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Tag Archives: caregiver

How My Mom’s Breast Cancer Taught Me the Beauty of Being a Caregiver  

by Kristen Heller, Caregiver


It was May 11th – my 15th birthday. My brother and I were outside enjoying the warm day, the smell of fresh cut grass and the faint scent of honeysuckle floating through the air. Suddenly my mom’s voice rang out harshly, calling us to come into the house. She sounded upset, so we ran to the house wondering what we’d done to get in trouble.


When we got in the house, our parents looked grim. They told us to sit down – they had something difficult to tell us. My mom had breast cancer, an aggressive, fast growing type of breast cancer. I was in shock. My mom was only 35 years old and she had cancer.


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Caregiver Tips to Stay Active

exercise-bedby Ann Fonfa, Survivor, Cancer Patient Advocate


When my mother was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, she lived with my sister.  I was only working part time for my husband’s business so I could fly out to spend time with her and give my sister a break.  I would spend two to three weeks with her at a time.  It wasn’t long before I realized my own health was suffering.  My mother didn’t want to walk about like she used to and I was growing uncomfortable with my own physical inactivity.

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Reclaiming Christmas: A Mother’s Story

PatTaylorby Pat Taylor, CKN Caregiver Section Editor

The holidays can be a difficult time for those of us who have lost a loved one to cancer. If the loss is recent, it can permeate every pore of your being, every traditional event of the season. You notice your loved one is not there to decorate the tree, frost the gingerbread cookies, sing carols around the neighbourhood, light the menorah. For a parent who has lost a child, cancer can take away all the joyful child-like innocence and magic of Christmas, if we let it. Can such a fathomless hole in the heart ever be filled?


Yes, I believe it can be…eventually. 

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What I Said and Wish I Hadn’t, What I Didn’t Say and Wish I Had

MeganFox2by Megan Fox 

It was a bright, sunshine-filled July day in the city of Vancouver. The city was looking shinier than normal and it seemed that everybody had an extra spring in their step. I was feeling pretty cheery due to the great city vibe, despite the task I was about to undertake.

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From the Football Field to the Cancer Ward: A mother’s journey with her son

JordanJonesby Kim Jones, Caregiver and Advocate

On October 26, 2007 I heard the words “Your son has stage 4 testicular cancer that has spread throughout his body.” 

My son, Jordan Jones, was diagnosed at the young age of 13, just 2 weeks before his 14th birthday. It was a complete shock to everyone, especially me! Not my son, he’s too healthy. He had just played his end of season football game 36 hours prior to receiving his diagnosis. They won 48 to 0 that night and Jordan played his heart out! It was soon after that we would find out that his biggest opponent would no longer be on the football field – it would be cancer.

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Bits of Joy Amongst the Confusion – A Caregiver’s Happy Place

Pat and Saraby Pat Taylor, CKN Caregiver Section Editor

The title of this piece might seem contradictory. Happiness is certainly not the first emotion that comes to mind when anyone thinks about being a caregiver to a loved one who has cancer. Fear, confusion, grief, anger, frustration, exhaustion – yes. But joy? Well, in my experience it’s also there, albeit hard to find. In writing this piece, I had to go right back to the beginning of my own story to figure it out.

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