Category Archives: Happiness and Kindness
Y’know … sometimes it takes a catastrophic event, a tragedy, to bring out the best in people. The devastating wildfires in California earlier this month seems to have brought out an awful lot of good in some people and it is those stories I’m bringing you today … those good people who gave of themselves to help others. None of these good people are millionaires with money to spare, they are all just people like you and me, working every day just to pay the bills. But they gave of whatever they had, be it food, information, love … they just gave. These are the real heroes …
The spirit of the team …
The Cougars is the name of the Paradise, California, Adventist school’s volleyball team. Sadly, as you might expect, they lost everything – equipment, uniforms, their school – in the wildfires that literally burned Paradise to the…
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Hello good people. It’s a cloudy, rainy day in my neck of the woods. Today has been a day of lots of thoughts and I hope you don’t mind me sharing some of them with you.
Don’t you just love when prescription drug companies include in their patient pamphlets for you to tell your doctor if you have certain conditions or allergies, when your doctor has not tested you for those conditions and allergies?
Last week I had my first cycle of chemo for Stage IV breast cancer. The results of the PET Scan were not as bad as expected. I do have Stage IV breast cancer, but that’s because it has moved to the lymph nodes underneath both arms. No cancer cells were found in my organs nor bones.
That doesn’t mean it won’t spread because my insurance company is denying my oncologist the drug that stops division of the cancer cells.
Also this week, as friends and families educate themselves to help me get through this, I’ve found that I have to keep reminding them that there are different types of breast cancer cells. As my friends and family talk to cancer survivors and read things online about breast cancer, survival rates, etc. it’s important for them to remember that breast cancer has different cells. The type of cells are important for diagnosis and treatment.
The parasites that are trying to give life to themselves by eating my body from the inside out are HER2-positive cancer cells. They are aggressive. Four days after the biopsy, the tumor had grown 2 inches. By the time the PET Scan was taken and the results in, the MUGA Scan was taken, and the first chemo scheduled, that parasitical, invasive tumor was even larger.
If you’ve been reading this blog for years, then you probably know that I’m one who trusts in vitamins, herbs and other supplements. I do not reject traditional medicine. I also follow Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo’s Blood Type Diet as close as possible. It all seemed to pay off for me because in order to start chemo, I needed a MUGA Scan score of at least 50. My MUGA Scan score was 72. My blood pressure and blood work were all fine.
I had been taking supplements all along, but after my diagnosis, I looked for specific supplements. I want my body to heal in between treatment cycles. But first, I needed to know more about my enemy. I tried reading reputable websites, and found Healthline.com.
“When you have a breast biopsy, the tissue is tested for hormone receptors (HR). It’s also tested for something called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Each can be involved in the development of breast cancer.”
“HER2 is a gene that creates HER2 proteins, or receptors. These receptors help control growth and repair of breast cells. An overexpression of HER2 protein causes out-of-control reproduction of breast cells.
HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive than HER2-negative breast cancers. Along with tumor grade and cancer stage, HR and HER2 status helps determine your treatment options.”
My insurance company tossed a wrench into the battlefield.
Without naming my medical providers, staff, or other identifying features, I will name my insurance company. It is Humana. This week, my first chemo cycle was delayed for about an hour as my oncologist informed me that he had been on the phone with a doctor with Humana who first denied one of the drugs to be used in my chemo.
The drug, Taxotere and cyclophosphamide (TC) destroys quickly dividing cells. It can be given either to shrink the size of the tumor before surgery to remove it, or after surgery to kill any cancer cells that may be still present in the body. The goal of TC is to cure. But there are only two sites where I was able to find that it’s the drug’s goal. One site is guess what? That of trial attorneys. More on that later. Read the rest of this entry
Cumberland County, North Carolina Judge Lou Olivera, is a veteran. He served in the Army as an intelligence officer.
In 2014, Cumberland County opened the second veterans’ treatment court in the state. Judge Olivera became the presiding judge of the court, which had its first graduate in April 2016. Olivera explains the court in the second video below.
Cumberland County includes Fort Bragg, and a real need was recognized to understand combat veterans who get into trouble breaking the law.
Joe Serna is also a veteran. He served three tours in Afghanistan as a Sargent First Class in the Green Berets. Joe has two Purple Hearts. Joe received such injuries that he was not allowed to return to the battlefield and was placed on desk duty. Joe began drinking alcohol to numb the pain.
Joe Serna and Judge Lou Olivera did not meet under the best circumstances. They met because Joe had been convicted for drunk driving. A condition of his probation was that he not drink. Joe had to take a urine test and he lied about the results.
To hold him accountable, Judge Olivera sentenced Joe to one night in jail. Read the rest of this entry
At first, I was somewhat offended with the stereotypes, but then Tom Hanks really made me laugh. I don’t know how Tom Hanks kept a straight face.
These are heroes. Thanks so much for sharing these stories.
This week I am shining the light, once again, on ordinary people who are giving of themselves and their time to help others. Sometimes the smallest act of kindness, just something as simple as picking up a dropped object for an elderly person, or helping someone across the street, can make someone’s day a little brighter.
Never Too Old For A Bike Ride …
Elderly people sometimes don’t get out and about as much as they might like. Visual and mobility limitations may keep them from enjoying a walk in the park, or even just a trip to the grocery store. Imagine the feelings of loneliness, or isolation that these people experience. And young people are often busy with their own lives, wrapped up in the drama of school, relationships, sports, etc. But in Scotland, there is one young man who is helping bridge the gap between young and old…
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The song, Keep on Pushing, was written by Curtis Mayfield and originally recorded by the R&B group The Impressions. It was released in 1964. It is a song about perseverance and finding strength to get through tough times.
