March 30, 2010
Volume 1, Issue 4

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Sue's Snippets:

Greetings, caregivers! 

Feature Article:

From the Heart of a Caregiver:  Interview With Ron Brownell, Caregiver To His Wife, Part 1

Events & Updates: 

Special Event in honor of Doctor's Day.  You don't want to miss this one! See details below.

Social Media  Yes, we are connecting with Social Media.  Please join us!

Next newsletter: You'll hear Part 2 from Ron, a Caregiver to his wife during her treatment for breast cancer. 

$%firstname%$, Hello!

Welcome to our new subscribers! We are so pleased to have you with us! "Solace and Sustenance for Cancer Caregivers" is an ezine, that is, an electronic magazine or newsletter sent to subscriber's email boxes.  By subscribing, you'll be among the first to know of upcoming interviews, new content, special events and offers from the Sanctuary.

We hope that you enjoy each issue that is packed with information to help those who care for Cancer Patients! For more helpful information, please visit our website at As you give care, we'll be there!  I have written this issue in advance of the date it will be automatically emailed to you by my mailing service.  I wanted to be sure that you receive it on March 30, 2010.  Today has been declared Doctor's Day.  We have two special offers for our subscribers in conjunction with Doctor's Day.  You can read more about it below.

Did you go on your Spring Break yet? Was it my imagination or did winter seem verrrrrrrry long this year?  When you are caring for a loved one with cancer, it can seem even longer.  Have you ever noticed every year around this time, we see all the clips on TV of the many college students traveling to the balmier places to have a few days or a week basking in the sun, playing volleyball on the beach and partying?  It may seem like a distant memory for some.  Others maybe never did take a spring break when they were back in their school days.  Either way, what about you?  What about now?  Did you take a spring break?  Did you have a little time to get away?  Did you have a chance to get out and forget about all the everyday stresses of your life?  Did you have a few days to do what you want to do?  Wait a minute, you may be saying!  I'm a busy person.  I have a family to take care of, perhaps a job, AND I take care of my loved one with cancer.  There is no spring break for me!

You may feel very confined in your options, but don't exclude the idea of a spring break.  After all, you need one, right?  But how can you make that happen?  Well, you may not be able to get away for a week.  You may not even be able to get away for a few days.  Try for whatever seems attainable and pursue it!  For example, could you get someone to help out with the caregiving duties so you could do a short weekend or overnight stay at a hotel near something you'd enjoy doing? 

If that won't work, try for a few hours away.  Try to do that a couple of different times, so you can really feel like you have had a break.  If you enjoy shopping, plan a shopping expedition with some friends.  If you like quilting, get together with some fellow quilters.  Perhaps you are an avid hunter, fisher, or sports enthusiast.  Try to do something you really enjoy and may have been sacrificing over the long winter months.  Often, even a few hours away, can greatly improve the mindset of a caregiver to a loved one with cancer.  The key thing is to connect with others and do something you really enjoy.   

Wise Words for Caregivers:  

He knows the water best who has waded through it. ~ Danish Proverb

Susan Brownell says:  "How often do we go to someone with experience to help us through the difficulties we experience?  Experience is one of the best teachers.  Learn from others as you go on the caregiver journey.  Let their wisdom save you the pain and heartache of having to learn those lessons on your own."  


If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves. ~ Thomas Edison

Susan Brownell says:  "We all have within ourselves the ability to do much more than we think we can endure much more than we think we can, if only we believe.  You may doubt your ability to be a caregiver.  You may not think you can handle it.  But, why not astound yourself?"

Interview with Ron Brownell, Caregiver to His Wife, Part 1

In some past issues of "Solace & Sustenance for Cancer Caregivers," we interviewed Jeanette Brownell, who underwent a long, grueling treatment for Breast Cancer.  In this issue we cover Part 1 of our interview with Ron, her husband, who acted as her caregiver.  In this first part of the interview, you will see what a challenge caregiving can be in some circumstances.   

Susan:  What do you know now that you wish you'd have known earlier in the process?

Ron:  Because Jeanette had a compromised immune system, there were a lot of bacteria issues to be concerned about.  If I'd have known that you couldn't have flowers in the house because of things in the soil, that would have helped.  You couldn't touch the bathroom towels.  The toilet and sink counter had to be cleaned after every use by wiping them down with a Cholorx Wipe.  Another thing I was taught was to always flush the toilet with the seat and lid down.  This was to prevent that mist from getting into the air. 

Jeanette's immune system went down to almost nothing.  This happened twice.  She spent six days in the hospital once and another time five days in the hospital. 

The hardest part was we could have no visitors.  Jeanette couldn't be around people.  The washing machine repair man had to wear a mask and put rubber gloves on.  He had to change clothes before he came into the house at my request.  We furnished the gloves and mask to try to hold down the things Jeanette would get exposed to on his entrance to the house. 

We kept a Sanitizer bottle by the door for when I came home from work.  I would change clothes immediately.  She couldn't touch my work clothes. 

