Category Archives: Live Love Laugh

Happy Thanks-Caregiving

You must do things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt


 We are Thankful for those who are Caregivers today:

We are Thankful for those who will be Caregivers tomorrow:

We are especially Thankful for those Caregivers whose journey has past. 

We share  in our Caregiving Journey in a special way, knowing that while our Caregiving roads might be different, our paths are filled with comfort and joy from the support we receive from each other!  

Thank You for being a part of our Caregiving Journey.  

From our Caregiving Journey to yoursHappy Thanks-Caregiving         

The Bow Tie Guys!

You see…We Might Have Cancer...But Cancer Does Not Have Us! 

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‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ is on hiatus until January 2014 while ‘TLO’ is undergoing radiation treatments.  To listen to  archived episodes of our show, simply click here! 

Christopher MacLellan is a Certified Senior Advisor, the coordinator of senior services for SunServe Social Services and the host of ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio.  ©ThePurpleJacket


Filed under advocacy, Advocate, caregiver, Caregiving, Live Love Laugh, oncology

Capture Every Moment

In our Cancer Caregiving Journey, we know that on some days,  the tumor has a mind of its own!  For the most part, the good days have outweighed the bad days. We are thankful for that!

When ‘TLO’ (The Little One) feels good, we try to take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to us.  Our Saturday night featured a trip to the Ice Cream Parlor. (We know how those little ones like Ice Cream!)

Ice Cream 4



When we have these ‘Caregiving’ moments, I am reminded how lucky I have been to be a part of this journey.  Yes, there are hard days for both of us, but all those hard days are thrown out the window when we  capture moments like these and just be who we are.  Reality is what it is, but that does not mean we can’t beat it!


Capture Every Moment, You will not regret it!

Remember, We might have Cancer…


But Cancer Does Not Have Us!


Filed under Caregiving, Inter-generational Relationships, LGBT Couples, Live Love Laugh

This Is Just Like Real Life!



Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you. Aldous Huxley

My featured guest Thursday night on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio was Lisa Fields from @PracticalWisdom. I knew she would be a dynamite guest, and that proved to be true because Lisa does offer us Practical Wisdom!

303366_10151039308328707_2074390602_nDoing live, Internet radio does come with its challenges, tonight was one of them as Lisa and I had a 5 to 10 second delay in our conversation with each other. The ‘delay’ in the conversation made it challenging for us, yet my trusted co-host, Diane Hawn was able to pitch in and help make the conversation and show go smoothly. I can’t thank them enough for their kindness and willingness to ‘go with the flow!’

As Caregivers, we often have to just go with the flow. Just 90 minutes before tonight radio show, TLO had a terrible experience while eating dinner. The esophagus and tumor does have its own schedule! AT 6:45 pm, we thought we were heading to the hospital, thankfully TLO’s trouble passed and he was able to rest peacefully: at 8:05 pm I am dealing with tech problems with a radio program. Just what is the big picture here?

Lisa, the great sport that she is simply said, “This is just like real life!”235354tir0fftkh What a great dose of Practical Wisdom! Life is full of trials and tribulations: the calamity of tonight’s technology problems pales in comparison to the health issues that Caregivers and their Caree’s face on a daily basis. One minute we are thinking about calling 911, the next minute well…This IS just like real life!

We will be sure to schedule Lisa again for the show, because she does offer such wonderful ‘Practical Wisdom.’ She made a host feel safe and secure in the midst of turmoil with that gentle reminder of why it is important for all Caregivers to tell their story. I think we all need a dose of Practical Wisdom, I am so glad that I had mine this evening!

You see, we might have Cancer,

SONY DSCBut Cancer does not have us!

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To learn more about Lisa Fields visit!

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Filed under Caregiver Stress, Live Love Laugh

‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio

On Tuesday January 8th,  we welcome Dr. Richard Wagner, M.Div., Ph.D., ACS to our show Be A Healthy Caregiver!  Out of Seattle, WA., Dr. Wagner is a psychotherapist/clinical sexologist and has been in private practice since 1981.

Dr. Wagner has been working with the terminally ill, chronically ill elder and dying people in hospitals, hospice and home settings for over thirty years.

We will be chatting about Dr. Wagner’s work and his book The Amateur’s Guide to Death and Dying: enhancing the End of Life.  As Caregivers, we are often dealing with issues surrounding life and death.  Our conversation will be upbeat, real and with a touch of spirituality.

