Nazli Bayar took an unemotional approach to her breast cancer.
“I accepted the disease as a problem that would be solved and, then, I would be healthy again,” Nazli says. She didn’t feel the need for emotional support.
The 49-year-old Naperville woman heard about Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center while undergoing treatment that included surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She saw brochures about Waterford Place but didn’t consider visiting the center until another cancer patient recommended it.
“A patient understands what another patient needs,” she says. “Her genuine, positive, passionate review made me think it would be useful. I decided I shouldn’t judge this place without knowing what it offers.”
A warm welcome
When Nazli arrived at Waterford Place, she was greeted by Omar Ramos, program and administrative support coordinator. “It was a wonderful, welcoming reception,” she says. “Omar was so willing to help. I felt very special. I felt they were there for me, that they were waiting for me.”
When she learned that all Waterford Place programs and services are free to those affected by cancer, she thought it sounded too good to be true.
Because Omar was so nice, Nazli felt she couldn’t say no to him. She registered for some programs that promote relaxation, including sound therapy and aromatherapy. She also tried reiki, a practice intended to reduce stress, improve sleep and relieve pain. Attending the class immediately following her radiotherapy treatment, she was very tired. But after an hour of reiki, she felt recharged.
Skeptical and not easily impressed, she admits, “It’s really been helpful to me.”
‘I didn’t know how much I needed this’
However, it wasn’t until she went to a one-on-one counseling session that she realized her emotions had been building up.
“We walked into the room and the therapist went to get a notebook. I started crying before we even said hello,” Nazli remembers. “I was strong-minded and logical. I didn’t know how much I needed this.”
With every visit to Waterford Place, Nazli came away with the feeling that she was doing something good to get better. She felt that many of her experiences were spiritual. She recalls her feelings during her first one-on-one reiki appointment when she saw how focused the reiki master was. “I thought that woman was really trying to get me better. It brought tears to my eyes,” she says. “I believed at that moment I was going to be ok.”
Now that she has finished her treatments, Nazli wants to find ways to give back and encourages others going through cancer treatment to look into Waterford Place.
“If they’re not going, I feel sorry for them that they are missing out,” she says. “I didn’t know how much I needed the support Waterford offers. It will change someone’s life — I know it did for me.”