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Cancer Taught Me: Brenda’s Story

There are three important lessons cancer taught me.

First lesson, listening to my body.  It all started in the ER when I had pain on my right side and I heard "I really need to get this checked out.”  Next was surgery and the healing process.  It was so important to stay rested and to mentally prepare for chemo.  The question is, are we ever prepared for chemo? My body fought hard after each treatment.  I listened with intent when to rest, when to eat, when to exercise, when to go to bed, when to get up, when to cry and when to be courageous.

Second lesson, creating Team Bee.  My caretaker Rosie pulled together a team of people who wanted to be part of cancer healing.  The kind of healing that happens with prayers, visits, cards, food, and meditation.  Team Bee had a blog where there were updates and posts.  Lesson learned here: I needed friends and family to heal!

Third lesson, to be grateful! Cancer can bring you to your knees; there are highs and lows, faith and fear, hard work and rest, pain and calm, and at the end of the day being grateful keeps you sane.

Every day you thank your caregiver who walks through the fire with you.  You thank your doctors and your oncology nurses who hang chemo bags with love, and you say "thank you" for another day.

So, cancer has taught me to listen to your body, create a village and have a thankful attitude.  I'll be using these lessons for the rest of my life.

- Brenda Butterfield, Rehoboth Beach

Cancer Taught Me

Cancer Taught Me

Cancer Taught Me explores the stories of patients who received treatment at Beebe's Tunnell Cancer Center. The stories are in their own words.