Save your sanity, time & money!

The Global Resources section of the EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge book clues readers in to solutions they could not have imagined.

Learn how to cut your medical costs,
ORGANIZE appointments & paperwork,
keep track of your medications, pack for hospital stays,
join clinical trials, manage rude relatives, doctors &

Need lo-cost or free care, medication, air travel, or other necessities for patients of any age? EMPOWER Yourself is PACKED with information that patients plus loved ones need to know!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Surprise Ending to a Medical Moment


26 Kislev, 5775

I promised to clue you in to a surprise in my medical life, today. Brace for impact.

As you know from following this blog, I've experienced several benign brain tumors called meningiomas, over time.

Doctors and I monitor my brain for instances of new meningiomas, to catch them before they cause harm. That would let us strategize what to do without the pressure of a life-threatening situation such as I'd survived shortly before this blog began.

Several weeks ago, I experienced my every-2-years MRI. 

The scheduled MRI event has become routine. But I'm human, prone to fear and worry about my significant medical history. 

I do a 2-step process aka ritual to prevent or to minimize fear, or any sort of negative emotions, on MRI-taking days. Before I clue you in as to why that ritual saved me a lot of heartache this past month, let's look at the keep-me-calm process:

1) Before anyone can slide me into the machine, I greet the doctors in attendance of my medical exam with an update on my health and visual acuity progress. 

I also hand over the music CD I brought for drowning out the mechanical banging of the MRI magnets and machinery. 

I find it fun to surprise the medical staff with my diverse tastes in music. And I enjoy the music when I'm in the machine.

I've neglected to bring a CD to the MRI site once or twice, and actually slept through the noisy exams, lulling myself into calmness with focused prayers and upbeat mantras (the EMPOWER Yourself book explains the importance of making your own coping with a medical challenge mantra, and how to do so). 

Yes, I actually sleep through some MRI exams.

2) I buy yummy fruit or carrot smoothies after each biennial photo-op finish, drowning any vestige of fear or concern with nutritious happiness. That enables me to calmly wait a few weeks until the analysis of the MRI reaches me and my doctors.

The analyses are always a delight to share. They indicate astonishing recovery and healing.

But the whole routine fell apart 
a few weeks ago, 
when the newest analysis 
arrived in my mailbox.

A meningioma had been identified, close to the site of the one that had almost killed me.

The report indicated a specific part of the brain that it seemed to be pressing on, and which parts of the brain would be threatened if it grew.

I bit my lips and prayed from my heart. A lot. Several times daily.

Scared? That medical moment left me terrified, and perplexed that this could have happened despite all the healing efforts I've made. I was curious as to the spiritual meaning of it all.

I chose to re-read passages from

and prepared an appointment with the new neurosurgeon necessary for my medical team. 

Mine had left the hospital where I'd had surgery.

The appointment was scheduled for this past Sunday.

True to the book, I'd arranged for a trusted confidante to be at the meeting with me, to be an impartial set of ears able to hear what the doctor actually said, versus my possibly tainted, emotional misinterpretation of remarks.

I'd prepared the questions I wanted to ask, and listed the issues I needed to clarify before the appointment. I packed them in my purse, with writing materials to bring to the appointment.

I'd practiced being patient all that time, and deserved an Oscar for my outward appearance of calm. I realized that there was no sense in alarming anyone over the situation until I'd reviewed necessary facts. They might prove the lack of a need for alarm. I needed to conduct myself in a cultured, calm manner to best cope with the situation.

My confidante drove me to the appointment, remarking the whole way on my apparent sense of serenity.

"Yay!" I thought to myself. "I fooled her. Now I have to keep up the act a little longer, so I can deal with realities I'm about to learn of."

The doctor summoned us into his office. He responded to my queries as my confidante took notes. I did, too.

As he examined the MRI in question via the CD I'd brought along, he asked his own questions:

  • "Do you really see as well as you're telling me, after a surgery like you've had?"

  • "How is that possible?"

  • "What else are you doing to see better and better?"

He took notes based on my This is the Patient Instructing the Doctor answers to him, the medical expert. Both of us noticed the shift of who was more important in the conversation with good humor.

And the payoff for my feigned patience was learning that the doctor who'd analyzed the new MRI had erred.

Nothing was amiss.

Since I understand anatomy, the neurosurgeon was able to show me several angles of the MRI to prove his "An honest mistake was made" point to my satisfaction.

We agreed to conduct a new photo-op within 1 year, not two, to keep us aware of possible developments or the lack of them.

After exiting the medical office, I bought a calming smoothie nearby.

My confidante and I breathed our relief during the drive home, agreeing that the steps we'd taken had minimized the opportunities for more mistakes on either side of the doctor's desk.

We compared the notes we'd taken. Mine only lacked one item present on hers. The "Bring a friend or relative to medical appointments" safety measure had worked in my favor.

I've been thanking GOD aloud for the ability to face my fear with calm, good sense and the opportunity to make my medical specialist an ally instead of alienating him with moodiness.

I also thanked Her-Him for my wealth of fabulous friendships.

This blogpost has been written from my heart, as was the book.

Let me know if my life lessons help you.

Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.  

