Category Archives: Recognition

the gift of giving


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I saw it. In a flash. A glipse of myself. Just like my father.

Sitting at the table with 20 other women – gathered together as breast cancer survivors – we were celebrating ‘generous J” who has given so much of her time to our group, ensuring we had plans for monthly dinners and knew the yoga schedule. When J decided she needed to ‘retire’ from her leader role, me and another member of our group thought it would be nice to say a special thank you to “J”. And, then some part of me, shaped by the goodness and giving of my father, stepped in and started organizing a party, gathering us all up in our goodwill and giving a special gift of gratitude to “J”. I’d been instrumental in making it all happen. Sitting there next to K, I saw it. It was a flash. A glimpse of myself – just like my father. For an instant my Dad was there with me; I was him. He was me. We were one giving spirit.

Thank you, Dad, for all the giving you’ve done and continue to do and for being a role model of selfless generosity. I am proud to be your daughter and hope that my glimmer is even half as bright as your glow. I love you.




Two years ago, the phone rang here at my house. It was Jean, my surgeon’s nurse, calling to give me the results of the biopsy of the removed breast tissues and lymph nodes taken during my mastectomy.

No cancer. “The report is very, very, very good!” she had said, leaving the details for my surgeon to share with me. It’s impossible to put into words the sense of relief I felt. In a moment it was like I could breath again. No chemo.

After the relief came gratitude. I had been so fortunate along this road called cancer. No radiation. No chemo. Only a few lymph nodes removed – low risk of developing lympedema in my right arm.

I relished the calm that washed over me and the moments of celebration…

Chugging Train
By Vicki L. Flaherty

Finally, the train has stopped.
I’m clean — no cancer.
Nothing suspicious
That can be seen or detected.
At least for now…
It’s OK to celebrate this moment.

But, the engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.
At this juncture, there are questions
About prevention, recurrence.
What to do? How to live with the odds?
No conclusive answers.
The engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.

Navigating the course ahead
It’s up to me to decide:
Do I take the medication?
What tradeoff s, given the benefits and risks?
Choices, decisions — the signals along the journey.
The engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.

A related post is Waiting Game.

Empowered Doctor Blog Award


Empowered Doctor Blog Award small

Imagine my delight to find out this evening that this blog – Mostly My Heart Sings – was chosen as one of Empowered Doctor’s Top Breast Cancer Blogs! The award was given by Michael Foti, Regional Manager of Empowered Medical Media. Empowered Doctor is a news source focusing on healthcare and is a news affiliate of the Chicago Tribune, Arizona Central, and CBSNewYork. The organization recently launched a program to identify and publicize some of the top breast cancer-related blogs on the web. I received a badge showing the award, which I’ve embedded in this post and displayed on the right side of the blog (along with another award I was given previously). I appreciate the recognition and hope it might help me bring comfort and hope in the world.