Happy Holidays! You have more cancer…

Not really the greeting anyone wants to hear.  Anytime of the year bad news hurts.  It concerns, it worries, it makes people breathe less, bite their nails, become silent, sleep less, exercise more or less and overall stresses.  When it comes to holiday time and by that I do mean between Thanksgiving, and Christmas time of year it stings all the more.  Why?  Well, it is Holiday time!  You know, the joyful time of year that is made  of eating, cooking, family and joy on abundance.  No one has the perfect plan, the perfect meal or the perfect family in retrospect but at Holiday time we are all supposed to.  That is stressful enough in and of itself but when you get a bad diagnosis, it brings you down to the ground all that much faster.  Recently my dad got this bad news.  Why now?  Why this time of year which seems to emphasize the emotional side of it all so much more?  It isn’t my calendar or my wishes and the lack of control over such things is part of the difficulty in dealing with it.  If I were to plan such things, this would happen just after his birthday in April, spring time.  Why?  The weather would be warming up, the landscape a little more enjoyable to view and take in.  What is that saying, ” Now is the winter of our discontent”, a famous literary phrase.  Seems apropos in this instance.  What comes next?  Some more tests, diagnosis, and perhaps a treatment.  Everyone must face their ending at sometime on this earth.  How to deal effectively, positively and with faith is the challenge.  All one can do is prepare as much upfront as possible before the final diagnosis is given.  You want to leave a strong foundation and reputation if you care at all about your legacy. 82 years is nothing to sneeze at, in fact it is something to be glad of.  You should be proactive about your own health care and if you don’t get answers or the right care from any physician, move on, find one you can easily talk to and most importantly trust with your life.  Trust should be earned and not given freely.  If you find an untrustworthy physician and you feel you are being taken advantage of – speak up, complain, and let those who are in authority over them know what has transpired.  A physicians breach of trust is one of the most awful things anyone can experience.

Happy Holidays!  Not really but we can still take in the joy and peace of the present, before the future arrives.  There is peace in the present and memories still to be made and enjoyed and that in itself can be a Holiday.

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Taking Care of the Caretaker

It isn’t easy being the caretaker for ill/elderly family members. This I know well.  When you are working or just going through your personal life, having a sounding board and support network is essential for a happy well-rounded life.   Friendships wax and wane and so can the professional relationship.  But, the good news is you don’t have to go it alone as a caretaker and you shouldn’t.  If your loved one has cancer – cancercare.org is a great organization and offers free outreach over the phone.  Their trained social workers who focus specifically on cancer care  can help you as a sounding board or offer to point you in the right direction for cancer care.  Look them up at http://www.cancercare.org

I saw this write-up in Newsday and wanted to share it with others who maybe looking for the right outlet themselves for caregiver advice:  “#The National Institute on Aging estimates that about 7 million Americans are long distance care-givers. In between the occasional visits, the long distance caregiver spends endless hours over the phone checking up and coordinating care.  The institute has published a free 48 page booklet aimed at helping long-distance caregivers not only take care of their loved ones but also take care of themselves.”

To download “So far Away: Twenty Questions and Answers About Long distance caregiving”, go to the website http://www.nia.nih.gov and type in “so far away” in the search box. Good luck.

It isn’t always easy to say NO

What about those times in life in business and personal, that you find yourself wanting to say no.  Recently I was in a situation that required someone else to do a service for me.  They weren’t being cooperative and actually somewhat negative.  At first I asked pertinent questions to see if there might be something to this scenario I wasn’t aware of. No there wasn’t.  I sat for a while waiting patiently until I couldn’t wait anymore.  I asked for my paperwork back and before they handed it back to me they wrote VOID with bold blue ink across the paperwork so I couldn’t take it anywhere else.  That was not only a bad idea but unethical and unprofessional.  I told the service person so.  And, I asked for her name and her managers name so I could follow-up on this.  As soon as I got in my car I called her manager and told her of what just transpired.  She agreed with me this was wrong.  I said this person appeared to not want to work that day – she couldn’t just say no to my inquiry she had to create a situation to have me leave – which I did end up doing.  Then I said no to her behavior.  When you are in your office, or taking your kids where they need to be do you ever cross the line and tell someone you can’t do something because, well, you just don’t feel like doing it at the moment?  It’s not a case of you can’t do it, but simply you don’t want to.  Do you ever directly tell someone no, I don’t want to do that?  Most people don’t.  We come up with cliché’s and scenarios that we think will create a sense of normality and reason where there really isn’t one.  Everyone has their bad day.  Their bad day could turn out to be a catastrophe for you depending on what their job actually is.  What if you are scheduled for surgery, or a medical procedure and your doctor isn’t feeling well that day or is just in need of a mental health day but they don’t take it.  Your life could be in jeopardy. What if the sales guy you are dealing with rings up the wrong amount of money on your charge card because they are having an off day and they couldn’t say to you ” Hey I would ring you up but I’m really tired now and think I may make some mistakes.”  Imagine if you will people actually said what they were truly feeling than the so-called little white lies?  Chaos, the opposite of chivalry, lack of decorum, not politically correct.  Sounds like the political ads that are bombarding us right now on TV and in the mail doesn’t it?