Cancer Featured in Films – our top picks

It is the diagnosis that none of us want to hear and yet it effects all of us in some way. The makers of movies and films have incorporated cancer into movies for several decades now and they can be helpful in different ways. Although none of us wants to have cancer nor do we want a loved one to have one of its many forms, it happens and it happens too often. Watching a movie with a character who has a form of cancer can sometimes help us cope. The character may survive and that gives hope. The cancer patient may lose the battle but even in a story line with that type of ending we can start to deal with our own grief.

Some of the cancer films are pretty realistic showing some real instances in the battle a patient goes through. Others choose not to show us the hair loss and the sickness that may come with chemo therapy but touch on the remarkable things cancer patients do that touch the lives of people before the disease wins. Most will touch us deeply and we should have some tissue ready for when the water starts to flow from our eyes.

Featured Movie: Johnny

Many of these movies play with the freedom from conventionalities that the end of life can bring. What are your priorities when you know death is near? That is the implicit question many of these movies ask. In a culture that hides death from the living, the inevitably of our bodies giving out at some point is a theme that movie makers can use to good effect to get our attention. 

  Stepmom with Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Ed Harris, Jena Malone and Liam Aiken

As the title hints, this movie is about divorce but it goes so much further than that! We see the conflict between the birth mom and the new stepmom over the kids. Scenes that happen in real life every day. In it all the kids suffer the most and are the most victimized in the whole affair. Enter into the story that the birth mom has terminal cancer and it gets even more touching.

  My Life: A Life taken too soon, with Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman

A young man who seems to have it all, a great job and beautiful wife who has just found out that she is carrying their first child. Then the proverbial bomb gets dropped…he is not going to live long. He may not be here long enough to hold that baby. What would you do? How angry would you be at the circumstance? A good movie that deals with the feelings that we have when we get the news that life will be shorter than we expected it to be.

  My Sister’s Keeper with Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin

When one sister was brought into the world solely for the purpose of keeping her sister who has leukemia alive, it almost seems harsh to take it all in. The movie deals with what a family goes through with a terminally ill child, the depths they may go through to save that child. I don’t want to give too much away but the movie deals with the cancerous blood disease but more importantly deals with the importance of family when tragedy takes a hold in their lives.

  Sweet November (Keepcase): One woman’s way to deal with cancer with Keano Reeves and Charlize Theron

The idea is a romantic one, I guess. A woman finds out that she has cancer so she spends her months finding men to “help” for a month while giving them some romance. They can’t stay around for longer because she doesn’t want to get attached nor does she want them to. Until Mr. November arrives in her life, he won’t be so easily pushed away. Having watched loved ones battle cancer, this story isn’t very realistic. Those last months do not have much physical beauty in them.

  Terms of Endearment with Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Jeff Daniels

Almost a classic – when it comes to cancer movies

Many women can relate to the mother and daughter relationship that is more combative than loving on most days. We find fault with each other, lay blame whether it is deserved or not and leave little guilt trips for the other to embark on. Sound familiar? Now, give one of them a terminal cancer condition. Does that change the lives?

An older movie but still very much worth watching and reminding ourselves that sometimes we take the battles too far and should learn to love each other because time may be running out.

  My Life Without Me with Sarah Polley, Amanda Plummer, Scott Speedman, Leonor Watling, Deborah Harry

She has lived for others all her life, what does she do now that she knows she only has a few months to live? To what extent can we/ should we sacrifice just give up on social conventions when the end of our life approaches? 

  Erin Brockovich featuring Julia Roberts

A woman’s fight against big corporate business who are needlessly exposing people to cancer causing agents.

   Life as a House

An architect decides to build his dream house and to rebuild his relationships after being given the diagnosis of terminal cancer.

  The Doctor

A physician who has lacked a good bedside manner, soon discovers how that feels when he is diagnosed with cancer.

   The Bucket List with  Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson

A comedic yet moving look at things we should do before we leave this life.

How do we deal with the big “C”?

The news that it is in fact cancer is a nightmare that many of us face in our lives. The news might have been our own and if you are reading this, you must have survived. Good for you! Often times, it isn’t that we have a form of cancer but that one of our parents, siblings or other relatives have it. It might be our very best friend who is about to be taken away from us. We do not want to lose them! We do not want to watch the indignities that they must endure to battle it. We do not want it in our lives. Period.

And yet, death is a reality and we have to deal with it. We feel anger, fear, helpless and sometimes hopeless. It is scary! With researchers gaining so much ground, there are better results in beating some forms of cancer than there used to be and that is a good thing. Sometimes, watching a movie that will bring you to tears will help. Those emotions that you have held in, trying to put on a brave face, need to come out. A movie can be the catalyst. It won’t solve your grief, fears or anger but it will help you acknowledge the feelings and possibly help lessen them in degrees.

