Saturday Afternoon Reading”When The Music Stopped” by Author Bob Cafaro

When The Music Stopped by Bob Cafaro

This is March! MS Awareness Month! I hear the wind whirling after the snowy day we had yesterday. I am home, I am staying in, I am reading, and I am giving a shout out to Bob Cafaro this afternoon.

Bob is a gentleman, who became a good friend through facebook. Got to love FB! Bob is a cellist in the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra. His book, “When The Music Stopped“! Bob conveys the strength and inspiration for creating our own miracles, and it could be with regard to illness, finance, or a relationship. In his book, Bob chronicles how he’s delivered his best personal medical performance, his Battle and Victory against MS.

Bob has given a Tedx Talk, and his second will be available soon. I am grateful Bob chose to become my friend, and a member of the facebook group, Living Mindfully with MS, CHronic Conditions, and Caregiving. He is always contributing, sharing information, and adding value to our community.

Whether your choice in medical care has been more conventional treatment, or a holistic approach, or a combination, I highly recommend reading Bob Cafaro’s book, which is available through his website, www.bobcafaro.com .

Enjoy the weekend folks!

Disability March

Hi! My name is Andrea. I March in solidarity with my sisters in Washington, DC, New York, around the USA, and around the world. I march for the rights of every human being. I stand for my rights along with those of other women, and men, with and without disabilities.

I am a 61 year old woman from Ardsley, NY. I have worked in small business and corporate America.  I am a Multiple Sclerosis Survivor (2003) as well as a Cancer Survivor (2014). I am the wife to Norman, who is a survivor of Quadruple Bypass, Spinal Fusion, and Type 2 Diabetes.  I am the adult sibling and sister to Francine, who has lived with the effects of meningitis since she was 3 months old and is now 57. I am Francine’s guardian, primary caregiver, and advocate. I am a  caregiver and a carepartner. We live with some forms of “visible” and “invisible” disabilities.

I recall a world before Roe v. Wade, and before Civil Rights were the norm, before the ADA. I recall that standing together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us. I am appalled at the erosion of these and other values I thought were at the core of America. I am appalled at the hatred and divisive rhetoric that has intensified as a result of Donald J. Trump’s candidacy and election, his becoming our 45th president. My listening and hearing is not my disability. I have heard the most hateful and insulting words spoken which makes me fear for the loss of this country’s humanity. I fear for our future.

We are a diverse and beautiful group of people. I have friends and family who span the gender spectrum, who are LBGTQ, family and friends who are disabled, family and friends who have pre-existing medical conditions, and who would be hurt by the incoming administration’s policies. Proposed changes to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Women’s Health would directly alter my life and the lives of millions. I stand up and march with all of you, both women and men, fighting those who seek to diminish our lives.

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With Gratitude on Thanksgiving Day

20161123_231805_thanksgiving-2016With gratitude on Thanksgiving day.  Just like mom would want, and although we miss her , although we feel sadness, and although we miss having her with us to celebrate together, we feel gratitude for the years she was with us and for all we did together. We feel gratitude for who we do have in our lives and how we can touch lives.

We always celebrated our mother’s birthday both on her birthday and on Thanksgiving.  This year is a year when her birthday falls out on Thanksgiving.

We’re also thinking about family and friends who have lost a parent, a child, a sibling, a friend, or a pet, and we want you to know we are thinking of you, and your loved ones, too.

There are some, who may also be touched by loss, in a different way,  by losing a way of life as we’ve known it to be, something about our health, and medically, newly defining, changing the course of our lives, the paths we take, the journeys were on.

Grieving goes on, and takes what time it does. Grieving is not something anyone “get’s over”, and if you’re grieving, don’t let anyone tell you, “to get over it”.  We, each of us, have a choice, in how we live each day and a choice in how we deal with grief.

Today, Norman prepared this delicious 19 lb turkey, and Francine helped us with preparing the honey glazed carrots, string beans, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.  During the week, Francine asked for a birthday cake for mom.  It’s not the 1st year we’ve been asked by her; yet, I’m still taken aback, winded, when asked.  We asked Francine what kind of cake mom would want, and we were told chocolate.

Mom would always talk with us, and tell us, tell Francine, she wanted us to be happy and do the kinds of things which made us happy. When Norman was shopping he searched for that chocolate cake, picked up a shadow cake with chocolate icing.  Those of you who knew our mom, might remember visiting, and when we were all a bit younger, lol,  she’d have yankee doodles for all of us.  Well, the flavor of the cake turned out to be that same yankee doodle cake flavor, and the cake was topped in chocolate icing and green (Francine’s favorite color) writing,  so from mom to Francine, and to us,  we’re reminded of the sweetness of life, of her life , what she enjoyed, the care she gave, that Francine and we have happy hearts and continue touching lives in special ways.

If you would like to chat with me, please Click HERE to schedule a call. If there is something you are struggling with, Don’t struggle alone! 

A quote by Maya Angelo ~ “Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant!”

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary 30-minute chat. 

Wishing You, Your Family, and Your Loved Ones, many Blessings. Love and hugs! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Spring! Second Day! 2016!

Spring!

Second Day!

2016!

Forsythias, their vibrant yellow.

Sunshine!

Bursting buds and open blooms

on Sturdy Stems.

Anew!

The seasons changing,

Winter’s grasping, holding on,

spring bursting forth,

intertwined, holding on to one another.

Snowcapped!

The dusting, of an early morning’s

snowfall.

Soft, yellow and white, refreshing beauty.

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Something I hold on to for the day ahead,

with my good friend.

She joins me.  We head to an appointment!

A procedure!

Waiting in the office,

I drift in meditation, moments of prayer.

She appears, we smile, looking at each other,

a time of rebirth, new beginnings, medications working.

My vision of colors shifts from yellow and white,

to  milder, warmer days arriving , and early spring,

colors of  yellows and greens.

I think of the approaching bounty of daffodils

for us to see,

beyond this second day of spring in 2016.

 

Taking a moment for mindfulness

DSC03217_NiagraFallsMindfulness can be practiced anytime and throughout the day.  So as a mindfulness practice exercise, you might like to take a moment to try this.  Focus all your attention on your breathing, for just one minute.  It’s just for one minute, but one minute can sometimes seem like an eternity.  Leave your eyes open and breathe normally.  When your attention wanders (and it will) be ready to catch your mind from the wandering.  Return your attention to your breath.

Just practice.  This is not a contest.  Not a personal challenge.  This is something to be experienced.  To begin the experience to complete a single minute of alert, clear attention.  This can take some people many years of practice.

Using this exercise is a great way to restore your mind to the present moment and to restore your mind to clarity and peace, and can be practiced many times throughout the day.  Over time, you may want to gradually extend the duration of this exercise, lengthening period of time of focusing your attention on your breathing to experience alert, clear attention and exercise the foundation of a correct mindfulness meditation technique.

Some use a mindfulness bell to focus attention on, instead of breathe. A mindfulness bell or recording can also help you to focus your attention in the present moment and achieve a state of mental stillness.  For use with android and iphone devices I found some mindfulness bells on Google Play.

Elevating the Patient and Caregiver Experience