8-year-old Boy Goes Beyond to Help Young Cancer Patients

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I ask my readers for your help:  Please reblog this post or share my URL  to get the word out.  People need to hear this story of this remarkable little boy.Thank you.

* * * * * * * *

Christian McPhilamy is my hero.

How many of you know a boy who would go through ridicule of being called a girl for two years, just so he could help other children out?

That is exactly what Christian McPhilamy did when he grew his hair out for over two years. He saw a a commercial for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and saw other young kids like him without hair while going through cancer treatment.

Now, at 8-years-old, Christian has donated his hair to an organization, which supplies wigs to those in treatment.

In a world where so many begrudge a call for donations to help others in need, there are people who willing to step up and show what true kindness and love really is.

Christian McPhilamy is one of those people. And this was a random act of kindness that I will never forget happened.

To read his story and see Christian’s pictures, click here for the story on MSN.  

M is for Music: A story from my life


This week I had one of the participants in my class ask me, “Why aren’t you still singing?” He had done a search for me and read much of this blog and other things I have written elsewhere. I did not have a good answer for him. I thought it appropriate to revisit this post this morning.


a-to-z-letters-mAnyone who knows me well might have guessed that the letter M would have been the prompt for a post on music. For those who do not know me, music has always been an integral part of my life.  It’s part of my story, a family legacy which goes way back in time.

I am the eldest of five children.  Both of my parents were musical, so I never can remember music not being a part of my life.

Mom sang and had worked as a young  woman in a group called the “Blue Bonnet Girls,” here in the Pacific Northwest.  I learned how to harmonize by singing along with my Mom when she sang songs to us as kids.  “Mairzy Doats (Mares Eat Oats),” “You Are My Sunshine,” and “Three Little Fishies (Itty Bitty Pool)” were among many of the songs that she taught all of us, and are…

View original 587 more words

Fathers’ Day 2015

Today is the first Fathers’ Day that I cannot make the phone call to wish my own father a good day, or to have sent him a card. He passed away this past January at the age of 83.

So, I want to wish a Happy Fathers’ Day to all those Dads who set incredible standards by stepping up and being positive, encouraging and loving role models. They show their children how to be the kind of man that sons should be, and the kind of men their daughters deserve to have.

Remember that you teach your children how to treat other people, as they watch how you treat others.  They observe what is important to you and emulate that behavior.

I especially want to honor those men who have stepped up to the plate to be the “Dads” in other children’s (not their own biologically) lives.  You have taken on that responsibility, when many others have walked away.

And, to those single mothers who are both Mom and Dad, there are no words. You throw the ball, provide for, and love like no others.

Happy Fathers Day, 2015!

Graduation Night 43 Years Ago

Where does TIME go?

Though it does not seem like yesterday, it certainly does not seem quite possible that I could have graduated from high school 43 years ago tonight at the tender age of 16.

By now, I was at Disneyland in Anaheim, California for Grad Night 1972 with thousands of other graduates from all over the area on a date with a boy in my class.  It was awkward, at best.

I have lived a long time by some people’s standards. At nearly 60 years of age, I am an old woman to those graduating this year. I suppose I felt the same way about my aunts and uncles and others in their 50s and 60s.

I do not think that I would ever go back to relive that time of my life, if given the chance. It would be nice to have been better equipped to handle the challenges that life doled out. But…

I would not be the woman I am today had I lived differently.  There are just some things that must be learned along the way in the exact timing it is given.

When Things Become Too Familiar

carcinoidAbout four years ago, I began to have some episodes that I allowed to pass without consulting a physician.  I was able to explain them away.

In April 2012, however, I found myself in the emergency room (ER) with an intestinal blockage, and thus began my journey with a new knowledge of what was going on with me.  I had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Carcinoid Cancer/Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs).

The reality of the matter is that I had been living with this for years, probably several decades. The difference was that now I knew about it.

Knowledge can be a wonderful thing.  It can also be something that we want to ignore, because what we know is not always pleasant.  Then we make a choice to turn away, or face it head on.  It is not an ideal that I always care to visit.

This weekend, I had a situation that was way too familiar to me. In fact, it is the second of episodes I have had in the past few months, with similar symptoms to what I experienced several years ago.

As much as I would like to “ignore it and hope it goes away,” I chose to write to my specialist and explain the situation.  I suggested that we not wait until September for my next CT scan and follow-up appointment, which would have been a year since my last. I am awaiting a response.

I do not relish the idea of the possibility of having to go through more surgery, but I recognize that it may be necessary. I also realize that I have to face my life head-on, though sticking my head in the sand would be easier in some ways.  Unfortunately, by ignoring it, I cannot guarantee that it will go away.

I have to keep reminding myself that I am LIVING with this disease.  That will require me to be ever-vigilant in paying attention to what my body tells me, and not letting my mind lie to me.  That is one familiar behavior I do not need to repeat.

A Day of Anniversaries


Two years ago, I wrote this piece about anniversaries. Tonight, on the eve of the same day, I am ever amazed how connected we are in life, and how death makes us realize the connectedness.

On this eve of my mother’s passing, four years ago. I realize just how much she impacted my life. Without her, I would never have learned to be as strong as I am facing each challenge life throws my way.


Today is one of those days that I am so busy that I can hardly take time to think, let alone write.  So, may I just say that today marks a very important day on many levels.

Today, June 14, 2013 is:

  • Flag Day, which commemorates the day that our country adopted the flag of the United States in 1777.  Oh, how I loved being the one in school and in Girl Scouts who was able to carry or raise the flag.  (“Why Flag Day Is Important to Me”)
  • My late Uncle Morey’s birthday.  I always thought it was “cool” that he would be born on Flag Day.  He was the biggest influence on me in my decision to join the military.  He was a true patriot and was the reason I wanted to join the Navy, as he had served in the Navy in Hawaii.
  • The two-year…

View original 193 more words

How Lucky Are You?

four-leaf-clover-711625__180Twenty-three years ago, when I was an Executive Manager with Tupperware, my Distributor, Karen Joyce Hanzlik, used to say “the harder you work, the luckier you get.”

She, too, was a baby boomer and grew up with some of the same work ethics that I was fortunate enough to have learned. I admired her greatly for her positive outlook on life.  I remember her best by how she viewed life and the challenges it presented. She was consistent in her messages to her team that there was something positive in everything that happens.  We simply had to be willing to view the situation differently and look for it.ladybug-354521_640

Some people say that success comes only if one is in the right place at the right time. Others complain that there cannot be success unless one is born at the right time or to the right family. There are so many reasons that one can use to justify why he or she is are not successful.

Although there are many factors that may influence one’s success, it is important to consider what the word, “success,” means. Money is only one way to measure success. When we limit our vision of success to money, power, or prestige, we may always find ourselves on the short end of the stick.

If you look for success you will find it. It may not always seem easy, especially if the unit of measure for that success is compared to what others have or what one does not have.

* * * * * * * *

By what other standards can you measure your successes? When you open up your vision of success, you may be surprised at just how successful you already are.

And luck has little to do with it.