Save your sanity, time & money!

Need solutions for the medication, medical appliances and/or medical travel that you can't afford? READ EMPOWER Yourself.

A Health Information Management professional, I survived a life-threatening emergency with information that only a person of my professional experience would know. And I’m sharing it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Working on Wellness, One Color at a Time


20 Iyar 5771

I spent some time volunteering at a local hospital's "Wellness Center" today, helping people on chemotherapy, in need of bone marrow transplants or other blood work, to feel better.

I met Bobo the Medical clown after helping a little girl to paint a picture (he usually wears a silly pink hat and tie, though his official photo looks rather serious)

and chatting with a woman who enjoys good jokes.

I can't cure anybody, but doctors know that happier people make more curable patients. Helping someone to smile is the major achievement of my efforts
;^ D

Check out the chapter in E-book "It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge" about how boring it is to be sick and more boring to sit around waiting to recover. Solutions are listed there. Readers and doctors use them!

EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.

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

Friday, May 20, 2011

Facing Pediatric Cancer Together


16 Iyar 5771

I apologize for my absence from the blog lately. My schedule has been hectic.

Here's a marvelous presentation at the NY TIMES Wellness blog:
Voices of Pediatric Cancer.

Note that one set of the parents who speak about their family's ordeal did something to help others facing it.
Max's Ring of Fire is an advocacy organization doing what it can to speed up cures from cancer.

My heart is with parents facing such situations. Whatever else I've done this week pales in my appreciation for posting these resources for you.

Learn more about how to reduce your stress and medical expenses with E-book EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.

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

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"YOU Can Do This, Too"


8 Iyar 5771

I've been busy celebrating Israel's memorial day for terror victims and fallen soldiers, as well as the 20th century re-establishment of the state. I've also been pre-occupied with a personal project that, GOD willing, will put smiles on many faces soon.

I apologize for being away from the blog. To make it up to you somewhat, here's a real heart-warmer of a video about a woman who took back her life despite a disabling accident. Watch her walk on water long after she'd given up on life!

Find more inspiring video, audio, and images at Growing Bolder.

As Karen teaches, "You can do this, too." Go ahead. Break your boundaries. What can you do to EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge? Read and find out.

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Patient Educates the Medical World


29 Nisan, 5771

Ever looked at a blank piece of paper and seen wonderful possibilities? I do it daily.

I'm preparing a feature story about a woman making a kidney donation. She didn't know I used to supervise medical records in various settings. We're giving each other quite an education... And I'll be giving one to my readers once the feature story is published. The heroine of my piece has a few lessons to teach the medical world.

I plan to update the blog with breaking medical information soon.

Save time, money and your emotional health by finding what you need now, not later. The informative text of quick and convenient E-book
EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge
is easy to read and understand

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

Monday, May 2, 2011

Death and Dying: Addressing the Hardest Medical Subject with Compassion


28 Nisan 5771

Today this blog is part of a Virtual Tour for the book you see above. I reviewed it months ago and came away deeply impressed.

Though the author and I do not think nor behave completely alike in spiritual terms, I want to praise Susan Avitsour for her candor and honest search for meaningful spiritual reconciliation with the death of her deeply loved child. Here is my review:

And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones Author: Susan Petersen Avitsour
Publisher: ZmanMa
Reviewer: Yocheved Golani

And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones can take you far from your expectations of a book about losing a child to cancer. The amazingly clear, honest prose can ennoble you no matter what you believe before reading the memoir. Listen as Susan Petersen Avitsour narrates - in her words and her daughter Timora's - the drama leading up to, during and beyond Timora's diagnosis. The family had learned it days before her bat mitzva.

On page 75 Avitsour relates that Timora, receiving chemotherapy and radiation suppressing adolescent development, "couldn't find her place in the world of young teenage girls…" Her body had reacted violently to the potentially life-saving chemicals. They filled her increasingly frail body while wreaking havoc on her emotions, as chemotherapy tends to do. Timora's poem about her predicament, on page 122, concludes "Please, /Open up a little crack/So I'll know – The world still contains a little light."

Timora would giggle, prepare craft projects, write poetry, dote on her parents, brother and sisters, act in school plays and pursue scouting activities while suffering two close calls at saving her life in six years. Her family faced them as mortals would: alternating between hope, despair, admirable emotional restraint and the exhaustion which opens the floodgates to pent-up emotions. Page 107 records the author wondering "And when Timora came down on one of her siblings [ed: tired of holding back for Timora's sake and of losing time with parents who necessarily supervised –and performed – Timora's medical care], whom was it more important that I protect – the child being unfairly attacked, or the child suffering from a mortal illness? There was no simple solution."

Observers don't necessarily appreciate the physical or psycho-spiritual pain influencing ill people and their loved ones. On pages 164-167, we hear proof of that as the heartbroken mother cries out for help during a support group meeting for halachically observant Jews. Tired of meaningless maxims about spiritual healing versus physical curing, Avitsour begs for genuine solace from the rabbinic speaker. Battered by ensuing insults about her theological beliefs, then by proclamations of religious superiority from the crowd, her agony lifts off the page: "A wave of exhaustion suddenly struck me; I didn't have the strength for this. I didn’t want to argue theology I wanted to connect emotionally. Wasn't that what we all had in common?"

Many readers will be able to identify with the author's sense of abandonment at the least expected of times. Clergy and therapists can gain insight into meeting the emotional needs of such people from the incident. Avitsour's search for meaningful spiritual comfort to her family's agony is the focal point of her book. She describes the unconditional love of fellow congregants in her Israeli bet knesset (synagogue) and her husband's delighted astonishment at an over-capacity crowd bone marrow drive publicized in a community newspaper. These and other uplifting parts of the Avitsour family's life enervated the parents, Timora and her siblings, as they faced six years' worth of unpredictable days.

Within a circle of female dancers on page 241, Avitsour describes her joy at the wedding of a bride the same age Timora would have been had both classmates reached that calendar date. "I couldn't help but share in the general elation at the young couple's happiness… But then I was struck once again by a fleeting vision of … Timora as she might have danced at her own wedding… I do not want to spend the rest of my life overcome with grief for what will never be… At the same time I don't want to run away from my sadness for her and all she might have become. To do so would mean running from Timora herself…"

On page 262, Avitsour concludes "G'D in His grace has granted me – indeed, granted to all human beings, wherever they stand [on the spiritual continuum] a healing force, a source of strength that exists quite apart from the dilemmas and doubts that inevitably arise in any intelligent religious discourse, and replenishes us when we are at our most depleted." Her prose dignifies the oft-misunderstood agony of parents before, during and after each stage of bereavement. 263-page paperback And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones invites unshed tears to fall and for honest communication to prevail so that emotional relief and repair can happen. It ends with one of Timora's poems, calling out across time:

And why.
Why live. Suffer. Fight, struggle.
Why pull and pull
like a wretched
miserable beast – For what.

In loneliness, in the dark,
in the cold.

How much have I asked,
and how much will I ask.
And I am not the only one
Not only when sorrow
blinds the eye
like a veil of tears.

But within me I know
And sometimes, like a flame
The answer blazes before me
- Love.

Therapists and bereaved relatives would do well to read this memoir several times.

Yocheved Golani is the author of highly acclaimed E-book "It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge" (

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