I had to clean the refrigerator out.  We had to ensure there was no outdated or almost outdated food in there.  All the fruits and vegetables that we brought in fresh had to be cleaned and sanitized.  I couldn't buy too much at a time.  I had to be very careful with bacteria issues.  When doing dishes, I had to clean and wash the dishes with very hot water.  I then used the dishwasher to sanitize the dishes. 

I work at a restaurant, so besides all the caution for bacteria issues at home, I also had to be concerned about bringing something home from work and exposing her.  After shaving, I had to clean the bathroom sink because of having contaminated water in there from my shaving.  I also had to Cholorox all the countertops.  The concern about bacteria was serious and could have been fatal.  

Susan:  What are/were your biggest challenges?

Ron:  One of the biggest challenges was to eliminate Jeanette's exposure to bacteria.  The other challenge was to make myself ask for financial help.  My wife was not working for a very long time.  She had surgery in the fall and was off until summer.  We had the winter fuel bill, which needed to be paid.  The expenses were up and the income was down.

Susan:  What did others do to support you?

Ron:  People called.  They stopped and dropped things off.  They brought ham and other foods. 

Susan:  What could others have done to support you?

Ron:  There wasn't much people could do.  She wasn't allowed visitors.  Because of the concern about bacteria exposure, she couldn't have strangers cook or clean for her.  We had to put the flowers outside because of the bacteria in the dirt.  There could also be mites on the leaves.  They are microscopic and can land on you and they, also, carry bacteria.  When her temperature went up and she had to go back to the hospital, she would have to have IVs with 3-4 antibiotics.  Even the Doctors and Nurses had to wear gloves and masks to be around her. 

Be sure to watch for the next newsletter and part 2 of this compelling interview with Ron. 

Do you give care from afar?

Do you give care from afar? It's not easy.  Read my articles published on Ezine Articles to look for tips and tricks that will help make your long distance caregiving life easier.  After reading any article, if you would like, you can click on the Comments link near the top of the page, and leave your comments.

Susan Brownell, Basic Author

Long Distance Cancer Caregivers Face Many Challenges

Long Distance Cancer Caregivers Success Secrets

Cancer Caregivers From a Distance - 5 Proactive Tips


If you are a long distance cancer caregiver, be sure to plan ahead if you possibly can.  It will really make life easier. 

In our next issue of “Solace and Sustenance for Cancer Caregivers,” we’ll learn about the role a husband played when dealing with his wife's cancer and treatment. 

Did you know that it is Doctor's Day today, 30 March 2010? That's right!  The one who sees your loved one on his medical quest for treatment has a special day.  The Doctor, the one who:


  • Explains the diagnosis
  • Determines which tests
  • Explains the prognosis
  • Answers the questions
  • Studies the research
  • Determines the treatment
  • Prescribes the medications
  • Monitors the progress & adjusts accordingly
  • Listens to your loved one's concerns & fears
  • Heads up the medical team for your loved one
  • Reassures your loved one


    What are WE doing about it? 

    In honor of Doctor's Day, we are offering a special sale on two of our products designed to help Cancer Caregivers cope: 

    • 51 Secrets Every Cancer Caregiver Needs to Know (Our most popular product!)  This ebook will help you understand what you'll be dealing with and what you must do for yourself, as you give care.  Click the link for a list of topics covered.


    • Embracing the Cancer Caregivers Mindset (with the Caring Action Mindset Plan)  This is a great tool for those who are struggling to step into the caregiving role and those who feel overwhelmed in their caregiver role.  It will help greatly in your mindset, and planning to take care of both your loved one and yourself.  Click the link to learn more about the mindset required of a Cancer Caregiver.

    Click the links above for more information.  If you've been hesitating, now's the time to act!  Click the links above and grab your copy now.  These prices won't last long!  Sale ends on 3 April 2010.


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    Susan Brownell interviewed by Cure Magazine. 

    We are excited that the Founder of the and the Sanctucare company was interviewed for "Cure" Magazine.  The interview was featured in an article about Cancer Caregivers and the new family dynamics involving the relationships of Step-parents and Step-children in the caregiving process.  The article appeared in the Winter Issue of Cure Magazine.  This article is currently available online for a limited time until the next issue comes out.  If you would like to read the article, you can find it here:  Uncertain Obligations.

    We look forward to bringing you many methods of support and encouragement. 

    We are getting some great teleseminars and webinars planned for you. Newsletter subscribers will be the first to know when we arrange these teleseminars. We are also arranging interviews with some interesting people with a wealth of resources. Be sure you read your email and visit our website. We also have another surprise in the works for the coming months.  We don’t want you to miss any opportunities to help make your caregiver duties easier! 

    If you know of someone in need of encouragement, please feel free to forward this ezine (electronic magazine) to them. We'd love to have them sign up to join our mailing list. Visit us at

    Have a wonderful week and remember to visit our site often for encouragement, helpful tips, teleseminar events and much more coming your way!  Remember we are here for you!  Would you like a product or service you don't see?  Drop us a line at and let us know!

    Yours, In Compassionate Care,

    Come to the Sanctuary. embraced!

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