Through the ages, poetry slips in and expresses places hidden inside our hearts. In doing so, new pathways burst forth. Plato once wrote, “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history”. And later, Samuel Beckett penned, “Poets are the sense, philosophers the intelligence of humanity”. Poems are found in the sacred writings of virtually all of the major religions of the world. Poetry helps to … Continue reading Mindful Monday The Peace of Wild Things
As we move into fall, grocery stores and farmer’s markets are moving beautiful, health filled butternut squash to their produce sections! I am a huge soup fan, and love butternut squash soup. (That is a recipe for another post!) When I saw this recipe from our nutritionists, I realize this also is a perfect fall recipe for those of us who also love, love, love … Continue reading Butternut Squash and Macaroni Casserole
Life can be challenging: Unexpected trials, upended plans, suspended dreams, bodies we suddenly can’t trust, needs that seem engulfing, skills that just come up short. Do you relate? Mindboggling as it is, somehow it just helps to know that others can feel the same. Equally as staggering a thought is that somehow, during our times of challenge: We learn new things, we see new entities … Continue reading Mindful Monday: reflections
Welcome back to the Caring Connection series on grief and loss in cancer. This is the final post, six out of six posts. Frank Ostaseski, in his book The Five Invitations (2017), offered five “mutually supportive principles, permeated with love”, five “bottomless practices that can be continually explored and deepened”. He wrote about hospice experiences in that book. In this series, I (humbly) apply Ostaseski’s ideas to cancer experiences during Covid-19, reflecting … Continue reading On Grief and Loss in Cancer: Part 6
Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Begin each day with a grateful heart.~ Abraham Heschel The above quote is one I have above my bathroom mirror. It has known many homes since I first put it up in 1976. Always, it lifts me. … Continue reading Mindful Monday: Begin each day…
Maybe in a book or in a school course you saw a “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” pyramid. Did you know, Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) never drew any images or schematics for his psychological theory? It seems that the drawing was made up by textbook publishers as a learning aid. Well, perhaps it worked, and many people do remember the hierarchy of needs which describes in day-to-day … Continue reading “Why am I so stuck?” – Taking care of safety needs in uncertain times
Today as we collectively celebrate the end of summer with memories of Labor Day festivities (assuming we are all being wise about those public gatherings during this pandemic era!) and our creative ways to honor this day, may we simply take a few moments to spend in gratitude for: The works of our ancestors whose labor helped pave the way for each of us. The … Continue reading Mindful Monday: About our labor!
Back-to-school supports for your family I so loved “back to school” time, both as a kid and as a parent. There is simply something exhilarating about a clean slate, a new start, and new learning. I loved the smell of fresh paper, crayons, pens, pencils. Perhaps a new backpack and lunchbox. And, always, I wore something new to me that first day (we did a … Continue reading Back-to-school supports for your family
“The wounding becomes sacred when we are willing to release our old stories and become the vehicles through which the new story may emerge into time.” ~Jean Houston May we each this day pay attention to the stories we need to release, and to the new stories in us that are indeed emerging. May this be a good week for each of us. Happy Monday! Continue reading Mindful Monday: The story we tell ourselves
Welcome back to the Caring Connection series on grief and loss in cancer. This is the fifth out of six posts. Frank Ostaseski, in his book The Five Invitations (2017), offered five “mutually supportive principles, permeated with love”, five “bottomless practices that can be continually explored and deepened”. He wrote about hospice experiences in that book. In this series, I (humbly) apply Ostaseski’s ideas to cancer experiences during Covid-19, reflecting on illness, … Continue reading On Grief and Loss in Cancer: Part 5
Do you have a favorite flower? It is very difficult for me to choose a favorite, for there is such a vast array of floral beauty! I must say, though, that I am perhaps drawn most to the sunflower. What an amazingly stunning flower. They are unusually tall for a flower, some growing to as much as 10 feet tall! When they are growing, they … Continue reading Mindful Monday: Sharing Energy!
OK, so you are home and most likely quarantined (or at least partially quarantined). You may be in treatment or in that post treatment land. In some way, you are living with cancer during this uncertain time, and need outlets, resources, or maybe someone to connect with who is going through what you are. You also may be a family member who just has questions, … Continue reading Seeking Virtual Support Groups
As you greet this week, we invite you to reflect on the passages below, which are written by Parker Palmer. All of us know suffering. How we perceive and manage our suffering makes profound difference in our lives. Read. Pause. Breathe. Reflect. Breathe again. And take on the week. “Suffering breaks our hearts, but the heart can break in two different ways. There’s the brittle … Continue reading Mindful Monday – Suffering
Nutrition Education for Diarrhea: One of the realities for many during our cancer journey and treatment is diarrhea. Yuck. Diarrhea just makes us feel awful. We thought it might be helpful to take a look at what Diarrhea is and what we can do about it. What is it? Diarrhea is frequent, watery stools. It has many possible causes. Diarrhea may be due to medications, … Continue reading Diarrhea: What’s nutrition got to do with it?
This past week I came across the following quotes, which were taken from an interview of Maya Angelou by Oprah Winfrey about aging and life. They just hit me as helpful reflections that I thought I would share as we begin this Monday. Read, enjoy, hold onto what fits for your life~! HAPPY MONDAY! “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it … Continue reading Mindful Monday: Reflections
We do not often repost articles, but today we are! We are reposting an excellent article that was posted March 5, 2020. We decided to revisit it, as you may have missed it. Remember March? Life was incredibly full back in then as many were scrambling to figure out living and working conditions, treatments, child care, schooling and the list goes on. We just think … Continue reading A Patient’s Story
As we begin this new week, I share another writing by John O’Donohue. This is an excerpt from the book, Eternal Echoes. He writes about the gift of encouragement. There are times we feel incredibly depleted and are in great need of encouragement. I first read the passage below during such a time in my own life. There are cheerleaders in our midst whose energy … Continue reading Mindful Monday: Encouragement
In addition to our Oncology Social Workers, Oncology Nurse Navigators, and directory of Online Support Resources, we are proud and excited to continue our psycho-oncology (a.k.a. therapy for people impacted by cancer) program! This program has been operating for several years at the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital and is now adapted to provide care during social distancing. We would like to introduce several … Continue reading Mental and Emotional Health Services Available – Welcome Psychology Interns!