To learn more about Dr. Wagner, click here.

To purchase Dr. Wagner’s books, click here.

To Listen to  Dr. Wagner on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on  Blog Talk Radio click here


Our show is available live or archived online for your convenience.

To access all our ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ episodes on blogtalkradiologo

Simply click here


Filed under Be A Healthy Caregiver, Blog Talk Radio, Bow Tie Guy, Caregiving, Hospice, Life after Death, Live Love Laugh

Caregivers and Carees: Cherish Every Day!

 It is our hope that lets us withstand problems:

It is our beliefs that let us find solutions.



Christmas Eve 2012

Yesterday is gone…

We Celebrate today…

We Hope For Tomorrow! 

No Matter how difficult your Caregiving experience might be…

Cherish every day!

Your love and support inspires us!



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Filed under advocacy, Advocate, Be A Healthy Caregiver, Bow Tie Guy, Caregiving, Live Love Laugh, Unconditional Love

What Is The Best Thing For Me, The Caregiver?

TLO The Original Blueberry Pancake

TLO The Original Blueberry Pancake

While making Blueberry Pancakes  recently for ‘The Little One,’ I was reminded of a blog post that I wrote last year right after he completed his round of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  I wrote this post titled ‘The Tumor Extractor’ for just $19.99!   This is one of my very first blog post  (which is copied below)  where I  reflected on how  hope, love, support and care are the real tumor extractors as well as how humor can play an important role in the recovery process, too.  Now more than one year past the original post,  I took a second look at was written and  I am  amazed at what (still) applies today.  Now I take it one step further, as caregivers, we need to apply these same feelings and emotions to ourselves too!  I have to look myself square in the eye on this one!

Dr. Starcevic with 'The Little One'

Dr. Starcevic with ‘The Little One’

Many of the decisions that we made over the past year or so have been centered around what was best for ‘TLO.’  As Caregivers, we know that decisions are often based on what is best for the Caree and for the most part, we’re OK with it. Yet how often do we as Caregivers say…’What is the best thing for me, the Caregiver? 

It is easy to get lost in the  Caregiving experience and lose sight of self.  I’ve been there!  Trying to regroup in the midst of Caregiving and express  my own needs is by no means an easy task.  For me, expressing my own needs can be scary, well…actually it is scary.  Is it a sign of weakness, or failure or the messiah complex.  Or am I just a rut?   The bottom line is simple, when you put someone else’s needs ahead of your own, you lose sight of self.   It happens before you know it.  The signs are obvious to everyone, yet camouflage to self.

These are some of the critical signs that caregivers need to be aware of  in relation to our own health and well-being. 

I get a gold star: I score high on all five traits!  

Photo Credit: Dr. Wayne Dyer

Photo Credit: Dr. Wayne Dyer

I have been conscious of these issues for quite some time, yet have been immobilized to act on it.   I don’t know why, I just know that it has happened. Over the past number of weeks, ‘TLO’ has been asking me to make an appointment to see my doctor.   “You need to take better care of yourself,’ he demanded!   He has recognized ‘the signs’, inspired me to do something about it,  and finally I acted on it.

The trip to the doctor’s office was not without anxiety.  I had not seen Dr. Scalia since I left Fort Lauderdale in 2007 and much has changed since then. Going in, I knew he would ‘get-it’ as  Dr. Scalia was on the team of Doctors who took care of Father Orlando, so there was immediate comfort and recognition.

Healthy Living is for everyone!

Healthy Living is for everyone!

Yet at the same time, there was quite a bit of reflection on Father Orlando as Dr. Scalia was the attending physician leading up to his transition in 2006.    When he entered the room, I was greeted with a warm smile…There was no need to hold back, he could see the expression on my face.   We talked openly and honestly; it felt great to have someone totally focused on my needs.   He did the battery of tests; EKG was normal, blood pressure normal: the blood work results and follow-up will be later in December.   All the same concerns that I demonstrate for ‘TLO’ are the same concerns that both Dr. Scalia and ‘TLO’ expressed for me.  That’s not a bad thing!

‘To Be A Healthy Caregiver’  does not mean just taking care of your Caree, it caregivinglogomeans taking care of yourself, too.  I’ve taken the first steps and now need to follow through with a Care Plan for myself.  The best  Care Plan available to me is through   Denise Brown from offers a care plan that  focuses on WELL:

Wisdom comes from being attentive, grateful and curious.

