Choices ~ Healing ~ Love
May 1, 2005 Volume 7 Issue #4
Publisher & Editor: Gail R. Mitchell


Spring sprang quickly and turned to cooler days here in the northeast. These past six months have been a whirlwind for me. I have begun taking many long weekend in the country visiting with friends her are loving and nurturing with me. One friend is quiet and mindful.. the other will conjure up anything to get the little girl inside me laughin even when I am crying. I am truly grateful for their loving friendship for without them, my healing would have been much more difficult.

Spring is truly a time of birthing and renewal. Mother's milking their babes, colts, calves, baby chicks all helped to touch and heal my wounded heart. Blossoms in the trees, the buddings of new life, all were an incredible support for my own renewal. So I am using this time still in retreat working at taking baby steps into the re patterning of my life. Slowly I hope to be returning to writing the newsletter on a monthly basis and responding more frequently at the message boards.

This issue of the newsletter is being posted late on Mother's Day. My wishes go out to all of you who are mothers and to those of you caring for your mothers on this truly special day.

May your journey be gentle and beautiful!
In Love & Light,


National Organization For Empowering Caregivers NOFEC
Sign Up For Your Free Membership
Take Our Caregiver Survey

We invite you to join in our complimentary membership at: Join Us. While you are there, please take a few minutes to fill in our Caregiver Survey. Your input is extremely valuable and we will respect your privacy. Your support in filling in our survey will help us and our funders to study the areas where programming is most needed and where it will be most effective. Survey.

New Chat Host At Empowering Caregivers
Mardell Bonasso - Hosting Wednesday 9PM-10PM

Mardell resides in Central PA with her husband. She has been an LPN with 25 years of experience. Approximately 10 years ago, she left the nursing profession to begin her own insurance agency. In 2002 her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. At 89 years old, Mardell recently placed her in a nursing home as the demands of running a businessher own personal health issues and caring for her mother at home got to be too much. Mardell attends several local support groups in her area. Through her training, the support and her personal life experiences she has gained a wealth of knowledge and insight into caregiving. She is committed to helping others by sharing her knowledge.

Our chat room has picked up and we are looking for one or two more hosts. If you are interested please fill in the application. Chat Host.

Cooking Light Magazine - March 2005
Featured Article on Caregiving: with Robin Arcer
From Empowering Caregivers

Cooking Light featured an article on caregiving in March with the main inerview focused around Robin Arce from Empowering Caregivers. The article was about three pages with photos of Robin, her dad, her family and even her kitty cat..

Kudos to Susan Colon, the freelance lifestyle writer, based in New York City who fist interviewed me searching for a family caregiver to feature. Without Suzan's fortitude to present it to the magazine, there might not have been an article. Suzan had cared for a dear friend and understands the growing needs of the family caregiver.



Neighborcare: Care Site Of The Month

Caregiver Sites Of The Month Archives
"Featured Guest Experts"

Alan Cohen
Get Up and Leave by Alan Cohen

Beth Witrogen Mcleod
Caring For A Parent With Alzheimer's Disease

Mary C. Fridley RN, BC
Leaving Home

Or click on this link:
Featured Guest Experts


If you are interested in submitting an article(s) please go to: Submit. You will find a form for submitting your article, bio/profile, copyright permissions, etc. Please review our guidelines for acceptance, submit and we will notify you upon acceptance.

Breast Cancer Series:

Breast Cancer - Who Is At Risk and Understanding The Process - Fact Sheet Part I by National Cancer Institute
Part 1 explains what breast cancer is and who is at risk. Article

Breast Cancer - Planning Treatment - Fact Sheet Part II by National Cancer Institute
Part two offers a list of cancer detecting techniques and symptoms. Article

Breast Cancer - Methods of Treatment - Fact Sheet Part III by National Cancer Institute
Part lll offers a list of available treatments for cancer. Article

Breast Cancer - Stages of Cancer - Fact Sheet Part IV by National Cancer Institute
Stages of cancer and how they affect the treatment plan. Article

Breast Cancer - Side Effects and Detail About Treatments - Fact Sheet Part V - by National Cancer Institute
The article describes some side effects and detail about treatments of cancer. Article.

Breast Cancer - Support For Women and Advances In Research - Fact Sheet Part VI by National Cancer Institute. Article.

Echo by Nedda Wittels
Echo was a flea-bitten gray horse, with brown speckles everywhere, and crystal clear hairs in her mane and tail. The author shares a touching story with her horse. Article.

A Difficult Decision by Paulette Kaufman
This article recounts the experience of the author's decision to place her mother in an assisted living facility, and the pain involved in making that decision. Article.

Consumer Directed Care In Danger Of Extinction by Dr. Gema Hernández
Dr. Hernández describes what Consumer Directed Care can and has done. She also discusses why the government is not moving forward with it and what we as caregivers need to know about its value. Article

In Memory

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bolibeli whose mother passed in April. She was her caregiver for six years. You gave so much and placed your own health in jeaopardy. We will keep you in our prayers for a gentle and nurturing healing on all levels as you begin to reclaim yourself fully.

