July 29, 2009

when someone you love has cancer My dear friend and mentor, Cecil Murphey has written a book to help you through one of the most difficult roads a family can travel – When Someone You Love has Cancer. Written with the compassion of someone who has traveled the same road, I highly recommend this book.




cec When Shirley walked in from the garage, she didn’t have to say a word: I read the diagnosis in her eyes. I grabbed her and held her tightly for several seconds. When I released her, she didn’t cry. The unshed tears glistened, but that was all.
I felt emotionally paralyzed and helpless, and I couldn’t understand my reaction. After all, I was a professional. As a former pastor and volunteer hospital chaplain I had been around many cancer patients. I’d seen people at their lowest and most vulnerable. As a writing instructor, I helped one woman write her cancer-survival book. Shirley and I had been caregivers for Shirley’s older sister for months before she died of colon cancer.

All of that happened before cancer became personal to me–before my wife learned she needed a mastectomy. To make it worse, Shirley was in the high-risk category because most of her blood relatives had died of some form of cancer. Years earlier, she had jokingly said, "In our family we grow things."

In the days after the diagnosis and before her surgery, I went to a local bookstore and to the public library. I found dozens of accounts, usually by women, about their battle and survival. I pushed aside the novels that ended in a person’s death. A few books contained medical or technical information. I searched on-line and garnered useful information–but I found nothing that spoke to me on how to cope with the possible loss of the person I loved most in this world.

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July 19, 2009

 j0386116 One of my pet peeves is having to tear through storage containers to find something. That’s one of the reasons a label-maker is a professional organizer’s best friend.

But what about when a label like ”Christmas Decorations” is too generic?

I’ve found that taking a quick photo of the contents – and attaching it to the outside of the container – is a simple and effective solution. This is also an easy way to help children who can’t read learn to put away their toys.

An added benefit is that you’ll have a record of the contents of those containers in case of a fire or flood. Just be sure to back up your photos and keep the files in a safe place.


July 9, 2009


“Dwell in possibility.” – Emily Dickinson