Showing posts from January, 2017

Part IV - Who's Beside Me?

This is Part IV of a day that forever changed my life. Go here for Part I, Part II and Part III

When Joe finally left the hospital, I was able to focus solely on my brother Jim. Although he'd been unable to acknowledge my presence, I stood at his bedside, leaned close to his face, looked into his eyes and spoke. The lids fluttered and opened. His big blue eyes slowly turned toward me.

"Jim," I said.  He tracked me with his gaze. Although he was unable to move or speak, a silent communication developed between us.

I spoke gently and softly. I don't recall most of what I said. I talked about my afternoon with the kids. I talked about the pretty day outside. I talked about how glad I was to be with him. 

Sometimes he wanted me to take the oxygen mask off and sometimes he wanted it on. He was unable to speak, move his limbs or use his hands to help himself, so I did it for him.

I really didn't think beyond the moment or try to comprehend what was happening. Oddly, …

Thursday's Thoughts

For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict
Luke 21:15

This One's Written Just For You

I'm sharing this diary entry written while undergoing cancer treatments because the resulting revelation applies to you too, cancer or not.

April, 2015

The past two days were debilitating. I felt like I was backpedaling, so I called the oncologist's office and spoke to my nurse manager.

She gave me full attention as I updated her on my symptoms - the unrelenting fatigue, searing bone pain, muscle aches, and sharp brain pain. There were intestinal issues and agonizing abdominal pain.

Finally, I ended with a pleading question, "Is this normal?"

I wanted answers. I wanted to know just what to expect. I wanted assurance that my symptoms were normal. I wanted to know recovery timeframes and expectations.

There was silence at the other end of the line. 

Then, finally, a response: "Truth is, there are so few cases of this kind of cancer, that they don't have enough outcomes to predict recovery times or extents."

In other words, it is whatever it is.

Oh, great.

I felt…

Part III - Who's Controlling These Thoughts, Words and Actions?

Click here for Part I and Part II of this story.

The kids were riding bikes after school when my husband, Joe, came home early from work. He'd been out on sales calls all day so I'd been unable to reach him by phone (this was before cellphones) to communicate the day's unnerving events.

Last Joe knew, I was staying home with the kids. He had no idea Debbie stopped by. He had no idea my brother Jim was now in the hospital. He had no idea I'd need him to come home early.

But that's just what he did.

Joe barely set his briefcase down when I flooded him with the news.

I described Debbie's unexpected visit that morning and how she insisted that I check on Jim. I told him how I found Jim in his apartment, sprawled across the floor and unable to move. I told him about how Jim refused to let me call for emergency help  I told him how the phone rang unexpectedly and how the caller diffused my panic, then directed me to call 911. I told him how, much to my relief, the…

Thursday's Thoughts

God is our refuge and our strength;
an ever-present help in times of trouble

Psalm 46:1

5 Things I Learned from Cancer

5Things I Learned from Cancer

1.  Cherish the moment
Life is made up of many sparkling moments, so don't waste time worrying about tomorrow or what happened yesterday. Fix it. Plan for it. Then, trust God. His powerful presence is found in the moment. 

2. Begin with the end in mind
In Stephen R. Covey's book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the second habit is to begin with the end in mind. It's good advice for all of us.

This life isn't forever, so maybe now is the time to brush up on your faith. Don't wait until it's too late or you're too sick to develop a faith life.  Prepare for that. Get to know God now. Join a church...participate in a bible study...a small prayer group. Do it now! Then, when the winds blow and the tide rises, it won't be as scary.
Today's actions will lift you later, believe me. Growing your faith is like putting money in the bank. Begin with the end in mind.

3.  There is a separation between body and nur…

Part II -- Who's Ringing the Telephone?

This is Part II of a story - Part I can be found here

I banged on the door to my brother's apartment, barely waiting for his faint reply.

"Come in."

I fumbled the keys, unlocked the door, and shoved it open.

There, sprawled across the floor, lay Jim.

"What happened?" I screamed.

I dropped the carseat to the floor and raced to Jim's side. My newborn daughter, still strapped in, began to wail.

With a slight motion of the head, Jim turned his eyes toward me. Nothing else budged. His limbs were like bags of concrete.

"I don't know," he said. "I can't move."

This was serious. Jim, at age 33, was recently diagnosed with kidney failure. After several dialysis treatments, he decided he couldn't tolerate them and, checking himself out of the hospital against medical advice, calmly and resolutely maintained that he'd rather hope and pray for a miracle than live his life tied to a machine.  

I crumbled under the weight of his decision. It …

Thursday's Thoughts

Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

Cancer- the current crisis. Got Faith?

Hello again.

If you follow my Monday posts, you know I'm backtracking, telling a story from decades ago about a day that forever changed my life and my relationship with God.

Before that day, I knew about God. After that, I came to know God, the God who walks beside us each and every day of our lives.

Since then, I've worked at getting to know this God.

Good thing. 

Because five years later, I was diagnosed with cancer...a rare blood cancer called Waldenstroms Macroglobulinemia.  

Initially, the medical team chose to delay treatment, believing, at the time, that it would do more harm than good. Great choice!   Unexpectedly, it took 20 years to become a deadly threat. Twenty years of uncertainty, choosing to cherish each moment I was given.

So it was no surprise that in August 2015, after experiencing serious vision issues caused by a blood disorder caused by the cancer, I ended up in a chemo lab, hooked up to some very potent drugs. The treatments would, thankfully, save my life.…

Part I - Who's Knocking at My Door?

Well, it's Monday and I promised it. A blog post that will show you that Mondays (and any day of the week) are anything but Mundane...Let's start at the very beginning...

I'm about to share stories from the darkest time of my life; so you too can see...there was always a light shining in the dark...and you too can know....there always IS a light shining in the dark...always...

Come, travel back with me...and see...

One particular Thursday,there was a loud, unexpected, knocking on my door. I gathered my newborn in my arms and opened the door.

Bright rays of sunshine flooded the foyer. Debbie stood there, car running in the driveway. Debbie was new to our neighborhood, but we became fast friends.
Like me, she was a stay-at-home mom. Like me, she had just given birth to a third daughter. Like me, she'd left a rewarding career to raise her family. In her case, she worked in the medical field, counseling teens who refused life-saving treatments like dialysis, insulin and such.…
Mondays- Anything But Mundane

by Debra Tomaselli

Happy New Year!

This is the first Monday in 2017 and the first of my weekly blog posts intended to inspire, encourage and lighten your load. These true stories illustrate God's loving presence in our lives.

Years ago, in the darkest times of my life, I began a search for God. Seek and you shall find! What an exhilarating journey it's been, filled with surprise and reward! I can't wait to share these stories with you!

Come along for a miraculous run...Open your eyes to the divinity in our lives....and you'll discover that Mondays...and any other day of the week...are anything but mundane!

Stay tuned. I'm excited about what's up ahead.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened. 
Matthew 7:7