Wings of Angels

My name is Linda Fisher, and the idea for my Gift Baskets came to me after undergoing a double mastectomy in January 2003.

Wings of Angels ( has beautifully designed baskets for the recovering breast cancer surgery patient -- easing discomfort and to help calm the spirit, relieve stress and anxiety.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Excitement! - an article on the CNN Money website about Wings of Angels

Linda on the CNN Money website!
It's been an exciting week or so.  I got a call from a nice lady at CNN.  She saw the video of the WGAL-TV story and guess what?!  She was doing a series of Breast Cancer Entrepreneurs as an article on the CNN Money website.  October is breast cancer month, so she was interested in getting wrapped up right away.  So I got pics taken and sent, and....well, see for yourself!  Here's the article (the fifth in the series): 

Also, take a look at the other wonderful breast cancer stories - they're great aren't they?



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer is slipping away!

Summer is slipping away - It's actually cold outside today!  You know summer is about over when your flower pots need thrown out and refreshed...and dirty windows beg to be washed.

I'm still working on basket updates for the Wings of Angels website.  Changes will focus on affordability, so there are more beautiful choices when the budget is tight.  The Tea Time basket will allow the giver to choose from a selection of meaningful books.  And the smaller version of a Recovery Care Package will soon come back.

I've got an urge to make some hot soup!, so I'll go get that started...



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Finding True Meaning for Myself before Sharing with Others

It's been fun enjoying end-of-summer pursuits -- walks outside and looking forward to one more beach trip.

Stacy Shelton
On Wings of Angels business, I've been enjoying finding things to change in some of my baskets.  It's a time consuming process because I'm looking at books, and carefully reading and evaluating before deciding to share with others.  I'd like to add a selection of books for the Tea Time gift basket.  What I didn't expect is how touching and meaningful the book selection experience would be.  I'd like to tell you about a couple of the resources:

Stacy Shelton wrote of her roadmap journey from fear to solace in Me, the Crazy Woman, and Breast Cancer...a "hauntingly moving memoir that will leave you knowing all of life's lessons are to be cherished".  This book took me back to memory lane making it a difficult at times to read, but still could not put it down.  When I was done reading her book. I gave Stacy a call to let her know how beautiful the book was written and all the ways of how her story touched me.

I've been getting more involved with communicating with children about Cancer through my work with Tender Talk gift baskets and Ellen McVicker's Butterfly Kisses and Wishes On Wings Book.  Here's a great resource from CancerCare for Kids - a one page fact sheet on talking to your kids about your cancer diagnosis. 

As I come across cancer meaningful resources, they get posted on the Wings of Angels facebook page.  So see you there!



Friday, July 29, 2011

Camp Mourning Glory and AseraCare's Journey of Care

Greetings!  Hope everyone survived our big heat wave OK.  Yikes!

I've been inside, busy making baskets.  Some went to AseraCare Hospice Journey of Care program here in Mountville PA, and I also made for Camp Mourning Glory.

It's a special honor to be a part of AseraCare Hospice's Journey of Care program:  "AseraCare Hospice has developed the Journey of Care program to enhance hospice services and provide a beautiful and comfortable transition for patients with a life-limiting illness...making the hospice journey more meaningful.   The Journey of Care program celebrates life — reassuring patients and their loved ones that even the simplest of things can be valuable to those with minimal time left to live. The Journey of Care program adds life to days when adding days to life may no longer be possible." (Golden Living Quality Highlights, 4thQTR2009).

I fit into the program by making beautiful care baskets, a personal and very human touch for those going through the most difficult of times.  For example, bereavement baskets with carefully selected items show caring beyond the more standard gift of flowers (although I'm surely not knocking floral gifts!). 

Camp Mourning Glory was held in Lancaster's Buchmiller Park this past weekend.  It's a fun and therapeutic grief camp for kids ages 5 through 12.  I've been doing more work with addressing the special needs of comfort for children.  My Tender Talk basket collaborates with Ellen McVicker's Butterfly Kisses and Wishes On Wings book and creates activities to foster an open dialogue with children.  Camp Mourning Glory uses butterfly release as part of their fun activities.  Serious feelings and topics can be dealt with in a positive way for children, and I'm so happy to be a part of that.

Hope you all are finding rewarding ways to Beat this Heat!



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exercise after Chemo - Another way to feel better!

Just because you're a cancer patient, doesn't mean you can't exercise.  There's a nice article on LIVESTRONG.COM about it.  Go with what your health care team recommends, but you may be surprised to learn you can enjoy 15 minute walks, some mild weight-bearing exercises, even yoga!  It's just another way to take care of yourself - both mind and body.



