Showing posts with label hope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hope. Show all posts

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Chasing My Cure - Book Review

Read the Five-Star Reviews
When I first began to read Chasing My Cure by David Fajgenbaum, the proverb that came to mind as an alternate title was Physician, Heal Thyself.  Though it may have been apt with regard to his early love life, and perhaps some of the medical establishment he encountered, I certainly have nothing but respect for the author, and compassion for what he and his family have lived through.

Fajgenbaum was still reeling from the death of his mother to an aggressive brain cancer when he began to experience mysterious flu-like symptoms.  At first, he ascribed the overwhelming fatigue to the stresses of medical school and tried to power through it to complete his rotations and exams.  When his condition rapidly deteriorated, landing him in a hospital's emergency department, the early indications and tests pointed to Lymphoma cancer.

While that diagnosis would have been a severe blow, the real blow was yet to come.  There would be no quick identification of Fajgenbaum's mystery illness.  With all of his major organs shutting down, death seemed imminent.

As a doctor in training, the author wasn't ready to give up hope.  He kept noticing details of his extreme illness that others did not recognize as significant.  One of Fajgenbaum's strengths was a laser-like focus born of what others deemed a disability (the hyperfocus variant of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder).  When he got hold of something that captured his attention, Fajgenbaum did not let go.  In this case, that would be his eventual salvation.

After several weeks of multiple near-death experiences and debilitating pain, and after insisting on a lymph node biopsy, Fajgenbaum finally received his diagnosis: Castleman Disease.  In nearly every respect, this medical sentence was much worse than the initial fears raised by a potential cancer diagnosis.  Knowing what he was fighting did not make this an easy or fair fight.

To read Chasing My Cure, is to obtain an intimate glimpse into the world of living tenuously day to day.  It will take you into the often perplexing universe of attempting to find a cure for a relentless, ruthless, incredibly complex disease.  You will meet people of heart and courage who invoke a brand of hope that is invincible—and just as relentless as the enemy.

Fajgenbaum has not only had to fight the ultimate foe within his body.  Equally daunting has been his mission to revolutionize the medical research field and to convince others that it takes a whole different approach when chasing down a cure for Castleman Disease.  Attempting to change the deeply seated ways in which institutions, corporations, physicians, and researchers operate has been essential to this enterprise.  To create this kind of change will be as critical as solving the mystery of the disease, for systems are often as much in need of cures as are the people they serve.

I encourage you to read this inspirational memoir of how hope, faith, and love accompany Fajgenbaum on his ultimate journey of discovery.  This recently published book is consistently receiving five-star ratings.  I believe that is so because this is much more than a story.  It is a call to each of us to act on the kind of invincible hope that makes a true difference for others.









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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas - The Needed Power of Faith

Faith is the bird that feels the light and
sings when the dawn is still dark
FAITH

The greatest gift we can give or are willing to receive is Faith.

Faith holds the secret key to the universe.

Think of all the things we treasure but cannot see: Those untouchable, intangible valuables that matter most and ultimately hold the power of good to shape our world.

Love - We feel it, we know it's real but we cannot touch it, bottle it, sell it, or earn money from it. It's the biggest, richest gift anyone can receive and it comes straight from faith in ourselves that it exists.

Compassion - We all matter. Every single soul on earth matters. No one is greater than another and the gift of compassion shows we have faith in and believe in this untouchable energy.

Hope - Without hope, we cannot have faith. Even though hope in our hearts is not visible to those who walk by us, our body language, our energy and our demeanor have the power to pass along the gift of hope. All of it, unseen, yet felt. One life touches another every single day.

Like butter and eggs, the years blend together. Before we know it we've lived through over 50 or more Christmases. No matter the number we've had, each one blends into the other and over-time, our traditions shape us and our family.

Our children and extended family are the carriers of our roots, and passing along even the smallest sense of tradition in today's crazy-busy world has more value than decades ago.