As we mourn and yet celebrate the life of John Robert Lewis this week, receive these words from him. May they inspire, comfort, and encourage us in our own journeys. “You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant. Lean toward … Continue reading Mindful Monday: Words for living
Welcome back to the Caring Connection series on grief and loss in cancer. This is the fourth out of six posts. Frank Ostaseski, in his book The Five Invitations (2017), offered five “mutually supportive principles, permeated with love”, five “bottomless practices that can be continually explored and deepened”. He wrote about hospice experiences in that book. In this series, I (humbly) apply Ostaseski’s ideas to cancer experiences during Covid-19, reflecting on illness, … Continue reading On Grief and Loss in Cancer: Part 4
This is a message from ReadyPhiladelphia. Due to an expected high heat index, on Monday, July 20th, the Health Department will be declaring a Heat Health Emergency. Residents should take special care to avoid the heat and get into air conditioning. The City has also activated the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s Heatline, a free service that can connect residents to Health Department nurses who can … Continue reading Public Safety Message Regarding Heat
“Remember to play after every storm” Mattie Stepanek I came across this quote last week, right after the HUGE storm which uprooted several trees on our block. Wow. How quickly nature can disrupt life! Streets flooded, cars were stranded, trees wound up in living rooms, roofs leaked, and basements became swamps. As I was cleaning debris from my own new swamp, I came across a … Continue reading Mindful Monday Remember to play
Berries are just so healthy for all of us, and this season is a great time to include them in our diets. In today’s post we want to give you a few tips about choosing and storing berries, and then share an article from AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research) focusing on summer berries. First, a few little tips when it comes to berries: How … Continue reading July is the perfect month to enjoy healthy berries!
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the hardiness of our spirits. We are all filled with spirit…the essence of who we are. Within our spirt we find strength, resilience, character, places of hope and perseverance. The spirit within each of us is a life force that gets us through an awful lot. During the cancer journey, many discover that their spirit is stronger than … Continue reading Mindful Monday: Breathing amidst uncertainty
Pennsylvania Hospital and the American Red Cross Blood Drive Every 2 seconds, someone needs blood. You can make a difference in your community. Perhaps you have been considering donating for the first time, or maybe you’ve donated in the past but you are unsure if it’s safe to donate blood at this time. We hope this page will answer your questions. Donating blood products is … Continue reading WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
As we begin this week, we share just a very few words from A. A. Milne. So wise. so true. So applicable to you! Continue reading Mindful Monday: Something to remember…
The above quote just says it. It really needs no further words. So as you start this week, simply put your hand on your heart. Breathe. Be thankful. How we love, how we breathe in the world around us, who we are….that is what’s important. Continue reading Mindful Monday: Importance
Unabridged audio for the post below: Welcome back to the Caring Connection series on grief and loss in cancer. This is the third out of six posts. Frank Ostaseski, in his book The Five Invitations (2017), offers five “mutually supportive principles, permeated with love”, five “bottomless practices that can be continually explored and deepened”. He wrote about hospice experiences in that book; in this series, I (humbly) apply Ostaseski’s ideas to oncology, … Continue reading On Grief and Loss in Cancer: Part 3
When we are dealing with the need to have space from others for health reasons, we learn a great deal. It is challenging. It gets old. We long for normalcy. We question our choices and yearn to just not have to be so physically isolated. Oh my, this may be the normal for this new time in our life, but it feels so abnormal. Recently … Continue reading Mindful Monday: Beauty and Healing in Spacing
Anxiety and depression are expectable reactions to receiving a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment. It is normal to need extra support when we are dealing with an unexpected life challenge. Cancer is a challenge that impacts almost every part of our lives, leaving us with mixed emotions and the need for coping skills. Even after treatment, patients and family members may find that they need … Continue reading Understanding Psychotherapy Services at Our Center
I remember some times in my life when everything seemed totally overwhelming. I just did not know what to do. Life felt like it had kicked the breath just totally out of me. Have you experienced those kinds of difficult periods? Sometimes they come around loss, of job, of health, of a precious person. Sometimes they come when we just feel unprepared for what is … Continue reading Mindful Monday: Take A Small Step
Welcome back to the Caring Connection series on grief and loss in cancer. Please find the full recording of this post below: This is the second out of six posts. This series is based on Frank Ostaseski’s book, The Five Invitations (2017), where he offers five “mutually supportive principles, permeated with love”, five “bottomless practices that can be continually explored and deepened”. He wrote about hospice experiences in that book. In … Continue reading Grief Series – Part 2
Dear readers, we have heard from some of you and know that you, like us, are struggling with many feelings. These days have stirred emotions which are deep and sometimes conflicted. It is a time for listening, and then more listening. It is also a time when we need soothing as we heal. This morning we share a wonderful poem by Wendell Berry. It speaks … Continue reading MINDFUL MONDAY: The Peace of Wild Things
National Cancer Survivors Day is Sunday, June 7th, 2020 National Cancer Survivors Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in June. The day is meant to demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality. It is a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, and a gathering of support for families. On National Cancer Survivors Day, thousands … Continue reading Survivors Day Celebration