Two years ago, I was invited by Christine Glavine to speak at an annual lunch that she hosts each September to honor and pamper Atlanta’s Quiet Heroes, moms with a child diagnosed with cancer, living with cancer, surviving cancer, or sadly, a child who has died from childhood cancer. I shared a letter that I had written to my mom that day, the day that I finally knew how to describe all that she had been to me when I had cancer and every day of our cure.
Tag Archives: cancer caregivers
I can remember one of the first moments when I realized my parents did not know or understand everything about the world around me. My dad was attempting to use his smart phone for something and kept hitting the wrong button. From the couch seat next to him, I could easily see the mistaken button push as he blamed the whole issue on the phone. The entire situation presented a common progression that young adults experience with their parents, where our perception of our parents moves from all-knowing to fallible, in the framework of a mildly frustrating technology issue.
Using scientific research as a springboard for discussion, CKN is distilling this research into practical narratives that will improve the quality of life for patients and offer deeper understanding and connection for physicians. Please join this Doctor-Patient conversation about feelings of guilt and selfishness.
by Chris Lewis, Living with Cancer
I know, no one likes to consider themselves as selfish, especially me! But my encounter with cancer has made me wonder. Other people are always my concern, and the joy I receive in my life has always come from doing things for others. However, when cancer struck, my world turned on its head. Instead of being a part of my family focus, I became the entire focus. Everywhere I went, people wanted to know what was happening to me.
by Rob Harris, Caregiver
Intro by Pat Taylor, CKN Caregiver Section Editor
I liken caregiving to climbing a mountain without a map, on a foggy day, wearing flip-flops, shorts and a t-shirt.
At first the trail appears to be well trodden by the many who came before you. It is clearly marked and easy to navigate, even over the slippery moss-covered logs placed precariously over gushing streams and deep gulleys along the way. With each step your confidence soars and a “Hey, I can do this!” attitude drives you forward.
If only healing after cancer were as fast and predictable as recovering from a scratch or bruise. After caregiving ends, you’ll find yourself grieving, regardless of whether your care recipient died, fears potential recurrence, or has been declared cancer free.
Grieving is natural. Your life was turned upside down. You’ve gotten used to a nearly uncontrollable and adrenaline-fueled whirlwind of scheduling, reconfiguring daily life, and solving problems. Then, suddenly, the frenzy stops, and you’re faced with, “What now?”
Have you ever thought about how it would feel to have your life suddenly turned upside down? Everything is going along as planned – maybe not perfect, but fairly “normal” – when suddenly your world crashes around you as your doctor tells you your child has cancer. Parenting a child with cancer is not an easy thing to talk or write about, but Lou Greenzweig generously allows us a peek into his world of parenting his son Matthew, at the time a young adult, through his cancer diagnosis and treatment. Through Lou’s detailed account of a year in his life as a caregiver, we can hear the love and dedication he felt for his son come through loud and clear. Thank you, Lou, for sharing a few of the things you learned along the way with us.
Our Caregiver Section Editor, Pat Taylor, met Lou Greenzweig at the OMG Cancer Summit in Las Vegas earlier this year. Pat was delighted when Lou agreed to write about his experiences with his son, Matthew Zachary, founder of Stupid Cancer.org, for the CKN Caregiver Section. ~Karen Irwin