This year, let us pass along the greatest gift, especially to our children ... the priceless Gift of Faith.

Enjoy this beautiful song by Tim McGraw, Humble & Kind - Song Review can be found here, and most of all....

Merry Christmas xxoo







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Sunday, November 6, 2016

When You Have An American Heart - A World of Good

Find American Heart by Faith Hill Here
And More Inspirational Songs About America Here

Stand Beside Her and Guide Her

"From the small town Friday night lights, to the Broadway neon burning up bright, We're all the same and it's in our veins, A spirit that you can't keep down, A fire inside that'll never burn out if you are the owner of an American Heart" (Lyrics from American Heart by Faith Hill)

America The Good Representing a World of Good

The inspirational song by Faith Hill, American Heart, reminds us about not only the good in America, but also in people who proudly call themselves members of the free world.

Free speech, compassion, human rights and the collective good remain a constant work in progress and as a Canadian, like my brother and sister Americans, I'm blessed to be a part of it.

As people of earth, our diversity along with our sameness are the weights that create the balance. It's cliche, but it really is our differences that teach us and our common ground that unites us.

As an example, even with a physical border between Canada and the USA, the earth doesn't shift when you place a foot on one side or the other: Stand on one side, or stand on the other, I'll venture a guess our aspirations are fundamentally the same; those being prosperity, peace and the pursuit of happiness.

We all know Canadians and Americans share the longest peaceful border on planet earth. This speaks loudly about the people who inhabit both sides of this man-made invisible line.

The most successful friends on the planet have earned a few bragging rights and the Oscar should go to the people of both countries, not our governments. For it's the people who set the pace in a free country; it's people who push governments one way or another, and in a free world governments reflect who we are.

Belting out the lyrics of American Heart, Faith Hill sings these inspirational words 'We're all the Same'. The song is speaking to the soul that makes up America. Today I'll push these worthy sentiments forward to encompass my own country, and even further out to wrap these words of hope around the planet.

When times get tough, play Faith Hill's song American Heart full blast:

Cause it beats like a drum down in New Orleans
Sings like a Motown Melody,
It dreams like California,
Bigger than a Texas sky,
it Bleeds,
it Scars,
it Shines when Times get Hard,
and you can't break an American Heart..

(Lyrics from American Heart)



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Monday, August 22, 2016

I Have Loved You for a Thousand Years - Love is Endless

Angels on Duty - Fridge Magnet
Most of us have heard 'I Have Loved You for a Thousand Years' by Christina Perri. If the song sounds familiar, it's the final song in the Twilight Series.

Today's Review isn't about Music, It's about Love

What do I know about love? Well I know what you know and what we've all heard; it's what makes the world go round, it's all there is, and of course, it's all we need.
In an increasingly cynical world where people gather in their corners defending positions, ideas, beliefs, what's right and what's not, love patiently waits for us to call it 'one step closer'.
You and I know that this life is fleeting, and whether we belief it's our one and only existence or that our consciousness/soul returns to master it's lessons is irrelevant to this particular life we're living as us - In the end, at our end, one question requires an answer, 'did we love'.

It's the love we give that travels with us and nourishes the earth. That same love imprints itself on those left behind, and they in turn pass it along. Like the tiniest seed buried deep in the earth, love grows.


Questions we might ask about our own love
After the storm, did we find our way back to love? 
When hope slipped through our fingers, did we find our way back to love? 
When the ones we love died, and a piece of us was taken with them, did we find our way back to love? 
When we suffered an illness that scared us to our core and thought, why me, did we find our way back to love? 
When our TV told us why to hate, and who to hate, did we find our way back to love? 
When people took positions that opposed everything we stood for, did we find our way back to love? 
When dark thoughts tried to infect us, did we find our way back to love? 
When we hated ourselves for our own mistakes and choices, did we find our way back to love? 
When we were hurt, did we find our way back to love? 
When someone we love was hurt, did we find our way back to love?
Most of all, when we caused someone pain, did we find our way back to love? 
Did we do this all unconditionally? Did we find our way back to love without expecting anything in return? Did we just decide to love our neighbor?

