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  • Anna


I was at the grocery store the other day and saw something that made my heart full. Walking down the aisle toward the checkout counters was an elderly couple; the older gentleman was pushing his wife in a wheelchair with one hand while pulling a cart full of groceries in another. The sight of that act of patience and sacrifice brought to mind an integral part of the cancer journey...the caregiver(s). My definition of a caregiver is someone closest to the patient that not only offers help with daily activities, but also offers emotional and spiritual support. What a tough role. Being a person with cancer is difficult physically at times, but mentally, all the time. The first few times I had cancer my mom was my main caregiver. I cannot imagine the emotions of being a mother watching your child deal with cancer and treatment. I myself was a mom with three young kids so not only was she helping me, she was trying to keep things 'normal' and flowing smoothly for the grandkids. She and my dad helped with meals, drove me to appointments, and even took me to my last couple weeks of daily radiation treatments over an hour away. I am her child. When I was exhausted, she was more exhausted from taking care of things while trying to keep me positive. When I cried out of frustration and sadness, I know she cried harder, but not in front of me. When I was worried, I know she was even more worried. The same holds true today. With my Stage 4 diagnosis I can see the worry in her eyes but she remains strong and as helpful as can be. I now have a husband who has stepped up to the role of caregiver and he's been amazing. He has not missed an appointment and when I went through an experimental radiation treatment last year, he took a week off of work to keep the house stuff smooth but to also to make my meals and make sure I was comfortable. I know he was worried, I know he was tired, but I know he was strong because I needed him to be. Cheers to the caregivers and for those holding us up when we can't do it ourselves! 'The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.'~Carson McCullers.

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