Making Your Mes-othelioma Your Message

Let's Hold on Together.

Let’s Hold on Together.

It was just a few week ago that I wrote about “making your mess your message.”  I had heard the phrase declaring that “Honey, everybody’s got something” on the CBS morning show Good Morning America.  The true-to-life words were fashioned by the mother of anchor and newscaster Robin Roberts.  It is also the title of Robin Robert’s new memoir.  Her mother would always follow that statement with the wise words: “Make your mess your message.”

How ironic that shortly after that post I received an email from Heather Von St. James.  She was reaching out to me “in hopes that I would help her with a cause that is very near and dear to her heart.”  Heather writes for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance which offers an enormous amount of information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure.  Her mission is to educate and inform the public about this preventable disease. Read More


Your Heart, My Heart

Take Care of Your Heart

Take Care of Your Heart

Your heart.

My heart.

Merely using the word “heart” conjures a wave of nostalgic and exposed emotions, images, people, loves and memories.

Our heart holds them all.

The journey our heart has taken leaves an imprint that makes us the person we are today.  The heart holds a special place in our consciousness and being.  The heart is synonymous with love and compassion.

It seems the heart is more than just an organ within the center cavity of our body.  I have taken my share of Anatomy & Physiology classes and can think of no other organ of the human body that elicits any such emotions.  I have never heard “Have your liver in the right place” or a “broken pancreas!”

What have I learned about your heart and my heart? Read More

The Story of the Five Bears – Part II “Teaching Kindness”

The Story of the Five Bears - Part II "Teaching Kindness"

The Story of the Five Bears – Part II “Teaching Kindness”

As you may recall, once upon a time in the year 2014 there were Five Bears, who lived together in a crazy, multigenerational household, filled with crazy, unconditional love and crazy – sometime uncontrollable commotion and organized chaos. All the Bears called it simply and tenderly “Home, Sweet Home.”

One of them was a small, wee-size boy bear named Wee Bear; and one was a small average-size boy bear named Small Bear, and one was a medium-size mother bear named Mother Bear. One was a medium size grandmother bear affectionately called Grams Bear or just plain “Gramsi” and the other was a great big grandfather bear called Bumpa Bear.

On a warm spring day, Mother Bear proclaimed “today’s children should be taught kindness.” Mother Bear had been reflecting on Mother Teresa Bear, who captured us with her heart of compassion and her words: “Three things in human (and bear life too!) life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.” Read More

“Everybody’s Got Something”

We see the same moon, you and I ... and everybody's got something.

We see the same moon, you and I … and everybody’s got something.   Photo courtesy of Moondreamin’ at



We are all human.

We are all different and still all the same.

We all live under the same sun.

We all see the same moon.


“Everybody’s got something.” Read More

Stony Trail Railway

Model Railroading - a dream come true for a little boy!

Model Railroading – a dream come true for a little boy!

He arrived home from yet another Model Railroad Show.  Although his heavy-lidded eyes revealed the weariness of his long day, he was energized.  He was full of stories.  He still had that sunny glint of new adventure in his eyes as if he had recaptured some of his youthful exuberance.  He became an indefatigable story-teller.   He chuckled to himself as his own Huckleberry-like tales of the railway display interactions with young and old unfolded.  He was animated and lively.  He relived the moments of the day as I watched him in contemplation.

I can see it every single time my husband, Steve, finishes another weekend model railroad show.  He and his railway enthusiastic club friends set up huge displays of model railroad trains with miniature worlds of village layouts, people, animals, trees and all the paraphernalia that make it look real and life-like.  It seems like far too much work to me, toting it all from one place to another and then back again.

Yet, he always appears so uplifted and rejuvenated after these gatherings.

I had to pause and think about that. Read More

Laugh Every Day to Keep a Heart Attack Away

Laugh Every Day to Keep a Heart Attack Away!

Laugh Every Day to Keep a Heart Attack Away!


You heard that right.  We are learning how to laugh!

I have been hearing about some health and fitness craze known as Laughter Yoga.  There are even trends called Laughter Therapy and Laughter Clubs!




The chant – “HO HO HA HA HA” is how class begins.  Laughter yoga is a combination of laughter, breathing, stretching and clapping and chanting.


This is followed by a few minutes of meditation, followed by more “fake laughter.”  It is an interesting spectacle where you become childlike. Read More

What’s in Your Easter Basket?