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Face your fears with good sense and behavior.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's Hanuka Make-a-Miracle Moment!


25 Kislev, 5775

It's Hanuka and it's our job not to merely pray for a miracle, but to BE a miracle!

Remember the lessons in that Super-Better game? That Boo-Boo Barbie healing stunt that I pulled one Purim?

Tomorrow I'll share insight into how some life lessons helped me to deal with a shock to my medical file - and to me - this past month.


Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.  

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Face fear with a strategy to fight it down.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How to Have FUN with Hardships: Make a Game of Them!


24 Kislev, 5775

I wonder how many people in my actual life remember the games I played during my recovery from 2005 surgery? I'll jog your memories: 

Remember my demand that you walk into my hospital room with a new joke? 

Remember the Boo-Barbie episode, years later, that left all observers laughing until it hurt?  

Remember that you were struck by my emotional resilience? Same principle as that described in the video below. Have fun with hardship. Learn how to do that as you listen to...

How can you play your game of Super-Better?

Perhaps you can begin by naming your secret identity for one of the characters: 

Activate your Power Up. Recruit your allies. 

Find out how I did that, 
despite daunting medical news, 
this Thursday...

Read the print or E-book edition of

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Play games to power down your misery.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Super Sad, Super Glad, Super...


23 Kislev, 5775

Sometimes there's a weekly theme to this blog. This week the theme is "Super."

Sometimes the shock, pain, fear, despair and/or inconvenience of a diagnosis leaves us feeling anything but "super" in the sense of "good." 

We tend to feel super-horrible, super scared, and super saddened by a medical challenge, not super terrific by any means.

Hold that thought as you read the blog 
this week. 

I have a bit of a surprise coming up for you
on Thursday. 

But let's begin with the super-wonderful, super-heartwarming Sommers family who dealt admirably with a severe blow to its happiness.

The enthusiasm that the family generated resulted in a Rabbis Shave for the Brave event. There was even a 

The Sommers' looked for the positive, even helping other people despite the loss of their precious child.

Read more about that at the Superman Sam blog.

If you need a how-to guide for figuring out how to feel at all positive despite grim medical news, read several passages about that, spread throughout 

Post traumatic growth is about putting a life-changing, or any significant event, in perspective. That promotes emotional progress and more.

Figure out how to supercharge your ability to cope with your medical challenge, or someone else's.

Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.  

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Facing fear with growing courage empowers you to make progress.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Need to Cope with a Medical Problem? Get the Book on a Doctor's "Recommended Reading" List!


18 Kislev, 5775

I was at a social event yesterday, and ended up crying. 

Several people there embraced me, and told me how the book has helped them, and keeps helping them, to face their medical and emotional health issues. 

It was an unexpected, moving experience.

Here's another medical professional's praise for the book:

  "This book is good! I added it to our recommended book list." - Al Musella, DPM Founder and Director Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research & Information

As you've read this week, he's not the only doctor who endorses EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.

Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Cry out the fear, anger and sadness. Then get your grin back.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Can-do Message Far Beyond the Medical Sphere


17 Kislev, 5775

Kislev is reputed to be a month of miracles. The life-saving Hanuka miracle of the Maccabees took place, then.

Maybe you can make a miracle, too,
no matter which holiday you celebrate. 

Want to be a hero as you do your best to save someone's quality of life, despite their diagnosis?

Here are some thoughts on that topic by mental health professionals:

"It's MY Crisis and I'll Cry if I Need To can be of enormous help
both to people with an illness and to those near to them.
Yocheved Golani's sharing of hope, courage and faith
will bring relief to many sufferers."

Rabbi Dr Abraham J. Twerski, MD, PhD, Psychiatrist, Director of Gateways Rehabilitation Center

"… This book is lifesaving, emotionally rewarding, spiritual, funny and helpful…" 
 Judith Guedalia, PhD. Director, Neuropsychology Unit and Chief Medical Psychologist ER Trauma  (MCE)Team at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

"… a powerful 'can-do' message to those most in need of it… It could save your life or the life of your loved one. This combination of positive attitude and positive action makes this guide useful and complete. Its lessons extend far beyond the medical sphere to life challenges whatever they may be: lessons we can't afford to ignore." 
 Life Coach Y. Ives, England

Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.  

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Give the gift of confidence to forge on.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Here's "practical comprehensive information for dealing with a health-related crisis" YOU Need!


16 Kislev, 5775

As promised, here's another in this week's lineup of endorsements for

 "I received EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge one week after [suffering] my own medical crisis and found it very helpful. [It] will be of great benefit both in dealing with the fragile emotional health of sick patients and the stressful situation of the patient's caregiver… [with] very practical comprehensive information for dealing with a health-related crisis that is so seldom available to someone who is ill and preoccupied with their own troubles. 

"Ill people are often compromised and often don't know where to look for guidance. Putting so much useful information at their fingertips will help them navigate the difficulties of a confusing medical system. Combined with [the author's] encouragement to never give up hope, the book will be of great aid to anyone with a sudden serious medical emergency."

 - Daniel Eisenberg, MD, Department of Radiology at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA; Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Imaging at Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine; Medical Ethicist 

Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge

Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Find, then use, the information you need.