Our thoughts and prayers go out equally to Ann49 aka Ann48 whose mother passed as well in April. Ann was a strong fighter and advocator on her mother's behalf and was a gifted blessing to her.. Our prayers are with you in your time of loss..

Richest blessing to both of you,


Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity:
What are these disorders?

Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a chronic disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points (18 known), particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), a person is considered to have fibromyalgia if they experience widespread pain with tenderness in at least 11 of 18 specific tender point sites.

People with FMS may also experience sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and other symptoms. It has been estimated that over 8 million people suffer with these disorders and the numbers are continually climbing; yet the cause is still unknown.

Some Scientists believe that the syndrome is caused by an injury or trauma. The injury may affect the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia has been known to be associated with changes in muscle metabolism causing decreased blood flow, which in turn causes fatigue leaving one in a weakened state. Some physicians believe the syndrome may be triggered by an infectious number of viruses.

t is difficult to treat Fibromyalgia because what works for one person may not work for another. A combination of medications, relaxation, and massage can help alleviate some pain. Swimming has been known to help some FMS patients.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not like the normal good and bad days we experience in everyday life. The early sign of this illness is a very noticeable fatigue that comes on suddenly. You usually feel too tired to do the slightest activity and can become easily exhausted for no apparent reason. Most develop a fogged mind and concentration becomes poor; the agonizing weakness of CFS does not go away with a good nights sleep. Instead, it robs your energy and stamina over months and sometimes years.

Common symptoms of CFS are: headache, tender lymph nodes, fatigue, weakness in muscles and joint aches and an inability to concentrate. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS);

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS is another disorder that overlaps and presents itself in full force. This is a syndrome in which multiple symptoms occur with low-level chemical exposure. Several theories have been explained for the cause of MCS, including: toxic effects, allergy, and neurobiological sensitization. MCS patients have escalated rates of depression, and anxiety disorders.

Common symptoms include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, depression, memory loss, weakness, dizziness, headaches, heat intolerance and neuralgic pain in one or more joints. It has been suggested that Gulf War syndrome may be a variant of MCS. It is rare that one develops FMS / CFS/ MCS by itself; these three disorders usually overlap one another.

Pattie Caprio

Million Letter Campaign
Founder of the MILLION LETTER CAMPAIGN (MLC) Pattie was stricken with FMS / CFIDS / MCS after an automobile accident in May 2002. Unable to work within the tight deadlines of her chosen career, Pattie fought long and hard to receive Social Security Disability benefits. After living through this devastating lifestyle change, Pattie’s goal became finding a way to help others. The idea for the Million Letter Campaign was born out of an impassioned desire to end the financial and emotional poverty that many FMS/CFIDS/MCS patients are forced to endure and to educate the public about these painful, life-altering conditions. By collaborating with Fibromyalgia web-site owner and fellow FMS sufferer, Dominie Soo Bush, Pattie has enlisted the help of Dominie’s huge reader base. She has enlisted over 30 volunteers to help spread the word, and now shares her goal with sufferers throughout America and parts of Europe, Australia, China, South Africa and Canada. For more information about the Million Letter Campaign, log on to their site. FMS-HELP.COM


"Financial Steps for Caregivers:
What You Need to Know About Money and Retirement."

This free booklet provided by the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) was created to help caregivers make nformed financial decisions in their role of caring for a lovced one. Learn abouut budgeting, retirement planning, choices about employement and more. You may download the free booklet in pdf form. Financial Steps.

Free Teleconference May 17th from Cancer Care

A cancer diagnosis has a profound impact on the entire family. There is new information to be learned and decisions to be made. And throughout it all the question, how much information do children need in order for them to feel comfortable and secure?

On May 17th, CancerCare will offer a free, one-hour telephone education workshop, Supporting Your Children and Teenagers During Your Cancer Treatment, with Peggy Ann Murphy, MSW, Children's Program Coordinator at CancerCare. Ms. Murphy will discuss common questions children ask, how each age group responds, the six basic needs of children whose parent has cancer and much more. The workshop will take place from 1:30 to 2:30 pm Eastern Time. The workshop is free and there are no phone charges to participate.

To register, simply go to the CancerCare website registration page.

Introducing Medicare's New Coverage for Prescription Drugs

Introducing Medicare's New Coverage for Prescription Drugs is a pdf file you can read and download at: RX

Beginning January 1, 2006, Medicare will be offering different insurance plans that cover your prescription medications. The information will help you to decide what plan you fall under and are eligible for. Complete details on the plans and what your are eligible for will be distributed in the fall called “Medicare and You 2006”. Assistance will be available from Medicare in helping you to make the appropriate choices for you and your loved ones.

Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs - This is a sample application that you can view at: App.

