Reframing death: Therapist launches education effort with mentor’s backing

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Andy Steiner The way Judi Johnson remembers it, the first time they met, Brenda Hartman was in bad shape.Johnson, nursing director of the oncology program at North Memorial Medical Center, was leading a support group for people with cancer and their families. Hartman, then 32, came to the group with her husband. She’d been recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer.“Brenda was at Stage IV,” Hartman said. “She was a very sick woman.” Hartman’s treatment regime (surgery plus heavy-duty chemotherapy) was harsh, Johnson recalls. “They had to put her in the hospital every time she had a treatment. The chemotherapy was very difficult.” Hartman was too sick to complete the 12 rounds of treatment.That was 30 years ago. Somehow, despite the...

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