Thursday, June 30, 2011

"The Day I Found Out"

Just wanted to share this website "The Day I Found Out".  I really think this is a special project.

"The day you find out that you or your loved one has cancer can be one of the toughest days of your life. A hundred questions race through your head: Why me? What will I do? What will happen to my family? What’s next? For many, there is an overwhelming sense that they are alone.

The truth is: You are not alone. People have stood where you stand now. They have weathered similar battles. And many have emerged from the fray transformed—stronger, wiser, a benefactor of their scars.

While we created ‘The Day I Found Out’ primarily as a place where the recently diagnosed could find inspiration from the people who’ve been there, we also hope the storytellers will find healing in the telling, as well"

Many tell about how they've come through a dark time, to now find new meaning and joy in Life. 



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Magic Carpet Rides at Ten Thousand Villages!

How "cool" is this!

Last week's blog talked about zest for the simple things in life that comes with cancer survivorship.  Just had to show you the fun of volunteering at Ten Thousand Villages on June 5th.  I was helping in the "Rug Room"; getting people dressed in costumes for the magic carpet ride!



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's Relay for Life Weekend in Lancaster!

Time to have some fun, and enjoy the Lancaster Relay for Life.  It's this weekend June 10-11, 2011, held at Conestoga Valley High School.

Breast Surgery Recovery Basket

Now you must think that spend all my time in cancer related pursuits, like making Wings of Angels baskets.  Not so!  Although being a survivor and caring for my fellow survivors is an important part of who I am...the best parts of the cancer experience come from the zest for the simple things in life.

Ever go to Chickies Rock Park in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania?  Gorgeous views, hiking trails.  You can hike, and see remnants of the old Trolley Line that ran from Columbia to Marietta. 

How about Lancaster's Central Market?   Very "cool" place.  It has what you'd expect at a wonderful old farmer's market, but also a lot of specialty foods and crafts that you wouldn't expect to find in Lancaster County, PA.

Another favorite pastime is just enjoying the weather.  It's been perfect lately - warm but not hot, low humidity.   I feel like a flower turning up towards the glorious sun!, soaking up the rays.

Feel free to comment back and let me know non-cancer related pursuits that bring you happiness.  :-)



Friday, May 20, 2011


Every day I set aside time for contemplation, some call it meditation.  It re-centers thoughts about myself, and how I fit into this wonderful world of ours.  Although I've seen the term "me time", it often works the opposite.  By focusing on what's important in life, we grow strength in ourselves through how we touch the lives of others.  The internet surely has some junk out there, but also wonderful sources of information and inspiration.  It's great!  Here's a video link that reflects on Hope.

The reflection and inspiration is why I really like to put the Pacific Light DVD in my Recovery Gift Basket.  Yes, the doctors have to do their thing, but there's so much more to healing the body and spirit after a cancer diagnosis.  Finding peace and new purpose in life is one of the cancer "silver linings" we hear so often from survivors. 

OK - enough serious stuff for today.  How about those Bald Headed Blues?!



Friday, April 29, 2011

Cancer Survivors - Making a Difference

I'm inspired by other Cancer Survivors - looking to make a difference through their experiences.  My Tender Talk basket is based on the love and help that two very special ladies have shared.  Ellen McVicker wrote Butterfly Kisses and Wishes On Wings for her cousin Nanci Hersh's children - to help explain Nanci's cancer to them.  Several years later, Nanci did the beautiful illustrations to the text and the book was born!

As Relay for Life events are ramping up here in the Lancaster PA area, we'll see lots of local survivor inspirations - some because of the positive things they've done as a result of the experience, and some from the way they've battled and shared their cancer experience. 

If you want to see inspiration for fun in the cancer experience (yes, I mean crazy times!), check out the May 2011  Lancaster Relay for Life newsletter.  Along with the fun events scheduled for 2011, is a pic of the 2010 "Miss Relay" contestants.  What a riot!  So, getting ready for Relay - making raffle baskets, etc.  Hope to see you there.  :-)



Friday, April 15, 2011

Speaking Engagements - Nervous, but a good thing.

It was so nice when WGAL interviewed me and did the piece.  My preparation required cleaning my house rather than figuring out exactly what to say. 

That's me (Linda) on the a Lancaster area Rotary function

I've been doing speaking engagements, on topics near and dear to my heart, such as cancer recovery issues.  Sure makes me plenty nervous!, but it's a good way to reach out in our community about cancer survivorship issues while working on my public speaking.  Here I'm with Kathy Spence of Home Helpers in Willow Street.  There must be a better term to explain thriving through cancer recovery, since being labeled as a "survivor" has its positive and negative connotations, especially for those who haven't personally been closely touched by the experience.

