About Me

Kathryn Bradley was born on 2/5/91 and given a Hawaiian name Kahiwalani meaning "Gift From Heaven" She has been a special gift from the day she was born.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Just Thoughts 3-28-12

Just Thoughts 3-28-12

Last Night (Tuesday night) I didn’t sleep at all.  I have a cough and then my mind just wouldn’t stop thinking.  I have been trying not to use sleep aids and maybe I should have used some.  I kept thinking about Kathryn.  Thinking about everything about her.  Times with her, her treatment, her time in the hospital, coming home, and songs.  Right now as I write the song “If I Die Young” is stuck in my brain.  Once it is there it is hard to shake.

Didn’t get too much done today because I was too tired.  I did work on Richard’s room.  Scott’s brother is coming over and I want to make sure he has room for his stuff.  There is plenty of room in Kathryn’s room but I don’t know if he would feel comfortable sleeping in her room or not.  I have talk to a couple of people or with people who know people who have lost a child and how they handled their things.  It sounds like most people are like us leaving the room the same for years.  And most don’t go through the child’s things for years either.  We did go through Kathryn’s stuff immediately.  We wanted to have her things to share at her celebration.  It was a good time to do it for us because I think we were all in shock and numb at that time.  Still in shock.  I gave away some of her brand new clothes that she got for Christmas.  That was easy because they weren’t really hers yet.  But the one coat… Well it bought the last time Kathryn and I went shopping together.  When I said that to Katherine (Bee)and Lauren they told me I should keep it because I had tears running down my cheeks.  I pondered over giving it to her early.  I didn’t know if she would ever get to wear it or not.  But I thought giving it to her early would send the wrong message.  I didn’t want her to think that I thought she would not be alive for Christmas.  In ways I wished I would have given it to her early and in other ways I’m glad I didn’t.  I never wanted to give up or let go of hope.  I had hope for her up until the morning she passed.  Even that morning I thought at first she was getting better because her heart wasn’t racing like it usually was in the morning.  Her heart rate was staying normal and calm.  But then her oxygen level dropped and I knew her lower heart rate was not a good sign but instead a sign that her entire system was slowing down.

I went and sat in her room for a while.  Read a story from the book I was reading her.  The book is titled “Unlikely Friendships.”  She was great at making friends.  And she made friends and had some friendships that most would think were unlikely.  But that was Kathryn.  She loved and cared for everyone.

We also went out to our friend’s work place.  He’s a landscaper.  He is going to help us get rid of the dead cherry blossom tree and maybe a couple of bushes and we will plant new trees in Kathryn’s honor.  I have a beautiful plaque that two of my coworkers gave me that will go out in the garden by the tree the staff purchased for us.  Our landscaper friend will put in two other trees.  I’m going to meet with him this weekend.  It will be great.

I talked to a friend on the phone tonight and we chatted a great deal about Kathryn and cancer.  This friend has cancer.  She told me that you can only have so much of any one type of chemo in your lifetime.  I didn’t know this.  I knew that radiation certainly had a limit because of the long half-life.  Basically radiation never leaves your body.  We also talked about low sodium.  Any cancer can cause a low sodium problem.  She is sending me a book that a Mom wrote.  This Mom’s daughter died 3 or 4 years ago from cancer.  She wrote the book mainly for the medical personnel to understand that parents know their child and need to be the child’s advocate.  The book is titled “Because of Katie.”  I will have to read it when I’m alone because I know it will make me cry.

Good Night


  1. Carol, I just helped make a quilt for two little boys who lost their dad to suicide. Their mother brought over the dad's shirts that he used to wear and we cut blocks from the shirts and put them into a quilt for each of the boys to have to remember something about their dad. If that is something you would be interested in, I would love to do it for you. Julie

  2. Carol, I'm Katie's mom (her full name is also Kathryn, spelled the same way) and that author of that book. I only knew your Kathryn (Panda) briefly through Camp GT, and because of that, I haven't wanted to write too much here. I hope you will enjoy the book - if it makes you cry, please don't feel any pressure to finish it. I did write it to teach medical personnel what it is really like for families and patients to go through what we have...and you already know what that is like. I hope that whatever you read in the book will give you hope on this path that no parent wants to take. Your family is very dear, and I know that you did the best job possible of taking care of your Kathryn. God bless you and bring you comfort each and every day.
    Karen Gerstenberger