My Easter Basket

My Easter Basket

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”

Humor columnist Dave Barry penned that wise and thought-provoking statement. I tried to achieve the same inner peace recently with two chocolate ice cream sandwiches and a “few” Oreo cookies.

And, amazingly, it worked! Read More

Who Has the Softer Heart?

Hard Words Soft HeartI have always been the daydreamer, the idealist, and the tenderhearted.  I have always believed in the goodness and kindness of others. 

I believe that makes me “soft-hearted.”

I doubt I will ever change.

That is the way God has wired me.

Yet, a recent story, from 60 Minutes Overtime, with Lesley Stahl, discloses that I am strong-hearted.  Nah… Could I really be hard-hearted? Read More

Kathy Magliato M.D. – Holding the Human Heart

Holding the Human Heart

Holding the Human Heart

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”  ~ Mae West

Everyone admires someone.  Everyone has a hero.  That individual is often someone close like a mother or a father, brother or a sister.  You admire their character and their achievement in a way that impacts your life.

Some people look up to famous figures like Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey or Bill Gates – those individuals that have left an impression by their generous and innovative actions and behaviors.  You watch what they do and try to follow their manners in some small way, you idolize them and you write down their words and pattern your life after them.

I have several heroes.  But, if I had to choose who I would be if could be someone different, I would be a combination of the three people I admire most:  Mother Teresa, Erma Bombeck (YES!  I said Erma Bombeck!  Does that make you smile?  Or do you wonder: “Who the heck is Erma Bombeck?) and Kathy Magliato M.D.

That being said and this writing platform being a heart blog, I would like to elaborate more about the life and words and actions of Kathy Magliato M.D. Read More

Happy Doctor’s Day 2014!

Happy Doctor's Day!

Happy Doctor’s Day!

Happy Doctor’s Day 2014

Someone should thank a doctor today…

March 30th is Doctor’s Day!  Why should we recognize our physicians?

First of all, I would like to recognize the long and arduous journey it takes to become a doctor.  They invest these years of their life to fulfill a dream that leaves them in deep debt for the opportunity of being able to work 60 -80 hours per week for the rest of their life?  What are they thinking?

In the blog, it is more vividly proclaimed:

“To practice medicine, first, you have to go to medical school. That’s four years right there. Then, there’s residency, which adds anywhere between three and seven years to the deal. After that, there may be a fellowship, sometimes two fellowships, because really, at that point, what’s another year or two (or six)? So basically, from the moment you start into medical school to the moment you finish your training, you’re looking at a minimum of seven years—for most people its closer to ten—before you’re even close to being considered a “real” doctor.

And these are not fun, carefree years—certainly not the way most people spend their twenties, at least if the producers of MTV or beer advertisers are to be believed. You spend these fetal-doctor years indoors under fluorescent lighting, nose pressed into books filled with inscrutable diagrams and endless acronyms, while everyone in the world, including some of your patients, appears to be having more fun than you. These are years spent doing a whole lot of work for little or no money, ignominious tasks relegated to those contractually obligated to never complain. These are years of thousands of lost hours spent at the hospital instead of with your friends and family, who always seem to be wondering where you are and why you’re still there and when, if ever, you’ll be coming home. These are years spent defying all common sense about circadian rhythms and the regenerative powers of rest, largely awake and caffeinated to an almost toxic degree. And—this last part is the real kicker—these are years after which you will end up in hundreds and thousands of dollars of debt, all for the experience of what amounts to hard time in a well-intentioned Soviet gulag. I repeat: not fun.”

Someone should thank a doctor today…

I imagine how a physician’s life is so uniquely intertwined with the lives of so many other human beings, and in such personal ways and at such vulnerable times of life.  A neurosurgeon comes to mind – one that seemed to always remember the details and circumstances of a patient’s life and truly cared.  Whenever he passed the nurse in the hallway at the clinic, he would ask her how her husband was doing and truly meant it.  One day he said to the nurse: “I would really like to see John before I leave.  Is he home today?”  The neurosurgeon traveled to John’s home, sat with him, petted his dog, Dudley, as they chatted together, like old friends.  He spent about an hour with John… and it meant the world to him. Read More

Minimally Disruptive Medicine

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Lessons of the Heart


“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” ~ Erma Bombeck

Dr. Anupam Jena

Interventional Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist