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Tag Archives: pat taylor

Suleika Jaouad’s Caregiver’s Tool: 10 Things NOT To Say To a Cancer Patient

Suleika2This article was originally published in the Huffington Post.

by  Suleika Jaouad, Cancer Survivor

Introduction by Pat Taylor

As the editor for the Caregiver Section here on CKN, I am always on the lookout for practical information that provides us with the necessary tools to navigate through the confusion and uncertainty that constantly presents itself when we are caring for someone with cancer.  Sometimes if we are lucky we get some practical advice that saves us a lot of grief and misunderstanding along the way.

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OMG2013 Cancer Summit for Young Adults: The Caregiver’s Plea for Help

PatTaylorStupidcancersummit

Matthew Zachary, Founder Stupid Cancer, Pat Taylor, CKN Editor, Jonny Imerman, Founder Imerman Angels at the Stupid Cancer Summit 2013

I had just arrived home from six days at the OMG2013 Cancer Summit for Young Adults in Las Vegas, when I received a frantic call from my daughter Jenny.

“Mom, Luka needs to go to the ER for stitches, can you come to stay with the boys?”

45 looong minutes later I had collected Luka’s brothers from the neighbours and was preparing them for bed. Kai, the youngest, aged 3, his brow creased with concern, told me what had happened in vivid detail.  Luka had landed wrong on the jungle gym, hitting both legs against the metal steps and slicing open his shins. Red blood and white stuff oozed out of the cuts. It was scary.

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Business as Usual? Not always the case for Caregivers…

Mark Kamstra

Working While Caregiving:  Three helpful hints

by Dr. Mark Kamstra, Caregiver 

My wife was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on November 29, 1996. Her health had been in decline for the better part of a year – she knew “something” was wrong, just not “what”. At age 27, no one thinks bad things are going to happen to them. Because she had been slowing down for months and months, I was already picking up the slack around the house. With no kids and two cats, it wasn’t too hard to shoulder the burden, but it was already causing friction. I had a full time job and owed others my attention, not just her. She was a graduate student at the time, and she was not holding up her end of responsibilities. That was the emotional core of what I felt. She was feeling sick, so I did what needed to be done, but I resented her sometimes. Even after I knew how serious her illness was, I still felt those emotions bubbling up. We got angry with each other, talked and made up. We both allowed the other to get angry. It was always better after we talked.

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Support For The Caregiver: Resources on Film

Valleys Jumpby Pat Taylor, CKN Caregiver Section Editor

Like cancer patients and survivors, we caregivers need resources that provide us with educational, practical and emotional support so we can deliver the kind of care our loved ones deserve. As technology is changing, so is our access to information. From the privacy of our own homes we can observe or join virtual support groups, order or download books, read personal blogs by other caregivers, or browse online hubs like CKN that address our need for caregiver-specific information.  However, the prospect of “surfing” through all the content out there can be overwhelming.  So, during my tenure as Caregiver Section Editor here at CKN, one of my goals is to share with you some of the resources that have been helpful to me and to other caregivers that I have met and worked with since my daughter Sara was first diagnosed in 1997.

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Helpful Hints For The First Time Caregiver

Jackie Herigodt

by Pat Taylor, CKN Caregiver Section Editor

When a friend or family member receives a cancer diagnosis, you are tossed into the role of first time caregiver on the spot. Your “normal” routines turn inside out and sideways.  Even as you are still reeling from your own shock and fear over your loved one’s news, questions begin jockeying for position in your already-full mind. What do I do now?  How can I help?  What role does the caregiver actually play?  What’s the next step?

Good questions!  I went to the “experts”, people who have lived in the topsy turvy world of the first time caregiver, and asked them for some helpful hints. Although their experiences as caregivers varied widely, some of their suggestions were the same across the board:

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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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