The Cancer Poet – Episode 163
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Featuring: Loretta Brunetti
Published: May 11, 2019
The hosts of Health, Hope & Inspiration chat with hospital volunteer Loretta Brunetti, who talks about how her involvement in the cancer community was inspired by her desire to find a significant way to help family members who were battling the disease, and how her unique brand of ministry was birthed as a result of that desire.
Loretta Brunetti’s sister was her hero in every respect, but especially in the way she battled cancer. “If there were comic-book heroes, throw them away. My sister was a hero, and she fought like a hero. She loved like a hero. And I think, most importantly, the reason why she did that was her faith. God was with her through everything.” Brunetti would visit with her sister in Arkansas while she was undergoing treatment. After one visit, when she returned to Tulsa, she wondered, “What can I do to help cancer patients?”
Inspired by her sister’s faith and joie de vivre, Brunetti decided it was time to use her gifts and talents to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their loved ones. “God has used a lot of what my sister went through for me to come and say, ‘Okay, let’s not take life too seriously. God’s got us by the hand. Let’s have fun.’” And her brand of fun is contagious. “We have flash mobs here. It’s upbeat dancing. There are some patients that are out there, even if they can’t get out of their wheelchair, moving their hands. It’s really popular here.” Brunetti says the impact on the patients is deeply rewarding. “A cancer patient came up to me and said, ‘You know, for the last 20 minutes, I forgot I had cancer.’”
Brunetti also hosts karaoke sessions at CTCA, and not only is the fun infectious, it’s life-changing. “A cancer patient two years ago was told he had paralyzed vocal cords. He was a singer and told he could never sing again. Three months ago, he was at our karaoke. He got up and sang ten Elvis songs.” She also writes poetry to encourage cancer patients on their journey. “It’s in my heart,” she says. And anyone who reads those verses will see the essence of Brunetti’s mission of joy— that’s the poetry of life.
- “I think it’s very important to make people smile, and that’s what my intent is, to make people smile. I think that helps you get through all the troubles of your day. And remember — God has you by the hand.”
- “I just don’t sweat the small stuff. I think I love more now. I think it has helped my faith now. I know that it’s helped [cancer patients]. And my heart’s gotten bigger. I’ve never been as happy in my life as I am today.”
- “When I walk into a cancer center like this—I’m surrounded by hope.”
Click here to download this week’s resource: “Emotional Needs of Cancer Patients”
Click here to download Original Poetry Written by Loretta Brunetti
CTCA | Tulsa, OK