keep going and also what we wanted to start doing in
honor of our new arrival.


our joy and excitement were stamped out just
three days before Thanksgiving,

when we found out that my wife had cancer.

When Lily was only three and a half months old,

her mother discovered that she had
malignant pleural mesothelioma.

In just a matter of hours, our focus switched from
planning for the holidays

to planning how we were going to fight the disease.

I fell into a state of anger and fear.

I knew enough about mesothelioma to know that our
once bright and exciting future now suddenly looked bleak and uncertain.

Although I
tried to remain hopeful and positive,

I secretly tried to prepare myself for the worst:
watching my wife die and being left alone to raise our daughter.

Being thankful
became extremely difficult.

Despite our fears, we did our best to celebrate the holidays.

We were blessed to
have Heather’s family with us during both Thanksgiving and Christmas

before we
were expected in Boston to begin her treatment.

After we had our Thanksgiving dinner,

we talked about how Heather’s family would be able to help us navigate
through our difficulties.

It was a conversation that I had not been looking forward to

Everything was included in this discussion about our finances.

Heather’s family
volunteered to help us pay some of our bills,

and we determined which assets we
could sell to keep ourselves financially afloat.

We had both worked full time, but with
the diagnosis we had to prepare to survive on a single income

while watching our
expenses explode with new treatment

and travel costs coming our way.

I was embarrassed and mortified

that I could not take care of my family myself, and once
again found myself thinking that I had nothing to be thankful for.

My pride blinded me,

and it took years for me to see clearly how very lucky I was
that day,

and how very much I had in my life to be thankful for.

We had a family who
dropped everything to be by our sides

to see us through our time of need.

They offered to make incredible sacrifices

of their own to ensure our well being,

without a second’s hesitation.

The first thing I want to do this holiday season is thank all of our family and friends
for remaining by our side in our time of need. It was their love and support that
got our family through the mesothelioma surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation
treatments in the months that followed.

Heather has been cancer-free for

Christmas’s now,

and we hope that our story can serve as inspiration to all those
currently battling cancer this holiday season.

A precious day

Today is my cancer birthday.

I am four years alive.

I woke up with such a serge of emotions

as I feel so blessed to be here.

Last evening I was blessed to stay up late in a quiet home while my grandson kicked and cooed, and  his tired mommy went to bed.

That was Christmas!

A few nights ago I was able to travel to New York City and witness the beautiful lights on the tree at Rockefeller Center and have dinner with my family.

That was Christmas!

Next week I get to fly across country and visit my mom in the house I was born in, and relive all those precious memories of being a child at Christmas.

That is Christmas!

In a few weeks I will get to welcome family back into my home and the beds will fill up, the refrigerator will quickly empty and the sounds will be wonderful!

That is Christmas!

Today I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for giving us his son, Jesus Christ at this time of year on that first Christmas.

I am grateful He let me live four more blessed years and witness so many wonderful moments!

Happy Birthday to me!

Thank you Heavenly Father.

Merry Christmas

Simple Christmas Secret

I was diagnosed

with breast cancer

at the beginning of a

Christmas Season.

It was all too much

to get out my decorations,




bring in the Christmas Atmosphere

in my home.


I didn’t want to stop Christmas

for my family!


This is one of my secrets for bringing home atmosphere simply.

The use of SCENT:

Christmas Soup

(Not for eating but for atmosphere!)


One little pot

(I bought an inexpensive red one at Home Goods)






orange peels as you eat through the season


1. Pour water in the pot

2. Put dashes here and sprinkles there of all the spices

3. Every time you eat an orange throw the peels in the pot

4. Simmer from Dec. 1 until you take down Christmas in January

(Be sure you keep adding water and spices as they cook away all season long. About every other week I dump the pot and begin a fresh new one. It looks awful but smells divine! Give one of the kids the job of making Christmas soup…its fun!)

You may not be able to do

all the things you want to do this holiday.

That is okay!

But you can

make your home



by doing simple things…

Then Christmas will be really spent doing all the right things!

Did you know sense of smell

triggers memories forever.

Bring Christmas soup home

every season

and your family

will always remember it!

Be Well!