Energy comes from my food, my exercise and my physical, mental, spiritual and emotional breaks.

Laughter comes from within myself, from my relationships and from my entertainment.

Love comes from within myself, from my relationships and from my passions,

However, the best care plan will be for not if you don’t use it!

  • I encourage you to visit’s by simply clicking here to…lots of great information…lots of great people too!

I often forget that my biggest supporter is the one who I care for because he knows me better than anyone else.  By going to the doctor and implementing my care plan through , I can take better care of myself.  Not every day is a ‘Blueberry Pancake’ Day.  Caring for someone who has a chronic illness is not for the faint of heart.  As caregivers, caring-for-caregiverit is essential that we to  apply  Love, Hope, Support and Care in relation to our needs too.  

If I am going to be a provider of  Love, Hope, Support and Care… Shouldn’t I be a receiver too?  Yet in order to receive, you have to be open and recognize your own personal needs.   For me, looking internally and owning my own feelings and emotions,  then expressing those emotions and feelings will not only make me healthier, it will make be a better caregiver, too!

Below is my post from November 6th, 2011…Thanks for reading it again!

We have all seen those gadgets that they sell on TV… It seems that all those gadgets sell for just $19.99 and better yet, all these gadgets are a must need for every household! As I was preparing waffles for breakfast this morning I came across a new product called ‘The Tumor Extractor’


‘The Tumor Extractor’

Simply apply to the area of the tumor and all your troubles will be gone!

‘The Little One’ and I enjoyed a great laugh when I presented him with our new ‘Tumor Extractor’ and just think…we only spent $10,000 on chemo and radiation and could have had this gadget for $19.99! (Of course Monty Python’s Spamalot is playing in the background.) Every cancer patient and caregiver wishes there was something as quick and simple as ‘The Tumor Extractor’ to remove cancer from the body. But what is available to every cancer patient and caregiver is hope, love, support and humor. That is the true Cancer Extractor! While each one of us deals with the reality of cancer in a different way, we want to look on the bright side of life! Yesterday is gone, today is here, not sure about tomorrow. Today we are enjoying our new ‘Tumor Extractor’ even if it will only help us make waffles. It is our hope that lets us withstand stand problems…but it is our beliefs that lets us find solutions.   And remember… ‘Always look on the bright side of life!’

You See…We Might Have Cancer…But Cancer Does Not Have Us! 
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Filed under advocacy, Advocate, Bow Tie Guy, caregiver, Caregiving, Gay Caregiving, LGBT Caregiving, LGBT Couples, LGBT Seniors, Live Love Laugh, oncology

Happy Thanks-Caregiving


We are thankful for those who are Caregivers today, those  who will be Caregivers tomorrow and especially those who have been Caregivers in the past.


We share in our Caregiving Journey with each other in a special way, knowing that while our roads might be different, our paths are filled with comfort and joy from the support we receive from each other!

From our Caregiving Journey to yours…Happy Thanksgiving from                  ‘The Purple Jacket‘ and The Bow Tie Guys’



‘The Bow-Tie-Guys’

Remember…We Might Have Cancer...

But Cancer Does Not Have Us! 





Filed under advocacy, Advocate, LGBT Caregiving, LGBT Couples, LGBT Seniors, Live Love Laugh

Be A Healthy Caregiver on Blog Talk Radio

Today on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on  Blog Talk Radio, we had a great conversation with Nancy Allegrezza, RN, Director of Marketing with Telikin Computers.  Telikin is the easy to use, all in one, touchscreen computer designed with seniors in mind. Some seniors have never become familiar with computer technology and may be intimidated by it.  Telikin helps reduce those fears. To listen to our show, click here. (Please pardon the technological problems at the start of the show)

For information on how to purchase a Telikin Computer, please click the icon below.

Join us next Tuesday, November 20th  at 1:00pm (est) for another session on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ with our guest, Fr. Larry Richardt who is a retired Catholic Priest and Spiritual Director  who also acts as a caregiver for his 95-year-old mother.  Our conversation will focus on how developing a healthy spirituality can play  an important role in being a Healthy Caregiver.   Our November 20th show can be accessed by clicking here.

You see…We Might have Cancer, but Cancer Does Not have us! 