May is:

Older Americans Month
Administration on Aging

Skin Cancer Awareness Month
American Cancer Society

Mental Health Month
National Mental Health Association

National Arthritis Month
Arthritis Foundation

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

New Breast Cancer Prevention Trial Launches -Researchers Seeking Healthy Women to Participate

Healthy women at an increased risk for breast cancer, which includes all women 60 or older, may be eligible to participate in the ExCel research study. Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group, ExCel is a global prevention trial with 40 sites across the U.S. It will evaluate if the breast cancer drug exemestane can also effectively prevent the disease in healthy women at high risk. If proven effective, exemestane may provide women with a safer alternative to tamoxifen, currently the only drug FDA approved for prevention. For more information on ExCel and for a site nearest you, visit

Women Needed With Early State Breast Cancer Under Chemo or Radiation for Paid Focus Group

We are recruiting for an in-home study for women currently being treated with either radiation or chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer. The study will involve an in-home interview, recording your cancer treatment in a paper diary, and a series of about 6 brief follow-up telephone calls. Compensation is $500. We are seeking women who live within a 1-2 hour drive of NYC, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

f you have been recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and are interested in participating in this study, please reply with the following information:: You name, age, phone, if you have you reached menopause, either naturally or as a result of your cancer treatment and when do you expect to complete radiation and/or chemotherapy.

This study is being conducted by a major healthcare company to better develop cancer treatments. Your participation will ultimately result in bringing better ideas and treatments to doctors and patients such as yourself. Of course, your responses will remain anonymous. Thank you,

Focus Forward



"One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both, are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. This comes with much love and a prayer that you remember who you came from, and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place

Zora Neale Hurston

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot
live within.

James Baldwin

The Truth From Dr. Ruth

I noticed a person whose habits bothered me.
I wanted to change that person.
Then I realized I was looking in a "mirror".

Rivers of life flow through you every day.
Purifying these rivers involves managing the pollutants of your mind.

Breath is the Wind of Life moving through you each and every minute.
Open yourself to its power, and you become the Wind of Life.

Upon awakening, celebrate the process of waking-up.

Now tell the truth and move on:
What untruth are you telling yourself that is creating conflict in your life?

A garden of kindness is cultivated through:
forgiveness, acceptance, and appreciation.



For Those Who Work In An Office

Recently we have received credible intelligence that there have been seven terrorists working in your office. Six of the seven have been apprehended:

Bin Sleepin, Bin Loafin, Bin Goofin, Bin Lunchin, Bin Drinkin and Bin Butt-Kissin have all been taken into custody. At this time, no one fitting the description of the seventh cell member, Bin Workin, has been found at your office. We are confident that anyone who looks like he's Bin Workin will be very easy to spot. You are OBVIOUSLY not a suspect at this time. So keep on doing what you Bin Doing.


Three old sisters--92, 94, and 96 years old, respectively, lived together.

One day the oldest drew a bath. She put one foot in the water, paused, then called downstairs to her sisters, "Am I getting in the tub or out of the tub?"

The middle sister started up the stairs to help, then paused and called back downstairs, "Was I going up or coming down?"

The youngest sister, who was sitting at the kitchen table having tea, said, "I guess I'll have to help. I hope I never get that forgetful!" and knocked on wood.

She got up then, paused, and called, "I'll come up as soon as I see who's at the door!"


A 92 year-old man went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later the doctor saw the man walking down the street with a gorgeous young lady on his arm. At his follow up visit the doctor said to the man, "You're really doing great, aren't you?"

The man replied, "Just doing what you said Doctor, 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful'."

The Doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said 'you got a heart murmur. Be careful'".

REGARDING THE FORWARDING OF THE NEWSLETTER: Please do not forward this letter or subscribe anyone if they have not given you permission. We would like you to share it with others, but we do not want those who are not open to receiving it to be subjected to your forwarding it without their express permission. Thank you.

Subscribe To Newsletter For:
Empowering Caregivers
Click The Button

Powered by

DISCLAIMER: The Empowering Caregivers Site and the Empowering Caregivers newsletter contain views, opinions, statements, and recommendations of third party individuals, writers, advertisers and organizations. Empowering Caregivers/ does not represent or endorse the views, accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, product or service displayed or distributed on this web site. You acknowledge that any reliance upon such opinion, advice, statement or information shall be at your sole risk. The information provided by Empowering Caregivers / is for educational purposes only and should not be treated as medical advice. Nothing contained on Empowering Caregivers/ is intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatment or a substitute for consultation with a qualified healthcare professional. In no event will Empowering Caregivers /, its affiliates, partners, agents, or contractors be liable to you for any damages or losses resulting from or caused by Empowering Caregivers / and its services, including use of the community message boards and chat rooms, free email, free web pages, content (including articles, stories, news) or any errors or omissions in ts content, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

EMPOWERING CAREGIVERS™ is trademarked. All Information on this website is owned by Gail R. Mitchell. This includes but is not limited to the journal exercises, Newslet