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A Woman’s Guide to Living With Heart Disease: my blog-turned-book project!

29 Oct

by Carolyn Thomas     @HeartSisters

The Pitch. . .

“Have you considered writing a book based on your excellent Heart Sisters blog? I would love to explore the possibility with you.”

The date was September 9, 2015, and that’s how the message began that was about to change the next two years of my life. It came from Jacqueline Wehmueller, then Executive Editor at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Press (JHUP), the oldest academic publisher in North America.

These thrilling words led to many e-mail and phone conversations with Jackie, followed by submitting a project backgrounder, a draft 10-chapter table of contents, and a sample chapter to JHUP before we could sign the book contract. Continue reading

The most beautiful 5 minutes and 22 seconds you’ll spend today…

1 Oct

The most beautiful five minutes and 22 seconds you will spend today. . .  Thank you to Sue Robins (@suerobinsyvr), Nancy Stordahl (@nancyspoint) and many others who have recommended this to me. A conscious break like this is especially important to the freshly-diagnosed heart patient – who can often feel overwhelmed by pessimism and fear.  Continue reading

A Mother’s Day without my mother

14 May

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

Based on a post originally published here on May 13, 2012

As Christopher Buckley wrote in his memoir, Losing Mum and Pup, when the last of your parents dies, you are an orphan. This is poignantly true if that parent is your mother.

“You lose the true keeper of your memories, your triumphs, your losses. Your mother is a scrapbook for all your enthusiasms. She is the one who validates and the one who shames, and when she’s gone, you are alone in a terrible way.”

This month marks both the occasion of my mother’s birthday (she would have turned 89 on May 7th, which was coincidentally the second birthday of Everly Rose, the adorable great-granddaughter whom she would never meet) and yet another Mother’s Day when I didn’t send my Mom a card and flowers. I’m getting used to that reality by now. She died five years ago on February 21st, 2012.  Continue reading

The Martha and Carolyn Show!

22 Jan

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-7-00-02-amDr. Martha Gulati is an internationally recognized expert on women’s heart disease. She’s Professor of Medicine and Chief of Cardiology at The University of Arizona in Phoenix, where she is creating a centre specifically for Women’s Cardiovascular Health. The best-selling co-author with Sherry Torkos of the book, Saving Women’s Hearts, Dr. Martha is also the Editor-in-Chief of the American College of Cardiology’s CardioSmart, a Scientific Advisory Board member of WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, and a board member of the American Society of Preventive Cardiology, the Phoenix American Heart Association and other notable organizations.

She is, in short, one of the rock stars of women’s cardiology.

Continue reading

The Christmas truce – 1914

25 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

Christmas Truce 1914As World War I raged on in the trenches of Europe in 1914, Christmas Eve arrived cold and bleak. But German soldiers put up Christmas trees decorated with candles, on the parapets of their trenches. Although their enemies, the British soldiers, could see the lights, it took them a few minutes to figure out where they were from. Could this be a trick?

British soldiers were ordered not to fire, but to watch closely. Instead of trickery, however, the British soldiers heard the Germans singing carols and celebrating. One young soldier wrote home about this remarkable event:    Continue reading