Having cancer brought opportunities for healing and change.

Katharyn Brady By Katharyn Brady, 19th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Recovery & Coping

Having cancer has given me an opportunity to do deep healing.

Be the Captain of your own health care.

There isn't a lot of information on Phyllodes tumors since they are so rare. In conjunction with your medical personnel, you have to do your own research and determine if you agree with the course of action that is prescribed. To the best of your ability, be the captain of your own health care and be willing to speak up if something doesn't feel right to you.

Overcoming denial that I had cancer.

One day, God's voice directed me to find an online support group.

That same day, I found a Phyllodes Tumor support group that has several hundred members. The membership ranges from very young (teenage) to much older (60+) and newly diagnosed, as well as long time survivors.

Up until this point, I always felt like I was talking about someone else who had cancer. I was in denial that it was me. Meeting these wonderful ladies helped me to accept something that was overwhelming and scary. The group also became my advocate and helped me find a new medical team.

Deciding whether radiation therapy was right for me.

At this point in my story what I knew was that I had a Malignant Phyllodes Tumor. It was removed from my right breast with wide margins as a partial mastectomy. There was evidence that indicated radiation treatment could prevent recurrence of another tumor.

In early November, my sister, Linda, took me to see the Radiology Oncologist. I wanted to hear what he had to say before making my final decision of whether or not to commit to this treatment with peace of mind.

He felt the best approach was 33 radiation therapy sessions which meant having one session every day with the exception of weekends and holidays. 33 sessions amounted to a 6 week period of time.

The doctor said there were two main side effects:

- Skin that could blister and/or be sore.
- Fatigue. I might need to kick up my feet at the end of the day

My first thought after hearing these side effects was that this shouldn't be difficult. I could reduce my work hours to a 40 hour work week and start putting on the suggested cream to prime my skin about a week before the first treatment.

I signed up for the program and began treatment in early December 2013.

An opportunity for inner healing.

As I drove to my radiation therapy appointments, I reflected on my new inner peace. . .and then I heard God's voice say, "there's more to be done". Hmmm, I wonder what that could be.

It wouldn't take long for me to find out.

As several of us patients sat waiting for our radiation turn, one of the other patients and I were chatting. He asked me if I worked and I replied, "yes". He asked, "Are you a secretary"? I paused and said, "um no".

I noticed how I had bristled at the question. I quickly caught myself so I didn't react in a negative way towards him. I realized this man didn't mean to offend me.

Why might I be offended by such an innocent question?

Back in the early 80's, I had been a secretary at a number of companies: Legal Secretary, Medical Records Secretary, Real Estate Secretary, Escrow Secretary, etc.

At one of my secretarial jobs, the manager coordinated "Happy Hour" at the bar across the street. All of us had drinks in our hands and were listening to our manager speak. He then announced the following to the whole team:

"Cindy is going places. She's going to have a very successful career. Kathy (that's me) on the other hand will never be anything more than a secretary. Then he let out a big, loud, hardy laugh.

I was mortified, hurt, embarrassed and angry. Not only for what he said to me and in front of all of my peers, but deep down, I had believed it was true. I pretended it didn't bother me. I said nothing. I was trained to respect authority.

One positive thing that came out of this was his words lit a fire under me and caused me to excel professionally. However, the trauma of that unprocessed emotional energy has stayed frozen all of these years within my cells, until that day when I was waiting for my radiation and was asked if I was a secretary.

Coincidentally, I happen to be reading Colin Tipping's, "Radical Forgiveness". Colin provides worksheets to follow that enable you to forgive those who have hurt you. Later that night, I went home and filled out my worksheet, forgiving my former manager fully and completely. I am thankful for the gift of his words to me to break my limiting belief about myself. I released any hurt, embarrassment and anger from all of the cells in my body.

I thanked God for the people who cross our paths and give us opportunities to heal.

My journey is much more than conquering cancer.

I realized that the journey with cancer was going to be much more than just conquering cancer. I am being given an opportunity to heal past emotional wounding which has often times created core beliefs that have not served me. Now, I have this opportunity to make new core, positive beliefs.

Other posts by this author.

Katharyn's Journey with a rare form of cancer, Malignant Phyllodes Tumor.

Diagnosis: from benign to malignant.


Cancer, Cancer Diagnosis, Cancer Fighting, Cancer Treatment

Meet the author

author avatar Katharyn Brady
I have survived cancer multiple times. It took 8 surgeries, 33 sessions of radiation and chemo therapy. My focus is on being healthy in mind, body and spirit and helping others do the same.

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author avatar Sandy Housley
19th Apr 2014 (#)

Katharyn - Wow. the part of the secretary hit home after an incident this week made me feel "less than." Thank you for sharing from your heart, and for doing it so well.

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
19th Apr 2014 (#)

Thank you, Sandy.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
19th Apr 2014 (#)

Good morning, Katharyn, thank you for this article. Forgiving is for us, not the other person. Without it, we have stored resentments that manifest in ways that harm us. My own diagnosis of cancer made me evalute long held beliefs and that sounds like much of what you were/are experiencing as well. Reflection and introspection help remove the emotional barriers that can aide us in our physical healing. Again, please keep us posted. Prayers, thoughts and meditations centered for you. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
19th Apr 2014 (#)

Thank you, Marilyn.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th Apr 2014 (#)

Thanks Katharyn for this frank share that is educative as well in our general attitude to life and also the ingrained prejudices that we are not immune to. I remember few who sort of look down on me when I say I am working for others! As far as I am concerned they have an issue, not me! siva

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
20th Apr 2014 (#)

Amen, Siva!

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