Stocking Stuffers For Toddlers To Teens

Are you looking for some toy stocking stuffers this year to add to your gift giving? Finding something that is small enough to fit in the Christmas stocking and age appropriate takes a little shopping. I have created a list of ideas for you that covers ages from toddlers to teens in hopes that it will assist you in the time you have to spend shopping for the smaller toys.

Some great gift ideas for the Christmas stocking are small wooden toys, small plush animals, little gadgets, stickers and other things that are lower in price and also something that the child, tween or teen will enjoy getting for a gift. Let’s see what some of our options are this year.

Shown here: Chuggington Wooden Railway Speedy McAllister

Small Wooden Toys for Boys

A great idea for young boys is a wooden toy vehicle that they can play with. Many come in small enough sizes to fit in a Christmas stocking and are still a fun size for the boys to play with. He may like trucks, airplanes, boats or automobiles and there are examples of each for young boys to receive as a gift. Many little boys are really in to trains right now so a Thomas and Friends or a Chuggington train would surely be a hit as a stocking stuffer.

Small Plush Toys Are A Good Choice – for a stocking stuffer

Children both male and female love a plush stuffed animal. There are smaller plush animals that will fit nicely in a Christmas stocking and will be loved by any child who gets them even the older kids. I chose the cute little penguin to showcase here because it is only 6 1/2 inches tall and will fit nicely any most stockings and penguins are loved by most kids. You will know the child on your gift list better than I and will be able to choose the right stuffed toy animal for them. I would recommend that you pick one that is less than 12 inches long to assure that it will fit in the stocking. 

The options are endless when it comes to the smaller plush animals to place in a stocking for Christmas. You can pick from wild animals to animals that we have as pets to fantasy animals.

A Stocking Stuffer Hint:

If you have more than one child to buy for, purchase bulk type items that can be split up among the different children and their stockings. The cost per child becomes less expensive that way.

Coloring And Writing Utensils

Kids of all ages love to use crayons, markers, pencils and pens to show their artistic nature. From the young toddler to the teen on your list a coloring or writing utensil can be a fun choice to add to their Christmas stocking. Young kids will love to color with new crayons or markers while the older kids will like having a novelty pen to use. The syringe pens are really popular with the tween and teen set.

Card Games For All Ages

Card games are popular with many kids and you can find an appropriate one for just about any age. Easy matching games for the smaller children are great ideas to help them learn social play as well as develop some cognitive skills. Games that take a little more strategy are good for the older kids who can read and form a plan to win the game.

Empires of the Silk Road, Christopher I. Beckwith

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As a student of Indian history, philosophy and religion, the wider context of Asian culture fascinates me. How do all those cultures relate to each other? What does the famous Silk Road have to do with anything? Aryans came from central Asia to become the prominent Brahman sect in India – but where did they […]

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Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America’s Most Public Family

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As a non-American, I did not grow up on ‘The Kennedy’s’. However, nobody can escape their myth completely. This book looks at the wives of the prominent Kennedy brothers, and their mother Rose. As we move through the generations, I found that the description on the back of Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America’s […]

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Martin Meredith: The State of Africa

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A history of 50 years of Independence in Africa A thorough historical, economical and political look at all the nations of Africa over the past 50 odd years. From dictators to AIDS/HIV, from disappointed hopes to fears of the future… realistic, scary and insightful. In my opinion this is THE book to read about where Africa […]

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Wiccan Spiritual Books for Children

Raising Children in Wicca It can be a tough job to teach the kids complex concepts and philosophies. Most people who have experienced this situation recommend including kids in rituals, sharing your knowledge of Wicca, and in general being creative. Spiritual Books for kids based on the principles of Wicca and explaining Wiccan concepts are […]

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Fun Yoga Birthday Gifts for Kids

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Holiday presents for little yogis! For children into yoga, having their own gear is paramount. They need their own yoga mat, as well as of course their own yoga clothes. But if they’re really into yoga, they might also like to learn more about yoga, or just have a yoga poster. I’ve collected some gift […]

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Reggae Christmas Ornaments – celebrating Bob Marley

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Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. On this page you’ll find Reggae and Rasta Christmas Ornaments for your Bob Marley themed Christmas tree. Reggae is mostly famous through the music of Bob Marley. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican […]

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The best Children’s Books Ever

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Top books to read to your kids, or for them to read themselves I loved being read to as a child. In fact, in our family my dad read to us till I was 13 (I was the oldest). Not all kids stuff either: The most memorable was him reading us ‘The Hobbit’ and later ‘The […]

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Jewish Religious Books for Children

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Shalom ve Ahavah!!! Best Jewish books for Kids According to the Jewish holy book – Children are a gift from God. Women who gave birth to many children were considered blessed by Jews in ancient times. Can you imagine – Hebrew has 11 different words for Children, depending on how old and physically strong they […]

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