Anyone who has ever dealt with breast cancer knows the importance of the medical professionals who are in charge of their diagnoses, tests, surgeries and course of treatment. Our very lives are in their hands as we depend upon their knowledge and talents and abilities no matter how long our cancer battle lasts. I am so very grateful for what they provide to all of us. However, beyond the medical aspects of cancer, there is one person who will be the most important in a successful outcome in dealing with this journey and that is the person referred to as the primary caregiver.
“I think that for the first time I understand why some desert their loved one at a time like this, when the going gets tough.”Barbara Jacoby
I personally am not fond of the tag of caregiver. There are lots of people who give us care on a daily basis and many who will provide care, help and assistance in order to allow us to keep focused on our health issues. But, there is always one person who is at the forefront of our lives at these times and I prefer to think of them more like our personal lifesavers. For me, it has been my husband and for many others, it is that very same person but no matter who it is, you know that without that very special person and all of their efforts, your outcome may have been completely different.
I tried to put myself in the place of someone who is the number one. I tried to figure out how I would deal with working a full-time job to take care of financial matters while taking care of all of the household duties including cooking, cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping while looking after the patient’s extra needs that include doctor appointments, treatment sessions, pharmacy runs and everything else while still trying to put on a positive face and provide a great support system. Now if there are children in the household, I would need to get them up and dressed, fed and probably delivered to school for the day. Then after school, someone needs to take them to their activities and help them with homework, feed them dinner, prepare them for bed and settle them for the night and that is the very least that they need.
I think that for the first time I understand why some desert their loved one at a time like this, when the going gets tough. It would be so much easier to do so. But, for those who choose to stay and who are there for the journey, I think that it is time that we do more for them. They need support groups and outlets for their emotions. They need private time and fun time. They deserve some pampering and spoiling. They deserve as much care and support as the person that they are supporting. They need to know that we know that what they are doing is superhuman. Maybe it is time to address this issue and join forces to help these heroes. It is time to care for those who are caring for others.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.