Thursday 21 March 2013

THE CAREGIVER to a cancer patient -

There cannot be a cancer patient without a Caregiver.  In fact, one could argue that for every cancer patient, there are multiple Caregivers and thus, more people caring for cancer patients than there are cancer patients.

Who are these Caregivers?  They are the spouses, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, other family members, friends, co-workers, neighbours and acquaintances of the patient.  Doctors, nurses and therapists too, are Caregivers.  Do you know anyone who is a cancer patient?  Which of the above Caregiver are you?

Some Caregivers choose their role, others have no choice.  Those who live with the cancer patient or those who feel particularly close to the patient, have no choice but to take on a role that can consume their life - pushing all other matters aside. 
Those who are friends, family members or co-workers who do not live with the patient, choose their role.  Some may choose to visit regularly, others might choose to send e-mail or make check in calls.  Some may choose to stay away.

The role of the cancer patient Caregiver, cannot be adequately explored in one post.  We will be delving into this topic both on our social media sites and in our book.

In the meantime, if you are not a cancer patient yourself, take a moment right now and think of those people in your life closest to you.  Close your eyes and see their faces.  Now imagine you become seriously ill with a disease such as cancer.  Is it your expectation that these people, the people closest to you, will be there for you when you need them most? 
Almost every cancer patient will tell you that they were surprised to discover that some people who they thought would be there for them through thick and thin, evaporated from their lives as they dealt with all that cancer throws at them, while some other people, who they hardly knew, or who they felt not particularly close to, actually stepped up and played a meaningful role on their complex cancer journey.

We will share stories of those Caregivers who out of sheer love, poured their energy, their time, their compassion, and set aside the better part of their own lives to care for a treasured one with cancer.   If you do not know someone like that, we will introduce you to some of them and you will then be able to say 'I know the story of a Hero, and I would like to share it with you'.

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