Here we are, the size of a piece of sand, all together, living on a giant ball that hangs in the middle of the universe questioning ourselves, and perhaps even questioning what it means to have faith. Our mere existence on this spinning ball is a testament to faith.

Yet, we are born with the greatest gift, the capacity to love ... and after centuries still have yet to harness it's power.

This unseen power can't physically be measured, it only exists if we declare it, and the more of it we give the more of it we have. It's the greatest energy yet to be weaponized, for good.

How Do We Get There

Our love for each other is the road home. That's it. There isn't another road that takes us there.

We can spin our wheels til the cows come home, it won't make a spit of difference ... it's the gift of love, even when it's the toughest to give, that takes us there. Test yourself - Think of the hardest person there is to love, and try to love them, to pray for them, to genuinely wish them well.

Planting love in places that need planting, is one of the best uses of love.

For my Dad, Happy Birthday - I have loved you for a thousand years and will love you for a thousand more.



Through it all, love remains
Barbara xxoo

The Heart of Country Music










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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Here's to the Sun Shining on the Inside

Hope in Front of Me -  on Amazon
Another Sunday; the day you'll find me here writing about one of life's experiences found in a country song.

With a tired but always light-filled heart, today's theme in song takes the challenges of another week and packages them in a pretty box called Hope. 

Hope in Front of Me, by Danny Gokey

 (Lyrics) I've been running through rain
That I thought would never end
Trying to make it on faith
In a struggle against the wind
I've seen the dark and the broken places
But I know in my soul
No matter how bad it gets
I'll be alright

It doesn't matter if we're blessed with a cosmic understanding of life or even if God personally whispered the secret to life in our ear, the fact remains, we still have to 'live this life'. Yep... no escaping that part. We're not alone in our tribulations.
We're all joined by one common goal; to get to the finish line as unscathed as possible, with lessons learned. No one gets out alive. As the insightful story-telling lyrics in another Carrie Underwood song beautifully express, this is our Temporary Home.

If you're thinking, 'I'm probably writing this because I must be sitting perched safely at a distance from life's trials or, that things must be easy for me since I'm able to write about hope', well let's just say you wouldn't pass go or collect $200 on that thought :) 

Without getting into a long list of my own troubles I'll just say that I've had more than a few people admit they couldn't have survived my path. But, knowing them, I'm sure they could have. Reading other people's stories of hardship, I'm guilty of thinking the same thing...'I couldn't have survived that!' 

So what's our common denominator?

When we have friends who help us, we have hope
 
When we pray, we have hope
 
When we laugh at our difficult circumstances, we have hope
 
When we've worked on something for years to have it fall apart in a day, and still find the strength to move on and continue, we have hope

When we reach out to hold someone who hurt us, we have hope
 
When a part of ourselves dies as our loved one passes away, and still wake up the next day to put one foot in front of the other, we have hope
 
When someone we love with all of our being goes through and then breaks free from addiction, we have hope
 
When we lose a home, and move on from that, we have hope
 
When our baby is born still, and we find a way to understand this immeasurable, seemingly pointless pain, we have hope
When our trust has been violated, but have the courage to let it go, we have hope

There isn't anything else that comes before Hope. Healing begins with Hope



If you're struggling, and wondering how in the world you're going to get through this storm, may the lyrics of this song remind you, as it does me, that 'this too shall pass' and 'we'll be alright'.

Here's to the sun shining on the inside.

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak - Country Music Reviewer
Drageda.com - 'Don't Ride Alone, Get Emotional Daily Assistance'

If you enjoy Danny Gokey's Music, you can find more about this 3rd place American Idol Finalist from Season 8, on his Website DannyGokey.com


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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

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