Posts Tagged ‘Cancer’

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My blog this week was to mark the 40th year of my Dad’s premature passing from cancer.  It started sadly like this…

It always begins around the end of April.

Right around the time the snow melts and the trees begin to bud, the itch begins.  It’s hardly noticeable at first, then it begins to intensify.  Over time, an abrasion shows.  Soon, it becomes sore and finally, it opens into a small wound.

It’s been going on like this for years — 40 years exactly this week.

The more I try not to notice it, the harder it is to ignore.  Soon, I am reminded of the scar it left behind.

I stopped there — at a loss for words.  The plan was to write about the sadness of losing a loved one.  The continual pain it causes; its lasting side-effects, especially when a child loses a parent.

But I just could not find the words or the strength to continue. Then it happened…

On the anniversary of my dad’s death, I received a text from a close childhood friend, whose wife, also a dear friend, has been in her own grudge-match with cancer.   

In short, it read:

We went to the doctor on Monday and … the tumor has disappeared!

Coincidence?  There are no coincidences with God.

The day that has been marked by sadness for decades now has been transformed into a day of celebration; and like that, the words came to me:

A song of praise rose from the silence, gliding on the wind, capturing my full attention.  and these words were whispered into my ear.

“Rejoice!  Your Dad is up here with Me!”


James Henry is also the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, James DobkowskiTwasHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.



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There is a new saint rising among the ranks.  It’s St. Baldrick!

Baldrick, one can argue, doesn’t fall within the ancient category of a saint.  In fact, some will argue that St. Baldrick never really existed, so the saint of the willing-to-be-bald-for-a-cause really isn’t a saint, at all.

The truth be told, there is no evidence that every saint venerated today truly ever existed. Let’s take Saint Christopher for example.

This popular saint may have only exist in name only.  

Christopher many believe is simply an honorary title given to the patron of travelers.  We don’t actually know for sure, but that doesn’t take away from the mysticism found in the veneration of St. Christopher.  

Likewise, it doesn’t take away from the mystical experience of St. Baldrick’s!


Saints just don’t intercede, if you will, on behalf of the collect on Earth.  They are also beacons of light that guide us through the darkness of our times.

Is there anything darker than childhood cancer?

As beacons, saints can also be a present day example of goodness and can motivate us to better ourselves; and in turn they inspire us to build stronger, more loving communities, making us all — even if it’s just for a short period of time — saints, as well.

3835962Every year, because of St. Baldrick, communities put aside their differences to gather together in fellowship to willingly donate their time, talents and treasures (in the form of hair) and take on a common foe, all with a shared sense of hope that one day the cure for childhood cancer will be found.

That sounds like the work of a true saint!

Like Saint Christopher, St. Baldrick may exist in name only, with no date of beatification or canonization and with no official recognition by the Church.  

Yet, like St. Christopher, despite these technicalities, St. Baldrick continues to intercede today on our behalf,  especially our children — and that’s the true miracle of St. Baldrick’s.

St. Baldrick's before

Moments before we got our “buzz” on!

You can donate to St. Baldrick’s.  Just CLICK HERE.

St. Baldrick's afterJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, Hail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  As a writer, James has been widely featured on Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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Recently, my Faith was tested.

In a 72-hour period, I was called to prayer three times. First for a friend who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The next day for a nephew, who was having a tumor removed from his neck. Then that evening, my 7-year-old old woke up in excruciating pain.

When a doctor suggests that your child should see a bone tumor specialist, it doesn’t matter that s/he adds “for peace of mind” as the reason behind the referral; because the reality is: It does not give you peace of mind.

Thankfully, for me and my family, we all received good news. My friend with the brain tumor did not.

Though the doctor believed the whole tumor was removed, the biopsy revealed an aggressive cancer.

I made it a point to visit this mother-of-five on my last visit home. To my surprise, we found her healthy, energetic — and with a complete head of hair!

I guess I’ve watched too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. I just assumed that her head would be shaved. I also discovered that she was not awake during the surgery. Another Grey’s deception.

Regardless of her physical condition, she was spiritually alive! The fortifying force behind her re-energized faith came from an unlikely source: A cardinal.

It appears that people across the nation have been receiving great comfort at the sight of cardinals in their yard.  Google it. Or go on Pinterest. You’ll see. Many people believe that these beautiful birds are delivering a comforting message from Heaven.

Now, I believe the sighting has to be unusual, like a lone cardinal in the midst of a winter storm. (So, a Spring migration of a flock cardinals might not qualify.) Or, as in my friend’s case, it could be a sudden daily appearance.

The genesis of this belief appears to be the poem below, written by Victoria McGovern.


Whether or not you believe that loved ones return and assist us on Earth is up for you.

I talk to and pray with the departed in my biological and Christian family daily! So far, not one of them has ever talked back to me — at least not in the here and now.

But as I explain to my children, God does talks to you — in your heart. And so do your loved ones!

They are still with us in the Communion of Saints, the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth and the souls in heaven in the unity of the mystical Body.

It is not merely by title that we cherish the memory of those in Heaven.

It’s a real communion. In this communion, the merciful love of God and His saints is always attentive to our prayers — especially prayers of hope and renewal offered in times of despair.

Traditionally, the cardinal was a symbol of hope and restoration.

In Christianity, the cardinal symbolizes: Everlasting vitality; The faith in the blood of Christ, as the birds are red in color; and Christmas, the birth of Our Lord, Jesus.

The name cardinal, coincidentally, comes from the Latin word cardo.


The Cardo was the main corridor of ancient cities, running north-south. Ancient Jerusalem had a Cardo. It was the hub of life. The “heart” of the city. A conduit to all things of value.

Today, the once wide and glorious corridor between God and the world appears to be over-grown and hardly used.

Just took around, our nation appears to be at a tipping point. Even so, our lives are sadly less impacted by chaos than most of the world around us.

We need to rebuild the pathway between God and the world. We need a new Cardo, if you will.

With that, the cardinal appears to be taking on a new symbol.

Like its namesake, the cardinal has become a spiritual corridor, running heavenly north and south, symbolically binding together the faithful on earth and the souls in heaven, in the mystical hub of life, found in the soul center of your heart.

An answer to prayers. The merciful love of God and His saints. A symbol of Hope and Faith.

A sign from Heaven.



James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.


Yes, I’m aware of the theology behind the creation of angels. Not the time or place. Peace.

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