Author Archives: Kate Delany

Sometimes It’s Best Just to Listen

I guess I would say I am a problem solver by nature. When it comes to my loved ones, I am more so. I am protective, perhaps overly so! When I hear loved ones complain about a problem in their lives, a little voice inside my head says, “You need…

The Pros and Cons of Sharing Medical News Online

Growing up, my older sister and I were tasked with calling relatives when our younger sister was hospitalized due to a cystic fibrosis exacerbation. We relayed the news while my mother hurried around, packing bags and getting ready for the inpatient stay. I assume it was helpful — one less…

Mental Healthcare Is Important for Everyone

I recently got together with a group of friends, and in the middle of our conversation, one confided that she was excited to start therapy soon. Everyone joined in the excitement and congratulated her. Those also in counseling, which turned out to be most of the group, discussed their thoughts…

The Memory of a Therapy Dog Calls to Mind the Comfort of Pets

In the dark days of my sister’s cystic fibrosis-induced respiratory failure and subsequent double-lung transplant, a single moment stands out as a flash of light, and even humor. I was sitting at my sister’s bedside, next to my brother-in-law. We both had our heads bowed, alternating between silence and talking…

How to Ask for and Offer Help

A childhood friend whose husband is undergoing treatment for terminal cancer recently posted something on social media that struck me as smart. She thanked people for their concern, but then noted which kinds of offers of help were helpful, and which weren’t. I’ve both received and extended offers…

Little Books That Communicate Big Ideas About Health

When I was a kid, at the start of every school year my mother would pay a visit to my younger sister Mary’s new teacher to share information about Mary’s cystic fibrosis. One of the items she would share was a “Super Cystic and Fabulous Fran Fibrosis” book. These…

What We Talk About When We Talk About COVID-19

In his short story titled, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” writer Raymond Carver dramatizes an evening in which a small group of friends sits around a dining room table drinking and reminiscing. They share stories that are both intense and rambling. The friends discover that…