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Filed under advocacy, Advocate, Blog Talk Radio, Bow Tie Guy, Live Love Laugh, Senior Health, Spirituality

Caregiver Burnout: 9 Ways to Avoid It

In celebration of National Caregiver’s Month, I would like to welcome Hannah Munson as our guest blogger to ‘The Purple Jacket” today.  Hannah is a recent Social Worker graduate who interned for two years as a caregiver in the Metro Detroit  area provides us with some gentle reminders  on how to avoid Caregiver Burnout.

While reading Hannah’s  terrific post, I am reminded that in order to ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’, we have to take good care of ourselves, too!   Thanks Hannah for your contribution today!

Caregiver Burnout: 9 Ways to Avoid It

Caregivers are the kind of people whose profession warrants them to take care of people who are no longer capable of doing it for their selves. However, we must not forget that caregivers are also human beings who also have their own bodies which also need to be taken care of.  Every caregiver has to see to it that he or she is always in a good working condition.  But, if there are times when he or she begins to experience burnout something must be done right away.  The following are some of the ways to avoid burnout:

1.      Do not keep everything to yourself.

If you feel like you need someone else who understands your predicament as a caregiver, might as well join a support group.  These groups will enable you to express your anxiety, predicament and other problems without the fear of being unfairly judged.

2.     Take some time off.

Caregivers must be proactive in telling their superiors that they badly need some time off for themselves.  They should not wait for their supervisors to notice their being stressed out before they request for a time-off.

3.     Eat nutritious foods.

This would mean that you should not just eat anything that you want.  See to it that you are eating foods that will help you become healthy enough to take care of your patients or somebody else.

4.     Have enough sleep.

Even if your occupation requires you to work on a graveyard shift, this should not be reason enough for you to deprive yourself of enough sleep.  Always find time to have enough sleep to recharge your senses and your entire body.

5.     Exercise regularly.

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent burn out.  When you take the time to exercise on a regular basis you will always have the chance to unwind. Get focused on your exercise and you will be relieved from stress and anxiety.

6.     Find time for your favorite hobby.

Burn out is usually caused by too much exposure to highly stressful situations.  One way to relax is to have time for your favorite hobby.  Read if you must or indulge in your favorite sports.

7.     Be informed.

Sometimes, caregivers experience stress, anxiety or that burn out feeling when they need to take care of a patient who has serious medical condition.  Read and search the internet for more information regarding your patient’s condition.  This way, you will become better equipped with knowledge on how to deal with your patient.

8.    Express yourself.

Some caregivers would prefer to keep their sentiments to themselves because they are too shy to share it with others.  Call a trusted friend with whom you can express your feelings. Letting out your emotions will prove to be one great way to relieve yourself.

9.     Take time to meditate.

You do not have to go to the gym or to a Yoga class in order to have time to meditate.  Just look for a quiet room in your house where you can sit comfortably and concentrate.  Meditation allows you to relax and become more focused on your goals and not on the negative things that are happening in your life.

This was a post written by Hannah M.  She runs the website ‘How Much Is It’.  You can access her website by clicking here.   “How Much Is It” a large resource that helps you find the cost on just about anything.  Please, Check it out!

If you are interested in being a guest blogger on ‘The Purple Jacket” please send me an email by clicking here 

 ‘We Might Have Cancer…

But Cancer Does Not Have Us!’


Filed under advocacy, Advocate, Bow Tie Guy, caregiver, Caregiving, Health, Live Love Laugh, Looking into the future

Be A Healthy Caregiver On Blog Talk Radio Tuesday at 1:00 pm

Join us on Tuesday November 6th at 1:00 pm for   ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on ‘Blog Talk Radio‘  with our special  guest Michael Norfeet, Program Director of the Noble A. McArtor Adult Day Care Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Respite care is essential in the equation on how to Be a Healthy Caregiver. Participation in Adult Day Care often prevents re-hospitalization and and may delay admission to residential long term care.  For participants who would otherwise stay at home alone, the social stimulation  and recreational activities may improve or maintain physical or cognitive functions. For Caregivers, Adutl Day Care Center provides respite care, enabling caregivers to work or have a break from their Caregiving responsibilities.

Join us on Tuesday November 6th at 1:00 pm for ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio by clicking here


Filed under advocacy, Advocate, Blog Talk Radio, Bow Tie, Bow Tie Guy, caregiver, Caregiving, Gay Caregiving, Health, LGBT Caregiving, LGBT Couples, Live Love Laugh