Support to a person with cancer is like water to someone who is out in a desert.

Katharyn BradyStarred Page By Katharyn Brady, 1st May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Recovery & Coping

This journey with cancer has allowed me to learn so many lessons. I had been a self sufficient person all of my life because early on I couldn’t depend on anyone, with the exception of myself. Sometimes we need to examine those core beliefs and determine if they still apply or determine if it’s time to change them.

Learning to willingly allow others to help me.

Due to the neutropenia (no white blood cells) episode where I contracted an infection in the newly implanted port, I went into cycle 2 feeling fatigued and had a lot of nausea.

One of my lessons in this journey was to willingly ask for and receive help. I had helped so many over the years and it was time to allow others to help me. It was not a sign of weakness or that people might feel put upon, but people really wanted to help myself and my husband.

One thing I did was assess each of my friends skills so I would know what help that person would be able to easily and effortlessly provide.

My friend Lori: Gift > care giver.

One of my friends, Lori, is a care giver and she’s good at it. She sent me an email saying she was dedicating a week to me and she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

It meant she was going to stop her life in Oregon to help me with mine in California. Lori was a busy lady. It meant finding replacements for everything she did. She had to make sure her precious animals were well taken care of.

My experience in having support gave me the ability to fully heal and allowed my immune system to build up. When I came out of cycle 1 and started cycle 2, I felt very fatigued. It was difficult to stand up and prepare meals for myself.

In preparation for Lori’s visit on Monday, I had frozen cooked food in the freezer. That’s how I got through Saturday and Sunday prior to her arrival. Lori arrived on Monday morning. My sister, Linda, did the food shopping, so we were ready to go.

In addition to being a care giver, she’s an excellent cook. I sat in a chair (I call it the observation chair) and watched her cook me amazing and tasty dishes.

After cooking, she cleaned up the kitchen.

I spent a lot of time in bed resting. We have a house keeper that comes in every two weeks. I was in bed when she came by, so Lori took care of instructions, inspection and payment.

My refrigerator was a mess. She removed anything that was old and wiped my refrigerator down, inside and out.

Lori organized my many spices in alphabetical order and organized my other shelves so was easy to find things.

I was able to see things that I hadn’t seen in awhile. I identified foods and spices that I was never going to use and gave them to my sister.

Lori turned me on to essential oils that helped with sleep and digestion.

Lori’s offer of help was so generous and so needed. I went into cycle 3 less fatigued and had only a couple of hours on one day that were difficult, instead of everyday being difficult.

I realized that I needed help the first week I’m out of the hospital and was wondering how I would manage it. I looked into home care. My issue was how involved I would have to be and didn’t know if it would be worth the money.

My sister Linda: Gift > cooking.

Then, my sister, Linda, offered to come to our home for the remaining cycles, starting with cycle 3. She offered to cook for me that first week I’m home from the hospital. Wow, wow, wow!! What a God send. She is also a great cook and only lives 3 miles away from us. She is so busy and I felt honored that she would offer this to me. So, of course, I said, “Yes”!!

One of the meals she made was chicken enchiladas, my recipe. I sat in the observation chair and we discussed each step. The enchilada sauce was made from all fresh ingredients.

My sister found an excellent recipe on how to make homemade tomato sauce. We also roasted fresh, Anaheim peppers, sauteed onions and garlic for the enchilada recipe. The chicken was cooked to perfection and easily shredded. We added a healthy dose of chile powder, some salt and other spices. It was delish!!

Linda also made my favorite chicken burgers that have diced mushrooms and diced onion cooked right into the meat. Yummy!!

There is no way I can fully express how important Linda has played in my recovery. One of the key things that I did was cook and I couldn’t do it this week in the cycle. She was the perfect solution and I will be forever grateful.

My friend Patty: Gift > Rosen Method energy work

Patty Angelina, her name says it all. . . she is an angel on earth. From the time that I met her, I had an instant connection with Patty.

I go to her each chemo cycle and she does her energy magic on me.

She has been a blessing to me. There is no way I can fully express my thanks to her. Her work makes a HUGE difference in my recovery. I've provided a link to her website so you can fully read about her and what she offers.

Other generous friends.

There are others who have helped.

  • Our friend Bobbe who drove me to my appointment when Michael was in the hospital and I was recovering from my first surgery.
  • Lisa and Aurora who cooked us delicious meals during the first cycle of chemo.
  • A healing bracelet from Jerusalem that was given to me by Brenda
  • Running shoes, magazines, socks, a super soft blanket and pretty smelling hand soap from Lisa.
  • Flowers from Nicole and Sue.
  • Cards with well wishes from a number of people.
  • A beautiful hand knitted cap for my bald head from my Phyllodes Support group.
  • Yolanda and my mom, Jennifer, who asked for prayer at churches that offer this. I have felt these prayers often.
  • All of the prayers that people have taken time to say for me and my family.

Entering cycle 4 with energy instead of fatigue.

Linda’s cooking really took me to a new healthy level. I entered cycle 4 feeling really good. A couple of days before I went to the hospital, I received a message from God reminding me that He is always with me and not to be afraid. A tear may have escaped my eyes as I reflected on how I would miss my husband for these 5 days. Just like other couples, we have our special rituals each day and night that are precious to me and would have to wait until I returned home again.

I’m currently on day 4 of cycle and so some fatigue has returned, but the great news is I didn’t start off fatigued. This was due to the generosity of Lori, Linda and all those who continue to give to us whether its prayer or some other offering that we need.

Again, I can’t stress enough the importance of support. Without it, a difficult situation and healing is that more difficult.

I am truly blessed and thankful for all who have served me and loved me unconditionally.

Other articles by this author.

Katharyn's journey with a rare form of cancer, Malignant Phyllodes tumor.

Diagnosis: From benign to malignant.

Having cancer brought opportunities for healing and change.

Weigh the pros and cons of a decision and then commit.

Counting down to being cancer free . . . or was I?

Critical decision: Change the medical team.

My doctor layed out my plan to cure Malignant Phyllodes Tumor cancer.


Cancer, Cancer Fighting, Cancer Reducer, Cancer Treatment, Cancers

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 Mariah
2nd May 2014 (#)

Family and friends are such a blessing Katharyn, your post is a lovely way to acknowledge and thank them for being who they are and being there when you need them.

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
2nd May 2014 (#)

Thank you Mariah.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
2nd May 2014 (#)

yes loving support is oh so important...light healing and love to you Katharyn...

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
2nd May 2014 (#)

Thank you Carolina.

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author avatar C.D. Moore
3rd May 2014 (#)

You are blessed with friends. Many blessings and wishes for your recovery.

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
4th May 2014 (#)

Thank you, C.D.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
4th May 2014 (#)

All the best in healing and recovery

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
4th May 2014 (#)

Thank you, Mark.

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author avatar vandana7
13th May 2014 (#)

Extremely touching. People care. We are humans. It just boils down to that eventually no matter what the differences are.

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
13th May 2014 (#)

Vandana7, you are so right. I am touched by how many have stepped forward to help me.


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