It's also fun to do things like breast cancer events.  Not only do I get the "oohs" and "aahs" on my baskets, but it's wonderful to see what everyone else is doing.  For example, at Empowered by Pink,  there was a survivor that made stylish and beautiful head coverings.   Fills a true need for cancer patients, but were just stunning for anyone to wear!...they were that good.

Spring is here!, and so soon is the Lancaster area Relay for Life, held at Conestoga High School on starting Friday, June 10 and finishing up on Saturday, June 11.  Less than two months until Relay for Life.  Time is sure moving along fast.  I've got a couple of baskets being raffled off by Relay teams as fundraisers; it's sure nice to help in that way.  Makes money for American Cancer Society, and brings joy to the basket winner.  :-)



Monday, April 4, 2011

No Joke: Humor Therapy Helps Cancer Patients Heal

I came across this news story and just loved it!:  No Joke: Humor Therapy Helps Cancer Patients Heal

It talks about a hospital with "monthly "Strength Through Laughter" therapy. It is one of several types of laughter or humor therapy being offered by medical facilities around the country for patients diagnosed with cancer or other chronic diseases.

The programs feature joke sessions, clown appearances and funny movies...

One of the challenges of being diagnosed with cancer is preserving your dignity ... when we tell you to put on a gown where the back half is missing and everyone's examining you and asking about bodily functions," said Dr. Richard Wender, former president of the American Cancer Society and the hospital's chief of family medicine.

The clown volunteers, he said, create a sense of comfort that helps narrow the "interpersonal gap" between patient and medical staff."

I'm sure the camaraderie among the cancer survivors in the laughter program helps, too.  Isn't it amazing the instant bond among cancer survivors and caregivers?  All the traditional "polite" getting to know you stuff falls away, and you immediately get to the very soul of things.  Very healing...

I'm continuing to exercise after my surgery - and loving it!



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cancer Free Radio!, and Working Out Again...

It's been below freezing this week!, so we temporarily lost our Spring...but it's been a great week anyway.

I've been finally able to work out again  (WHOO-HOO!!!) after my breast surgery, but will have to take it slow, and NO upper body work out yet.  Just another step in "back to normal".  :-)

Have you ever checked out Cancer Free Radio?  They do inspirational stories that celebrate survivorship and caregivers.  They did an interview with me in late February.  If you ever want to renew your faith in life after cancer, check out the amazing people here.



P.S.  Here's a preview of the "Tender Talk" basket, a positive way to talk to children about cancer.  It's available in pink and blue!

Friday, March 18, 2011


WOW!  What a beautiful Spring day!  Sunny out, and it's going to be 70 degrees.   One of the many blessings of cancer is that we seem to enjoy life's simple pleasures...with gusto.  So, today we're out smelling the Spring air and looking for flowers and birds.  :-)




Friday, March 11, 2011

New Basket - "Tender Talk"

I'm soon ready for a new basket for my Wings of Angels website!

It includes things for kids, to help tell them someone they love has cancer.  It's built around the Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings "book to help guide you as you teach a child about cancer. We hope that its words and pictures will foster an honest and open dialogue between you and the child listening or reading along. Additionally, we hope that you will see the magic that Butterfly Kisses and Wishes On Wings Book has in bringing children to a clearer understanding of cancer, and the realization that they have great power within themselves to be an active and integral part of their loved one's cancer journey."

What's exciting about this basket for us (the book, art pad, crayons, coloring book, hug box, and tissues) is the reasonable cost (around $65, the cost of delivered flowers!)...and it's appropriate for any cancer diagnosis survivor that has children that love them. 



Friday, March 4, 2011

Re-doing my medium size basket - the Comfort Basket

Comfort Basket
On the Wings of Angels website, the medium size breast surgery gift basket is the "Comfort Basket".  But I can't get the shawls anymore!  So, now the basket contents need re-thought.  In the meantime, I put a "Temporarily Sold Out" sign on the basket in the website...until I figure out what to do.  Yikes!

The WGAL story brought new folks to the website.  Jere Gish and his crew did a great job, didn't they? 

And my breast surgery recovery continues to go well.

So life is good.  :-) 



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wings of Angels on WGAL-TV

Remember I told you Jere Gish from WGAL-TV was here?  It has aired already! - this morning in between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.   WHOO-HOO!!! 

They told the story of the Wings of Angels baskets for breast surgery patients.  Here's the video link on the WGAL website:  Breast Cancer Survivor Starts Business To Help Other Patients.  They also posted a link to the Wings of Angels website for more information on the baskets.  If you get a chance, watch the video - what a great job!