This song took on a new meaning for Mayfield after he was paralyzed in 1990 when a light tower fell on him during an outdoor performance in Brooklyn. In a 1997 interview, Mayfield said, “I think my spirits are maybe even higher,” It’s like I died and woke up to see this wave of love from so many people I knew and people I didn’t know.”
Kirk Whalum brings a jazz version of the song. I hope it encourages those who need a lift-up.
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish motives.
BE KIND ANYWAY.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
BE HONEST AND SINCERE ANYWAY. Read the rest of this entry
Last week, a friend told me a joke about a talking dog. I found it on Youtube. I laughed much longer than the 3 minute video.
Hope you enjoy it.
Dear friends and visitors,
Here’s wishing all a safe and blessed holiday.
One of my favorite movies is Risen. It’s a movie about a Roman Tribune named Clavius who is tasked by Pilot to find the body of the crucified Christ that is no longer in the tomb, and before the three days predicted that he would rise from the dead.
Clavius sets out to find the followers of Yeshua for them to tell him where they have hidden the body. Instead, Clavius finds more than he anticipated — a man who he ordered killed and saw dead, alive again.
Below is a video interview of Cliff Curtis who played Yeshua in the movie. When asked about his preparations to play the role of Jesus the Christ, Curtis said that he didn’t want to talk about or preach love and peace — he wanted to be love and peace.
Following that video is a scene from the movie that I enjoy, and hope that you will too.
Bryan Duncan is another one of those artists who, back in the 1980’s, introduced Contemporary Christian music. It witnessed the love, hope and faith of our Creator, and gave the younger generation an alternative to heavy metal and heavy rock.
Bryan Duncan leaned toward jazz and many of his songs reveal his talent in that genre.
You might recognize the first song, Maybe I’m Amazed, which is a cover of Paul McCartney’s song of the same title.
Here’s wishing everyone a safe week.
The following videos are among some of my favorite inspirational music. I grew up in church where the music was uplifting. I also grew up listening to Blues and Jazz.
Around 1983, I discovered The Allies. Some of you might have heard the name Bob Carlisle, and might be familiar with his award-winning song “Butterfly Kisses.” But did you know that long before then, Bob was lead singer for The Allies? I happen to own every album they made — on (ahem) cassette tape. Yes, I still have several cassette tape players.
The first video is a remake of the song Manish Boy by Muddy Waters. The Allies brought the Blues into Contemporary Gospel Music.
The next two videos are by Mike Farris. The website, Mike Farris Music, says about Mike that “Out of the arms of defeat Mike Farris has done a victory lap…He takes people who are hurting, who are broken, who think they are alone and through just the sound of his voice he lets them know that they’re not.”
The second video is Mike’s rendition of the James Taylor song You Got A Friend. The third video is Mike shaking the house with This Little Light of Mine. Mike’s music awards include the 2008 American Music Award for new and emerging artist; 2010 GMA Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year, and the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Roots Gospel Album.
I hope you enjoy the songs and are inspired to keep following the path of love and hope. Now, please excuse me while I grab my tambourine. Read the rest of this entry
This is the way of peace:
Overcome evil with good,
falsehood with truth,
and hatred with love.
I love movies. When it comes to war movies, I’m seen many and some I really liked, but never want to watch again. Saving Private Ryan is one such movie.
When I heard of the Academy Award nominations for 2017, there were movies that caught my attention. Hacksaw Ridge was one such movie. It is categorized as a war movie, directed by Mel Gibson. In other movies he directed, Gibson likes to show the horror of reality. In The Passion, he showed spurting blood from the hands of Jesus as the nails were driven in. In Braveheart, Gibson did not shy away from showing the use of swords to cut off the legs of horses ridden by the English army. It brought their soldiers to the ground, making combat more equal.
A war movie directed by Gibson would have to be brutally bloody. However, the war itself is not the main theme in Hacksaw Ridge. The main theme is a man – a real man, a Pacifist, and his struggle to serve in the Army as a combat medic while staying committed to his faith.
I rented Hacksaw Ridge through On Demand and I watched. I watched again, and again. Desmond Doss captivated me. As a Pacifist, he was misunderstood. I can relate to that.
On April 1, 1942, Desmond Doss joined the United States Army. It was just after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Desmond wanted to serve his country – the United States, saving lives. He was 23-years old; a skinny native of Virginia with a southern drawl. In Desmond’s mind, God said, “If you love me, you won’t kill.”
When he voluntarily enlisted, he was assured that he would be assigned to a medic company and because of his Seventh Day Adventist belief in Saturday being the Sabbath, he was told that belief would be honored.
Instead, Desmond was assigned to an infantry rifle company. His commanding officers wanted to get rid of him. They intimidated him, and assigned him to extra duties. They even tried to court martial him for refusing a direct order to carry a rifle. But, they failed to toss him out, and he refused to leave.
His fellow soldiers ostracized and bullied him. Because he refused to touch a gun, they called him a coward. Desmond believed in the Golden Rule and never held a grudge. When the men got blisters on their feet, Desmond had a way of healing them. When they fainted from heat stroke, he was at their side with his own canteen. Read the rest of this entry