Recovery from my surgery continues to go well, even "on the road" again.  I'm so blessed that this story opportunity fit in just right before the surgery!  No time to worry about the surgery (I was too busy cleaning!), and such a delight during my recovery.  This sure took care of my post-surgery "blues", reminding me of the good things that come from cancer survivorship.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"The Girls" are Great!, but Feeling Blue...Recovery is Going Well

I’m healing well.  Got a shower – Yippee!  That made me feel so much better.  On Monday, I get the stitches out.   I’m taking it easy around the house.  Can’t lift more than five pounds, and I get tired easy.  But no big pain problems, so that’s good!
What’s surprising is what I’m feeling.  This surgery brought back a lot of the feelings from when I first had breast surgery – my double mastectomy in 2003.  So much of our self-worth, our womanhood, is tied to our breasts.  I’ve been feeling bluer than I thought I would.  Not so much “Wow – I made it this long”, but this experience opened up the wounds of the impact that breast cancer has had on me as a woman.  Will the implants make me look and feel better about myself?  Here I am hoping that the implants make me feel more like a “normal” woman, even though they are fake and don’t have feeling.  They look a whole lot better, and I’m happy for the outcome.  But overall, surprised that I’m feeling somewhat blue rather than joyous.   I guess that’s part of the breast cancer journey.  You’re a cancer survivor for the rest of your life.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Surgery was yesterday - and doing great!

Just a quick update, and I'll write more next week:

My surgery went well! I'm so happy that I did not have expanders put in!!!  Now off to the doctor on Monday and get the bandages taken off.  I'm not in a lot of  pain - nothing like the first time.  Whew!



P.S.  I may have MORE exciting news next week.  WGAL, our local TV station, came to film a story on Wings of Angels, helping ladies recover from breast surgery.  It may run as early as next week.  I'll let you know.  :-)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What can I expect Post-Operatively? What about Sleeping Arrangements?

With my upcoming surgery, I've been thinking about what I learned from the last time! Here were my thoughts on sleeping arrangements right after surgery:

With so many muscles being cut in surgery, adjusting and lifting my torso out of a bed was excruciating in the beginning. So, a recliner was invaluable. It's no wonder so many hospital rooms have recliner type chairs next to the bed. Try to have one at home, as well!

In bed, positioning pillows (lots of them) allows you to sleep propped up. Even so, getting out of bed was an experience I wish I could have saved myself from. I was grateful to have my husband there to assist me. Be sure to have someone there to assist you.

Have a small table at your bedside and chair side to hold the items that you think you will need throughout the day and night. Remember, convenience is everything! Consider setting up these areas prior to surgery.



Friday, January 28, 2011

Linda's Getting new "Girls" on Febuary 10th!

Wow - a nervous and exciting time.

I remember when the doctor told me I could get new "girls" (reconstructive breast implants) in ten years, and remember thinking will I still be here in ten years?  Well, it's eight years, and I'm here!  So I'm excited and nervous about this next step in the windy road of breast cancer survivorship. 

What's going on?  Over time, scar tissue develops in the reconstructed "girls", making them more misshapen.  New surgery will remove the scar tissue and put in a new set of breasts.  Maybe they'll need to put in expanders, and then do another surgery later to put in the implants, but they'll figure that out once they're in there.

The surgery will be here in Lancaster County, PA so I'll be near home.  It's a day surgery and then a couple weeks of recovery.  I've been through breast surgery before, so this should be a piece of cake, right?  I'm a little leery of getting too excited about how much improvement in the appearance/shape that the surgery brings.  But that's my hope and my purpose in going through this again.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Story Behind Wings of Angels

When I was forty, I was told that I had breast cancer. That day - that moment - changed my life forever.  My thoughts were suddenly focused on so many questions.  How long do I have?  What about this, and what about that?  It was a long while before I was able to think about something other than cancer.
During that time, I crossed paths with a beautiful lady named Lisa.  She gave me the strength I needed to help me put my life back together.  I remember asking her if my life will ever get back to a point where I can smile again…even laugh.  Lisa had already gone through this ordeal herself, and she was happy to tell me that I would indeed enjoy life again, smile, laugh, and so much more!

I remember how those words sounded and thinking "I HOPE she was right."  Well, it is my pleasure to share with you that she was right.  If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, it does not mean life is over.

It took me a while to figure it out, but eventually I realized that this was actually a strengthening experience for me.  Lisa gave me support and encouragement when I needed it most.  And now I want to help others who face the challenges of breast cancer, other illnesses, recovery, even loss.  That’s why I founded Wings of Angels - to provide support and comfort to individuals dealing with life's most challenging times.  Each Gift Basket is filled with items carefully selected by me, items to soothe and comfort the healing body, mind and soul. 

Angels come in all different shapes & sizes.Today become an angel & show someone compassion & love.

Don't let yesterday use up too much of today. ~ Will Rogers

Linda Fisher